T Nation

No Progression With Chins

I’m progressing on all my exercises, but I’m lacking behind in my chins. I usually do about 6*5 twice a week, but haven’t been able to perform very well.

I’m usually able to do 4*5, and then it just gets too hard to do the other two sets, so I usually do them about 15 minutes later. This has been going on for several weeks.

Any suggestions?

Are you resting enough between sets?

Go to the search engine and type in “Zeb on Chin-ups.” You might get some good ideas there.

Let me know…

Train three times a week. Mix it up. A few ways to do this:

-Once every two weeks, test max reps: Just chalk up your hands, climb on the bar, and give it all you’ve got.
-Practice a different method: Try density training (doing as many reps as possible in twenty minutes, using any set scheme you desire, of chins and some comparably difficult pressing exercise). Or try ladders: Do 1 rep, rest a bit, do 2 reps, etcetera, until you can’t do any more reps, than rest and start at 1 again.
-Or just practice: Do chins off whatever surface you can (tree branches, doors, etcetera), as many as you can, as many days a week as you can, without burning out. Don’t try to do any other chin training if you do this.

There are a lot of different ways to train chins; just about any method will get you up into the 10-15 max rep range. After that, you have to be a bit more careful with your training; search ‘ZEB’s champion chinning routine’ for more on this.

Good luck,

Ross Hunt

Oh, but the problem isn’t that I can’t do enough. With a good bar (the one at my gym is really slippery so I can’t get a grip) and on a good day, I can pull of 10-15. But after that, I’m just dead tired. Not as in ‘lying on the ground catching your breath’, but I can’t do more than a couple at a time after that and have to rest for too long to do more.

To reiterate: I, personally, wouldn’t expect to make fast progress on an exercise I train only twice a week.

But if you really do feel the need to do more reps, just do negatives: When you can’t do any more whole reps, just climb or hop up to the top position of the chin, hold it for a moment, and lower as slowly as you can. Repeat as desired. If grip is the factor, finish with bar hangs. ZEB’s thread, of course, contains a bunch of other methods for those who can’t yet do a chin; I imagine that these could be employed after normal reps, just like negs.

Oh…well than the answer is easy: You are in lousy condition!

No seriously, you need to improve your endurance strength. I have lifted with Powerlifters before who are able to do more than I can on one rep, but when it comes to a lengthy set, or several lengthy sets, they fizzle out fast.

I know some of the gurus will tell you that if you are able to lift 500lbs. once that automatically translates to you being able to lift 100lbs. more times. Well…yes and no. That might be true for one set, but as the anti continues to be raised the Powerlifter needs to recruit the slow twitch fibers and they just are not there.

I’m not slamming Powerlifters, I have the greatest respect for what they can do. I am simply trying to point out why I think you are so darn tired after only one set.

Always train the way you want to perfrom!