The New York Times reported a not-so-surprising statistic recently: Women have more trouble than men doing pull-ups. As if we hadn’t known this since we first started fitness testing in the middle school! Aside from that initial “duh” moment, some of the results of a study done on the matter were pretty interesting.

A study was performed at the University of Dayton involving 17 average weight women who were unable to do pull-ups. For three months, they did exercise to strengthen their biceps and back muscles (the ones used during pull ups), plus weight training and aerobic training to lower their body fat.

In the end, the women increased their upper body strength by a whopping 36% and had 2% less body fat… but only 4 of the 17 women were able to do a pull-up after all that!

Apparently, pull-ups require more than just upper body strength. Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. People who are taller with longer arms generally struggle more with the exercise.

Well, you can’t win ’em all! This study sure makes us feel better about our ineptitude in gym class, though.

Want to know more? Read the full New York Times article here.