John Orth’s Ongoing Battle for the World Pull-Up Record

From: Morning Chalk Up

The story.

Let’s face it, people like to win free stuff. So when John Orth saw some outdoor gear being given away to the person who can do the most pull-ups, he wanted in on the action. When he lost that pull-up battle, he was determined to get it the next year. So he went home and trained. For. A. Year.

But unfortunately the store decided not to host a second one.

Determined not to let his year of training go to waste, Orth convinced his climbing gym, Earth Trek in Golden, CO to let him host his own version: 24 hours of straight pull-ups.

A professional rivalry is born.

Andrew Shapiro, a high schooler from Virginia, held the current World Record with 7306 pull-ups. JOhn got 7600 in 19.5 hours and become the record holder.

So Andrew responded by doing 10,000.

Things are getting a little intense.

“From the minute I stopped, I regretted it. I knew I had more in me. That regret has sat with me ever since,” Orth said in an interview.

John set up in the climbing gym. No kipping, jumping, or pulling. His plan was to do five at a time, every 28 seconds. He gave himself a 90-second pee break every 2,000 pull-ups. “That interval is a pace I can maintain for a really long time,” he said.

Hours into his attempt at 10,000, nauseated and in excruciating back pain, John decided to just make it to 7,600 and beat his personal best.

At 6,800 pull-ups he took a nap, then a shower, and he got back on the bar. He plowed through his final reps, breaking his own record at 7,601 but sadly far short of Andrew’s record, which would actually be declined by Guiness, citing technique.

And now it’s become his thing.

In August of this year he attempted the world record for most pull-ups with one finger in a minute.

And in September of this year, he set out to break his own pull-up record again. He ended at 7,670. To be clear, that’s 22,871 pull-ups in three attempts. Someone get this guy a weight vest and introduce him to Murph.


Editor-in-Chief and founder of Web developer for the stars of CrossFit, and all-around fitness enthusiast and fan.

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