T Nation

Breaking Weighted Chin-Up Plateau

I’ve been stuck at repping chin ups with 30 lbs and a 1rm max of ~45 lbs for months. Similarly my BW rep max is ~13 with strict form and straight elbows at the descent. I just can’t seem to get any stronger on these suckers, and it’s not my grip since I can hold myself on the bar with one hand for a minute per hand. Does anyone have any ideas for how to get stronger on them? I’m currently on Starting Strength (been doing it for 2 months). I also only care about total weight, so if I gain 50 lbs and can do chins, I consider that progress.

19 yo
6 months of lifting consistently (1 year of dicking around and only benching, pressing, and doing chins w/o a program)
170 lbs
Numbers as of today
Squat: 225 3x5 (haven’t plateaued yet) start: 115
Deadlift: 195 1x5 (still going up easily) start: 135
Power Clean: 115 5x3 (also going up easily) start: 70
Bench Press: 170 3x5 (plateaued for 2 months)
Standing Press: 110 3x5 (plateaued for a month) start: 85

Start cheating. Then, once you’re good at cheating and your muscles are accustomed to a heavier load and faster speed, come back to strict form. You should see improvement.

Now, its worth pointing out that, when doing this, it is appropriate to use good judgement. Don’t turn your military presses into jerks, then come back a month later and expect progress on your military press. Get only as much leg drive as you need, and when you feel like you can come back and do more weight on your MP, do it.

I assume you’ve already done the de/re-loads for your stalled lifts, by the way.

I also assume you’re eating enough to grow at a steady rate. If not, you might just need to eat more.

If you want your weighted chinups to go up you should probably start training your biceps. Otherwise this is going to become a glaringly obvious weak point, both in your physique, and in your lifts.

dont sweat it too much
its only been 6 months and 13 BW pull ups is an accomplishment in itself

you gotta forget about the added weight for now.
the thing about chinups is that its not only your lats and biceps that r working, its your entire anterior chain. If your body feels as though its not ready to handle too much stress on the chain, it’ll limit your ability to effectively pull yourself up above the bar.

start working on your pull up number before trying added weight. get yourself upto at least 15 legit pull ups.

from there, try L pull ups. (pulls ups with your legs straight in front… making an L)

you’ll probably squeeze about 4 - 6 out the first time you try it. work up to 10 sets every time you do pull ups, setting 6 as the minimum reps.

just for some credibility, my PR is BW +90lbs for 8 reps. :slight_smile: