T Nation

Need help with a routine...

I’m going to start a routine i got emailed from t-mag, i’m not going to mention it because i want to fix something before i start it. One of the exercises, chin ups, a great one, is for 4 sets of 8 reps, now the problem is i’m not strong enough to do the full 4 sets of 8 reps, but i can probably squeeze out 2 sets max, at my best currently, please note i’m new to training, obviously hehe. What i was thinking of doing is hold off on this program, for like a week or so, and just do constant chin ups, until i can reach 4 full sets, the recommended, cause another note is that in this program i’m not suppose to go to failure, just leave a few reps behind me…
please anyone help, should i do that chin ups practicing till i can do it or what do i do??? i want to do all exercises in that program with all sets and all reps that are required, i can except the chins…
thx.

Actually, you may want to check out Charles Poliquin’s article “Back to Basics.” He’ll show you how to increase your reps in the chin up.
Also, both Ian King and Charles Poliquin have answered a very similar question in a previous Question of Power and Question of Strength article.

So go look through the past issues and you will find a few techniques.

Charles recommended doing isometric stops on your last rep. That’s where you lower yourself a quarter of the way, hold it for 8 seconds, then lower yourself halfway, hold it for 8 seconds, and then lower yourself three-quarters of the way and hold it for 8 seconds.

He also recommended doing negative chins or have someone pull down on your legs while you resist them.

Check out the past issues for more info!

So then do 8 sets of 4 ?

Ya but, thats a good idea and i already thought of doing 4 sets of 4, not 8 lol, whats wrong with you? lol. thats doing the same shit, except its spread out more, that still doesnt make a difference, still wont finish, man i was just thinking of spending a week or two specifically doing chin ups to increase reps, different grips, ect. and ofcourse strength…

I agree with Coyote. But lower the total sets down to 6. 6 sets, 4 reps. After a few weeks, see if you can go back and get 4 X 8.

Try doing 4 x 6 (or even 10), and decrease the rest period between sets each workout, the last rep of the set just do static hanging as long as possible.

Thanks guys, so what are you saying exactly, do the workout for the amount of time recommend and do 6 sets of 4…cause i was thinkinf of just doing chin ups everyday strictly for a week or so, can i do that or do i need a rest day like working out?? its all up to what you guys have to say…thanks again

Dude, don’t you think chins are “working out”. Break your sets down to fewer reps and do more sets but DON’T do them everyday.

Yeah - if you can do them everyday you aren’t working them enough. I had (and still do) have great success with those isometric pauses. Even simply jumping up and slowly lowering yourself over those last few reps works wonders. This will put you past your concentric failure point and may need some additional rest days, though.