Like all new ideas, Operation Pull Your Own Weight has encountered its share of criticisms. One of the most frequent is, "But Coach, your program has no aerobic component. You're not getting anyone's heart rate up into the target heart rate zone and keeping it there for 15 or 20 minutes like the Cooper Clinic has preached about for the better part of 40 years. That means you have an incomplete fitness program."
My initial reaction is to say you're right. Despite the fact that we encourage active lifestyles that burn calories and keep kids light, OPYOW is an incomplete fitness program. On the other hand, we've never implied anything else. It's nothing more (and nothing less) than a functional acid test that guarantees those who can perform pull ups that they're naturally immunized against obesity for life as long as they maintain the ability.
In other words the critics are absolutely right to say that, by virtue of having no aerobic component, OPYOW does almost nothing to directly strengthen the heart. And the heart is a pretty important organ for most of us. They are also right to say that pull ups burn very few calories. I mean, I agree with anyone who claims that a walk around the block burns more calories than pull ups.
They're Also Wrong
On the other hand they're dead wrong to imply that OPYOW is not heart friendly. You see to the degree that this strategy minimizes excess weight, it also decreases the workload on the heart 24 hours a day 7 days and week...and that's no small consideration.
Let me say it another way. I can show you plenty of obese kids who can walk around the block. I can also show you plenty of obese kids who can get their heart rates up into the target zone and keep 'em there for enough time to directly strengthen their hearts.
However, odds are that nobody can show me (or anyone else) even one obese kid (one obese human being) who can perform pull ups. You see those two qualities are mutually exclusive and they almost never occupy the same physiological territory. Where you find one you will not find the other. OPYOW is a functional acid test that immunizes kids against obesity for life. That being the case, a more heart friendly program would be hard to imagine. Imagine that.