Think women can’t do pullups? Think again.

The key is not exhausting muscles during training.

“I got my first pullup on April 27 of 2014. It’s like giving birth: You don’t forget that,” said Col. Robin Gallant, 55. “I kicked it on my last (physical fitness test), I got 15; and now I’m up to an ugly 17, a pretty solid 16.”

With the right diet, weight training, doing CrossFit and practicing pullups, Gallant said she has built a good deal of lean muscle.

“It doesn’t make you look like a man,” she said. “Anybody that says that is full of crap.”

Gallant, the comptroller for the II Marine Expeditionary Force, learned how to do pullups under the tutelage of Maj. Misty Posey, who developed an approach that the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, is looking at to institute corps-wide.

The technique the major has refined through the years is having people do pullups three to five times a day for at least three days a week, Posey said.  The key to success is not maxing out each set.

When Posey wrote her paper Starting from Zero: The Secret to Pull-up Success, she particularly wanted to reach female Marines.