Chin-up challenge

I don’t expect anyone to be daft enough to want to take on a challenge like this but my aim is to be able to do 10 proper chin-ups – starting with straight arms. At present I cannot do any, other than by starting with elbows at 90° – and they don’t count.

The purpose of this post is for my records and to commit myself to the challenge – there’s nothing like the prospect of public failure as a spur onwards.

At least with the recent 100 push-up challenge I could do some to start with, so it was mostly just a matter of doing many more (I did over 3000 during the 6 week programme). When you can’t do one chin-up or pull-up it feels a bit harder to start in the first place.

I’m sure there are plans and programmes available but I’m going to make up my own this time. The gym has a ‘gravitron’ type of machine designed for pull-ups and featuring a platform with the ability to take some of your body weight – it’s the obvious one to use but I’ve never liked it faces straight into an adjacent wall and it’s possible to hit your head on a beam running above.

I hope I get over that, but in case I don’t, or it breaks (and for some variety) I will …

  • do bicep curls with dumbbells – I assume that much (but by no means all) of the challenge is about the biceps and at least I can do these at home
  • use the gym’s Smith machine (the squat and bench press machine): using the bar that carries the weights as a pull-up bar, begin in the final position of chin above the bar, holding that for a count of 30 and then slowly lowering until arms are straight
  • use the Smith machine, setting the bar low, lying underneath it and using it to pull up until the chest is up to the bar, keeping the body straight and pivoting on the heels (the higher the bar, the easier the exercise)
  • use the Smith machine, doing what chin-ups are possible starting with bent elbows and gradually trying to reduce the starting bend.

3 thoughts on “Chin-up challenge

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