T Nation

1 arm chin

can anyone do a true 1 arm chin? (not using the other arm on your wrist to help…)

You know, I thought I was pretty badass when I got up to the 25 chinup mark, or bodyweight plus 95lbs. Then I attempted a one-arm chin.

Not even close!

Yes, this is possible. There have been circus performers who have done it. I know an ex-Marine who can perform 10 one-arm chins. He can also easily perform 40 standard chins.

yes it is possible. two of my friends can do it. they do a bunch of chinning. do chins with weights, pyramids of chins, and try chinning with one hand of just like two fingers, then one. after you build some core strength you might be able to do one.

Yeah i can do 1. Its kinda funny that I had tried several times and had not come close then I gave one a go at the the END of a training just for a laugh and got it. It freaked me out. That was after maxing out in the powercleans, bench press, deadlift and bentover rows. Needless to say I was mighty impressed. This was only 2 weeks ago. I did 2 sets of 1 rep this week. Another wierd thing is that it is easier with my left arm which is normally my weeker arm on nearly every other unilateral back exercise ie one arm dumbell rows and stuff. I can post all my stats and pbs and even give you an outline of my training program if you want but ill have to get my training log out and dont know if it would be that helpful anyway. But if you would like that just let me know :slight_smile:

oh yeah its also kinda wierd that i can do a 1 arm chin but not a one arm push up.

Hmm, I have liked to think that I will hit that goal one day. There are couple of guys that I work with that can do them. Mostly, guys that weigh 145-165 and about 5’6-5’8, lats are wayyy out of proportion with the rest of their body though! Its crazy to watch em though.

Never Quit Tryin’ though right?

Yes, please post your stats and PBs. I’m curious. I wanna join the elite one-armed chin club!

Yes and No. As part of my on-the-road program, I regularly do inclined one-arm chins. That is where the chin-up is about four feet above the ground and my body is inclined with the feet touching the foot. The last time I was able to do one-arm chins was when I weight 175 at 3% body fat and had spent a year working up to them on a bet. Best of Luck.

Didn’t I read somewhere (on this site I think) that only 1 in 10,000 people or some crazy figure like that have the genetic potential to do a one arm chin? Perhaps it was Poliquin who said it?

I’m not even close…Nowhere near it. But i have a buddy that can do THREE with just his middle finger wraped around the bar…and the dude weights 195. He has genetics on his side though. One of this guys that will eat pizza 4 times a week, and go through a gallon of Ice Cream in 3 days… No joke. His mom’s shoulders are wider than mine.

Back when I graduated from high school, I could do 1 one-arm chin (right arm, palm facing my body). I weighed about 145 and could do maybe 10 regular pullups. Now (22 years later), I can do at least 20 regular chins, and have done a single with 100 extra pounds, but I can’t get a one-arm to save my life. My current weight is 200 pounds. I know several people who can do one-arm chins, but they are all relatively light in weight. I think it’s very hard for a heavy person to do a one-arm chin.

Yeah but can anyone here do a one-arm squat?

Here are my stats and PBs. Age- 20; height is 183-184 cm (6 foot); weight 85kgs (185 pounds); bodyfat is probably around 10% havent had it tested in 2 years. My PBs are as follows: Chin pronated (palms away grip)- Bodyweight+ 70kgs (160 lbs) Bench press - 145kgs (325) Bent over row - 130kgs (295) but i cheated a bit. I have always done chins as part of my training. Partly becuase they are just a damn good exercise and partly becase I just love them. I nearly always do weighted chins and generally train for strength so most of the time the reps are under 6 with a heavy weight added. Sometimes however I like a hypertrophy phase and get above that. Currently I am using a hightly bastardized version of westsides powerlifting program but am incorporating lots of back exercises and am using some principles of King and Poliquin. So currently I train 4 times per week. A max effort upper body day, max effort lower body day, dynamic effort upperbody day and a dynamic effort lower body day. On the upperbody days I do BOTH bench and back work. I use the recirpical inhibition method that poliquin has spoken of on my max effort days. So A1 exercise would be a bench movement and my A2 exercise would be a back exercise working up to a max single. One set bench one set back one set bench one set back. Same goes when i use the repition method at the end of the max effort/dynamic effort part of the training. I use kings intensity cycling where the first week is sub maximal the second week is maximal or very close to it and the third week is one where you go mad. But now i think about it the training i am currently doing while i am very happy with it only got me the last 5% or so. The first 95% was done just by doing chins week in and out and always adding weight and pushing myself. Hope that helps Chris

geez i can barely do regular chins these days

It was Charles Poliquin who stated that 1 in not 10,000, but 1 in 100,000 people can accomplish the true 1 armed chin. I believe that was in an old issue of Muscle Media, but it may have been on this site…