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Matt at His Best: writer steals the show at Winter X Games 15

Matthew Seyler's picture

Winter X Games pull-up competition Aspen ColoradoAspen, CO-

Well, stole the show for those who enjoy pull-ups more than extreme snow-sports, at least. Ever since I saw the iconic leg-lamp from the timeless movie classic A Christmas Story, and the exaltation that it brought its proud owner, I had longed for my own major award (Scene in question). This year, I'd get my chance. But it would take more than knowing the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse; this was going to require a feat of strength.

The task: complete more pull-ups than all competitors of the day.
The stakes: one limited-edition Navy / X Games snowboard.

I found out about the the Navy Seal's Winter X Games pull up event five days prior to showtime. I got strategic, and planned two workouts to cram into my limited prep time. First, I had to hop on the bar and see where I stood: twenty three, and a little sloppy. I expected the contest to require strict dead-hang form (which it did), so I knew there was work to be done.

I spent my first workout alternating body weight and weighted pull-ups on my handy door-frame bar. I needed to heal as quickly as possible, so afterwards, I immediately drank a big protein shake and lots of water, popped some fish oil pills, and ate a large carnivorous meal. I even let my girlfriend give me a back massage; a privilege usually reserved for holidays and muscle spasms. It took two days for my body to be ready for workout #2, longer than I'd hoped. This time, I did four super-sets as follows:

  1. Max set with weight (47lbs.)
  2. Without rest, another max set sans weight
  3. Without rest, jumping pull-ups until reduced to a hanging limp noodle

I got a bit overzealous, what with the visions of snowboard glory running through my head, and foolishly overworked my body. On Thursday, the first day of the contest, my unhealed muscles were still very sore. I decided to just do my best, and try another day should I fail.

After a solid warm up at home, I walked over to the X Games (I live across the street), signed the waiver, and mounted the bar. I managed 26 ¾, achieving the score to beat (despite the stickler Seals rounding me down to just 26). After two long hours, I returned for the closing of the competition to find my score still intact.

One of my childhood dreams has been actualized: Like the leg-lamp, my own sexy, utilitarian-use trophy now sits by the window, deliberately visible to the street. The jealousy in my girlfriend's eyes grows by the hour; I have arrived.
Winter X Games pull-up competition Aspen Colorado A Christmas Story
As I was walking home, a parking attendant yelled out to me,
  “Did you get that for free?!”
I smiled,
  “No. It's a major award; I won it!”
and strolled off into the sunset, fiberglass triumph in hand.


You can test your strength, check out high-speed Seal gear, and score some swag at the Navy's Winter X Games booth at Buttermilk Mountain the 28-30th. The contest closes at 4:00 sharp.

My articles on fitness and more can be found HERE.