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Thread: need to improve chins and lats

  1. #1
    bone crusher
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    Lately i've been doing chins as the first exercise on back day. It seems though i have not really progressed though. I can do body weight (180-185 lbs) 8, 6,4 reps over 3 sets. I use a grip where the palms face each other. It feels like my biceps are failing out without really getting at my lats. I thought about dropping reps and trying to fail out at 4-6 on the 1st set. Right now though my lats can keep going so i've been adding a set or two of pulldowns.

    My goal is to be able to do weighted chins (i have a belt) and have this be one of my main progressing exercises. I would like to tear my lats to shreds each back day achieving maximal stimulation and growth.

    One thing i though of is i haven't been doing any direct bicep/tricep work for a while. Would this be a good reason to start? how should i fit it in?

    Right now i do (2-3 sets each exercise)
    day 1-squat, leg press, leg ext/curl
    day 2- rest
    day 3- db bench, incline, weighted dips
    day 4 - rest
    day 5 - chins (+pulldowns), rows, shrugs
    day 6 - rest
    day 7 - db OH press, front raise, lat raise
    day 8 rest


    many thanks!

  2. #2
    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    Use straps and a thumbless grip. It'll help you take your arms out of the movement.

  3. #3
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I agree, use straps and a thumbless grip. I also recommend that you skip the pulldowns right after the chins. I recommend that you do 2 sets of chins to failure, after the 1st set to failure, perform 2 negative reps (lowering very slowly). Then proceed to a rowing machine which supports the chest and do 2 more sets to failure (post warmup). Have a spotter help you perform 2 forced reps after the 1st set to failure here as well. Last, go back to the pulldown machine and do 1 set of curl-grip pulldowns to failure. Make sure you are eating sufficient calories, getting enough rest between sessions, and follow this routine for a little while and let me know if you make any progress.

  4. #4
    Rockin' the midlife crisis xraygirl's Avatar
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    hmmm...I know that this advice was not for me, but I like & I'm gonna have to try it anyway. Thanks!

    D.
    Last edited by xraygirl; 07-20-2001 at 10:58 PM.
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  5. #5
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    I laways thought I was weird for using the thumbless grip. I guess others agree.


    I personally prefer doing wide grip overhand chins. I feel them more in my lats than I do with the supinated grip.
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  6. #6
    Rockin' the midlife crisis xraygirl's Avatar
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    How about wide-grip seated rows? What's 'da concesus on those?

    D.
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  7. #7
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    I don't really care for them. I would rather use wide grip BB rows.


    For rows in general, I usually use a fairly close grip.
    Best Meet Lifts(Raw w/wraps):
    @165- 435 SQ 270 BE 560 DL.....1255 total
    @181- 535 SQ 300 BE 570 DL.....1400 total
    Best Meet Lifts(Multi-ply):
    @148- 575 SQ 315 BE 515 DL.....1400 total
    @165- 680 SQ 380 BE 540 DL.....1555 total
    @181- 700 SQ 375 BE 535 DL.....1605 total
    Best Gym Lifts(Raw w/wraps)
    545 SQ 305 BE 585 DL

  8. #8
    bone crusher
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    gyno and chris, thanks for the advice

    a couple more questions. Whan you say thumless grip, is that still using a curl-type grip? or palms facing away?

    What rep range should i aim to fail out at? Right now i am doing 6-8 but this almost feels like to many?

    also, would direct bicep work help, or should i not include this?

    many thanks!

  9. #9
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by the doc
    Lately i've been doing chins as the first exercise on back day. It seems though i have not really progressed though. I can do body weight (180-185 lbs) 8, 6,4 reps over 3 sets. I use a grip where the palms face each other. It feels like my biceps are failing out without really getting at my lats. I thought about dropping reps and trying to fail out at 4-6 on the 1st set. Right now though my lats can keep going so i've been adding a set or two of pulldowns.

    My goal is to be able to do weighted chins (i have a belt) and have this be one of my main progressing exercises. I would like to tear my lats to shreds each back day achieving maximal stimulation and growth.

    One thing i though of is i haven't been doing any direct bicep/tricep work for a while. Would this be a good reason to start? how should i fit it in?

    Right now i do (2-3 sets each exercise)
    day 1-squat, leg press, leg ext/curl
    day 2- rest
    day 3- db bench, incline, weighted dips
    day 4 - rest
    day 5 - chins (+pulldowns), rows, shrugs
    day 6 - rest
    day 7 - db OH press, front raise, lat raise
    day 8 rest


    many thanks!
    I agree with the advice about not using straps. Thumbless grip, I don't know about.

    What got my chin so high was just adding weight and doing them as heavy as possible.

    Next time, try adding 10 lbs or so and doing 4 or 5 sets of 3. If 10 feels light, try 15, but with the reps you noted, I think 10 will be fine.

    Another thing is to try and use a prone grip; some will disagree on that, but it targets the lats more directly that way.

    Alternate rep ranges each time you do them, as well. Say one session, do several triples as I noted, then the next time, do a lesser number for 6-8 reps with a lighter weight.

