In 2006 I thought I was doing ok as I could string together 10 strict pullups.
I then saw a youtube video on the kipping pullup which blew me away.
There were people who could do 20, 30, 40 or more pullups NON-STOP, faster than I had ever seen.
I had to find out the secret to doing these things.
At that time the only CrossFit Affiliate or coach that nearby to me lived about 1 hour away.
I would have saved myself a lot of time if I just went to him for some coaching but I decided to teach myself.
I managed to break the “Power Tower” in the gym and got away with it, almost kicked a couple of bodybuilders with my wild leg swings but within a couple of weeks I figured it out and I was then totally hooked everything CrossFit.
Having a good, qualified knowledge base and a strength & conditioning/exercise physiology background, I never really had any problems understanding why you’d use the kipping pullup instead of a regular strict pullup. It’s all about power.
Power = work done divided by time.
So if Average Joe does 10 regular, full range of motion pullups in 30 seconds then the after a rest does 10 kipping pullups with the same range of motion standards, in 15 seconds he is producing double the power.
Kipping pullups are not better than strict pullups. Just different. If you’re smart you’ll do both.
There are many training experts and gurus who get all upset about kipping pullups, stating that they’re no good, that there is no control, that it’s not a real pullup and that it’s just swinging around. That is exactly the same as saying to swimmer doing the butterfly stroke that they’re just flapping around in the water.
If you’ve ever tried the butterfly stroke you’ll know how hard it is.
I put the same challenge to a well known celebrity trainer friend of mine in London when I had finally learnt the kip. We would both do 25 full range of motion pullups as fast as possible and the winner would buy dinner.
It was a nice meal. I had a large Argentinian steak that I didn’t pay for.