After my Chin Ups are Insane Fun post this week, something crystallized for me: Many people had not considered the possibility of doing a chin up. It’s not that you hadn’t thought about that level of back and arm strength; it’s more that you didn’t think about you having it.
As I said in my post, I was actually surprised I could do a few chin ups when I tried it last fall. Did I really just hoist my bodyweight up using only my arms and back? True, my form sucked. But nonetheless, I hadn’t been aware I was capable of doing this even with bad form. And recently when I learned to do a chin up properly, I was even more surprised. Doing chin ups properly was easier.
I’m not saying you should try to do a chin up regardless of your fitness level, because you can get hurt doing this before developing your arms and lats. I’m suggesting that you measure your strength regularly so you know where you stand. Let a goal take shape in your mind and then visualize it with some regularity. And start taking steps to reach that goal.
If you recognize a gnawing feeling telling you that you’re not progressing, listen to it. As for myself, I’m in the process of figuring out how to measure my strength and size using various methods (which I’ll post about soon). The ability to do chin ups – check. Now: Can I do more reps by a specified date? Chin ups are not as difficult as pull ups; I can barely do one pull up unassisted. But I know this because I’ve tried it – and now know how far I have to go.
How far do you have to go?