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  1. #1
    Registered User Brightside80's Avatar
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    How do chin ups and lat pull down compare?

    I cant do a single chin up.

    In order for me to get there, do i have to be able to do my whole body weight on lat pull down (are the weights equivalent?).

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User drewzon87's Avatar
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    the movement is the same essentially but pull-ups are superior

    does your gym have an assisted pull-up machine? its a pull-up/dip station with a knee pad looking thing that you can add weight to counterbalance your bodyweight and make pull-ups and dips easier

    try that
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  3. #3
    nuthin but a gbone thang gbone74's Avatar
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    Keep training chin ups,have someone help if needed they are a great exercise.At a heavy weight they are.difficult I started off assisted someone taking some weight then eventually did a couple,then 5 and so on

    I find pulldowns easy but they dont quite hit the right spot for me,they just dont feel right

    When I say chin ups I mean hands wide facing away from you,not close grip palms facing as the poster below says they are a good bicep exercise
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  4. #4
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    Chin ups IMO hit bi's much more than lats, and pull ups hit lats much more. I would do the assisted pull ups, lat pull down, and negative pull ups.
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  5. #5
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    Do assisted or negative chinups. It's really effective to build your way through doing a normal chinup.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Brightside80's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    One more specific question -

    Is it only when I can pull down the equivalent of my own body weight on lat pulldown that I'll be ready for pull ups?
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by Brightside80 View Post
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    One more specific question -

    Is it only when I can pull down the equivalent of my own body weight on lat pulldown that I'll be ready for pull ups?
    nah it's not equilvilent. i can do pull ups/chins w/ good form but i doubt i could very many good form pulldowns w/ my bodyweight.
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  9. #9
    Lelaki Bangunan Seksi LengthyLifter's Avatar
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    You can work your way up to full body weight pulls/chins without doing pulldowns at all.
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  10. #10
    Registered User tomsfish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brightside80 View Post
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    One more specific question -

    Is it only when I can pull down the equivalent of my own body weight on lat pulldown that I'll be ready for pull ups?

    unfortunatly no.i fell into that trap myself.wasted time doing set after set on the pulldown,till i just dumped it and spent the time trying to get better at pullups.
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  11. #11
    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    I wouldn't exactly consider exercising a waste of time.
    "Everyone thinks they're on their way to single digit body fat as soon as they see a blurry four-pack in the right lighting.Your final body weight at 5-6% will be a lot less than what you think.Talk to me again when you get in contest shape." I'd be willing to say that 95% of people on this forum accomplish nothing in years, don't be one of those people. It's sad,they seem to have the knowledge many don't but can't utilize it.
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  12. #12
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    as with most things in life, including exercises, usually the best way to get better at doing something, is to do the exact thing you're trying to get better at. even if you can't do a complete proper rep, keep trying, every time you work out, and you'll get it sooner or later. being lighter DOES help. when i was 165 lbs i could only do a few chin ups (palms inward) and would be lucky to do a single pull up. but i was also still overweight at that weight.
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  13. #13
    Registered User tomsfish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    I wouldn't exactly consider exercising a waste of time.
    if my goal was to get better at pullups,then i wasted my time doing pulldowns for several months.should have taken that same time and invested it in pullups,id be alot further along in a couple of goals of mine.
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  14. #14
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    I'm doing weighted pullups with 25lbs and my bodyweight for 5 reps. I still can't do 200lb pull downs.

    Even when I max out on pulldowns I find pullups hit my lats much better.

    I started struggling on one and worked my way up. Within a few weeks, I hit 8 then 10. Then I bought a belt to add weight to. Keep at it!
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  15. #15
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    until i got down to around 180, i couldnt do a single pull up, it was a matter of strength to weight ratio. Skinny guys can do a ton right out of the gate because there is little mass to pull up. Lat pulldowns are a good isolation exercise but do not compare as far as recruiting the maximum amount of "stabilizers".
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    Try standing on a chair or stand or stool and do some pullups, go by feel, use your legs less to increase the intensity and soon you'll be able to do 1.
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  17. #17
    Fulkmaster Flex nlite2000's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Serpentarius View Post
    until i got down to around 180, i couldnt do a single pull up, it was a matter of strength to weight ratio. Skinny guys can do a ton right out of the gate because there is little mass to pull up. Lat pulldowns are a good isolation exercise but do not compare as far as recruiting the maximum amount of "stabilizers".
    ^ Yeah, I didn't start doing them until I hit 175 for the first time. The less you weigh, the easier they are (which makes sense.)
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    Blackmill Music 10/10 th3pwn3r's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nlite2000 View Post
    ^ Yeah, I didn't start doing them until I hit 175 for the first time. The less you weigh, the easier they are (which makes sense.)
    Well, I'd say with less fat weighing you down the easier they are. Of course with more muscle you should have more strength.
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  19. #19
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    Just this last month I started doing assisted chin up on a machine, started out not able to do one on my own. Now I'm doing 10 chin ups easy all on my own. I was working pull downs 3 months before this and It never seemed too help pull ups much, Just started working out the last 4 months so its do able! I'm still giddy and smiling every time I do one, it feels awesome to finally do a chin up. Its worth it!

