Fitness & Health Technology

Weekly Feature – Runtastic Pull-Ups [App]

Gamify your Pull Ups with This App!

This week, for our Fit-Tech Feature, I can say I have actively been using the product and love it!

As many of you know, Team Shape have been training hard for the Spartan Race. If you want to get Spartan Fit, scroll down to the bottom of our Spartan Race blog post and download our FREE 30-day Training Plan.

There are many obstacles throughout the Spartan race which require you to pull your body up and over objects and to hoist yourself up ropes.

Therefore, working on calisthenics exercises, like pull-ups, has been an extremely important part of our training. My strength to body weight ratio has never been that impressive and I used to struggle with pull-ups.

But then I found Runtastic. They are responsible for a number of apps that help you progress with body weight exercises. This includes an app to help you improve your push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and sit-ups.

I have documented my experience with Runtastic so far and hopefully, you will see I have been making some great progress.

Training Commenced


I set my first training day to Level 2, Day 8. This obviously means I skipped Level 1. I did this as I am not a total beginner when it comes to pull-ups, however, the screenshot I have included shows you what the training plan would look like for Level 1.

My set Level required me to do 10 pull-ups for my first set, followed by 8 and then 2 sets of 6. This was a total of 30 pull-ups. This was still relatively easy for me but I very infrequently perform more than 10 pull-ups in one set and so I decided to put trust in the app and stick with the process, not skipping any more Levels or Days.

I do not perform my pull-ups every single day, instead, I do them on my upper body training days. If you are just starting out, you should be able to perform the pull-ups daily as the volume will not be high enough to leave your body too sore for the next day (fingers crossed).

Training Intensifies

My next training day had me do 32 pull-ups (an increase of 2) with the sets structured like so:

  • 12
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6

So the only difference was doing 12 reps on my first set instead of 10. As I previously mentioned, I rarely do more than 10 reps in one set but this was still manageable.

Since then I have reached a Day in Level 2 where I am performing a total of 39 pull-ups and my first set requires me to do 14!

This does not phase me, as I have also used Runtastic Push-Ups App &  followed their training process and this has definitely helped me improve my push-ups.

Gradual progression

The thing I love about the Runtastic Pull-Up App is the gradual progression. The team knows exactly how to help you increase your volume without being unrealistic with what they ask of you. The app has helped me increase the number of pull-ups I am performing each time I train and so far I have been able to complete each day without a failed rep.

Training History

Check out your training history to see a bar chart of your volume progression and an estimate as to how many calories you have burnt from all the pull-ups you have performed.


See how you stack up against your friends and compete against each other to see who can hit a certain number of pull-ups the fastest.

These accountability features will get you excited about your next training session and if you are competitive, like me, you will never want to miss a session.

You can also opt in for push-notifications so that you get a reminder when your training is due.

Pull-ups Accomplishments

Earn badges as you continue to use the app and earn the status of “Pull-ups Hero”.

This feature also syncs your accomplishments with the other Runtastic apps. As you can see, I have the push-up app and have done a set of 32 reps.


The only negative I have found with any of the Runtastic apps is that sometimes my reps are not counted. However, it seems your reps may not be counted if you have committed a Half Rep.

Looks like I need to practice my form then.

How it works

Your pull-ups are tracked by your phones built-in accelerometer and the proximity sensor measures for push-ups.

Want To Build Wings? (Lats)

Download Runtastic now!

Any challengers? 😉


More fit tech gadgets and apps

Want to read more about new fitness tech gadgets and apps that we recommend? See another tech feature of the week: the Apple Watch Series 3.


Do not forget, if you would like to receive the latest weekly news, subscribe to the Shape Digest. We hand pick the most informative articles to help you on your fitness journey!

Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
Use our free guide to design your very own personalized nutrition plan.
Download e-Book
Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
... start working on your unique diet plan.
Download E-Book

Charlie Farmer

Charlie is content writer and community manager at Shape.
Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
Use our free guide to design your very own personalized nutrition plan.
Download e-Book
Get the Ultimate Nutrition Guide
... start working on your unique diet plan.
Download E-Book