This Tuesday I was chatting to one of our ninjas, Paul Oldham.


I’d noticed Paul’s pull ups had improved considerably since I’d last seen him do them a few months ago.


And told him so.


He later posted in the Facebook group with:


“Thought I’d share a quick anecdote after speaking to Jon at the session tonight. He commented on how there was a noticeable pause at the top when I was doing pull up negatives on the rings. It was something I remember mentioning to Toni last month as it was the first time it had happened, for the preceding 11 months of being at the academy I’d simply dropped like a stone because of my weight and strength not being where it is now. I still dropped like a stone after the pause of course but it’s still progress, however minor.


Everyone at the academy is at a different level of fitness but because you are only measuring your progress against yourself you notice these changes over time. They are like small stepping stones on your journey towards your bigger goal(s)


It reinforces what Matt has being saying a lot lately as well, if I don’t stop then what happens? Perhaps in a few months time I will be able to do full negatives or beyond that one day maybe a full pull-up (which would be first time ever as an adult).


So yeah just thought I’d post that in case it helps anyone else to reflect on their progress and realise how far they’ve come. Definitely look out for the small changes as well as the big ones!”


Pull ups are an exercise people assume they just can’t do.


Because they can’t currently do the hardest version – where they are taking their full weight.


But anyone can do the appropriate version of the pull up for them.


You can start with feet on the floor and pulling, maybe, 10% of your weight.


And bit by bit, week by week, increase how much you take through the arms and how much stays through the legs.


Until you get to the position where you can jump into it and try a small pause at the top before dropping.


Over time increasing that pause from milliseconds to full seconds.


Then gradually slowing the speed of the descent.


Before, one day, you find you can pull yourself up once.


Then, after a while, twice.


And so on.


As Paul mentioned, it’s a great example of ‘marginal gains’.


Little progressions that, by themselves, are barely noticeable.


But over time add up.


Until months later you notice big changes.


It’s one of the principles of RISE:


  1. Be yourself
  2. Have fun
  3. Improve every day


You’ll be seeing more about those soon BTW 😉


So, don’t get discouraged.


That’s one of the reasons most people who stop do so.


Keep going forward a little bit each day.


And you’ll be amazed where that takes you (/briefing-meeting if you, or a friend, like the idea of getting to 6 months time being in considerably better shape than you are now)



Much love,


Jon ‘Working on my balance at the moment’ Hall and Matt ‘My ‘bad back’ is twice as strong as it was a year ago – one kilo at a time’ Nicholson




RISE Macclesfield –


Serious transformations. Fun times!


Enter your details at for more information about what we do.


Or check out our monthly find-out-more meeting if you want to learn more about our free ’20lbs weight loss in 8 weeks’ and ‘Beach Body’ challenges –> /briefing-meeting

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.