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Started By andyr (los alamitos, ca, U.S.A.)
Started on: 7/24/2013 9:50:16 AM, viewed 1322 times
One armed chins

I was fascinated with the Arthur jones post several days ago, and with him and Mentzers intelligence most of us here have benefitted practically for free.
In the article jones spoke of one armed chins....I don′t even know if I could do even one!
But I want to try them out nonetheless. Would I then just do negatives until I′m able to perform positive reps. I mean how would you go about it? Regular palms up chins are great, but I′d like to explore some options and see what results can be achieved

This Topic has 3 Replies: Displaying 1 - 3 out of 3 Replies:
Simon (Cambridge, England, UK) on 8/4/2013 7:53:59 PM

I′ve been training one-arm negatives for about 13-14 months. A one-arm chin from a dead hang is a serious accomplishment that could take years to get. Not all one-arm chins are equal. When you actually see them done, many are not the real deal since they′re from arms slightly bent or from feet on the floor.

I′ve pretty much improved every workout. I haven′t trained very frequently, and the volume has been very low. I′ve begun to focus on those parts of the rep where I′m weakest. I′ve never done sets of several assisted full range reps. And why would you do sets when you′re training for something you can′t even do once? Doing sets just means repeating something you can already do, thus training strength endurance, not the maximal strength of a one-arm chin up- and using up recovery ability. As soon as you can do something once, find a way to make that thing harder- usual HIT logic. One or two slow negatives and/or several statics/negatives in your weakest range is enough I′ve found. You′ll spare resources for recovery, and you′ll need quite a bit of that, since you′ll be giving the body something new to adapt to every workout (and negatives cause the most microtrauma).

Most people seem to train the movement several times a week. Their enthusiasm would be better placed doing more intense reps instead of this "grease the groove" nonsense, which to me just sounds like an excuse not to work very hard. Or if they are working hard this frequently they are seriously short-circuiting the process.

The eye-opener for me came when for one reason or another I didn′t train the movement for 4 weeks. I had routinely been doing very slow negatives and had been pleased with my progress, but I hadn′t been able to prevent the acceleration downwards in the bottom 1/3 of the rep, experiencing an about-to-rip sensation in my lat (on both left and right reps) and being unable to control the twisting that takes over in that part of the rep. After 4 weeks rest (but doing other relatively infrequent training), I was able to slow my negative down even further and even lock it off for about 4 seconds in the 1/4 range (on both arms), and the ripping feeling had gone. I′m continuing to train the statics in that range as well as the dead hang. You′ll need to feel very light in the dead hang to have any chance of pulling out of the hole while still having enough left to complete a rep.

A neat little tip: To control the twisting in the dead hang, focus on driving the little finger as hard as you can into the bar. This is a great biceps exercise in and of itself, since you′re focussing on biceps supination. When you fail, you′ll twist back round towards a more pronated grip. I aim to maintain my body at about a 45 degree angle beneath the bar and am training to pull from this position. When I can explode out of the dead hang I′ll pull myself back in towards facing the bar by pulling my elbow in tight to the body. Keeping the elbow tight in is mandatory. The angle of the body beneath the bar at dead hang and while pulling is optional.

You might find that the lower half of the movement and the dead hang is where you′re strongest and so would need to focus on statics and lock-offs throughout the top half. First thing′s first though, for anyone: feel comfortable holding a static in the fully contracted position. I could manage a split second at first, but I improved quickly.

Good luck!

Simon (Cambridge, England, UK) on 8/4/2013 8:45:34 PM

Interesting to note that Arthur Jones′ pet gorilla could easily do one-arm chins! A lot of big muscular guys will say, well if I weighed 135... True, they are harder for heavier individuals (smaller creatures have higher pound-for-pound strength), but plenty of 200+ guys (one I read 280) have achieved the feat.

I too was motivated to train them after being made aware of what AJ had to say about them. No natural trainee should be thinking about genetic potential until he can do an easy double, in my opinion. That′s what I love about high-level bodyweight exercises. Since their difficulty is relative to the individual, achieving them is a good marker for individual muscular potential.

andyr (los alamitos, ca, U.S.A.) on 8/6/2013 10:35:23 AM

Thanks for the interesting response. you really got my attention at the "rip" or almost rip of lat.
But i haven′t even tried em yet, so next chin workout I′ll see.

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