    Get assisted chin ups and just keep subtracting the assistance or use the chair method till your doing them on your own. That's how It worked for me anyways. Good luck man.

    *my bad meant chin ups not pull ups*
    Last edited by Corb158; 10-11-2011 at 10:11 PM.
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  20. #20
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    If your gym does not have an assisted pull up machine, another way to get that extra little bit of help you need is to use band(s). Just loop it around the pull up bar and put the other end around your knee or shoe depending on how much help you want and do the exercise like normal.
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    Is this a Pull up or a Chin up thread? I find chin ups to work more my biceps than my back so I'll do them as a warm up when I workout back & bi's.

    I can do a ton of pull ups (I did P90x four times) but when I first started I could only do a few. I've tried everything listed here as in bands, assisted, helper, but what I found the best is the following;

    Cheater Pull-ups; basically use your calves and or legs to hoist you up to the top (with enough power so you're actually working, and not too much power where you aren't using any power), and slowly come back to the bottom (normal speed). When you don't have enough strength to do that, jump up to the top and negative your way down (come down really slow). Do that for a while and before you know it you won't need to use your calves/legs to get to the top anymore...
    Pain is temporary, Pride is forever ||| http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=137518363
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  22. #22
    Registered User Vaalboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Emdad View Post
    Try standing on a chair or stand or stool and do some pullups, go by feel, use your legs less to increase the intensity and soon you'll be able to do 1.
    This is how I started, felt a little awkward at first but stuck it out. Now I can do a few sets of between 4 and 8 reps. One thing that also helped was not to grip the bar too wide in the beginning and as you progress you can widen your grip.
    Just Persevere - IIFYM - Train like an Animal
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  23. #23
    Custom User Title Emdad's Avatar
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    IMHO wide grip is silly and shouldnt be done, all it does is limit your range of motion and it's just a weird way to do it.
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    Registered User Brightside80's Avatar
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    I got such awesome advice from this thread. Before i started it I didn't even realise chin ups and pull ups were different things! May take me a few days but I'm gonna rep every single person who posted in this thread.
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  25. #25
    Registered User Ago's Avatar
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    Lat pull down is better for targeting my lats (isolating machine). Chin-ups involve biceps,therefor making it easier to pull yourself up - when i started doing wide grip lat pull down sets with half of my bodyweight ,rep ranging from 6-8 with 100-110lbs. I managed to do 1 proper pull down ( 3-4 noodling chinups ).That's that..

    But if you progress,achieving your first pull up reps and do them for couple of sets.This is where ppl make the mistake:
    They tend to pound the sets,like there's no tomorrow...
    1: Max reps
    2: Max reps
    3: Max reps
    4: Max reps

    To properly increase the amount of repetitions you can do,you should take the same approach,as you'd take with benchpress (for example),where you do warmup set for 60-70% of your workset weight - then doing worksets.
    For example,if you do pull ups on your back day:
    1: 60-70% of your max rep
    2: 60-70% max rep ( or plain max set)
    3: max rep
    4: max rep + negative pull ups ( jump up and lower yourself down as slowly as possible)
    5: repeat 4th set
    (6 if you wish, you can finish your forearms off by doing deadhangs (the stronger grip,the more pull ups you can do)

    Ofc. you need to determine the proper workset amount. Some need to do more,some need to do less. Hope it helps!
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  26. #26
    Custom User Title Emdad's Avatar
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    ^ Wow I learned something new too, I usually do 3 sets max reps, I'll try out your way.
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  27. #27
    Platinum User chaunce54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by th3pwn3r View Post
    Well, I'd say with less fat weighing you down the easier they are. Of course with more muscle you should have more strength.
    Good point. I switched a while ago. I am doing weight assisted for sets of 10 reps trying to build up to doing sets of 10 with body weight.
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  28. #28
    Jimmy Rustler MaudeMoo's Avatar
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    Assisted chins / pullups will build your stabilizer muscles whilst working your lats and rear delts giving you your desired result! don't take it from me. Try it for yourself.
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