30 Day Dead Hang Challenge (Apr 2022)

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      I follow Mr Infinity, a member of Ben Patrick’s (knessovertoesguy) Athletic Truth Group. He posted about the benefits of passive hanging for up to 7 minutes a day and shared access to a 30 day challenge.

      All numbers are dead hangs in seconds

      13 April (Day 1) – 60,30,20,40,30,8×30

      I know my best is around 70 seconds and I started off with a full minute here, stopping short given I have multiple reps to do. My grip endurance deteriorated quite quickly after that and I eventually settled on reps of 30 seconds with 80 seconds rest (I was using an interval timer to keep me on track).

      14 April (Day 2) – 6×35,5×35,25,10

      Doing fourteen sets of 30 seconds seems a bit excessive, so I worked out other ways you could break up 7 minutes and 12 x 35 secs sounded manageable. I did six in the morning then six in the early afternoon.

      15 April (Day 3) – 6×35,3×35,3×35

      These were with 85 seconds rest, I just added 5 to each number as my previous setting was 30 on 80 off. Again I could only do six in the morning, then sets of 3 in the day.

      16 April (Day 4) – 6×35,5×35,25,10

      Every day feels pretty much the same for now, and this was identical to day 2. I’m barely holding on for my 6th rep in the morning and then have to revisit the gym later in the day.

      17 April (Day 5) – 6×35,35,5×35

      I did my usual six but knew I was short on time in the afternoon so I took a few minutes rest then tried a 7th. I barely managed it otherwise the plan was to do another 1-2 reps. This is still with my interval timer set to 35 on 85 off.

      I chose to jump in at the full 7 minutes because I once did a bodyweight legs program with 300 lunges, which seemed insane, but by week 3 my body adapted and I could do 400 lunges without a lot of soreness. I’m applying the same logic here, except I don’t get rest days! If I had to guess I’d say by day 12-14 my grip will start adapting, for now it feels like I’m picking up at the same point each day, I don’t feel fully recovered when I do the first hang in the morning and I always fret that I won’t make it to the 6th rep.


        After a very quick online search I found Ido Portal, who may be the original creator of the 7 minute hanging challenge. His encourages variety, mixing active and passive hanging with some movement too.

        18 April (Day 6) – 8 x 35,4 x 35

        I tried a mixed grip this time with the expectation that it’s a little easier. I reckon it was, but it also put more of a strain on my body as it was asymmetrical.

        19 April (Day 7) – 6 x 42,4 x 42

        I went with a rest period of 2.5 times the working set, so 105 seconds. I was calculating the different ways I could dice up 7 minutes and felt that only 7 more seconds was manageable. With the mixed grip I could just about finish but I’m not too sure about standard overhand grip.

        20 April (Day 8) – 2 x 60,6 x 30,4 x 30

        Back to regular overhand. It’s getting quite tedious already, I can’t complete these in one go so I visit the gym straight after breakfast then again late morning or late afternoon. I don’t feel any stronger and it’s as much of a chore to finish the reps as it was on day 1.

        21 April (Day 9) – 50,35,5×25,4×25,40,30,20,20

        When I’m bored I mix it up! The logic here was that I should avoid the final struggle and stop before I’m really fatigued. It ended up being far more sets but my hands feel better from this method.

        22 April (Day 10) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

        I was ready for the longer reps on double overhand grip but I’m always barely holding on for the very last rep of the day.

        23 April (Day 11) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

        24 April (Day 12) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

        In my written training log I’m not noting down the day and I had planned to test my grip strength after 10 days of hanging. I did that today instead and despite expecting to be in the very low 50’s I managed around 56kg with each hand.

        I’ve been doing a bit of active hanging and some deliberate swaying but it’s still very monotonous and not enjoyable. I feel like I’ve lightly strained my lats and triceps and I try to vary my hand width on the bar. I did a few reps with my head down and eyes shut (I usually clock watch) and that helped. I’m also doing a 20 seconds stretch for my forearm flexors and extensors after each session. If I don’t see progress this week it’s going to be a real grind, I’d like to progress to 9 sets of ~47 secs and maybe allow myself a longer rest.


