Chin ups Vs Pull ups

Have been training for a while now. do (assisted) pulls up as part of the weekly routine. have been gradually been getting better, to the point that im on the last (lowest?)weight/assist i can use. yay.

but to be honest. pull ups suck. they hurt. my goal is that within the next two months to do ONE full pull up on my own.

recently, in a random convo with my sister, she was saying how she managed to only do one chin up… i havent tried to do a chin up since i was 8 years old, overweight, and in gym. the teacher eventually took pity on me after i hung there not moving for a few minutes, and let me off.

so imagine my surprise when in the bathrooms at work, i randomly decided to grab hold of the bar across the top of the door and see if i could do one… somehow i went from floor to my chin above the bar… and then again. i’m still not sure how i managed it. everytime i try for one i expect to just keep hanging there like a deadweight, but somehow i find myself up and staring over the bar…

at the gym that arvo i was so excited. my maximum seems to be 6 reps (so far), but all in all i went from not doing any chin ups EVER, to 19 in one day.

when i asked someone why i could do chinups and not pulls up, their only answer was ‘its easier’.

why? why’s it easier? is there a way i can use chin ups to fast track my pull up strength? and what are the benefits/differences of each?


sorry about the spelling. my filter at work wont let me go back in and edit it. wierd

The reason they are easier is you have some biceps help with chin ups. They are both good for you and training your chin ups will indeed contribute to pull up progress. I recommend you do both. There is no problem in only training chin ups for awhile though until you can do body weight pull ups.

i thought it might have to do with bis.

at my gym, there’s three widths for pull/chin ups. the inner for chin up and outer for pull up, and a middle that seems a mix of both. would it help to progress along the three? ie moving form chin up to middle (?) and finally to pull up?

When it comes to almost anything, I honestly just grip where its most efficient for me. Make sure you are gripping at a width where you can get full range of motion and effectively perform the movement. My grip is a little narrower for chins than pull ups, but not by much. I would say at this point just do as many chin ups as you can for 3 sets across at least 3x/week. When you can do around 10 chins for your first set and still be able to do more sets, it will be a good idea to incorporate pull-ups.

Try pull ups again. I’m surprised that you can do 6 chins and 0 pulls. Right now I can do 10 chins and 6 pulls. I’d agree with Owlie on using the grip width that feels mechanically best for you. I’m not a big fan of assisted machines but they seem to have been working for you. I prefer negatives. Have you tried them that way?

Yeah. Use bands before an assisted machine if you can. The machines do all the stabilization for you.