T Nation

Top Half of Chin/ Pull-up

I am trying to add weight to my chin max. I am using RE/ME days untill I get my strength to where I can use DE chins (proper % of bodyweight).

Anyways I have a hard time with the upper portion of the lift, what type of things can I do to strenghten the top of my chin? Is it mostly bi’s? I seem to have a lot of speed, but I stall out half way up.
Thanks in advance

I’m sorry,

but I cannot answer your question, but I have been checking this thread a few times to see if people have answered, so I just want to bump it to have it get more attention.

I have a similar problem with chins/pullups, I tried many different methods but I never really exeeded 12 chins…and also adding weight to a max chin hasn’t been really successful…

I see minor improvements when I put a lot of effort into it, but I stall very quick. The main weakpoint is also in the top half…

I am a tall guy (6.4-5) with long arms and a I weigh around 220 lbs…

Help, advices would be appreciated.

Pullups/Chinups are esentially a horsepower to weight ratio exercise. Most people who can do a lot of pullups have very low bodyfat, that is they have a lot of strenght compared to their total bodyweight. I know if I gain 10 pounds (when bulking) my maxes in weight exercises go up (bench press, squat, deadlift: +50 pounds), but the number of pullups drops dramatically from 20+ to 10 or less. The same thing happens with handstand pushups. In fact I can pretty accurately tell my bodyweight by the number of handstand pushups I can do without looking at a scale.

I have found no other assistance exercises help with pullups. I have tried going from a max set of pullups to pull downs or curls or bent rows, to try to boost my pullup strength. Nothing I have found works, except just doing more sets of pullups!

I’m tiny and light so take it with apinch of salt but try holds in the top half of the movement. Seems to help me anyways.

Learn to search:



[quote]!vic wrote:
Learn to search:


Learn how to read. Perhaps take a course in people skills.

The OP asked a specific question about the top part of the chin up. CT and Zeb programs are general, build your chin strength programs. They may have some applicable ideas (CT mentions something about the top portion of the chin), but you don’t need to be trite.

For the top of the chin, I’d recommend:

  1. isometrics (add weight) at three positions in the top half

  2. bands from the top, around your knees/feet (more acceleration to sling your through your sticking point)

  3. drops from the top, iso at mid point

  4. drops from top, back to top from half way (iso-ballistic? there’s some DB Hammer name here as well, I don’t remember it)

I need to try these myself. I usually work from dead hang and, in the later reps, I can start them but I can’t get to the top. Let us/me know if you try any of them.


I would put a box below the chin bar in order to allow me to get to only the top part of the ROM then just chin from there.

I hope that is clear enough.

I have the same problem with my pull-ups; I start strong at the bottom and stall at the top. I suspect that with pull-ups (palms facing you) that you use your biceps more at the bottom and lats towards the middle and lats/traps at the top.

So I tried doing chin-ups to try and work on this, but this didn’t really help any…

One theory that I have is that when you really get into weighted chin-ups, you just reach a point where you are “maxed out” and each additional pound becomes very hard to come by.

For me, I got stuck at 148 and again… near the top.