    As far as assistance work goes, anything that will strengthen the forearm, and in prone chins, the long head of the biceps, will be fine. Hammer curls and close-grip pulldowns with the palms facing each other immediately come to mind.

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  10. #10
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    Quick question.

    When you guys say thumbless grip, do you mean grabbing hold like you would with a tennis racquet, or hooking your thumbs over the top of the bar???

  11. #11
    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    Having all of your fingers on the same side of the bar. This will also build your forearm flexors like a mother****er.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for asking this question, doc. Lots of good stuff that I can use too.

    I'm *almost* up to body weight chins...need about 30 lbs. of assistance for my 150 lb. self to do 1-2 reps...I do my 6-8 rep sets with 40-50. Should I be doing negatives instead at this point?

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  13. #13
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Originally posted by IceRgrrl
    Should I be doing negatives instead at this point?
    I think so. Negatives did a hell of a lot for my pull-up strength.
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  14. #14
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    i think grip is more of a preference thing, but I always advise against using a thumbless grip for safety.

    I would also suggest that if you need straps, use them.

    Two suggestions:

    One I think Chris mentioned, is negatives. Do a couple of sets to positive failure, then do a set or two of pure negatives.

    Another is something that worked very well for me, do 50 reps, no matter how many sets it takes. Try to reduce the number of sets ecah workout.

    Lets say you do 8,6,5,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,3,2,2

    Next time, do 50 in 12 sets, the next week, do them in 11, and so on. Once you get up to 12-15 reps on your first set, drop the program and add weight.

    YMMV.

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    strange comment...

    Originally posted by Paul Stagg
    i think grip is more of a preference thing, but I always advise against using a thumbless grip for safety.

    I fight it hard to imagine what dangers are present when doing pull ups/downs with a thumbless grip.

  16. #16
    Wannabebig Member Chris V.'s Avatar
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    Re: strange comment...

    Originally posted by Shaggy


    I fight it hard to imagine what dangers are present when doing pull ups/downs with a thumbless grip.
    Yep Especially with 2 plates on
    To each own I guess

  17. #17
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    A thumbless grip isn't as good a grip.

    Seems pretty obvious to me what the ramifications would be.

    It isn't a big deal.

  18. #18
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    'specially if you have the plates swinging between your legs. Sh*t, when I've got a 45 2 inches below my nuts, the last thing I'd wanna do is risk losing my grip...
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  19. #19
    Lord Kel Masters Sayiajin Prince's Avatar
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    pronated grip, thumbs on, now quit wining and start pulling
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  20. #20
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    Chris: did you not say in previous posts that the position which allows you to use maximal force therfore is best for your back?

    Using a thumbless grip will de activate the biceps somewhat therfore allowing you to use less power.

    You always said to have the biceps in the best possible position for maximal power right?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    I noticed that as well, Ronan.

    I like Paul's 50 rep suggestion, that has worked well for me as well.

    Also, you might wanna try something like this:

    Try to get 20 reps (in however many sets it takes) with 2 minutes rest between sets then next week try 1:45 rest, then 1:30, then 1:15...and you get the idea. You keep doing this until you can do the full 20 with no rest.

  22. #22
    MulletII - AKA Ninja Boner Gyno Rhino's Avatar
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    Quit raggin' on Chris. I'm sure he thought it was understood that the trainee was to use a supinated, thumbless, strapped grip. Deactivating the biceps in a pullup would be great. Then the biceps wouldn't use as much power, having more in the tank, so to speak. Then you could bring your lats to failure. Putting your biceps in the strongest position is the best thing to do, but putting them in the strongest position and then making them an even stronger link is better. A thumbless grip would give more biceps less work to do, targeting the lats better. Personally, I like to use the pronated thumbless grip w/ straps. I feel this targets my lats the best, and my bis are NOT a weak point in that movement.

  23. #23
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Actually, using a thumbless grip does not cause any less use of the biceps, I am not quite sure where you all get that from. The purpose of the thumb on the hand is to provide an anchor for the hand during movements which require torque. Imagine trying to unscrew a cap which was tight without having a thumb, try it sometime. When we are weightlifting we are not trying to generate rotational force (torque) with the hands. For myself, I like the feel of a thumbless grip and have trained all back (upper back) exercises like that for years and years. There are no safety issues here, let's not get overly excited about weightlifting safety when we are discussing a thumbless grip on back exercises.
    The 50 rep thing is excessive in my book, no need to make the chin any different than the rest of your exercises. As far as your grip goes, without getting into the science of it, I suggest you use whatever is most comfortable for you.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Cackerot69's Avatar
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    LOL at Chris.

  25. #25
    Bespoke Super Mod
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    Try this doccoe

    Do as many strict chins as you can. Keep going till you can't pull up anymore and then hold that position as long as possible. When you can't "hang" any longer, slowly descend to the bottom position. Have a box or some other way to boost yourself up and jump up to the top position and do 3 negatives. To do these, slowly descend from the top position without squirming or any other animated mvmts. Don't do these chronically. A month would be the longest I'd advise if you are chinning once per week.
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