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How to Safely Increase Your Box Jumps Without Getting Get Injured

Published on February 22, 2012 By admin

Safely Increase Your Box Jumps Without Getting Injured

box jump injury 300x224 How to Safely Increase Your Box Jumps Without Getting Get Injured

Safely increase your box jumps without getting injured.  In this post I’ve got a cool video where I show you 3 critical elements you need to know to safely increase your box jumps without getting injured.

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How Much Will You Sacrifice To Achieve Your Dreams?

Published on August 3, 2011 By admin

To Achieve Your Dreams What Will You Sacrifice?

franco deadlift 300x218 How Much Will You Sacrifice To Achieve Your Dreams?

This takes sacrifice!


I want you to stop for just a moment and think a little about your fitness goals.   Maybe it’s to lose 10 lbs or add another 25 lbs on your bench press.  But what I really want you to do is expand your “goals” into dreams.  Imagine that you could develop your dream body or get to a level of strength and conditioning that you had only ever dreamed of before.  How much will you sacrifice to achieve your dreams?

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A Must Do Muscle Building Exercise For Becoming Unstoppable

Published on July 26, 2011 By admin

Crucial Muscle Building Exercise

So you say you want to be unstoppable?  If that’s the case, then you absolutely MUST hit up some HEAVY farmer’s walks.  Heavy farmer’s walks are a must do muscle building exercise for becoming unstoppable.

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Ginger Kills Cancer

Published on May 18, 2010 By admin

So then they invented this…

Gingervating Ginger Kills Cancer

“Hey mom, yes I’m feeling much better! I had cancer, but the Doctor made me drink 12L of Ginger-ale and I’m cured!”

Obviously this isn’t exactly the case, but pay attention because it is important for your health!

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How To Do More Chin Ups

Published on December 15, 2009 By admin

Want to know who’s serious about getting stronger at the gym? Where do you think you should look? The Bench Press? The Squat Rack? Nope… The people who are the most serious about getting strong at the gym are those who are doing chin-ups.

Of course the bench press and squat are absolute must exercises when it comes to building serious strength, but they’re also easy to cheat on. It’s pretty easy to pile on more weight, reduce your range of motion, bounce the bar off your chest if you’re benching, or do “budgie” squats! So you can’t count on finding the most serious strength seekers there. Only at the chin-up bar will you find them.

What’s a “budgie” squat? Gee, I thought you’d never ask!

Ever See A Budgie Squat?

Budgie Squat

The problem of course is that with chin-ups (or pull-ups), depending on your starting strength, once most people increase their reps by a few in the first few weeks of training them, they get stuck and most never see any further increase in reps.

This is mostly because of a lack of understanding of how to train for it. Think for a moment about how you train to increase an exercise like dumbbell presses. You do sets of 5, sets of 8, sets of 12 or whatever it may be.

The key is that you employ varied load and volume progression methods. Training to improve your chin-ups is no different. Most people repeatedly try to do more chin-ups each time they train them, but that would be like just trying to squat more every time you squat. It’s just not going to happen after your initial period of adaptation.

Additionally, doing more pull-downs won’t help, even though you can easily manipulate the load and volume with them. The mechanics of chins and pull-ups are completely different from pull-downs of all varieties, and the effects will only marginally transfer over to chins and pull-ups even if you get stronger on pull-downs.

You’ll need to get some bands. They’re damn cheap for how effective they are at helping you. So they’re a complete must if you’re serious about strength training. If you get the Iron Woody Bands, I recommend getting yourself one of each of the mini-band, light-band, and average-band. If you get the Jumpstretch bands, I recommend getting one mini, one monster mini, one light, and one average band. This should be enough to help anyone regardless of your weight get some good volume variations on your chins.

If you live in out in the east end of Ottawa, you should get them from my good buddy Curd Hos from Fitness Warehouse at 613-830-9300. If you live in West or South Ottawa, I recommend getting your bands from my good friend Mike Bade out at The Fit Shop at 613-224-1238.

And if you want to order them online and have them shipped right to you, visit this link: http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?SearchPhrase=bands&x=0&y=0&m=SR

And if that link doesn’t work, just go to www.elitefts.com and use their product search tool, and search for BANDS. EliteFTS only sells the Jumpstretch bands, so once again, you’ll want one each of their average, light, monster mini, and mini. The Jumpstretch bands are slightly different strengths and I recommend getting all four. They’re so cheap though that the difference between omitting the mini-band is only $8. So get them all!

