12MA Reader Story: How Miranda Went From Zero to Five Pull Ups

If you’re convinced you’ll never be able to do a pull up, you’re not alone.

Miranda Hamilton, a 41-year-old lawyer, mom, and former college athlete living in Edinburgh, Scotland, felt the exact same way.

Recently, she wrote us an email about her experience with pull ups:

“Until about a year ago I assumed I couldn’t, and would never be able to, do a pull-up. I wouldn’t even try one as I was too convinced I’d look like an idiot.”

Yet she took a chance, and these days, with the help of Pull Up Mastery, hard work, and consistent training, Miranda can now regularly rock four to five pull ups in a row.

Now that’s what I call progress!

An obviously driven person, Miranda was frustrated when she recently hit a plateau at the 4-5 mark, since her ultimate goal is to bust out 10 pull ups in a row. Plateaus happen, and of course they can be frustrating. Luckily, there are ways to deal with them. At the same time, working your way up from zero to five pull ups is a huge accomplishment (don’t forget to celebrate your successes)!

Because she her hard work has paid off, we thought she’d be some great motivation for all of you, whether your goal is to rock your first (or 10th) pull up, hold a freestanding handstand, or train for a race.

Let’s hear from Miranda and her journey to mastering pull ups:

Krista: What’s your fitness/athletic background like?

Miranda: At school I was quite into team sports and played for the lacrosse team for a while, but I was never one of the stand-out players. I tried my best but really just blended into the background! I’ve been into skiing since my parents started taking me up the Cairngorms in Scotland as a small child, and as an adult I took up scuba diving, both in Scotland and abroad (in warmer waters!).

Krista: How did you find out about 12 Minute Athlete?

Miranda: I came across 12 Minute Athlete when I was searching the internet for advice on how to achieve my first pull-up!

I was bored with going to my regular BodyPump classes, I didn’t know what I was doing in the gym and I wasn’t into going out running. Bodyweight training appealed to me as something that incorporated variety, wasn’t too time-consuming and could be done at home, outside or at the gym. Strength building also appealed to me.

Krista: Let’s talk about pull ups! Have they always been something you wanted to be able to do?

Miranda: I always thought I’d look ridiculous even trying one.

When I did get around to trying one, I couldn’t pull myself up. But eventually I stopped caring about looking ridiculous and kept working instead! That is mainly down to the “believe in yourself” message promoted by 12 Minute Athlete.

Krista: When did you start, and how have you progressed?

Miranda: I started the Pull Up Mastery in December 2015. It took me around 6 months to get to where I am now, so it’s been slow but steady progress.

I tried to follow the exercise type and reps as much as possible, usually adding them on to the start of a workout. I added the pull-ups into the training program I was already doing (mainly weights/bodyweight training with a small amount of HIIT training included).

I trained around 3-4 times a week but probably focused on pull-ups 2-3 times a week at the beginning. I’m working as a lawyer and at the moment work is pretty busy, so I probably manage 3 gym sessions a week with a couple of those including pull-up training.

Krista: What’s your ultimate pull up goal?

Miranda: To be able to do a set of 10 proper pull-ups.

Krista: Have you noticed any other benefits from being able to do pull ups?

Miranda: An increased sense of confidence and well-being. A sense of achievement. When I don’t feel like working out or going to the gym, I remind myself that I will feel so much better afterwards.

Krista: What else do you do? What are you interested in?

Miranda: What I enjoy most is spending time with my 5 year old son when he’s not at school, and with my husband and family. Holidays are often spent up in the north west Highlands of Scotland where the pace of life slows down and I am constantly in awe of the beauty of that part of the world.

Achieving a goal has given me confidence to try out other things that I might not have pursued before, like free-diving. I recently completed a free-diving course and I train with a local club every week in the pool. I love the feeling and sense of calm that I get when swimming underwater, plus it’s great exercise! I’m looking forward to completing the next part of the training so that I can free-dive in the sea.

Krista: Sounds amazing! What would you tell people who think that they can’t do something they’ve always dreamed of doing, so they’re better off not even trying?

Miranda: That’s what I thought and I was proven wrong!

Krista: You’re absolutely right Miranda! Thanks so much for telling us your story. We know that you’ll get to 10 pull ups one of these days!

If achieving your first pull up has always been a dream of yours, make sure to check out our Pull Up Mastery program.

Has 12 Minute Athlete changed your view on health and fitness or impacted your life in any way? Get in touch at [email protected], we’d absolutely love to hear from you!

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6 thoughts on “12MA Reader Story: How Miranda Went From Zero to Five Pull Ups”

  1. Way to go Miranda! You sound like a pretty motivated person anyway, but I love to hear stories of people pushing their fitness level even further. Why stop where you are? We are all capable of so much more that we think that we can do!

  2. Cool! Pullups are one of those exercises that look simple, are hard to do, and I’m always amazed by people who can do lots. Good luck reaching your goal of 10!

    • Yeah, it is amazing to see people doing lots of them! It takes a lot of hard work and practice but it’s worth it! Thanks for your comment Kris!


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