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Know More, Grow More, Richard Seymour's fit school.

Posted Dec 08 2008 1:14pm

How Much Can You Chin?
That's not a typo. Unlike in the bench press, most guys gauge chinup performance by how many reps they can complete, not the amount of weight they can lift. But Australian researchers determined you should be able to do a chinup with as much weight as you can bench-press. This validates an observation I've made training athletes: Shoulder injuries rise significantly once a guy can bench-press 15 percent more than he can chin.

To figure out how you measure up, do as many chinups as you can with your body weight, then compare that with the number of reps you can bench-press using the same weight. Let's say you weigh 180 pounds and can complete five chinups. Your strength balance is ideal if you can do, at most, five reps of the bench press with 180 pounds. If you can pump out 10 reps with that weight, however, you're substantially stronger in the bench, and a candidate for shoulder trouble.

How to do it: Grab a chinup bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Hang with your arms straight. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar, then slowly lower back down. Repeat.
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