Tip: The Russian Special Forces Challenge

They wore body armor. You can just use a belt to add weight. Here's how to do it.

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The Test: 18 Pull-Ups with 10 KG Added

If you rise to the challenge and master this, you'll acquire a vice grip, V-tapered lats, and serious biceps development.

This was popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline. The 18-rep pull-up test with a 10 kg kettlebell (about 22 pounds) was a requirement for Russian Special Forces because 10 kg approximates the weight of the body armor worn by operatives. It's a beast of a test, requiring relative strength, absolute strength, and muscular endurance.

How to Do It

Simply attach a 10 kg kettlebell or about 22 pounds of plates to your body any way you can and see if you can get 18 strict, consecutive reps.

How to Get Better

Can't do it yet? Then do weighted pull-ups twice per week. Then build endurance by finishing your workouts with a total rep goal of 40 pull-ups. Break up the sets to preserve technique. The idea is to never hit failure, always leaving a rep or two in the hole. Try 10x4, 8x5, 5x8, or 4x10, whatever works to get the job done with solid form.

Eric Bach is a highly sought-after strength and conditioning coach, located in Colorado. Eric specializes in helping athletes and online clients achieve optimal performance in the gym and on the playing field. Follow Eric Bach on Facebook