View Full Version : Chin ups - how many would a man do in training?

Becky Black
01-14-2012, 03:05 PM
How many chin-ups would my character do in his training session? He's aged thirty and very healthy. He's already been working hard for months on building his strength, doing chin-ups and other exercise, so is already pretty big and strong. He's highly motivated and will work until he can't do even one more.

So how many is a reasonable number for someone like him to be doing at a training session?

01-14-2012, 03:16 PM
A lot of guys add weights when they're working out after they can do 10 or 15 chin-ups (or pull-ups as they're also called).

A teen in good shape can do a hell of a lot of chin-ups, but I would say for a 30-year-old guy in good shape, somewhere in the mid to high 20s would be a very good number. Being "big" might not be a help in this case. Most of the guys I knew who could do a lot of chin-ups were fairly thin, but strong.

Becky Black
01-14-2012, 04:25 PM
Thanks! I won't make him too big then, if that's more of a hindrance. And he's mostly concerned about strength rather than bulk. He is actually using extra weights! Mostly because he's living in gravity only 90% of Earth's a lot of the time and in only 16% of Earth's the rest of the time! But he's got plans to go to Earth, so has to work extra hard to make sure his muscles and bones will stand it when he does.

He's doing lots of other stuff too. I just happen to introduce him while he's doing some chin-ups. :D Gee, introducing a character when he's all sweaty and scantily clad and showing off his muscles? Surely not!

01-14-2012, 05:37 PM
I think the number would be somewhere in the 50-200 range, same for sit-ups and push-ups.

Richard White
01-14-2012, 07:50 PM
When I was in the Army Air Assault course, we had to do 10 chin-ups every time we came onto the grounds, whenever we left for lunch, when we came back and at the end of the day.

Now, mind you this was with helmet, load bearing equipment, a 40lb rucksack, boot, 2 canteens with a quart of water each, and protective mask on.

When I was in my 30's (same time I was going through AASLT school), I could do probably 20-30 chin-ups from a dead hang. Maybe a few more if I kicked a bit on the way up. Guys who were in better shape than me (I was never a "physical specimen", so to speak,) could probably knock out more, but they'd been training on chinning-up too. I did it because it was required.

I think the Marines used to have chin-ups as part of their Physical Training test, where there was a minimum required.

01-14-2012, 08:25 PM
My bf is 29 and in good shape. He says when he does chin-ups, he does 3 sets of 8, and he thinks that you'd generally do chin-ups in sets of not more than 10, but might do several sets. He says most people he sees at the gym could not do more than 10 proper chin-ups.

Drachen Jager
01-14-2012, 09:34 PM
In the Army, the minimum physical requirement was 8 chinups. Most could do 10-15.

Sunandshadow: A top gymnast or athlete could do 50 in a row. A 'normal' person wouldn't have a chance. I doubt anyone can do 200 (though the world record may be that high).

Becky Black
01-14-2012, 11:39 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'll settle on a number from what you've told me.

Now, mind you this was with helmet, load bearing equipment, a 40lb rucksack, boot, 2 canteens with a quart of water each, and protective mask on.

Wow! :eek:

01-17-2012, 03:40 PM
That description seems to fit me. Is it wide-grip or narrow-grip?

Narrow-grip chin ups I can do until I get bored. So I don't. Too easy. Wide-grip, maybe 20 in a good day. But I'll struggling toward the end.

01-17-2012, 11:49 PM
Just a point of detail. I believe there's a difference between a pull-up and a chin-up (it depends on which way your hands are facing). Chin-ups (facing in) are the 'easier' because you use your biceps.

01-18-2012, 03:23 AM
A quick google got me this: http://www.elitefeet.com/are-you-an-average-man which says the average man can do a grand total of ONE, and this: http://forums.menshealth.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/63310347/m/538109141 which is a forum discussion of chin-ups from Men's Health magazine.

Most the guys there say they do five or less in a set, which is fairly far behind most the men I know--but the men I know are mostly in parkour, martial arts, or both. A set of ten, with a break after, seems the most common among these very in-shape young men (most are in their late teens to early 20's.)

Also, I found this: http://www.military.com/military-fitness/workouts/performing-for-special-forces

Max Pull-ups

The minimum is eight pull-ups with no time limit, but you cannot touch the ground or let go of the bar. You should be able to do 15 to 20 to be competitive.

Just to see, I went outside and did a few...I started with my palms facing away from me, and did seven (full hang to chin over bar) before dropping. Then I did the same thing with my palms facing toward me (maybe a 10 second break in between the two sets.)

The ones with the palms facing toward me were definitely easier. Typing now, I can feel the backs of my forearms reacting to the sudden demands I made of them.

I know I'm a female...but my work out routine has repeatedly been dubbed "extreme," and I'm in very good shape. Heck, if I was trying out for the Navy Seals, I could definitely do the minimum number of pull-ups, Hahaha!

I think it would be most reasonable to have your MC doing sets of 10-15 reps, 20 if he's really bad-ass.

A side note: adding weight requires more explosive power, but doesn't exhaust the muscles like sheer repetition.

Becky Black
01-18-2012, 01:56 PM
Thanks all, and especially for those links, Monkey, I'll check them out.