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Building Chin-Up Reps

We all know how to get stronger and faster. But when it comes to building reps rather than building strength, i’m clueless. Well my goal is to able to achieve 20 reps in 2 months, my max is at 9 reps right now (weak i know). My back and lats have been one of the most neglected muscle in my training history. Well anyways, how would one approach this?

[quote]Doh wrote:
We all know how to get stronger and faster. But when it comes to building reps rather than building strength, i’m clueless. Well my goal is to able to achieve 20 reps in 2 months, my max is at 9 reps right now (weak i know). My back and lats have been one of the most neglected muscle in my training history. Well anyways, how would one approach this?[/quote]

Well obviously you want to become stronger. Do weighted pull-ups, chin-ups, everything. Wear a backpack filled with weights, then do every pullup with every grip that you know of in your routine. Eventually the weights will go up, and your muscles will grow, and honestly in 2 months I’d say you can reach that goal. If this is the first time that you started doing pullups, you should notice “beginner gains”. Basically you should notice gains quickly in your lat strength.

There is a program out there that is quite effective known as the ladder workout. You periodize your ladder something like 2reps4rep6rep

try Chad Waterbury’s single’s club. this program caters to both maximal strength and your rep goal.

Doh
Sorry about the previous post. I started to post and couldn’t remember it well enough to tell it to you, then I thought I pushed reset-=-well anyways I found the ladder workout.

You say you can do nine.

your rep scheme will look like this
1-2-3-4-5-6 maybe 7
then you start back at one and do it again. Your rest priods would be about the same time it would take for a partner to his set. As you progress, you just add an additional rep sequence
ie.-6-7-8 6-7-8-9-etc

It’s a Pavel special… Good luck

Alright, thanks sasquatch and griffin, i’ll try mixing both and see what kind of results i get.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that training low reps with weight is the best way to gain higher reps relative to Chin-ups.

Remember, you will get better at whatever activity you practice. That’s only one reason you want to train “sports specific.”

You have no idea how your body is going to react at reps 17, 18, 19 or 20 for example unless you go up in reps. There are lots of things going on other than strength when you start training for higher reps: Lactic acid, slow twitch muscle fber development etc.

I posted a Chin-up program a few months back called “Zeb On Chins.” Hit the search engine and give it a look and tell me what you think.

Going from 9 reps to 20 in two months might be a bit unrealistic, but I think you can get pretty close if you train properly. That means proper rep/set system, proper amount of times per week, etc.

If I can help you any further, don’t hesitate to PM me.

Best Of Luck,

Zeb

Here is an interesting post from Coach Eathan Reeve, the head strength and conditioning coach at Wake Forest University, on a method which he used to increase chin-up endurance with his wrestlers.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

Density Training-Different Approach!
From: Ethan Reeve
Subject: Fitness
Date/Time 2002-03-13 11:50:29
Remote IP: 152.17.97.113

To all concerned,

This may be a little different training than many are accustomed to: I have had many types of athletes have great success increase their strength as well as strength or power endurance doing what I term “density training”. For instance, let’s say your goal for the 2 pood kettlebell clean-n-press is to do
12 reps in a row. First, you want to use double the voume of your goal which is 24 reps. You will only do this workout twice per week. You will start out doing 12 sets of 2 reps in 12 mins. Meaning you start a new set every 60 secs. At first your rest periods will be about 50-55 secs. After this becomes easy to you move to 8 sets of 3 reps in 8 mins. When this becomes easy move to 6 sets of 4 reps in 6 mins. When this becomes easy move to 5 sets of 5 reps in 5 mins. You will notice by now your rest periods become shorter as your reps increase. After this becomes easy move to 4 sets of 6 reps in 4 mins. When this has become easy for you I can promise that you will be able to do the 12 reps goal on the clean-n-press.

Using this formula I have had many, many athletes perform between 30-45 reps on chinups in a row. I had one wrestler do 600 chinups in 63 mins., he was a 3-time state champion.While I have had many other athletes do between 400-500 chinups in 90-120 mins.

Our goal at UT Chatt. was to have 90+% of our wrestlers do 10 sets of 10 reps on chinups in 10 mins. We started with 20 sets of 5 in 20 mins. then working to sixes to 7’s to 8’s to 9’s until we reached 10 sets of 10 in 10 mins. This took a period of 3 months to reach.

However, we then did the 100 reps each day throughout the season along with
our rope climbs, and 3x’s per week power cleans, front squats, rdls,
standing presses, bent rows,dips, etc. . .

If you have any questions, please reply!

