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10 Pull-ups A Day: What Can You Expect?

Doing the right exercises is not enough. You also need enough repetitions. Find out what results you can expect from doing 10 pull-ups a day.

If you are not (yet) able to do the 10 pull-ups in a row, doing a workout with this number of repetitions is likely challenging enough to cause at least some muscle growth.

More specifically, growth in your in your latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back), biceps, and forearms.

People who can easily do more than 10 bodyweight pull-ups in a row likely want to start using weights to keep seeing or get more muscle growth results.

Two things to note if muscle growth is your goal are that you likely don’t want to do the repetitions every single day and that you likely want to consider doing more pull-ups per session.

Muscle-related effects aside, doing 10 pull-ups a day also helps you burn a few extra calories and offers improvements in health areas like bone density, mood, and sleep.

Results of doing 10 pull-ups a day

Doing 10 pull-ups a day may sound too simple to work but implementing a routine like this can offer results in a few areas.

You could build muscle

Pull-ups are mainly a resistance training exercise to work muscles like your latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back), biceps, and forearm grip muscles.

That means you can grow and strengthen these muscles if you do enough pull-ups with enough resistance. What enough comes down to depends on your current strength level.

If you easily do the 10 pull-ups in a single set, a workout like this is likely not enough to see much, if any, muscle growth.

That being said, if you have to split the 10 pull-ups up into multiple sets, this is a sign you can likely build some extra muscle mass in your lats and biceps.

Stronger individuals can do pull-ups with weights to stay in these ranges.

One thing to note is that just because you can build muscle with a routine like this does not mean it is optimal. Almost always more (assisted) pull-up repetitions per workout will be more effective.

Should you do them every day?

Something else to keep in mind is that doing pull-ups every day may not be optimal.

During resistance training exercises like this, you damage the muscles you work. At first, this may sound bad but it starts a variety of processes that can repair and grow the muscles.

Even so, the human body still needs time (and nutrients) to complete these processes. Challenging your back, bicep, and forearm muscles before that could reduce your results.

There will still be people that recover quickly enough.

However, it is typically recommended to implement at least one rest day in between your 10-pull-up workout sessions.

Doing them every other day can already offer nice results and helps you stay away from overtraining.

10 pull-ups a day will burn a few calories

You should not expect too much in this area but because you are moving more intensely than usual, you will burn a few extra calories by doing 10 pull-ups a day.

With the estimations per minute and that the average person will do around 15 pull-ups per minute you can get an idea about what effects to expect.

People with certain body weights will burn more or less the following amounts of calories while doing 10 bodyweight pull-ups:

  • 125 pounds (56 kg) body weight: 2 calories
  • 155 pounds (70 kg) body weight: 3 calories
  • 185 pounds (83 kg) body weight: 4 calories
  • 215 pounds (97 kg) body weight: 4 calories

Something to note is that these estimations are for during the workout. If the 10 pull-ups a day help you build muscle mass, this will result in extra long term calorie burning.

That being said, even with that in mind, it should not be that surprising that 40 seconds of working out will not do the most in terms of burning calories.

Luckily, a routine like this, and even zero exercise, can still be enough to lose weight. Other lifestyle habits like what you eat play a big role in whether or not and to what extent this happens.

Your bone density can improve

Many people know that putting enough but safe amounts of pressure on your muscles can make them stronger. However, not everyone realizes this principle also applies to body parts like your bones (1, 2, 3).

If you are not used to carrying or pushing heavy things, doing 10 pull-ups a day will likely be enough to improve bone density in your arms and shoulders to at least some extent.

This reduces the risk of breaking your bones.

Even if you are currently not that worried about this, making your body stronger right now tends to have a positive effect on the future when bone density could become a concern.

People who are really interested in this positive effect of pull-ups can consider doing more and/or weighted repetitions to see more bone density progress.

You could see small improvements in other health areas

The extra muscle mass, calorie-burning, and bone density are great results but resistance training exercises like pull-ups can also benefit more general areas of your health.

More specifically, doing 10 pull-ups a day can offer small improvements in things like:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Stress levels
  • Cognitive function
  • Cardiovascular health (to a tiny extent)

To get these benefits to a very large extent you definitely want to consider more intense exercise routines. However, these are nice additions to the already helpful results.

You could get used to exercising

To get the benefits above to the largest extent possible, more (assisted) pull-ups and adding other resistance training and cardiovascular exercises to your routine are typically recommended.

That being said, these longer and more intense workouts can feel very overwhelming to people who are new to exercise. Potentially up to the point of not doing anything because of the overwhelm.

In a situation like that, starting with something short and small like 10 pull-ups a day can be a better place to start. Not in terms of health benefits but because it gets you into the habit of moving more.

Over time, you can then consider slowly adding other components to your workouts to get more results.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.