Xavier Jared


Two brothers on personal development, philosophy, and being awesome

Do More Pull Ups


Jasper Benincasa, a famous body weight athlete, was better than you at doing pull ups. Don’t feel bad, he was better than most people at doing them. In order to uncover his secret people would cunningly ask “How to I get better at pull ups?” His reply: Do more pull ups.

Jasper Benincasa
His feet aren’t touching the ground!

It wasn’t just that Jasper was a straight shooter. Do more pull ups was probably the best advice he could have given; If you want to get better at doing something then do more of it! If it really was this easy then why did people need to ask the question? I’m no fitness guru but I can field that one: people already knew the answer! They just didn’t like it so they were hoping to find a better one. For a lot of us, “do more” is just another way of saying “hard work”, and “hard work” is not that far removed from “too hard.”

When people were asking Jasper for advice what they were really after was a silver bullet. They wanted to know the exact recipe for the ultimate lat boosting smoothie; they wanted to know that special grip that gave them unparalleled pulling power; they wanted to know at which phase of the moon they should work out for optimal results. Take a look on any amateur fitness forums and you’ll see what I mean. This behaviour isn’t unreasonable; given the choice between working hard and not working, I’ll readily admit I’d choose the latter.

Love What You Do

Equating ‘do more’ to ‘hard work’ is the wrong way of going about things. Presumably Jasper got a bit of a kick out of fitness. Do you really think if he found out he had to do more of it he’d chump-out because it was too hard? Of course he wouldn’t. He’d be ecstatic. When he told people to do more pull ups he wasn’t prescribing a dose of hard work. He was giving out the best training program he could give: do more, results and enjoyment guaranteed!

I’m going to stop putting words in his mouth and shove some down yours. Take something you love doing. I’ll join in and choose drumming. Now imagine that you get to do more of it. Not only that, but doing more of it will get you better at doing it! I don’t know about you guys but I’m pretty excited.

Aside from having a rollicking good time, doing more of something is a really great way to intimately learn something. It’s not surprising that people can learn more in one week doing than in three years studying (I’m looking at you every-university). When you jump in and start getting your hands dirty you start learning about how you, individually, resonate with the task. You start picking up on little things that can’t be put in text books. Best of all, you start making mistakes. There are countless tips, hints and tricks you can—and should—pick up along the way, but the best ones are the ones you come up with yourself. Still searching for that special pull up grip? Spend a few hours hanging off a bar and you’ll figure out pretty quickly the best way to hold on.

Next time you find yourself looking for a short cut or an easy way out, give doing more a go. Sure you’ll have to work hard, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be hard work.


We don't publish comments here on the site, but that doesn't mean we don't want to hear what you've got to say! Write something on your own blog, on twitter, or send us an email.

Get more


Sign up to our mailing list for notification of new posts


Subscribe to our feed for irregular new posts


Follow Xavier or Jared on Twitter


Friend Jared on Facebook