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Sebastian Teo (left) and Jordan See are calisthenics trainers at fitness social enterprise Push Pull Give. Photos: Instagram/@brenzhang

7,000 Pull-Ups In 15 Hours, $10,505 Raised For Charity

10,000 pull-ups in 24 hours from 30 to 31 July 2022.

Let's do the math: That works out to about 417 pull-ups in an hour, or seven pull-ups per minute. Sounds sibei shag? You bet.

That was the goal that calisthenics trainers Jordan See and Sebastian Teo (aka "jordandseb") were aiming for when they kick-started their three-month long campaign on Labour Day to raise funds for our migrant worker friends.

On their own, the duo from Push Pull Give (a gym and social enterprise) eventually clocked an astounding 7,000 pull-ups. Their goal was to do pull-ups from 11am to 11am, but they toh-ed at 2am on 21 July due to injuries - think: shoulders that ached so badly they couldn't raise their arms fully, and blisters the size of 50-cent coins - and sheer exhaustion.

Again, let's do the math - 7,000 pull-ups in 15 hours, from 11am on 30 July to 2am on 31 July. That's a mind-boggling 467 pull-ups an hour 

So the remaining nine hours, how? Enter "Life Line Pull-ups" by other trainers as well as members of the gym and the public, who contributed to the total tally and literally pulled (up) their way through the challenge. The total number of pull-ups accumulated in the end: a stupendous 13,175!

Talk about invoking the Singapore Spirit and National Day Parade 2022 theme of "Stronger Together, Majulah!"

And they weren't just raising the bar for themselves (or rather, raising themselves over it hur hur), they also hit and exceeded their initial fundraising target of $10,000, garnering a total of $10,505 in donations. Woo hoo!

A whopping $10,505 was raised from this effort for local charity It's Raining Raincoats.Screenshot:

Actually guys, how did this whole pull-up idea come about? And how shag was the training sia!

Jordan: We were taking this as an opportunity to challenge ourselves as well. To be honest, it all begin when Seb said "want to try doing 10,000 pull ups?" and I replied "LET'S GOOOO!"

Sebastian: My most memorable moment was when we tried going for six hours of pull-ups each, in one of our trial runs. In the first place, I'd never done more than 500 pull-ups in a training session before. But in that run, I managed to do 1,800, which I was pretty happy with.

Jordan: My most memorable moment was also that the same session. Our plan was to do EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) for 100 sets, before having a 20-min break. And then repeating it two more times. Due to a past injury, my shoulder decided to give way 100 sets in, and I couldn't continue for the other two sets. But Seb managed to push through for the full six hours.

On a scale of 10, the level of pain that Sebastian (left) and Jordan experienced respectively in their left rotator cuff and left collar bone was an eight. Every time they had to start a new set, it was like starting a rusty engine.Photos: Jordandseb
While impressive, what's more important to Jordan and Sebastian than accomplishing their physical feat is the social cause behind it.Photos: Jordandseb

So the current Guinness World Record (GWR) is a whopping 7,715 in 24 hours. How close are you guys to that personal best, individually? And any plans to break that record one day?

We are not very close since individually, we only did about 5,000. We also used this event to gauge where we stand. To go for the GWR would mean that our form has to be a lot stricter. And we did acknowledge that our pull-up form for this 10,000 reps may not have been the best quality for a GWR.

But more importantly, it's the social cause behind these 10,000 pull-ups. As of 29 July 2022, 6.30pm, we had met 75% of our donation goal - and we're pretty happy with that. We suddenly saw a surge in the final month of the donation drive. A few of our project partners contributed to the donation with amounts between $400 to $500. One of the gym clients donated $1,000!

We heard you had some garang souls to help you, ahem, pull through. Tell us about them. And also, why pull-ups as the choice of exercise for this challenge and donation drive?

Sebastian: Our Push Pull Give CEO (Razif) termed it "Life Line Pull-ups". The public's count would be added to our count in the unfortunate event that we could not complete the challenge. The crowd we hang out with likes to do calisthenics too, and we engaged some of them who were free to help us out. 

Some of them actually came from our group classes, because the gym was still open for business as usual. So some of the exercises that we prescribed for them to do was pull-ups and some of our members contributed to the pull-ups.

Along the way, some of our friends dropped in and most of them clocked anywhere between like, I think 50 to 200. One or two managed to hit 300. One really strong friend did like 2,100 pull-ups by himself from 1pm till 9pm.

Both of us started our calisthenics journey by doing pull-ups. This humbling exercise means a lot to us, and we wanted to share our struggle with everyone else.


Was there a special diet you guys had to stick to? Is it, like, chicken breast three meals a day?

Sebastian: We did not follow any special diet, but we decided to maintain our usual food intake with nothing excessive. This included cai fan (economic rice), char shao shao rou fan (roasted pork rice), chicken rice, and the occasional McDonald's. Also the usual kopi o kosong for me and yuan yang bing siu dai for Jord. We usually ate about four to five meals per day.

You guys must have had a breeze during national service, since you were into calisthenics even before enlisting! How was your NS experience, and did it inspire you in any way?

Sebastian: During my active days, I was from 6 SIR in an infantry mono-intake, and being in the infantry, we had to do a lot of walks at night. So when I was doing the pull-ups, I was thinking, I could be doing lots of pull-ups or I could be walking through the jungle at night - and I'd rather do pull-ups!

Jordan: So I was a combat medic, as an instructor during NS. It taught me how to speak to a large crowd, which is what I'm doing now when I'm teaching classes. So, it helped me to grow as a person.

At the same time, being a medic, I got to see a lot of different kinds of cases, know more about injuries and how to use medical equipment. So basically, NS helped me in my fitness journey [in the sense that] at least I knew what basic first aid (like CPR) was, even before I got my PT cert.

About Push Pull Give

Established in 2016, the local fitness centre - they have two studios currently, one in Tiong Bahru, the other in River Valley - functions as both a bodyweight gym and a social enterprise.

They offer employment opportunities to young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds, and give out fitness scholarships to encourage those looking to start a career in the fitness industry.

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