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Making improvements in an exercise

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  • Making improvements in an exercise

    One of my goals is to improve my chin-ups ability. I can barely do one now with good form and unassisted. I have read of several articles that have varied advice on how to accomplish this.

    One method I have read of is to do lots of sets of very low reps unassisted to reach a target number, usually either 20 or 50.

    A second method is to use the assist machines and do normal sets of 10-12 lowering the weight assisting as the exercise becomes easier.

    It seems to me like the assisted version could cause a problem when you try to switch to unassisted reps later because the support not only would assist you, but also alter your body position throughout the movement.

    But at the same time - how do you get better at other lifts? You start light and increase the resistance as you go.

    Does anyone have any insight that would be helpful in achieving my goals, anecdotal or not.


  • #2
    This is primarily a two-part approach: you need to develop your upper body pulling musculature: back and biceps strength; the other part of this equation lies within gravity itself - the more you weight, the stronger you will have to be to meet your repititions goal.

    If this is for a military PT test, some people find underhand pull ups easier than wide-grip overhand... and vice-versa...
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    • #3
      Ok D,
      Both of those Methods will work! But from Personel experince, Marine Corps PFT prep, the fastest way to improve pull-ups is 5 times a day do a max set of pull-ups. Some people are going to say this is over-training but I can attest to this Method because I was forced to use it and it worked. For the first 4 years I was in the Marine Corps I could never do more than 5 Pull-ups (under or over hand) then I came into a unit of PT-Studs (you Know all Perfect scoring PFT'ers) and they made me get on a pull up bar 5 times a day! You know, I thank those guys twice a year when at 27 years old I still run a damn near perfect PFT!!!!!


      • #4
        Both work but there is another option that can help as well, rack pull ups. Position yourself in a rack or smith with the bar just below chest height, and position a bench in front of you, about the length of your legs. Place your legs on the bench and bend at the waist so that at the top of your pull you are just about at a right angle. Perform your pullups. As this gets easier you can have weight added to your lap to build strenght.