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The Lowly Chin Up Bar

If you have a chin up bar, or a place in your home where you can place a chin up bar, you should absolutely be using it.

The chin up bar is a great body-weight device for weightlifting. The concept is simple - lift your own bodyweight using your biceps.

This is something some people have simply never done. They don't have adequate strength in their biceps to physically lift their body - and their body is sometimes in ample proportions. Which is basically a polite way of saying a person is too fat to do a chin up.

But that doesn't mean a person will NEVER be able to do a chin up. With some weightlifting exercises over a period of two months a person who is overweight (but not obese) should be able to do a chin up after the two month period.

To achieve this they would need to do the following...

1. Bicep Curls with 20 lb Dumbbells - 12 sets of 8 reps, every 2 days for 60 days.

Rationale: Doing bicep curls will build up your biceps, the primary muscle used during chin ups. Doing 12 sets of 8 reps means your focus is on muscle gain, not on endurance. You can build endurance later...

2. Pushups (or Knee Pushups) - 12 sets of 8 reps, every 2 days for 60 days.

Rationale: Doing pushups will build your triceps and deltoids. The deltoids (shoulder muscles) are a secondary muscle used during chin ups. Even though they are secondary you will still need those muscles during a chin up.

3. Jumping Jacks - 10 sets of 100 jumping jacks, every day for 60 days.

Rationale: Lowering your body weight via cardio exercises will increase your chances of doing a chin up by reducing the amount of fat in your body. Jumping Jacks and Jogging are both good for this.

4. Jogging (or Jogging on the Spot) - 15 minutes, every day for 60 days.

In the morning of every day you should attempt to do a pushup. After 60 days of doing the above workout they should have lost some fat weight and gained some muscle weight - enough muscle that they can lift their body during a chin up.

You will also need to be eating a balanced diet. That means no binge eating on unhealthy foods, eat smaller portions, learn to snack healthily, cutting out sugary drinks and all those things you know are bad for you.

If you are more overweight (ie. obese) you will need to do a lot more jogging, jumping jacks, and other cardio activities to reach the point where you can do a chin up. So this process may take longer than you were hoping if you are severely overweight.



Now keep doing them! Now is the time to start building endurance and strength at the same time. Work your way up so you can do a set of 5 chin ups at a time.

Once you reach that point you can basically swap out the #1 exercise above (Bicep Curls with 20 lb Dumbbells) and replace it with the following:

1. Chin Ups - 20 sets of 5 chin ups, every day. Or 12 sets of 8 chin ups.  Or 10 sets of 10 chin ups. Or 8 sets of 12. Or 7 sets of 15. Or 5 sets of 20.

Rationale: Now that you can do chin ups you can keep doing them, and if you increase the number of chin ups you do per set then you will be building both your strength and your endurance simultaneously. So pick whichever set combination from above that you want to do and keep doing them. Upgrade to the next set combination when you feel you are ready for a challenge.

Note! Keep doing the pushups, the jumping jacks and the jogging.

Add other exercises to your routine. Yoga for example is great for core muscle strength. But you might also try swimming, ice skating, archery, marathon running, competitive sports...

Basically if you make doing that First Chin Up your exercise goal, and then once you achieve that chin up goal you need to start setting new exercise goals so you can keep progressing. Making recognizable progress will help you keep motivated and keep exercising.


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