The Definitive How To Chin Up Guide

Introduction To The Chin Up

The chinup is a powerful upper body strength training exercise that will primarily work your upper back and biceps. Learn how to chin up with correct form.

Adding weights for increased tension, creates much greater strength development and muscle growth.

Instead of doing dozens of isolation exercises for upper back and biceps, just do heavy weighted chin ups. Save you tons of time and get much more return on investment in the long run.

Weighted chin ups provide all the benefits of a compound movement.
Creating strong, high density, long lasting muscle with ripped definition.

Unlike isolation exercises that build low density, bloated, pumped, short lasting muscle.

Chin-ups and Abs

When you will become advanced and have the strength to add 45lbs + of weight, you will notice your abs will be braced and engaged hard during the chin ups, which provides another extra total core workout that works abdominal area (upper, lower, sides) as one integral unit.

Weighted Chin-ups Develop Rock-Solid Abs

What About Beginners?
Weighted chin-ups are for people who can do 7 or more proper body weight chin-ups.

If you’re too weak to even perform a body weight chin-up, then get started with lat pulldowns.

And focus on achieving single digit body fat using intermittent fasting and increasing your overall strength using deadlifts, squats, bench pressing etc…

Which Muscles are Involved in the Chin-Up


  • Lats (largest muscle in the back)
  • Biceps


  • Elbow flexors
  • Forearms
  • Upper and lower traps
  • Rhomboids (Middle Back)
  • Rear neck
  • Rear delts


  • Triceps
  • Abdominals


Gear and Support Accessories


    • Dip belt – as you advance into heavy weights, I recommend to start using a leather dip belt because of the high tension created on hips (chains can be painful), I recommend the Polypro Dip Belt (just $27 bucks, comfortable and very strong). You will also be using this dip belt for your weighted dips and weighted pull-ups


  • Chalk – if your palms sweaty or still have weak grip or a combination of those, then it’s recommended to use chalk for grip strength. You don’t want to start focusing on trying to maintain your grip during your movement as it results in loss of strength and incomplete set.
  • Chains – great for beginners, usually most gyms have them lying around. If they get painful, just wrap a towel around your hips. (Or optimally, buy a dip belt, you will need it as you advance into heavy weights)
  • Gloves – don’t use gloves. They make your hand fatter and grip weaker. You will develop some calluses, but with time you will toughen up and won’t feel anything other than pure grip strength

How to Chin-Up With Proper Technique

  1. Setup
  2. Ascend
  3. Descend

#1 – Setup

  • Bar at reach – Make sure your chin-up bar is at reach when extending arms. You will not be able to jump when there are 100lbs weights hanging between your legs.  I use the power rack or squat smith machine for my weighted chin-ups (whichever is available).
  • Slightly narrower than shoulder width grip – This provides greatest range of motion, and greatest tension on biceps and back muscles.

#2 – Ascend

  • Avoid swinging – kicking with legs, pushing with hips and other lower body support movements should be avoided to achieve the full effect of the chin-up. A good trick is to bend your knees backwards and cross your legs. When you do this the core gets engaged, especially on weighted chin-ups.
  • Chin above bar – reach with your chin above bar, when you can’t, it means you’ve reached failure and you should end the set. Never do half reps, once you’ve done a half rep, call it a set and rest for 3 minutes for your next set.

#3 – Descend

  • Descend steady – don’t drop and release all tension, maintain tension and descend steady
  • Descend to dead-hang – Go all the way to the bottom where your arms are fully extended and straightened. That lowering back down is where a lot of people miss out of the full potential of chin-ups, leading to overstrained lats, tight pectorals, weak rhomboids, lower traps and other imbalances.

It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.

Two, full range, slow and steady chin-ups are better than 10 monkey style bouncing chin-ups.

The 4th Set Should Be Body Weight Till Failure

Extra Tips On Chin-Ups

  • Reverse Pyramid Training – RPT is a very efficient way strategy to enjoy the full growth benefits and strength development of a chin-up. Start with a weight that allows you 6 rep max. Then each time lower weight by 20% and try adding a rep.
  • Do 4 sets – last set should be body weight chin-ups to failure.
  • Strengthen your grip – Almost all of the compound movements in strength training require and develop grip strength. This is something that evolves with time, through heavy deadlifts, bent over rows, pull ups and even bench press. Don’t get discouraged, lose the fat, increase the strength and master your weighted chin-ups.
  • Rest for 3 minutes between sets – Like squats and deadlifts. When chin-ups are performed in a heavy manner, they require longer rest periods. If you recover fast, it means you didn’t give 100%.
  • Cross Your Legs – This always improves stability which is most important for doing an effective chin-up.
  • Lose Weight – If your current weight allows you to to 5  reps max or less, then obviously you don’t add any weight to you. And focus on losing weight using intermittent fasting and adding strength with the other strength training movements.

Chin-Up Checklist


  • Bar at reach
  • Slightly less than shoulder width grip


  • Avoid swinging
  • Chin above bar


  • Descend steady
  • Descend to dead-hang

A Final Note

The journey to achieving a ripped Hollywood body is fairly fun and pretty much straight forward when combining the protocols intermittent fasting and strength training.


Intermittent fasting is a fantastic diet protocol that allows you to enter a prolonged calorie deficit without any hungers, mental challenges or strict rules.

I was able to recharge every weekend with my favorite cheat foods, and now after reaching my goal the maintenance is much more simple. You just can’t ignore the benefits of having a lean and ripped physique.

Great energy, feel comfortable in clothes, look great, better skin, more confidence, more sex appeal, more attention, more respect and the list goes on…

This road is worth taking, we only live once after all, do you want to look back and regret for not making the progress? You will not get a feeling of self-accomplishment from being an average couch potato that spends time watching various TV series all day long, believe me, I’ve done that.

I really hope youve got something out of my experience.

Best of luck for getting lean ripped — I really hope it goes without a glitch.

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