Tip: The Missing Pull-Up Variation

Most smart lifters do some variation of the pull-up or chin-up, but not many have tried this one. Take a look.

The Wide-Grip Chin-Up

Yeah, we get it. The pull-up is one of the most important exercises for a good strength-to-bodyweight ratio. However, the real problem lies in the execution. Most average gym rats don't have it down yet. Why? Maybe because they don't dedicate enough time to it.

It never fails, people begin to ditch the traditional pull-up or chin-up when they focus on chasing the pump, chasing numbers with heavy weight, or simply becoming bored with the idea that it's a bodyweight exercise. Maybe for you it's just not challenging enough because you can rep out 15 in a row with strict form (although that's rare).

No matter your reason, here's a challenging variation that will tear your lats apart while you struggle to get more than a handful of quality reps. Even those who've mastered the muscle-up will struggle with a wide-grip chin-up when they slow the tempo down. Here's how to do it:

  1. Slow down the negative, aiming for at least 4 seconds on the eccentric.
  2. On your last rep after failure, jump up and then let yourself down as slow as possible with strict, lat-stretching form.
  3. Once you find failure, keep tension on your lats at the bottom and pulse a few quarter-reps out to really damage the fibers.

Hammer out 3 sets to failure before your typical back routine and you'll see development like never before.

Thoren Bradley has a masters degree in exercise physiology. He has a foundation in strength and conditioning in the D-I of the NCAA and tactical sector. Thoren uses his own research and evidence-based practice to integrate all schools of learning into physique and performance enhancement. Follow Thoren Bradley on Instagram