westside ME chin ups?

I posted this question to joe defranco but i wanted to see what everybody else though. “in a previous post you said that if you had the choice to do only one exercise for upper body you would choose chin ups. following a sort of westside template, how would you change a ME/DE bench day into a ME/DE chin up day”.
for example:
just as board presses, floor presses, dumbbell high reps on a stability ball, and incline press, are all ME exercises for bench, what would be an ME for chins? (negative chins, partial range of motion chins?).
just as with westside you choose triceps exercises to boost your bench (rack lockouts, nosers with DB or BB, JM press) what would you choose for chins? would it be specific biceps and grip work instead of two triceps exercises?
ME chin ups

  1. partial range of motion chins
    work up to a 3-5 rep max, cycle in a new ME exercise every one to three weeks.
  2. barbell curls 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. grip work (plate holds for time) 3 sets, change exercise every three weeks.
  4. db bench (incline, flat, overhead)
    3-5 sets of 8-12 reps change every 3 weeks.
  5. rear delt work 3 sets of 10 reps.

does this sound like it would work

The question is “Why do you want to do this”…without knowing your pourpouse it would be hard to tell you this is a good idea…for example -if your a powerlifter this is a terribile idea but if your looking to use this to build a big back than it should ok…bm

big martin-i was thinking more along the lines to sports where pulling is more important then pushing, so no, powerlifting would not fit. but how about wrestling and rock climbers. or guys who just want to do more chins but are not satisfied with some of the other posters suggestions. i think it would work well. joe d and cressey gave cool responses to my question on joe’s forum. also i am a personal trainer and on one of joes other posts somebody asked him if he had only one exercise to do for the lower body and only one for the upper body he would choose chins and squats. so from a training standpoint this could work well for me in planning out routines for clients to maximize their results if they have limited workout time available. my reasoning is if i can take a weak person and make them better at chins and squats, it will have a positive effect on their “functional fitness” and therefore i make more money.


I would strongly suggest that if you are going to focus on Chins that you make sure it is balanced with a good pressing movement such as standing Barbell, or Dumbbell Presses. This is for shoulder balance and health.

One thing to realize about modifying the Westside template for other sports (i.e. wrestling, climbing, etc.) is that with Westside their sport is the lifts. They use variations of bench press and exercises that work the bench press muscles to prepare for pulling off a big bench on meet day.

If you are using the WSB template but the ultimate goal of your sport doesn?t concern the particular lifts you are using in workouts, I personally don’t think that much variety is required.

What I mean is that if chin-ups are the exercise of choice, why not just do weighted chins on max effort day (working up to heavy singles and doubles) and then non-weighted repetition chinups on the Rep Day?

You could certainly work other key areas as assistance work such as grip work, but it seems to me like barbell curls would be a waste of time if you are doing chin ups, especially if you do them weighted.

CT had a good chin-up article in t-mag a while back and it had different variations of chins and grip work to build up the muscles needed for chinning. You might want to look at archives and check it out.