Right now, most of my workout goals are centered around getting a strict pull up. And having that solid goal, and a routine to go along with it, have helped me keep going, even as the weather lingers in the sub-freezing range. I’m running for weight loss, and I’m doing strength work three times a week for pulling.

And, even though I’m lifting lighter than I was this summer, I’m making more progress. After taking a break in September, I reduced my weights for bicep curls and farmer carries. But I’ve also increased the reps for my bicep curls and added a segment of stairs to my farmer carries. I don’t know why, but it seems like this routine is better at strengthening my back than pushing myself to higher weights at lower reps.

My body is also lighter than it was last summer. The illness in September resulted in some weight loss, and continued dietary changes combined with increased running added to that total. I didn’t want to lose weight for pull ups, but I have lost weight.

And I’m getting closer.

Where before I could try for a kipping pull up and maybe, just maybe break the plane of the bar with the peach fuzz hairs on my chinny-chin-chin, last weekend, I swung up and held my body below the bar with bent arms. For the first time that I can recall, I was supporting my body weight from the bar in a position other than dead hang or reverse shrug.

That first strict pull up is so close I can taste it.

Of course, making the first one will only whet my appetite for more, so I think I’ll be having a good routine for a long time to come.

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