Chin-Up Routine

Working up to the OAC.

Although I began my quest for the one-armed chin-up a while ago, a recent shoulder injury caused me to rethink my approach. Here's a look at the new-and-improved routine.

As I mentioned on the weekend, there were two sources of information - both recently received - that helped shape this. The first of these is the book Never Gymless by Ross Enamait; the second is an approach to the kettlebell SSST on the Dragon Door forums that Rif pointed to. With those two forming a solid foundation, and a few years' experience on my own response to various types of chin-ups, the following routine was born :


Week A :

Mon
Weighted chin-ups and pull-ups
Various grip widths, alternating sets between chin-ups and pull-ups
Moderate weight
Several low-rep (3-5) sets
Gradually increase number of sets over coming months
Gradually shorten length of rest breaks between sets

Wed
Bodyweight chin-ups and pull-ups
Various grip widths, alternating sets between chin-ups and pull-ups
A few high-rep (10+) sets
Light lat work (usually bent rows) between sets

Fri
Weighted chin-ups and pull-ups
Various grip widths, alternating sets between chin-ups and pull-ups
Moderate weight
Several low-rep (3-5) sets

Week B :

Tue
One-armed chin-up progressions

Thu
Bodyweight chin-ups and pull-ups
Various grip widths, alternating sets between chin-ups and pull-ups
A few high-rep (10+) sets
Light lat work (usually bent rows) between sets

Sat
One-armed chin-up progressions

Notes

The other days are for other aspects of training - only the chin-up training is listed here.

The one-armed chin-up progressions could easily take up their own article. Briefly, the two main techniques I'm using here are :

Assisted : there are many ways in which to do this, but the general idea is that one side of your body is doing most of the work, while the other side provides balance and just enough assistance to get your chin over the bar. My favoured technique is to place one hand on the bar, and the other on a rope hanging from it (as pictured). As the bar hand (and that side of the body in general) becomes stronger, the other hand holds the rope further and further down - eventually not using it at all.

Negatives : as with the standard two-handed chin-up, negatives simply involve using any means available to get your head over the bar (a chair, or two hands) and lowering yourself under control using one hand only. As strength increases over time, so will the controlled range.

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Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 36) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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