World Record in Chin Ups or Pull Ups

How many chin ups can you do? Are you palms facing you or away? Do you go all the way down with straight arms?

Over 15 years ago, I thought about joining the Ontario Police Force and looked into their entry requirements. One of the tests included maximum number of chin ups. I was surprised that the “minimum” standard was 12 for men, 8 for women..

Being a former strong athlete where I benched pressed 315 lbs. or 140 kg, or 3 big plates on each side. I thought “Hey, no problem”. I used very strict mechanics including a straight full arm lock. Can you believe I only managed 7 reps? There was definitely a difference between being strong on a “push” rather than “pull”. Plus, I weighed almost 195 lbs. (88 kg).

In 2000, while working & living in Silicon Valley, I met Matt Bogdanowicz while training in Saratoga, CA.

He mentioned the previous record was 239, and in 2004, he shattered the world record with 522 in an hour! (see the article below)

So how can you train for maximum chin-ups?

Well for starters, it’s all about strength to weight ratio. If you lost a few pounds, that would make it easier. Try doing chin ups with a 20 lb backpack. Or your 2 year old hanging from your legs.

But I found the best method is doing “pyramids”. Do one rep, pause, then 2 reps, pause, then 3 until you can’t do any more. Keep good technique. Then do the reps in decreasing order. For example, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Give it a try, and send me some feedback. And don’t forget to test yourself after a few months.

NOTE: Exercises described on this article and website can be strenuous. Before you take on any new exercise program please consult with a physician. and myself are not responsible for any injuries incurred while attempting the exercises on this website.

Here is the article from

Livermore man smashes world record

Bogdanowicz more than doubles previous mark with 522 pull-ups
By Tamara Grippi, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 – 3:18:33 AM PST

LIVERMORE — Matt Bogdanowicz, 35, shattered the world record for most pull-ups in an hour during an impressive showing at the Marine Corps Recruiting Center on Sunday.

Under the watchful eyes of four Marines, Bogdanowicz hoisted himself up to the bar 522 times, head and shoulders above the previous record of 239.

“He blew it out of the water,” said Staff Sgt. Rudy Sandoval. “It was crazy.”

Sandoval and his fellow Marines kept official count as Bogdanowicz pushed his upper arm strength to the extreme. A friend captured the feat on video, which will be sent to the Guinness World Record headquarters in England as proof of the new record.

Bogdanowicz, a civilian, said he dedicated his effort to the Marines and all troops serving in Iraq.

“On the way home, I turned on the radio and heard about the Marines killed in Syria on the border,” he said. ” My effort is nothing to what they’re doing.”

Bogdanowicz has broken a record that is not yet a year old. Last September, former Marine Alan Sharkany set the first ever pull-up record before a New York City crowd and television cameras.

While Sunday’s record-breaking event was more low key, Bogdanowicz was energized by his supporters, including his wife, Sonia.

“The people cheering me on made the time go by quicker,” he said.

Indeed, Bogdanowicz managed to break the world record by the 28-minute mark and showed no signs of slowing until he completed 450 pull ups, Sandoval said.

The Livermore strongman organized Sunday’s event as a way to raise money and collect toys for the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation.

“We’ve got an early start for Christmas,” he said.

Bogdanowicz, a professional sports programmer, has lived the life of an ironman for years, swimming from Alcatraz Island to shore and competing in 50-mile and 100-mile “ultra” marathons.

He was first inspired to chase a world record as a second grader at Harvey Green Elementary School in Fremont. At age 9, he won the school’s competition for most sit-ups, with 3,000 nonstop crunches.

Bogdanowicz became a Guinness World Record buff of sorts, buying the book every year and memorizing the statistics for tallest building and fastest animal.

It was just a matter of time before he found the right record to chase. He was confident his upper arm strength would not let him down.

“I climbed a lot of trees when I was a kid,” he said.

UPDATE: here is the link for 644 pull-ups world record on Dec 2005 by Guy Schott

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • I used to do 100 pull ups in a space of 5 to 7 mins after running and weights when I was 20, also did PB of 30 non stop, I weighed 72 kgs then, it was 10 years ago in 2000 – 2001, now I’m wondering if I could have tried out for the world record, I’ve just started training again, see if I can push myself to reach those heights again and maybe consider trying out for the record, I’d like to know if this is even a realistic aim, so any replies would be most appreciated