MBS March Fitness Challenge: Chin Ups!


You know those action-adventure movies where the hero at some point finds themselves precariously hanging off the edge of a building/cliff/helicopter? If you were that guy or gal, could you pull yourself back up to safety? Well that’s what we’re gonna work on in this month’s fitness challenge –  specifically the chin-up; the slightly easier, underhanded version of a pull-up.


Our goal by the end of the month, is to be able to do at least one full bodyweight chin-up in strict form. And for us that means: starting from an extended dead hang position with knees or feet completely off the ground, pulling the top of your chest to the bar without any kicking or use of the lower body, holding for a half second at the top, and slowly lowering back to the start position.


To get there, we’re gonna start with a remedial version of the chin-up, and work our way up to full bodyweight. For that, we’re simply going to use a secured bar in a Smith machine or squat cage, set it at about chest high, hang straight down, and use our legs to assist us with the movement, as shown below…


As you get stronger, use your legs less and less, and adjust the bar along the way. Start easy with about 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps, and gradually increase intensity, until you’re pulling more of your bodyweight up, and using your legs as little as possible. Keep it up, and by the end of the month, you’ll have a cool new party trick and feel like a superhero!


And for those of you who can already do chin-ups, you’re not off the hook. Your goal is to slow down your reps, clean up your form and work on increasing your sets and reps throughout the month, so that your overall volume improves significantly by March 31.


While this is just a friendly little challenge to help motivate you towards fitness, we all know achieving a certain level of health and wellness truly does improve relationships, work performance and overall quality of life. To get the guidance which will help you achieve your fitness goals safely and efficiently, consider consulting with one of our highly skilled Fitness Professionals to help you find a level of strength you didn’t know you had.

Good luck!

MBS Personal Trainer Tom Treviño. Learn more about Tom here.