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World Record Pull Ups by Stan Apseloff

Recorded 14 August 2009 - 61 pull ups in a minute

Recorded 20 August 2009 - 62 pull ups in a minute


When I was ten years old, I broke my elbow in a sledding accident. Two months after the injury, the doctor removed the cast to reveal an emaciated arm that would not bend more than an inch or two. He told me I probably wouldn't ever again have full movement. I was disappointed but not discouraged.

Although I was never a stand-out athlete, I was an active child and participated in a variety of sports. I started lifting weights when I was a young teenager, and in college I made pull ups a part of my regular workout.

Nearly thirty years later, I learned that records were being maintained for the most chin ups and pull ups completed in one minute. I knew I could do a lot of pull ups at a fast pace, so I decided to go for it. A couple of weeks later, at age 48, I set my first world record (50 pull ups, with leg movements permitted, in one minute). That record was broken by someone in Great Britain, but I regained the record on my 50th birthday (53 pull ups in one minute). Months later, someone in Norway did 60 pull ups in one minute, a record that surprised me because it was such a substantial step up from the previous record.

During Memorial Day weekend, I decided to try to break the new record. Two-and-a-half months later, I thought I was ready, so I scheduled a "dry run" as a test. That was on August 14, 2009, and I did 61 pull ups, a new world record. Still, I believed I could do better, so six days later I tried again. On August 20, I did 62 pull ups in one minute.