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How To Do More Chin Ups

Posted on 28. Apr, 2011 by in Bodyweight Strength

How to do More Chin Ups

The chin up is easily the gold standard of bodyweight exercises.  Using you upper body to move your entire bodyweight for reps is not only damn impressive but exhibits fully functional upper body strength especially in the upper back.

It’s my opinion that every man should be able to do 10 chin ups.

So, how do we achieve success first in performing the chin up and the being able to do it for multiple reps?

First, success with the chin up is based on your relative body strength.  Which basically means, how strong are you, based on how much you weigh?  Obviously, smaller guys are going to be more successful with the chin up sooner than big guys.  Why?

They’re smaller.  They weigh less and therefore have a lighter load to move.

That, big guys, is a challenge, not an excuse.

That said, the first hurdle in achieving chin up success is the removal of excess body weight.

Take a good hard look at your diet.  Eliminate excess where you can.  Do the same with your training routine and make sure that your workouts are consistent with fat loss.  If you need direction Lean Hybrid Muscle—Reloaded is a great place to start.

The next step to improving your chin up is—you guessed it–do more chin ups.

Begin this by setting a baseline.  I recommend the manly basic of ten reps.

In order to achieve this first baseline you need to begin increasing the volume of chin ups you do over the course of the day.  There are several ways to do this.

You can:

Perform assisted chin ups. Do this by first completing as many full body weight chin ups as possible.  Then using a partner or an exercise band, use the assistance to get in more reps per set.

Perform negatives. If you have neither a partner nor a band, you can do “negatives.”  These are done by focusing on the negative phase of the exercise, i.e. the lowering phase.  Use a box or chair to help you jump your chin over the bar, then lower yourself slowly, taking 5-10 seconds per rep.

Grease the groove. This a method Pavel promotes and what it entails is using the whole day to get in as many reps as possible.  Start with a rep scheme that is well below failure, say 2 or 3 reps.  Then perform sets through out the day, say every hour or so.  By the end of the day that might be 10 or more sets with a total of 20 to 30 reps.  Over time work on increasing your daily load.

Once you can hit your baseline you can begin to explore the many variations of chin up that are possible.  Try mixed grips, using ropes, rings, adding weight,  etc.  Think outside the box.  Find ways to make the exercise more difficult and you’ll continue to increase your relative body strength.

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