The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: Pull-ups/Chins

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  1. #1
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    Pull-ups/Chins

    Do you think they're needed to gain size? I don't really have anywhere to do them. I bought a bar to put on my door, but it's far too low. Even if i bend my knee's, it just doesnt feel right..

    Should I be doing something else that gives the same type of results?

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  3. #2
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    Are you a member of a gym? I dont like doorway chin bars because you have to keep a narrow grip. The narrower your grip, the more your biceps and forearms are used.

    Chings arn't NECESSARY to gain size, but they are very beneficial. One of my problems right now is my lats are very weak in vertical pulling movements (chins, pulldowns) and my back isn't growing very well. They are a pain the ass to get accostomed to, but once you develop the strength to do chins with strict form and begin adding weight for weighed chins, your back will certainly benefit. It's also a good way to stimulate the biceps.

    Chins never feel 'right' when you first start them, but if doorway chins are all you have access to, I'd reccomend still doing them. Try to use a grip so your palms are facing away from your body for the best emphasis on the lats and really focus on driving the elbows down and not using the biceps.

  4. #3
    Anabolic Answer BUFF STUFF's Avatar
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    Yup Chins are the best exercise for your lats, that is unless your doing it in a door way.
    BUT if thats all you got then it still should be the best for your lats.

    You could do bent over rows, or a weighted rowing machine instead. However I would do all

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  5. #4
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    no, i'm not a memeber of a gym. So bent over rows? I was going to do them anyway. Any others?

    Thanks

  6. #5
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    I can't do chinups for ****. I am pretty well rounded with every other excercise, but just cannot seem to do more than 2 chinups at a time.

  7. #6
    Senior Member ebon00's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NotSoBig
    I can't do chinups for ****. I am pretty well rounded with every other excercise, but just cannot seem to do more than 2 chinups at a time.
    That's because chins is a motherf***er of an exercise. But, the hardest exercises are the best. Look at deadlifts and squats, they'll kill you but you'll grow if you do them. Stick with chins even if you can only get 2, just do a few extra sets. Even if you can only do them in a doorway, do them. They are worth it.
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  8. #7
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    Chins and bent rows will stimulate different parts of the back so I wouldn't go as far as saying chins are THE best movement for the lats. It's best to include a pulldown and row movement in your back routine because of this.

    If you struggle with chins, either use an assisted chin machine or get somebody to spot you. By just having them take 10 pounds off your weight you might be able to crank out several more reps after failure on your own. Gradually you'll get stronger and be able to go longer without the spot, and once you reach 12 or so chins on your own, it's time to add some weight by attaching plates or dumbells to a dip belt. PROGRESSION is the name of the game.
    Last edited by GIS; 01-31-2003 at 02:18 AM.

  9. #8
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    Well I was going to do squats and deadlifts anyway.. What about specific back exercises besides bent over rows?

  10. #9
    chronic overtrainer
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    Chins and rows and deadlifts. Are there other exercises for back? j/k
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  11. #10
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    Originally posted by Common
    Well I was going to do squats and deadlifts anyway.. What about specific back exercises besides bent over rows?
    That should be all you really need. Shrugs can be considered a back exercise, but they will isolate the traps and nothing more.

    Also, there are different variation of rows. Seated cable rows, high rows, low rows, etc. Most of these involve specific machines, as do most other back exercises.

    I would classify squats as being a back exercise.

    Like any muscle group, there are only a certain number of exercises you can do. Rows, deads, and chins should certainly be the stable of your back routine.

  12. #11
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    Originally posted by GIS
    I dont like doorway chin bars because you have to keep a narrow grip. The narrower your grip, the more your biceps and forearms are used.

    I agree with all of the stuff you said except this. Narrowing your grip only increases your range of motion. It doesn't increase your bicep involvement as long as you know how to pull the weight. The only thing it may do is put your upper arm in a position where it has more leverage, allowing your back to reach failure before your biceps do.
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  13. #12
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    Originally posted by gino


    I agree with all of the stuff you said except this. Narrowing your grip only increases your range of motion. It doesn't increase your bicep involvement as long as you know how to pull the weight. The only thing it may do is put your upper arm in a position where it has more leverage, allowing your back to reach failure before your biceps do.
    Yes, I don't agree with what I said either. Is what I meant is it's easier to cheat by involving the biceps and forearms with a narrow grip. In the later reps of a set doing narrow grip it becomes inceasingly difficult to not cheat- moreso with narrow grip than wise from my experience.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Gavan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sweet-physique
    Chins and rows and deadlifts. Are there other exercises for back? j/k
    Bent Arms Pullover (and straight arms pullover)
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  15. #14
    chronic overtrainer
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    Originally posted by Gavan


    Bent Arms Pullover (and straight arms pullover)


    Gavan,
    I like this exercise too using a heavy bumbell across the bench. I guess my sarcasm key isn't working today. I just meant that chins, rows, and deads are the best exercises for back.

    IMO pullovers are a nice adjunct exercise and I certainly feel a stretch in my lats, but I'm not convinced its an exercise essential to back growth.

    Anyone else have a thought on this?

    Then again Arnold thought they expanded the rib cage, worked the serratus, and he used them as a chest exercise. I feel them in my lats, shoulder, chest and tris the next day, but do them with back Who the hello knows. Any thoughts?
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  16. #15
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    Originally posted by sweet-physique
    Then again Arnold thought they expanded the rib cage
    Hehe, I laughed when I read this in the encyclopedia of bodybuilding. Expanding the rib cage? I doubt that happens.

