Joe Blogs

They think it’s all over…


In January 2011, I set myself a target which was ambitious but, I hoped, achievable.

20,000 pullups by the end of the year.

I tried a few, decided how many I could do back then in one day, and set myself a target of 100 in the final day. A simple spreadsheet gave me my total, with a linear daily increase.

I realised pretty soon that when I said pullups, I really meant chinups (distinguished by the direction the palms face on the bar). I mixed in pullups and chinups most days. I hope nobody hold it against me.

I also failed to allow for rest days, which meant that I had to keep ahead of my schedule to allow for rest days. Quite manageable at first, but tough towards the end. I also had a few setbacks, with a pulled muscle putting me back by 2 weeks, and a holiday during which I found it hard to do any pullups (I found a pullup bar in a children’s playground but the idea of hanging out at a playground wasn’t too appealing).

Much of October and November were spent clawing back the lost time, but, with the end in sight, I made a final drive to complete my target on Christmas Eve and in time to take my mother-in-law to Midnight Mass.

My cheapo bar from a large national supermarket held up surprisingly well. I had to wrap old flannels around the ends where it presses against the door frame, and it’s slightly bowed in the middle.

You can sponsor me, up to the end of January 2012, at my Just Giving Page

My arms now look like this:


Almost there!


As I write this, I am about to go upstairs and do my final set of 10 pullups for the day. This will bring my total for today to 200, and my total number of chinups/pullups since last January to 19805.

If I can manage a third day of more than 195 pullups tomorrow, I will have reached my target.

A nice way to celebrate Christmas Eve, I reckon.

See you on the other side.

Halfway! 10,000 pullups.


I managed to stick to my plan and achieved a solid 1000 in two weeks.

Halfway with only a third of the year left feels a bit daunting and we’re away in a caravan for two weeks in September so consistency might be difficult (will have to find a playground or tree branch).

To help me raise money for the Cardiac Unit which saved Hannah’s life please head over to

9000 pullups


It’s been a bit if a slog, but I’ve clawed back my lead and I am back ahead of schedule.

1000 more pullups and I’ll be half way to my goal. I hope to manage that in two weeks. Consistency is the key, and it’s the difficult bit.

Feel free to head over to and give me some encouragement.

Back on the horse


It took a few more days after the bruising showed up on my arm for it to feel strong enough to try a pullup again, but it was not to be. The muscle that was hurting in my abdomen was still extremely painful and is immediately engaged when doing a pullup.

I had to exercise patience and wait for it to heal completely. Good for the soul, but extremely frustrating. I was worried for a while that I’d caused a hernia somehow.

It has taken over 2 weeks to heal sufficiently that I only experience a small stretching sensation in that muscle. A few days ago, Hannah noticed that there was a line of bruising in the area. Yesterday, I tentatively attempted my first pullup and it was a success, if harder than it had been before the break.

I’ve also lost all the head start I had. I had a few hundred pullups “in the bank” (ahead of my schedule) and I’m now around 300 behind. A lot of ground to make up, and it was already getting harder to keep up.

Ho hum. This is why it’s called a “challenge”.

Remember you can sponsor me any time you like :-) –




A frustrating week.

I was making good progress for the first three days last week. On target for 100 pullups each day, to bash out the next 1000 in two weeks.

Unfortunately, on thursday, I started to experience a pain in a muscle in my abdomen. I think I can trace it to straining it by twisting strangely while putting together a trampoline. It made anything that required engaging my core impossible including pullups.

Things got worse. At a gymnastics session that evening, I messed up a somersault on the trampoline and slammed my knee into my upper arm. This caused a surprising amount of pain and it’s still impossible to do anything approaching a pullup.

Today, 5 days after the event, the bruising finally came out. Oops.

I’ll just have to suck it up and rest until I can use my arm without pain or I’ll risk further setbacks.

I’m still ahead of schedule, but it’s getting harder to stick to so it’s a rough time to get set back.

Milestone: 25% of goal reached


After reaching 4000 pullups not so long ago, I had a patchy few days so I decided to set a mini goal. I aimed to reach 5000 by the end of saturday, which required maintaining a decent daily rate for 4 days, allowing me to take sunday off guilt-free.

As it happens, I managed 2 days of over 100 pullups so I decided to push hard on friday to see how close I could get.

I pulled off 175 pullups, beating my previous daily best by 25 and taking my total to 5001 (and giving me the chance to take 2 days off).

So that’s 25% of my goal. Perhaps a reasonable time to remind people to head over to and donate some money to my cause.


Been slacking, but hit 4000 pullups


The last few weeks have been pretty disruptive, what with Hannah having her PFO closure operation at the London Heart Hospital and such. I’ve struggled to consistently maintain a decent number of repetitions as you can see from the graph. Fatigue and busyness have been annoying me, but I did make it to 4000 pullups a few days ago and I’m a few hundred pullups ahead of schedule so I’m still on target. It’s getting harder to keep it up, though.

Donations might help keep me focussed, so head on over to to donate :-)

20,000 pullups – sponsor me!


A quick update to say that I have set up a static page about this pullups malarky, and also a Just Giving page for taking donations:

20,000 Pullups – milestone reached


I’ve had a flaky week or so, what with Hannah’s health and what not. I’ve kept the pullups ticking over, but missed a couple of days. Today I started out well with a couple of sets before breakfast and some more mid-morning.

When I updated my spreadsheet, I noticed I was within 53 of hitting 2000 pullups. I figured I could push on through and have just completed my 129th pullup today (a daily record), taking me to 2006 pullups so far.

10% feels pretty good, and I’m over 500 over my cumulative target so pretty pleased with that. I’m also improving how many pullups I can do in a set. A few weeks ago it felt like I was never going to be able to do more than 5 pullups (I could do at least 10 chinups, somehow they’re much easier), but I can comfortably do 7 now, so it’s improving gradually.

In terms of fundraising, I think I’m stuck by the fact that the Royal Berks Cardiac Care Unit isn’t a registered charity in its own right. The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is, but doesn’t appear to be registered with any online giving sites. Justgiving and others all seem to charge £150+ for registration and then Justgiving charges the charity a monthly fee AND a per-transaction processing fee. Hmph.

I’m looking at using paypal or google checkout or nochex to take sponsorship. If you have any ideas, please let me know.