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Westside Chin Ups!!


I have applied WS Principles to Chin-Ups, a non-standard, non-canonical, non-classic, non-competition exercise and I hit my best lift in only 5 weeks! One repetition with an overloading of 75Kg @ 78Kg of bodyweight.

Honestly, I think it’s an interesting result. Sailing everywhere in Youtube and Google Video I haven’t found a clip of an overloading like that, so I think it’s uncommon… So I hope you continue reading :wink:

And… so I think WS works not only for Powerlifting

I’m a 38 year old, newbie powerlifter from Italy (so, I?m sorry for my strange language). I’ve worked with iron for about 20 years like a strange hybrid of power-bodybuilder. I’ve ever loved raising iron. In 2005, surfing the net, I knew some strong veteran powerlifters. Amazing! Powerlifting was love at first sight.

My first IPF competition (in Italy is FIPL), in 2005, I score 190Kg-125Kg-240Kg @ 76Kg BW. In 2006, I score 220Kg-162.5Kg-270Kg @ 83.5Kg.

I had trained myself with a schedule in WS style. My virtual-real coach is Enrico Bomboletti, italian 2006 IPF champion in -100Kg Class (“virtual” because he train me across internet, viewing my videos, “real” because sometime I travel for 150Km to be trained “live” by him). Sandro Rossi, IPF Master M2 2006 Champion is the coach of Enrico. They are my gurus, and they are the source of my knowledge.

Last summer I try my first 6 weeks Westside cycle. Enrico proposed me a classical cycle to “feel” the westside. 4 session per weeks, board, deloading, bands and so on. Great!.
I trained myself totally raw because i’m ever alone and i’m too newbie to use shirts and suits, I was feared to hurt me.

I?ve attached the JPEG of the schedule

The Squat/Bench/Deadlift schedule worked fine! I score my PR in the competition after this cycle. Enrico did a great job ad I finally felt the WS spirit: using and managing over-maximal loadings. A board press with 165Kg, 30Kg over my raw 135 PR in bench press raised the bench to 140Kg after the cycle, and then to 145Kg. Lifting over-maximal to increase the maximal lift.

Well, in this first cycle I had a crazy idea to improve my best lift in the chin ups. I work hard in chin ups, very hard. For years! My best lift was a rep with an overloading of 70Kg in 2004, after a long Sheiko-style cycle (more, I used reaching the failure every set… my God!): hundreds of reps, tons of iron lifted. 70Kg of best ever and a painful epicondylitis. So painful that I cannot lift up my daughter of 5 years old and 17Kg of bodyweight without screaming…

At the beginning of the cycle I tested my 1RM: 60Kg of overloading @ 78Kg of bodyweight. Ok, not so bad! I trained the chin ups in the bench press session, splitting the 6 weeks into 3+3 weeks:

ME Sessions
3 weeks of close grip chin ups
3 weeks of medium grip chin ups (?competition? chin ups)

The goal of the ME session is to became stronger, but also to ?feel? the iron, to avoid the fear of failing. Close grip chin ups are useful because of the low mental stress they require to be done. Like deadlift on the box or box squat, not working on the competition lift is a better way to train.

ME is a key point: a lack of strength? and you fail the lift at the top, when you have to squeeze your lats and your biceps.

DE Sessions
The goal of DE Session is to acquire the ability of generate a high rate of force development (RFD) and to sustain it for a not-so-short range of time.

My idea is: like going up from the ?hole? of the squat as quick as I can, I have to fire up my body from the bottom toward the top of the lift. Only in this way I can pass the ?dead angle? when the arms are parallel to the ground. Like Iron Mainden?s song, ?be quick or be dead?. So, I have to learn how to explode with my lats from the bottom position. I have to be dynamic, so I must train in DE-mode :wink:

Setting the load was a problem because in the chin ups we have to lift the iron AND our own body weight?

I suppose that not the whole bodyweight is lifted but about 90%. I suppose that I was so strong to reach the goal of 75Kg overloading. (?Ok, Paolo, you?re the best lifter in the town!? This was true because I was the only lifter in my little town)

So, solving these incredible equations, I obtained:

( 78Kg bodyweight x 90% + 75Kg overloading ) * 60% = 16.9Kg
( 78Kg bodyweight x 90% + 75Kg overloading ) * 65% = 24.2Kg
( 78Kg bodyweight x 90% + 75Kg overloading ) * 60% = 31.4Kg

And the final results, rounding the values?

