Fitness for a cause

16:00, Mar 13 2014
Wykie Etsebeth and Hineroa Paratene
GOOD TEAM: Wykie Etsebeth and Hineroa Paratene are impressed by the number of gym members who want to help others by taking part in the Pull Up Pyramid.

They're doing it in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Afghanistan, Spain, the United States and now in Auckland.

Gym bunnies around the world are raising millions for charity by doing pull-ups and passing the challenge on to their mates.

It started with a man in the United Kingdom doing one pull-up and donating $1 to his chosen charity in February. He nominated three friends who did two pull-ups each and donated a further $2. Those three each nominated three more, and so it continued.

The Pull Up Pyramid had spread across the globe through social media by the time the number had got as high as 24 and had even reached a gym in Eden Terrace.

Trainers Wykie Etsebeth of Mt Roskill and Hineroa Paratene are impressed by the number of people at their gym who are keen to take part. Mr Etsebeth did 24 pull-ups for the challenge and donated $24 to Starship.

"The guy who started it said even if we only get to 15, more than $7 million would be in the bank [worldwide]. It's still going now. If we can take an idea and use it for good then why not?"


Mr Etsebeth set up his own CrossFit gym in 2011 and enjoys the sense of community amongst his members.

Last year the folks at his gym raised more than $16,000 for a fellow user who was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

"This is just another example of the CrossFit community rallying together.

"Our slogan is ‘people first, fitness follows' and we definitely look after the people first."

Ms Paratene did 25 reps for the Pull Up Pyramid. Her partner is currently battling blood cancer and so she chose Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand to donate her $25 to.

"People just aren't aware of blood cancers. If I can help them find a cure then it helps my partner too. The support from them has been huge so why not give something back to them?"

Go to and search Pull Up Pyramid for more information.


CrossFit is a popular fitness regime that combines weight training, aerobics and gymnastics into short, fast, challenging workouts.

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