I really admire the picture of you doing a chin-up. I would love to be able to do them, even just one! How do you begin to get good at pull-ups/chin-ups? I am 49-year-old female and want to be able to do them before I turn 50 in 2 months to show off for my husband who is a retired police officer with a beer gut! I do body pump classes and drop in to FFG’s spin class periodically, but do not spend any time on my own in the weight room.
Any tips would be helpful!
1. I would start by incorporating band assisted pull-ups or machine assisted chin-ups into your program. In one workout, perform about 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions, taking a 60-90 second rest between each set. When this addition begins to get easier for you, it is time to move on to step 2.
2. Move over to the chin-up or pull-up bar, and begin to do “negative” movements: Jump up to the top position of a chin-up and go down as slowly as you can; this is called the eccentric phase. Jump up and repeat. Perform 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions with 90 seconds rest in between each set. After you get really good at these eccentric chin-ups, move on to step 3.
3. Do a damn chin-up. Just do it. Pull yourself up and then let yourself down: no jumping, no falling quickly in the eccentric phase. Do it in a controlled manner. JUST ONE. Then rest and do another one. Eventually you will be doing them all in a row.
Whenever you see a chin-up bar, do some. Then add sets of chin-ups into your “pull” days, or on the days when you train back. Of course, you can always hire me to put you on a push/pull split routine, if this interests you (Yes I just plugged my Personal Training services!). The more times you do assisted or negative chin-ups during the week, the better and stronger you’ll get, moving toward your goal of doing a full chin-up. Then you can get really bad ass by doing them on the Olympic rings! Incorporate the tips above and see how many you can do after a month.
Go on now….get it!
Deanna Harder: Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer), and Figure Competitor