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Bill Zimmerman

One difficult pull-up lead to a big goal!

When Bill Zimmerman retired he was looking for an exercise routine to help him get in better shape. He wasn’t overweight, but he didn’t have good muscle tone or endurance at that point in his life. A friend encouraged Bill to join the New Holland Rec Center – now the YMCA at New Holland. Bill says, “I was very athletic through my life, playing soccer in college and through my thirties. I like to hike and ski and run, but had never done training in a fitness center. When I tried to do a pull-up and could only get half-way up, I was pretty disappointed.”

Bill began using the pull-up assist machine at the Y to improve his skill. It took about three months for Bill to begin to feel real improvement and in six months he could do pull-ups on his own. While this was only part of Bill’s strength training, he was faithful in doing pull-ups and increasing his repetitions each week.

A good friend noticed that Bill was completing the pull-ups with ease and suggested a challenge of doing 500 pull-ups a week for 50 weeks in 2016 – that’s 25,000 pull-ups in one year. Bill said, “I was skeptical at first, but up for the challenge.” Apparently he was, as he completed 36,600 pull-ups last year! Bill said, “I have done 29 pull-ups in a row, 300 in a day and 1100 in a week. I even did them while I was on a vacation cruise in Alaska.”

Bill enjoys the camaraderie he experiences at the Y almost as much as his workouts. He feels the YMCA at New Holland is a close community and he’s made a lot of close friends here. “By coming to the Y, I’ve lost some weight; I’m getting stronger and feel better all at the age of 71.”