60% = 15Kg
65% = 25Kg
70% = 30Kg

I?ve setted the DE loads according to these values, maybe not so scientific but useful.

For the first 3 week I tried ?elastic chin ups?: I use my PL belt, a heavy barbell and a tera-band. With “trials and errors” I measured a zero force at the bottom and about 20Kg at the top. A very interesting exercise, in my opinion. A dynamic start, then is very difficult closing the lift. I would appear very strange to my wife and my daughter, but they know that ?daddy is crazy?

I tried a classic set of 3 reps like a DE of bench press, but 2 is better in my opinion, less stress. I used 3 or 4 different grips.

So, ME to ?feel? the load, DE to ?feel? the speed. You fail the lift at the top because you are weak, you fail the lift at the bottom because you are slow.

I wouldn?t make the fool mistake of past years: doing only a kind of chin ups. It was too painful, and only an idiot loves pain? without gain! In assistance works I tried many exercises, always in a lot of set of low reps. Changing rotating, varying the assistance exercises was a key point! So in assistance work I did also pull ups

Some strange exercises I?ve done:
Rings chin ups: you must build a couple of rings like gymnastic rings (some straps, some chains, some metal tubes? very low tech and inexpensive). An unstable kind of chin ups
Parallel chin ups: try to use the dip station in your gym
Chin up with deadlift grip: one hand ?face up?, the other ?face down?, alternate each set.

I didn’t plan a schedule for assistance work. Assistance work is the relaxing part of the sessions. First the job with DE/ME, then the fun. I like training with 1’ rest, many iron plates, many sets of few reps (max 4). I.e. sets like these: 3-2-2-1-1-1-1-1-2-2-3-3-3 going up and down with kilograms. Amazingly, I became stronger in all of these exercises, and an overloading of 40Kg was quite usual!

And now some videos! I’m sorry for the low quality, but these are training video, to be seen to find errors, not to certify a record.
Well, at last, I hit the goal of 75Kg in the ME session of 5? week! I failed 80Kg the next week. Fuck… 80Kg… 4x20Kg… But after all 75Kg is a nice result, isn’t it? I increase my PR of 5Kg and my annual PR of 15Kg

This is the video, I’m sorry, you have to see me first doing a 10cm board press (by the way, you can see me alone failing a lift at 165Kg): http://video.google.it/videoplay?docid=-2923393848064185910&hl=it

I hit 65Kg of close grip chin-ups, best ever. This is the video: http://video.google.it/videoplay?docid=-6377996597717992470&hl=it

I increase my 6RM of 5Kg, from 6x45Kg to 6x50Kg, This is the video: http://video.google.it/videoplay?docid=8212376174817620615&hl=it

I think that adding 5Kg (+7%) over a 1RM of 70Kg in only 5 weeks is huge. Honestly I think that I surely could lift 77Kg of overloading, 10%, a nice number. But 7Kg is a foo-foo number. 5Kg, 10Kg are rights, not 7Kg… :wink:

I’ve never felt pain, never. I trained myself in a “fun way”, every session. I hit the goal.

So, Westside rulez! Because Westside works not only for powerlifting.

Finally, something about me:

I train myself alone, at home or in my garage. Madness. This is a video of my PR in deadlift on the box (I on a box 22cm high: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K5mXWDFstY

My daughter see me in this way: http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=elenapr2.jpg
This is my squat PR: http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=istantaneavideo3kg8.png
And this is my deadlift PR: http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=20x30stacco270zv6.jpg

This is my blog www.dangerousfitness.fituncensored.com

Thank you for pay attention to me!!!

Neat stuff Paolo,

Never heard of someone trying the Westide methods on Chin ups. Pretty impressive results though. Keep up the good work.


Thank you Barry!

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[quote]Mick28 wrote:
Nice job enjoyed reading about it.[/quote]

NO kidding. Technical, yet sensible. Nice application of therory testing.

Many thanks to all you that have read!

It’s a big satisfaction for me that you think my idea is good, 'cause T-Nation it’s mighty for me that read (always) and write (never) from Italy