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Struggling [ Chin-ups]

Lil_T

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My workouts have been steadily improving. 

My runtime is getting better/ faster/ farther, my situps are ahead of where they need to be, my push ups are coming right along.  And I have no qualms about the handgrip. 

The thing I'm having issues with is this whole chin ups thing.  I've been advised by a few people to work on them.  And I do.  Or at least I try.  At the gym I've been doing assisted chinups and recently dropped the counter weight.  My plan is to keep dropping the counter weight at regular intervals (every week and a half) by 10 lbs.  I'm having a hell of a time doing the unassisted chin ups.  Especially without any kind of swinging.  Any advice?  Am I going to fail BMQ if I can't do a chin up?  I can pull myself up ropes, and can climb like a freakin monkey, but these chin ups are a stumbling block.  What gives?  Is this a mental thing?  Is my plan with the assisted chinups a good one?   
 

The_Falcon

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Its a mental one, I mentioned these tricks in another thread (I found they worked faster than the pull/chin machine with the counter weights), 1) Just doing them unassisted, even if its ugly or you can only eek out one, doing this several times a day/week will help, 2) Negatives, after you get that one ugly one do several negatives, which is just the lowering portion, so stand on a stair, or jump up so you are above the bar and SLOWLY lower yourself down. 3)Jumping pull ups, self explanatory, 4)inverted rows watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfTTDsBwLkk gradually increasing the height of the bar until you are completely vertical.  Mix and match all of the preceding.
 

Lil_T

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yeah I can't even manage one unassisted without feeling like my arms have been set on fire.  I will keep trying though.  thanks for the tips.
 

EuroCanuck

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The lat pull down machine really helped me with my pull ups when I started. I did reps in the 8-10 range with it, which increased my pull ups 4 fold in less then a year. Try it~
 

Marinero2008

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Lat machine pull-downs with reversed grip and bicep dumbbell curls or with E-Z curl bar give good foundation for chin-ups.  :pushup:
 

armchair_throwaway

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I also found that doing Lat pull-down worked for me, as well as lowering my body weight in general. If by assisted pull ups you mean using the gravitron machine, you may also want to try Band Assisted pull-ups with good quality resistance bands like Jump Stretch or Iron Woody.

I've gone from zero to 2 pull ups and chin ups doing the above.
 

Lil_T

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I'm working on lowering my body weight a little... but I"m only 120 as it is.  Just trying to make more of that muscle  ;)
 

Boca

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You won't fail BMQ if you can do them - Unless the rules have changed since this time last year. It is recommended you be able to do them but you won't be tested on it. Towards the end of my training there were two circuit training sessions that included chin ups and only about half the people could do any - and we were allowed to swing all we wanted.  I'm not saying don't work on them, being able to do them would certainly help.  Good Luck.
 

Lil_T

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thanks for answering that little tidbit there.  I'm still going to work hard on them - but it's a little relieving to know I won't fail due to that.
 

missmague

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I know the feeling Lil T - I haven't been able to do a chin-up yet! I can do about five if I put one foot up on my couch - I don't use it to help me up just set it there (I have a chin-up bar at home) and it seems to help. I figure it will strengthen my arms and the muscles we need to do the chin-ups. I guess onlly time will tell.

Good Luck - let me know what works for you
 

Marinero2008

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Hey Lil_T, when I started training I could not lift my butt off the floor but after about 2 weeks I was able to squeeze 2, “by the book” chins. Two months later I would do 5. So, keep at it and you will get there. Like the say: Practice makes perfect!  :salute:
 

forza_milan

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According to http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/english/1_3_1_5.asp

Chin-Ups
Chin-ups are not part of your pre-enrollment evaluation. However, minimum objectives for chin-ups are included, because they are an important part of your Basic Training.

Hang from a chinning bar with the palms of your hands facing you (thumbs to the outside) and your arms fully extended. Without swinging your legs, pull up by bending your elbows until your chin is just above the bar, then lower yourself slowly to the starting position. Exhale as you pull up; inhale on the way back down. Perform this motion in a continuous manner, without resting between repetitions. Count one every time a chin-up is completed. Do not count any where swinging occurs.
 

missmague

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I don't know from experience, but I would not go into basic thinking that chin-ups are not tested solely based on that link. The link talks about the physical fitness being tested as part of the recruiting process however that is no longer the case. It is now tested (for regular applicants) at BMQ.

I am only at the CFAT stage of my application so I do not know what the correct answer is, but I wouldn't want anyone assuming that to be the case and get to BMQ not being able to meet the minimum standards because of this post.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Lil_T

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I found something that's helping me a bit.  Now, I still can't do a full chin up, but I'm getting closer.  I balance my knees on my balance ball and then pull myself up.  The bounciness of the ball gives a little boost (not a lot at all really) but I'm slowly inching my way up.
 

HeadLamp

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Have you thought of training with free weights? I'm far from an expert, but I would expect doing a good number of sets and reps with a weight you could actually handle would help you develop chin-up strength quicker. I've been doing dumbbell, preacher and hammer curls for a while now and have very little problem doing chin-ups whenever I come across a bar. Again not an expert opinion, just a personal one from my experience.
 

Lil_T

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Yep, that's part of my MWF routine.  Free weights, nautilus circuit, assisted chins, push ups, sit ups, roman chair.  Next week I'm adding squats to the mix - just for variety.  I also run on top of that.  TTh it's running and flexibility (yoga/pilates), plus at home work.
 

missmague

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I talked to the officer that interviewed me yesterday and he said that chin-ups do not form part of the fitness test - hope that eases your mind a bit  :D I know it did for me!!
 

Pea

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Chin-ups are not part of the Express Test, so no they aren't tested as part of your BMQ fitness test. However, they were a regular part of PT while I was there, so it's beneficial if you can do them for sure. (I'm still working up to doing a full chin-up, so I feel your pain. Just keep at it  :) )
 
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