Can “bigger” guys do pull-ups?

Rahul Mookerjee
5 min readMay 7, 2020

Dear Reader

A few months back, I was talking to a friend of mine Charles about this, that — and everything in between, and generally “shooting the bull” as it were.

I told him how I used to be big — really big -or should I say FAT — back in the day.

“No, I’m not kidding. I used to be around 120 kgs or so back in the day — and YES, a lot of it was FAT”.

And I sent him a couple of pictures of me back in the day with the addendum — YES — I DID continue to train — and YES — “bigger” folks (he often, as many people do, tends to equate “fat” with “big”) CAN do pull-ups, handstand pushups etc.

Now, regular customers and those that are on my list KNOW that I’ve got the “bigger” version of me on the initial bestseller on pull-ups (that I first came out with 2012, and that I revamped towards the end of 2017 with the now -iconic cover of me doing a “mid point pull-up”)… for a damn good reason.

That being to show people that it ain’t how big you are or how HEAVY you are, even that matters when it comes to doing bodyweight exercises — and especially pull-ups.

(The product above is available at

TRUE, the heavier you are, the tougher it gets — in a lot of ways, but if most of that weight is muscle carried in the right places, then it actually gets EASIER in a lot of ways.

Look at guys like Doug Hepburn, for instance. Dough would routinely pop off handstand pushups, one of the TOUGHEST exercises to do, bar none (in some ways more so than pull-ups!) at a bodyweight of over 300 lbs… on dipping bars!

Doug Hepburn, famous old time Canadian strongman (to learn how to do the handstand pushup correctly — visit

And while the dipping bars likely took some work to get to, the fact is he did these in sets of 10 throughout the day while working as a lifeguard on the beach and credits these with his super upper body development and overall levels of strength.

Vince Gironda, him of the patented “Gironda” pull-up — one of the hardest to do, would knock off pull-ups like no-ones business, and he was hardly on the light side.

Again, it ain’t about how BIG you are. It’s about how FAT you are, and this brings me to a central point, and one where most guys mess up and they know it.

Dudes, (and dudettes hehe) if you’ve got too much lard around the midsection, then I’m sorry, but you’re FAT.

No, you do NOT get away with saying “you’re naturally a big guy” (or not, as in my case).

Lard is lard, and muscle is muscle, and that is just all there is to it.

And the only way to get good at pull-ups — real good — is to (or should I saq a pre-requisite) is to reduce the amount of fat you’re carrying around the midsection, my friend.

Ditto for handstand pushups — muscle ups — or any other such exercise.

Remember too, that external looks are just that — LOOKS.

You could be the skinniest guy in the world, and suck at pull-ups. I’ve seen it.

And you could be a big dude with more fat around the midsection than he should have — yours truly in the past being one prime example — and be great at pull-ups.

And that is one reason I’ve got myself on the cover of the book in that (by now) iconic pose — if just to say — scream out, rather — that it ain’t about how BIG you are when it comes to doing pull-ups.

It’s about how FAT you are!

And thats as simple as it gets my friend.

And for more tips on getting better at pull-ups — be sure to check out “Pull-ups — from DUD to STUD within a matter of WEEKS” on my website (as well as the rave reviews the book has gotten!).

Last, but not least, please DO note that “fat” doesnt equate to “big”. Sure, many guys kid themselves that they’re BIG guys when they’re really fat — but while some guys may be genuinely big AND fat — the FACT is excess fat is harmful, especially if that fat is concentrated around the midsection.

As Paul Bragg I believe it was famously once said,

Your waistline is your lifeline — — never let it get bigger than it was in your PRIME.

And he’s RIGHT.

As for yours truly, he got into the best shape of his life at the age of 36 — and a waist size SEVERAL sizes lower than what it was when he was supposedly in his PRIME (at the age of 24, hehe).

Quite an achievement even if I say so myself, much like my 100 pull-up workouts — but the good news is YOU TOO can get there — easily — — if you just do the thing, and build a solid base first!

And the BEST exercises to build that base are right here —

Get after it!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S — If you love motivational tips such as these, make sure to sign up for our FREE newsletter at the following URL —

P.S #2 — Oh, and don’t forget to pick up the book on pull-ups right here — —



Rahul Mookerjee

Writer, fitness fanatic and entrepreneur. Sign up for FREE email tips on fitness and life HERE —