    In my opinion, pullovers are not going to be a very effective exercise for the lats unless it's with a pullover machine. Laying pullovers integrate too many stabalizing muscles and the range of motion tends to be limited. Standing straight arm pulldowns are a little better, but they still call upon quite a few muscles for stabalization and arn't the best mass movement for the back.

    The range of motion with a pullover machine usually starts with the arms above the head and you pull them down to your sides. This would be an effective movement, but chins, deads, and different row variations should still be the focus of your workout as they are the best for mass in my experience.
    Last edited by GIS; 01-31-2003 at 02:48 PM.

  17. #16
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    Originally posted by GIS


    Hehe, I laughed when I read this in the encyclopedia of bodybuilding. Expanding the rib cage? I doubt that happens.


    It does though. The actual rib cage itself (the bone) may not grow, but the surrounding tissue can benefit. There are a number of people who have noticed increased rib cage size from doing pullovers. I am one of them. On a related note why do you consider squats to be a back exercise? They work the legs harder than the back...or should if they are done properly.

  18. #17
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    Originally posted by ExtremeAnabolic



    It does though. The actual rib cage itself (the bone) may not grow, but the surrounding tissue can benefit. There are a number of people who have noticed increased rib cage size from doing pullovers. I am one of them. On a related note why do you consider squats to be a back exercise? They work the legs harder than the back...or should if they are done properly.
    By tissue do you mean muscle or the cartelage? Pullovers incorporate the serratus which may 'expand' the rib cage in the sense that you widen, but I'd like to see scientific evidence of the rib cage expanding somehow. Cartelage does not grow in any way so I don't understand how it can happen. Don't get me wrong... I'm not trying to denouce what you've said. I'm merely curious as to how your rib cage has expanded and any phisiology involved.

    As for the squat comment... hehe... well, I sort of forgot the crucial "n't" after the could. My mistake... squats are NOT a back exercise. Hope that clears up some confusion. I was making the comment in reference to somebody who DID say to do squats for the back.

  19. #18
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    i am forced to do chins/pull ups btw my door also and its a bitch cuz progress is slow. i am un able to extend my elbows laterally.
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  20. #19
    Senior Member Manveet's Avatar
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    I haven't done chins in a long time, I'm gonna do them tonight
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  21. #20
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    Originally posted by GIS


    By tissue do you mean muscle or the cartelage? Pullovers incorporate the serratus which may 'expand' the rib cage in the sense that you widen, but I'd like to see scientific evidence of the rib cage expanding somehow. Cartelage does not grow in any way so I don't understand how it can happen. Don't get me wrong... I'm not trying to denouce what you've said. I'm merely curious as to how your rib cage has expanded and any phisiology involved.




    Well...there are two schools of thought on this subject. The old school claims the cartilage connecting the rib cage itself and to the sternum is made of a slightly different kind of cartilage. It is apparently more pliable (especially when you are young) and can be stretched somewhat. The newer school says the expansion is caused by the tissue (muscle tissue) in the area of the rib cage. I adhere to this newer theory. When I was younger I did heavy pullovers preceeded by breathing squats and eventually ended up with a three inch gain in the area of the rib cage. I measured under the pectorals so as not to throw off the measurement due to any size gain in the pecs.

  22. #21
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    If you can only do 2 chin at time, do 2 until you reach a set number. When I first started doing chins I did them by themselves, before my wo, then took break before my regular back wo. I used to do 50 reps which is probably a bit much, then I started doing 21 reps. In 1 or 2 months you'll be doing regular sets.
    As far as the rib cage thing, not sure. I never did them myself, so it is hard to say yes or no. I think Arnold was an accomplished bodybuilder and shouldn't be discredit without some thought.

  23. #22
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I dont think that chin-ups or pull-ups are necessary to gain size at all. I mean they maybe helpful in terms of back development, but even theyre not a NECESSITY. I have been training without chins for about a month now and havnt noticed a decrease in back development, etc. My back work has consisted of chest-supported rows, and DB pullovers. Back seems to be developing nicely.

  24. #23
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    Originally posted by MonStar
    I dont think that chin-ups or pull-ups are necessary to gain size at all. I mean they maybe helpful in terms of back development, but even theyre not a NECESSITY. I have been training without chins for about a month now and havnt noticed a decrease in back development, etc. My back work has consisted of chest-supported rows, and DB pullovers. Back seems to be developing nicely.
    i see where your coming from mike but the pull-up/chins use a decent weight bearing thus recruiting more muscle fibres in the movement than say a bb row/curl (excluding u monstar ) So i would give chins an approved backing (no pun intended)

    I found negatives to be a real help, do them nice and slow 6-10secs per negative portion and you will definately adapt over time, there is a good article in this months muscle and fitness magazine on negative training.

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  25. #24
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I dont doubt that theyre a good exercise. I just think its definitely possible to build and excellent set of lats without them thats all.

  26. #25
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    Originally posted by MonStar
    I dont doubt that theyre a good exercise. I just think its definitely possible to build and excellent set of lats without them thats all.
    Hey, i aint knocking ya mike. Sure you can build an excellent back without, bb rows, deadlifts, cable rows are probably better back builders.

    But chins/pulls do provide and reap great benefits if carried out in a routine, as arm strength can help the back out, when in for the long haul.

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