This Woman Kicks My Butt (Embarrassing Story)

There’s a girl who can kick my butt at pull-ups, so yeah… you need to listen to her. She’s my gal pal and she rocks the casbah because she’s helped thousands of people dominate their pull-up and pushup numbers.

I’ll be seeing her next week and I’m sure she’s ready to kick my butt yet again. But I always get her back because that’s where new finishers are made. She’s one of my guinea

We did a video about a year ago of goblet squats and pull-ups, and not even halfway through, I was smoked. One of YOU people said I was doing “head-ups”. Honestly, I was embarrassed. But I’m getting better – thanks to  her.

Here she is with some awesome sauce…

Shawna Kaminski
Challenge Workouts

Hey, I’m Shawna K, or Mike’s ‘gal pal’ as he refers to me.

Don’t get the wrong idea here.

Mike and my relationship is one of mutual love/hate. Whenever we get together, I’ll kick his ass at the pull up bar or with some other ridiculous challenge and he’ll get even by making me want to puke with some kind of nasty finisher.  Then we’ll sort of shake hands and go have Mexican food…

I live in Western Canada and he lives on the East Coast, so luckily we don’t see each other enough to actually do too much damage. Otherwise we may end up killing each other during the workout and miss out on the yummy lunch…

Today I wanted to tell you some good news. If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a girl (actually nearly a half centurion woman to be exact). I know that some women feel that there’s no need for them to be able to do a pull up. Prior to the recent news I’m about to share, even the toughest of tough women – Marines, weren’t even required to do pull ups.

That’s about to change 😉

According to USA Today and several other sources, female Marines soon will be required to perform pull-ups, just like male Marines do, as part of their annual physical fitness tests.

The physical fitness test is one of two strength and endurance evaluations all personnel must pass each year.

As part of the physical fitness test, all Marines do sit-ups and conduct a timed three-mile run. Additionally, men have been required to do pull-ups while women, viewed institutionally as having less inherent upper-body strength, have been required to perform what’s called the flexed-arm hang, hoisting themselves over the pull-up bar and holding the position for up to 70 seconds. Marines are rated based on their overall performance on each section of the test.

During the coming year, as the service adjusts to the change, female Marines will have the option of doing pull-ups or the flexed-arm hang during their test. But come 2014, they will be required to do at least three pull-ups to pass the physical fitness test, with eight needed for a perfect score on that portion of the test. (Men must do three pull-ups to pass the test, with 20 required for a perfect score.)

A study of 318 female Marines found that, on average, they could perform 1.63 pull-ups. More than 21 percent performed at least three, and 37 percent performed at least three when lower-body movement — the previously banned  “kip” — was allowed.

It’s not immediately clear why the Corps has changed the fitness requirements now.

The reason I think this is great news is that it’s time women get over the ‘I can’t’ mentality that’s then reinforced by people that are supposed to be ‘experts’. I have the utmost respect for anyone in the Marines, military, law enforcement, fire fighting, that sort of thing, and if a women chooses that as a career path, then to me she should be able to perform the same tasks. I like that the basic requirement is three pull ups for both men and women, but for a perfect score women only have to do 8 while men need to do 20. I think this is fair and reasonable.

All women can stop saying that ‘even the Marines’ can’t do pull ups.

Girls, get off your duff and step up to the bar.

I’m about to share with you a few tips of what to avoid and what to try to help you get your first pull up.

First of all, you don’t have to go it alone…you can definitely do ‘assisted’ pull ups to start. Doing assisted pull ups is the BEST way to learn pull ups.

Stay away from the ‘assisted pull up machine’. This is the least effective method to learn a pull up. Your body position is all wrong and most importantly, you don’t get to work the eccentric contraction, or the ‘negative’ with the assisted pull up machine.

This is a waste of time…

As well, staying on the lat pull down machine will not get you to an unassisted pull up anytime soon either.

To do an unassisted pull up, you practice pull ups. Sort of a catch 22 wouldn’t you say? You can’t do them, so you don’t. But you have to do them to do more of them. Say what?

Here’s a quick solution. Get a band. A big rubber band. Use it like this:

The great thing about a big band like this is that it gives you the support when you need it, at the bottom of the movement when the band is stretched the tightest. Then at the top of the movement, once you have a bit of momentum, the band loosens up and you pull with your own power. As well, you can take all your weight on the way down, there by building strength through the eccentric contraction.

Here’s a video explaining it all:

Girls, there’s no reason we can’t do pull ups too. And fellas, once we set our minds to something, you best look out. You’ll want to start learning pull ups right now just to save face 😉

In fact Mikey, maybe you better start doing some pull up practice too. I believe I’m going to be seeing you soon (insert evil laugh here….)

For some cool pull up tips and tricks, and a program that will get you going, you can check mine out here.

==> Discover Shawna’s secrets here 


Shawna Kaminski is a retired schoolteacher of 20 years who’s found her passion in the fitness industry. She’s been a competitive athlete all her life and has competed nationally in three sports. She’s parlayed her ability to teach and her love of training into programs that you can directly benefit from. Shawna is in her late forties, is a mother of two teenagers and understands how busy life can be. Her workouts are short and intense and often can be done anywhere. She’s always up for a challenge and shares her fitness challenges with you. Currently she runs her own fitness boot camps and coaches clients in person and online with her amazing result getting programs.

Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. Shawna K
    10 years ago

    Mikey: Are you practicing? I feel a pull up a$$ whoopin a comin’ 😉

    Thanks for sharing my tips!

  2. Mikey
    10 years ago

    Getting there, I’m sure you’ll whoop me again soon! Thanks for the awesome info!

  3. Esther
    10 years ago

    Got her program…..THERE ARE A CHALLENGE. Finish me first week, let see if i can make one pull up this Monday.

  4. Mikey
    10 years ago

    Esther, that’s fantastic. Keep at it and keep us posted on your progress!