          25 April (Day 13) – 5 x 47, 2 x 47, 2 x 47

          This was with 2 minutes rest which made me realise my 42 seconds were meant to be with 105 secs (2.5 x 42) but I’d been using 85 seconds, probably because that’s what I set the rest on days 2-6. It was far more manageable with this setup.

          26 April (Day 14) – 5 x 47, 4 x 47

          I was getting forearm pain this morning so I added in work on the forearm extensors, namely expanding my fingers in the top of a sports sock, 1 rep per 2 seconds of hanging. I’d do 47 secs hanging, 23-24 reps per arm extensor work, then the next set. It’s a bit harder than just resting but otherwise the 2 minutes is just dead time.

          27 April (Day 15) – 5 x 47, 4 x 47

          28 April (Day 16) – 3 x 3 x 47

          I tried 3 sets in the morning and three either side of my workout, less fatigue this way.

          29 April (Day 17) – 4 x 53, 3 x 53, 26,13,13

          I had a really busy day at work and completely forgot about hanging until around 9.30pm. I tried to condense the workout into 2 x 4 x 53 but I was too tired for the final rep so I chopped it up into smaller hangs.

          30 April (Day 18) – 4 x 47, 5 x 47

          1 May (Day 19) – 3 x 47, 3 x 47, 3 x 47

          I will have to sneak some more hangs in this evening as I’m short on time. I do all these in my garage but it would be so much easier to install a doorway pull up bar in the house.

          This was back on day 3


            2 May (Day 20) – 5 x 47, 4 x 47

            3 May (Day 21) – 4 x 53, 4 x 53

            Comfortable with 47 secs so extended to 53 as an experiment. Used 130 secs rest but it was tough.

            4 May (Day 22) – 2 x 35, 14, 8 x 42

            I was trying to mix it up here, the first 3 reps were with a lateral swing, briefly letting go with each hand. I wasn’t sure how much harder it would be (the answer: quite a bit) so I swiftly abandoned it and dropped to 42 secs for the remainder.

            5 May (Day 23) – 3 x 30, 3 x 42, 2 x 42, 30

            More experimenting, again 3 sets (90 secs total) using the lateral swings. It certainly works the grip more and I feel it improves single arm stability, but I’m still at the stage where I’m not taking it for granted that I can accumulate 7 minutes.

            6 May (Day 24) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

            I did some more background reading about other people’s experiences and they spoke of staying away from long duration single holds in favour of more frequent ones (a popular protocol was 14 x 30 secs). The progressions like lateral swinging and eventually single arm holds tend to be attempted when you’ve reached the milestone of 2 minutes dead hang. While I’m clearly progressing, I feel like I’m starting the day no better than yesterday and it only takes about 10 seconds before I feel uncomfortable having to hold on.

            7 May (Day 25) – 10 x 42

            I should break it up, but some days I can only afford a single visit to the gym.

            8 May (Day 26) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42


              9 May (Day 27) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

              10 May (Day 28) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

              11 May (Day 29) – 5 x 42, 5 x 42

              12 May (Day 30) – 5 x 47, 4 x 47

              I was a little pushed for time on the final day so these were with 100 seconds rest.

              16 May (Day 34)

              Grip Strength – 53-54kg per hand
              Max Dead Hang – 120 secs

              After a few days off I wanted to test my grip strength and endurance. The strength was no surprise, I probably need more of a stimulus than a simple double arm hang. I wasn’t expecting to get far beyond 90 seconds but I kept my head down and only looked at the clock when I was struggling, and by then it was 1:24. I really wanted that 2 minute mark and I probably let go just before, I might have mildly stretched some shoulder or chest muscles trying to hold on that long.

              I felt the benefits by the end, and while 7 minutes is a big commitment I will certainly do 1-2 sets of 30-45 secs after any upper or lower body weights session, for the stretching and spinal decompression benefits.

              Here’s me on day 30 experimenting with some single arm holds

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