T Nation

chins...what's up with this??

Ok, so I can do 5x5 chins with 35 extra pounds added, no problem, but when it come to just body weight I can barely get 2x10. Usually my sets are 10, 8, 6. Does this make sense? Its not a grip issue, and my form is good, I’m just wondering whats up. Thanks.

It’s a case of muscle fiber type influencing
set vs rep capability.

Yes it makes sense. Myself I can do sets of 20, but cant pull my bw+45 for 5. I can do 3x3.
I weigh 190lb and am 6"1’.
If you want to get a higher number do some ladders.

How long do you rest between the attempted 2x10 sets?

I don’t think it’s a rest issue as I have the same problem. My reps drop off pretty dramatically compared to when doing other things (i.e. benches, squats, deads). I’ve rested a short amount of time, a long amount of time…it doesn’t seem to really matter. Over the years, I’ve also had a really hard time upping my reps on any of my sets. I know part of it is not having a spotter to help with the last rep. To me, though, that doesn’t seem to explain why I have such a hard time with chins. Any helpful comments would be appreciated.

Well some more advice I can give would be not to train to failure on them. I started doing chins about 4 months ago and started out with only being able to do 6. I did ladders 5x a week and tested at about a month after, did 11, then again same thing, tested 14, ladders again, tested 16, ladders again still never going to failure, tested 4 weeks ago 20 pullups. If you are really serious about upping your chins then look at Pavels site and take a look at the articles section. Also read about GTG “Grease the Groove”.
I am not sure what happened between Pavel and T-mag but I have read some stuff here on T-mag that kinda rags on him.
You could also address a post to Charles Staley about what he thinks about training to failure as well. He might even post something about a chinning program but I am sure he is tired of posting the same info time and time again. Hope that helps some

How strong are your biceps in relationship to your back strength?

I have the same problem. I can only do about 8 chins but can do around 40lbs for reps. I can also do dips with a 100lb db but struggle to get ten bw dips. Im pretty sure its just my fiber type.

where is Pavels site?

Pavels site
check the left side for the articles link

Good Lookin Out Greg!

You know… after reading the question with more care than the first time, Free Extropian is correct. Chins involve the inferior fibers of the lats which are largely fast twitch. So, load up them lats boy and don’t worry 'bout doing 10 reps. Try banging out reps with 40 lbs!!!

This could be the result of a number of things, a primarily fast twitch fiber makeup in the chinup chain, only training in the lower repition ranges, poor neuromuscular endurance (chinups are a demanding exercise). Its probably a combination of the above. I would suspect that if you trained for a few weeks with the goal of improving your chinup endurance with proper training protocol (ladders, higher repition protocols, no added weight, etc.) your totals would quickly go up.