Illustration: Maria Chimishkyan

Test Gym

Your Inability to Do Pullups Is All in Your Head

Anyone can do pullups — and here’s why you should

Published in
7 min readJan 22, 2020


Test Gym is a new Elemental column about the science of exercise.

I’I’ve always loved pullups. They require nothing more than an overhead bar and some dig-deep grit. They’re a primal yet elegant way to test your might and…



Christie Aschwanden

Author of GOOD TO GO: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery (Norton, 2019). Twitter: @CragCrest