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Jan 16, 2011

The chinup plan for every man

It's a fitness fl aw you see all around: A guy wants to do chinups, but since he can't perfect it, he becomes embarrassed, lazy or just thinks, "What's the point?" So he never improves at chinups, and as a result abandons them forever.

The fact is, the fittest men do chinups. This exercise is one of the best ways to build your back and biceps, and it's a true test of both upper-body strength and endurance. But you probably already know all of that.

So here's a chinup plan that you should include in your routine-no matter if you can't manage a single one or simply want to break out of your rut.

I can manage one chinup
Start with this three-exercise workout. You'll need a fl ex band, a chinup bar, and a lat pulldown machine. Follow it for eight weeks, and then move on to the next level. If you don't have access to all the equipment, improve quickly by doing Exercise 2.

Exercise 1 Band-assisted chinup
You will be able to do full chinups after this exercise.

Directions: Loop one end of the band around a chinup bar and then pull it through the other end of the band, cinching it tightly to the bar. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip, place your knees in the loop of the band, and hang at arm's length.

That's the starting position. Now perform a chinup. Do two sets of six repetitions, resting 60 seconds between sets.

Exercixe 2  Negative chinup
Perform only the lowering portion of the chinup as they lead to greatest strength gains.

 Place a bench under a pullup bar and use it to boost your body so that the top of your chest is at bar level. Then take as long as you can to lower your body until your arms are straight. A key requirement: Try to lower yourself at the same rate from start to finish.

Do two sets, resting 60 seconds between them. When you're able to take 30 seconds to lower your body, or your combined lowering time for both sets is 45 seconds, add a third set. If you complete a 30-second negative chinup, you can probably perform one full chinup.

Exercise 3  Explosive lat pulldown

To do this exercise, you'll need to perform each repetition quickly in order to train your fast-twitch muscles.

Directions: Grab a lat pulldown bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip, position yourself on your knees in front of it, your body forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Keep arms completely straight. Without moving your torso, pull the bar down to your chest as fast as possible, and then allow the bar to quickly raise back to the starting position in a controlled manner. That's one re

Choose the heaviest weight that allows you to complete four reps. Do 10 sets of two reps each, resting 60 seconds between each set. Each week, shorten your rest periods between sets by 15 seconds. In week five, do a single set of as many repetitions as you can- eight or 10. In week six, start the process over again.

I do at least two chinups
It's time to upgrade your routine. Your best option is a method called diminished-rest interval training. Instead of trying to do more repetitions, you will focus on reducing your rest periods between sets. Eventually, you'll eliminate the rest altogether-and as a result you will be able to do more reps continuously.

Directions: Simply take the number of chinups you can complete with perfect form and divide that number in half. That's the number of repetitions you'll do each set. So if you can do two chinups, you'll do one-repetition sets. If you can do five chinups, you'll do three repetition sets. (Round up any fractions.) Once you've determined your repetition range, complete three sets with 60 seconds of rest between each. Do this workout twice a week, spacing the sessions at least three days apart. Each week, reduce your rest period by 15 seconds. Once your rest period is zero, start the process over and add an additional set to each workout.

I can do 10 chinups
Build pure strength by adding more weight and doing fewer reps instead of sticking to the usual three sets of 10 reps. You'll automatically increase reps you can complete with just your body weight.

Set  12345
Week 1  
Week 2 
Week 3 
Week 4 
Directions: To perform this workout, you'll need a dip belt. This strap goes around your waist, and you attach a weight plate to it. Now do the workout below. As the number of reps you perform decreases, the amount of weight you use should increase. Do each workout three times a week; rest 60 seconds between each set.

Start the process over from Week 5 onwards. However, increase the weight to your current strength level.

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