The Chin-Up is a classic back exercise…one of the best overall exercises you can do for ANY bodypart. I’ve got an amazing technique that’s going to help you squeeze even MORE results out your chin-up training, targeting each of the three major fiber types in one extended set for maximum results.
I call this technique a Range of Motion Triple Add Set.
A Triple Add Set is similar in concept to the Triple Drop Set, that you may already be familiar with, where you do a three part set, reducing the weight in each part in order to keep going and completely exhaust the muscle.
The Triple Add Set is the opposite…you INCREASE the weight you’re using, changing the rep ranges that you’re targeting.
Part 1. You start with a lighter weight and do very high reps (30+) to target the Type 1 slow twitch muscle fibers.
Part 2. The second part is a moderate weight, moderate rep-range set of 6 to 8 reps. You increase the weight over the previous set. This targets the Type 2a fast twitch muscle fibers.
Part 3. The third part of the set is a heavy weight, explosive set of 1 to 3 reps. This targets the Type 2b explosive-oriented muscle fibers.
This results in a total workout of all three major muscle fibers types and it’s incredibly effective (incredibly tough, too!).
THIS version of the Triple Add Set uses changes in range of motion of an exercise instead of changes in resistance, in order to target those different muscle fiber types.
You can do this with just about any exercise…and the best part is, you can use it with bodyweight exercises (like the chin-up) where you CAN’T adjust the resistance or where the least amount of resistance you can use is still too much for very high reps (like the chin-up, for most people).
Just fyi, you’ll need to be strong in the chin-up before attempting this one. You can do it on the pulldown machine, if you’re not able to do at least 10 or more full-range chins in a row.
So here’s what this extended set will look like.
Part 1 – Lockouts…a very short range of motion at the top of the chin-up. You’ll do just the top few inches, moving fast and going for very high reps.
Take 10 seconds rest…shake out the lactic acid a bit then get ready for…
Part 2 – Half Reps…you’ll do the top half of the range of motion, staying just above the sticking point of the chin-up exercise. Go for tight form and about 6 to 8 reps (get as many as you can, while keeping good form, but that’s probably about what you’ll hit).
Take 10 seconds then get ready for the last part of the set…
Part 3 – Full Range Reps…these are going to be TOUGH even if you’re strong on the chins. You will have fully worked the strongest parts of the range of motion (above the sticking point) so should have some gas left for the bottom. At this point, the ENTIRE range of the exercise is going to be challenging because of how we’ve exhausted the movement pattern.
When you’re done, take at least 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest then go again. I would suggest no more than 2 or 3 rounds through on this style of training.
It’s incredibly demanding and hits all the major muscle fibers in your back. It will also challenge the nervous system because of the sheer number of reps you’re doing, even though they’re not all full range of motion.
I can promise you will have a MASSIVE pump in your back and arms after your first set of these. This is a great plateau-busting technique.
And like I said, if you can’t do at least 10 reps in the chins to start with, do these with pulldown instead (same concept in terms of range of motion…partials with the bar down near your chest, then half range then full range).
Nick Nilsson is known in the fitness industry as the “Mad Scientist of Muscle,” and for good reason! For more than 28 years, Nick has been creating unique, new exercises and training techniques and putting together some of the most innovative muscle-building and fat-loss programs available anywhere.