Sample Chin Up Progression Plan

Armed with your new bands, here’s a sample of how you might use varied load and volume progressions to increase the number of chin-ups you can do. Let’s say you’re a 160 lb male who can do 5 chin ups when you’re fresh.

Day 1
Chin-ups 3×3
Band-assisted chin-ups 3×8

Day 4
Chin-ups 3×4
Band-assisted chin-ups 2×7, 2×12

Day 6
Chin-ups 5×3
Band-assisted chin-ups 4×8

Day 9
Chin-ups 3×4
Band-assisted chin-ups 3×8, 2×15

Day 11
Chin-ups 2×5, 2×4
Band-assisted chin-ups 2×10

Day 14
Chin-ups 5×4
Band-assisted chin-ups 4×8

Day 16
Chin-ups 7×3

Band-assisted chin-ups 3×10, 2×15

Day 19

Chin-ups 4×5, 3×3
Band-assisted chin-ups 3×8, 3×15

Day 21
Chin-ups 3×3, 3×2

Rest chin-ups 2-3 days then after appropriate warm-up, do one all out set of chins to see what your new max is.
Guarantee there’s going to be at least 3-5 new reps on there. And this is for someone who was absolutely stuck at 5 reps before.

When employing load and volume manipulations such as those above, it also always pays to look at where your weaknesses are. If you find your weakness is in your forearms, then varying your grips on a lot of your band-assisted work and some of your actual chin-up workouts will be very useful.

Progressions to help include: Wide grip, Over/Under grip, narrow grip, narrow grip pull-ups.

More advanced progressions include towel chins, fat bar chins, 1 towel chins, 1 arm assisted chins.

Another form of progressions with chins can include loaded chins, where you actually add weight, via a waist belt, or isometric holds, and even loaded eccentrics. In a future article we’ll use unloaded eccentrics and isometric work to help those of you who can’t yet to even one chin-up to get your first chin-up!

shane miller fitness pull up How To Do More Chin Ups

Band-Assisted Pull Ups

And further still advanced progressions can include varying the actual movement such as side-side chins, L-Sit Chins, Elbows to Knees Chins,
and even Gorilla Chins, and Muscle-ups!

Of course, if you can do a muscle-up, you probably don’t need any help doing more chin-up reps as you can probably already do 20 plus chins!

A final key element is keeping a clear and easy to read logbook of all your training plans and current and past logs. Let me ask you this much. Without looking back, can you recall exactly the Day 1-21 outline I provided above? Not likely, so you need to have your plan WITH you at the gym.

Additionally, if you go in with it printed in hand, and you find you can’t quite get the numbers I outlined above, what would you do to ensure you still made excellent progress? For starters, if you don’t have a logbook that you journal absolutely everything in, you can just forget about it! In fact, I doubt you’re even serious about strength training if you don’t have a journal. If you ARE serious and don’t have a journal.. just get one damnit!@

So now with your journal, if you can’t manage the numbers I outlined above, you keep the same relative sets, but drop all your reps to where you can manage and that forms your new starting point. Although chances are if you can’t manage those numbers it’s because you couldn’t correctly do 5 reps with good form.

Which brings me to the last but certainly not least important point…

Exercise technique.

If you’ve been reading my articles, you know how important it is to use safe and correct technique when you do your exercises. You wouldn’t dare go over to the squat rack and try to bust out 5 heavy deep reps with your knees all buckling in and your back hunched over. Nor would you shove your butt up in the air and bounce the bar off your chest to try to get a few more reps on the bench press.

So why would you allow your legs and body to fly all over the place while trying to get more reps in the chin-up? A key point to remember is that when you “cheat”, essentially what you’re trying to do, is get around your weak link by jerking while in a stronger position. Either generating momentum, or calling on other muscle groups to act prematurely or to keep certain muscles involved longer than they’re supposed to.

So when you’re struggling to get more chin-ups, remember, your goal is to try to KEEP your weak links working as hard as possible. So cheating is completely pointless.

This isn’t to say that some momentum at certain points of certain exercises isn’t useful. In fact it is, and it’s even a part of some exercises. In the case of Olympic lifts, generating momentum is the whole point. But when it comes to getting stronger and building muscle, when your weak point is holding you back, you need to focus MORE on it, not try to get around it.

There is definitely something primal about chin-ups. Only those who are serious about strength training do them. They pit you against gravity, and while you’ll never beat gravity, you can definitely up your chins with sound application of basic load and volume variations.

If you have any comments on this article please leave them in the comments section below.

Your Strength and Fat Loss Coach,

Shane Miller

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