Those Darned Pull-ups...


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jul 30, 2008
Well I'm a candidate for the USAFA to enter in June 2009 and this is really where I want to go. I've been working really hard to submit all of my forms for the application before October so I can become one of the first to go before the review board. The only major problem I'm having is in doing pull-ups. I've been a Cross Country and Track runner throughout high school and never really worked much on core strength. My body doesn't seem built for doing push-ups or pull-ups and it doesn't help that I only really became interested in the Academy this past summer, leaving me little time to prepare for the CFA.

So what I'm getting after in this thread is what does everybody think about the CFA and its weight on a candidate. I have a feeling I'll be able to do fine on the BB throw, shuttle run, sit-ups, and mile, but the push-ups and pull-ups just make me somewhat nervous for my application.

And because I know it's not really helpful if you don't know my academics and extracurriculars, here it goes:

GPA: 3.94
Class Rank: 47 out of 697

SAT Critical Reading: 670
SAT Math: 780
SAT Writing: 610

ACT English: 33
ACT Math: 32
ACT Reading: 34
ACT SR: 30
ACT Combined English/Writing: 30
ACT Composite: 32

Varsity Cross Country for 3 years, JV Track 3 years (Captain 1 year), Mock Trial Witness and Attorney

As a Senior I'm taking 5 AP courses (not as bad as it sounds). Former NJROTC member before I moved.

Any advice is certainly appreciated.
Alright, here's a work-out my bud and I have been doing. Last PFT (our test while here) he got 8 pull-ups, I got 18 (my CFA and Basic PFT were around 10 pull-ups mind you). This PFT, I got 21 and my bud got 18 (though able to do 21, graders this time around for everyone did strange things).

We did pyramids! No magic work-out! I started at 4, him, 3.

Example set, do number then rest for 30 seconds, next number, and so on.
1 2 3 2 1

We both do pyramids up to 8 now (that's 64 pull-ups total).
Usually, we did full body work-outs, then did pull-ups, but lately, just pull-ups when we prepped for the PFT last week.
Thanks guys, that really helps out a lot. Hopefully I'll be able to do more by the time I take the CFA (in another month or month and a half). I'm at 6 and should hopefully be at 12-15 by then if I'm working at it. Darned skinny arms:thumbdown:
I was at 6 pull-ups two months ago. I'm now up to 14. What I did was maxed out a set, then rested for a minute. I would then do a couple of reverse pull-ups as slow as I could (Reverse pullup= Do one pull-up, but don't go like you would... lower yourself as slowly as you can). Then I did another set of regular pull-ups, then the reverse pull-ups again. Did all of that three times.

My suggestion is to do them every other day... giving your muscles time to recover.
another thing that helped me improve my pull-up score was going out to sports authority or other sports store and getting a pull-up bar that you can put in the door to your bedroom. it made me do pull-ups nearly every night or morning before i went in or out of my room. im a runner and had little upper body strength so i was maybe able to to one pull-up as late as last spring but i got it up to 8 by June.