In Strength,
Ethan Reeve"

Interesting, i’ve heard about density training before but it wasn’t explained to me very well. Now i understand how to perform it. Thanks. By the way Zeb, i found your post and i will try the 4 week routine prior to the day i have to do 20 pull ups. Thanks a lot.

Anytime Doh!

Does wake forest even have a wrestling team?
Zeb, if your 1 RM is higher, wouldn’t getting more reps be easier since each chin is dipping into your strength reserve less? I know Charles Staley uses this method with his athletes when he is trying to boost up the 225 rep max test.

Quick comment: IIRC Zeb is doing somewhere around 40 pull-ups so obviously improving his 1RM has less carry over. For people doing 15-20 bodyweight chins, I think improving your 1RM is more worthwhile.

I couldnt find Zebs old thread, anyone got a link?

[quote]MikeShank wrote:
Does wake forest even have a wrestling team?
Zeb, if your 1 RM is higher, wouldn’t getting more reps be easier since each chin is dipping into your strength reserve less? I know Charles Staley uses this method with his athletes when he is trying to boost up the 225 rep max test.[/quote]

Charles Staley is someone that has dedicated his life to the study of fitness/muscle etc. I have great respect for him. I also thinks he makes a very good point.

I can only speak from what has worked for me and others I have trained. The further that you get relative to reps, the more “strength endurance” comes into play. In addition to this you have to teach your body to deal with lactic acid.

How do you know how your body is going to react at rep number 25 or 38 for example, if you have never been there, or only been up in the area a limited number of times. Form is yet another matter that is not unimportant. You have good form doing 8 reps with 30lbs of resistance for example. Do you think your form will hold up at rep number 20 with no weight? It feels differently and your body is hurting, not unlike a 1/4 mile run.

Train “sport specific,” if high reps are the goal then you have to train with higher reps.

With that said this does not negate the fact that if your one rep max is higher that it will help. I think building a good strength base is important, however it does not out weigh the specific need to train with higher reps, in my opinion.

I want to end by stating the I am not good enough to carry Charles Staleys Gym bag! However, you asked and I am answering as honestly as I can.

[quote]Helix wrote:
I couldnt find Zebs old thread, anyone got a link?[/quote]

Here is the link and best to you!

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=404137

I want to bump this thread just because Ethan Reeve’s method of density chin-ups is so incredible and all should see this precious gem. So simple, yet so effective.

Yes indeed that is a gem, it has me thinking of ways to brutalize myself with squats…

Here’s a program that I posted a few months ago that worked really well for me. It’s based on Pavel’s Greasing The Groove (GTG) principle:

Weeks 1 and 2:

Do 50% of your max number of bodyweight chin-ups 4-7 times throughout the day (not on weekends, in my case).

Weeks 3 and 4:

Same as above, but add 10 pounds when you chin, and adjust the 50% accordingly. Here, I was doing 7 chins.

Weeks 5 and 6:

Same as above, but add 20 pounds, and again adjust the 50%. By now, I was only doing 3 chins.

Test new number of bodyweight chin-ups. Repeat.
On your second cycle, extend it by 2 weeks, and on weeks 7 and 8, add more weight, so that your 50% is below 5 reps.

A second cycle may not be necessary, if you achieved your goal after the first cycle. But on the other hand, you may want to add a 3rd and 4th cycle if you really want your chin-ups numbers to soar.
Last note: take 1 week off from chin-ups between cycles.

Just keep in mind the principle of diminishing returns. Your most impressive gains will be made during the first cycle. With each cycle you will gain less and less. To give you an idea of numbers, I started with 11 chin-ups, and after the first cycle, I got up to 18 chin-ups. After the second cycle, I was up to 23. I’m satisfied with that, so I didn’t go on a third cycle.

As for maintenance after you’ve done all your cycles, if you include chin-ups in your regular program, the numbers should stay. I would test my max (after you’re off the program) once every 6-8 weeks, to make sure you haven’t slipped.

EDIT

Whoops, didn’t see the date of the original post. Still, if the user is adding to his collection of chinup programs, here’s another one to toss to the pile.

Just out of curiousity, why do you want to go for reps instead of strength?

Still fairly new to this, BUT…

I just recently started doing chin ups. I tried because one of the workouts said that women should do chin ups if possible as an option to the lat pull downs mentioned in the workout. I am 5’8 143lbs. I did 4 sets but only got 8/8/6/4 reps. Will being female make a difference in the chin up progress? AND – will increasing the weight I lift (i.e. more than my body weight) make a difference? Thanks for any help -