Last Updated on December 1, 2007 by Jimson Lee
In the next 8 weeks, Matt Bogdanowicz will be submitting his training log for his world record attempt in the 30 minute pull-ups on October 27. Week 1 of his training log can be found here followed by Week 2 & 3, Week 4, and Week 5.
With less than a month to go, I asked Matt what does it take to set a timed world record for pull ups? Are all 400+ done consecutively without touching the ground?
Matt’s repsonse? The ability to recover between multiple sets is the short answer.
Here is his detailed analysis:
There are only 60 seconds in a minute, and they balance between reps and recovery must be maintained, if that line is crossed, then the pace will drop off and there will be no coming back.
Even to reach 455 reps in 30 minutes would mean at least 85 sets. That’s an average of 5.35 per set.
Average recovery between sets is approximately 12 seconds. The longer the set the more recovery that is needed.
So technically you might be able to perform 45 sets with an average of 10.11 per set taking just over 17 seconds to complete the set and resting almost 23 seconds between sets. At first this would not seem difficult but after about 20+ sets, one would start to falter and would not be able to maintain such a high set total.
Shorter sets require less recovery, however mounting and dismounting the bar; basically the time it takes to set your grip, lift your feet and begin the set takes more time with smaller sets and is less efficient. There has to be a balance between longer sets, with longer recovery and shorter sets with shorter recovery.
The per minute average is 15.166. This is at least 775 seconds of hanging from the bar and performing pull ups. A solid set of ten takes around 17 seconds in its entirety. Near the beginning of the attempt this would be slightly less then 17 seconds as there is more snap in the muscles and towards the end of the event it would take longer using fatigued muscles. There is only 1800 seconds in 30 minutes; this leaves 1025 seconds max for recovery. Average 12 seconds per set.
Every 10 seconds of work allows for 13 seconds of rest.
An individual would have to be extremely fit to perform at a 1:1 ratio this would equal close to 520 pull-ups depending on how efficient they are performed. When I first set the one hour World Record my total was 522. I thought that it may be potentially possible for me to complete 500 in 30 minutes and as many as 900 in one hour some day, although this is just speculation. The training is extremely difficult for such a record and I am probably overestimating my ability.
60 minute world records or longer require a slower pace and more rest between sets.
The amount of repetitions in a timed event is directly related to the individualâ€™s ability to recover quickly.
I would recommend that you should be able to perform close to 50 pull ups in a one set max, be less then 185 lbs, have below 10% body fat, have enough power to perform at least one set of 5 reps at a body weight of 150% and have a decent VO2, 65+
Finally if you are able to recover quickly and your body seems to be able to rid itself of lactic acid faster then the norm you have the ability to train for a multi-set pull up world record. Although this is not the magic formula, the closer you are to these numbers the easier it would become.
These totals are sets done per minute:
10,5 total = 85 average PM (per minute) =17
7,6 total 69 10:00 total 154 15.4PM
6,4,4 Total 69 15:00 total= 223 Average PM=14.86
9,5 Total 70 20:00 = 293 average PM=14.65
7,6 Total 68 25:00 total 361 average PM= 14.44
7,4,3,3,3(almost 4 in last set -ran out of time)
20 in the last minute 72
for the last 5:00 and 433 total for an average of 14.43PM
79 sets total
Averages: 5.481 Per set. 31 tons moved vertically 240
meters in 30 minutes. Over 2,000 pounds per minute.
Jimson’s Notes: And I thought my 8 x 200 meters was tough!