Weighted Climbers' Chins

Ready to seriously build your grip and wrist strength? Have a go at these.

Weighted climber chins
Weighted climber chins.
How would you like to improve your grip, forearm size/strength and have a pair of steel talons hanging from your hands? Well within this article I'm going to explain how to gain these attributes and more. Many strength athletes know the value and importance of performing Chin ups and Pull ups. Both of these exercises are an absolute must if you want to gain SIZE and STRENGTH. The thing about these two exercises is that they are not easy and many athletes are lucky if they can perform just 1 repetition let alone more.
This is why many people favor sitting down on the universal machine and perform rep after rep of Lat Pulldowns. Now I have nothing against the Lat Pulldown and all it's variations. I just feel that it is not even on the same planet when it compares to the benefits you get from doing a chin up or pull up. It will definitely separate the STUDS from the DUDS. Thus one more reason why many men will choose the machines over the chin up bar. BUT.................If you get the courage up to learn how to do a chin up or pull up and you start performing them in your workouts you will be more than satisfied with the results. Once and only once you can perform 20 dead hang chins/pulls will you be ready to move on the an exercise that is sure to blow your mind and your hands all at the same time. This exercise is often called the Climber Chin-up or the 1 Finger Chin-up. It is a very advanced exercise and in my opinion is only for the Elite strength athlete. To perform the exercise I suggest you use chalk or grip-rite [a liquid like glue that you rub in your hands].
  1. After applying chalk to your hands get up on to the chin up bar, now when I do these I use a power rack. The reason why is so that I can get my feet placed on the pins for balance. This is only so I can get a real good grip with my MIDDLE FINGER.
  2. I bend my middle finger in the shape of a hook and wrap it as tightly as I can around the bar.
  3. I do this with both hands.
  4. Once I feel I am in a good position and have a real good bite on that bar I let my feet down off the pins and hang completely straight from the bar. NO SANDBAGGING, HALF REP STUFF. FULL EXTENSION.
  5. Now I pull up with everything I have and bring my chin up over the bar. This is very, very difficult and puts an enormous amount of pull and pain on your middle finger.
  6. Be very careful and perform as many repetitions as you can.

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Once you can perform 12 repetitions in this style of chin up you can try adding weight to your waist with a dipping belt.

This will only increase your grip and tendon strength to even higher levels.

A word of caution: As I said before this is an enormous amount of force being applied to the finger so please be careful and pay attention to your body and its capabilities and limits.

So how do you start implementing this chin up into your routine?
Again in my opinion once you can do 20 full repetitions of regular chins then give this a shot. If I were training you I would have you start off with some static holds in the rack or on the chin-up bar.

To do this chalk up your hand and finger real good [again I like the middle finger] and just let your body fully hang from just your finger around the bar.

This will help you get used to having a big weight being supported from just the finger.

If you cannot handle your full weight just yet then you can place a bench under the bar and stand on the bench.

Now with your finger in position just bend your knees and let your finger feel the weight.

Once you start to feel confident in this position take 1 leg away and hang, then try both legs off the bench to a full hang.

Once you can complete full repetitions in this exercise be prepared for big gains in your forearm and grip strength. Your tendons in your wrists will literally look like steel cables and you will feel so much stronger. It is an amazing exercise and one that I highly attribute to helping me in not only my feats of strength but my overall strength as well.

In the video I have provided I demonstrate the finger chins with my bodyweight of 208# and with a 45# plate added to my waist via a dip belt. I hope this piece encourages you to get off the Lat machine and up on the bar. Once you can perform on the bar and master your bodyweight you will be well on your way to being a BONA-FIDE STRENGTH STUD!

Keep the Faith,

Mike 'The Machine' Bruce

Mike 'The Machine' Bruce

Mike 'The Machine' Bruce is a professional performing Strongman and motivational speaker. Find out more over at his online home.

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