One of my aunts (late 40s), who is not overweight or extremely out of shape, has decided that her goal for 2022 is to be able to do a chinup. I think it’s a very realistic goal for her, given the one-year timespan and her current physical state. Her husband and daughter are climbers, and her husband teaches at a climbing gym, so she has access to training partners, equipment, support, and advice. Shouldn’t be too challenging.
My grandma (early 70s), has decided she is going to pursue this goal with her daughter. Now, my grandma’s in pretty good shape for a woman her age. She stays active - does some machine circuits, not Nautilus but similar, yoga, walks the dog, gardens, etc. She’s still a grandmother, but she’s done a good job of taking care of herself. I don’t think she has any plan for what she’s going to do, and I don’t think she actually will be that bummed out if she doesn’t reach her goal, since she’s honest about the stage she’s at in life, but she wants to try, and figures the process of trying will yield good results whether or not she is successful.
She has asked me if I have any suggestions. She has no medical issues or any reasons why she feels the need to clear this with her doctor (really, it’s just a slight increase in the level of her training intensity, not that she’s going from couch potato to marathon runner). She isn’t deadset on it so she doesn’t want to pay a coach or anything. No joint troubles or past injuries that a PT would need to help with. It’s pretty much up to her, and both her and I would plan on very slowly and carefully advancing things to prevent any overuse injuries or anything.
Does anyone have any suggestions? In my mind, working towards small goals that are steps towards doing a chinup would be best. First goal, maybe just a deadhang from a bar. No idea if she can do this right now or not. Then, maybe increase the time of the hang. After that, things like a flexed arm hang, maybe from different positions in the ROM a chinup would take you through, then an assisted chinup, either with bands or someone holding her legs, then less assistance, then eventually (maybe) a real chinup.
Things to include in training would be some grip work (those grip squeezing things?..can’t remember what they’re called, haha), some curls and rows to begin getting the biceps and back stronger. Maybe some pull aparts or face pulls to strengthen the shoulders and keep them healthy. Do all that for a while just to get things started.
#1 goal is just to not rush anything or do more than is wise. Always gonna be keeping an eye out for if anything isn’t feeling well. She doesn’t want to spend any money (like on a trainer) since this is so informal, and she’s pretty good about knowing her limits, like she wouldn’t push herself (or let herself be pushed) further than she can handle.