You can ace this: The Chin up Training Program


 Welcome back to our new 

real [FIT] life series, You can ace this.


For this past month, we have looked at many exercises that help build the strength and skill to perform chin ups.

Now that we have covered a wide variety of exercises, let’s finish this months series by implementing what we’ve learned. Today I am sharing a 3 day training program with you, using the exercises we’ve learned about, plus some others, to get you even better results. I recommend using this program for 6 weeks.


If chin ups are a top priority goal for you, I recommend training chin up variations at least three times a week. For optimal recovery and awesome results, you should perform these workouts on non consecutive days.



I’m a big fan of total body workouts for individuals who are looking to improve strength, overall physique aesthetics, and want fat loss. These exercises fit into total body programming very nicely.


Here is a recommended program for 3 days of Chin up focused training. Click on the highlighted words to go to the how- to videos. You can also refer back to the earlier blog posts for further detailed instructions. Part I, Part II, and Part III.


The real [FIT] life Chin up Training Program


Day 1


(For improved overall results, and to make the most of your time, I’ve paired upper body work  with lower body exercises)



1a. Squats 8-12 reps


 1b. Inverted rows 8-12 reps


(Alternate 1a. and 1b. for 2-3 sets with a 60 second rest in between. After your third set, move on to 2a. and 2b. and alternate in the same fashion)


2a. Split squats 8-12 reps per side


 2b. Lat pulldowns 8-12 reps


3. At the end, I would recommend  3 – 5 sets of Dead hangs with at least 60 seconds rest in between sets.







Day 2


1a. TRX pull ups 6-8 reps



1b. Elevated bodyweight hip thrusts 10-20 reps


(Alternate 1a. and 1b. for 2-3 sets with a 60 second rest in between. After your third set, move on to 2a. and 2b. and alternate in the same fashion)


2a. Eccentric chin ups 4-8 reps


2b. Step ups 8-12 reps


3. Finish the session with some Farmer walks, 3 sets for 30-60 seconds and with a 60 second rest in between. These are also great for improving core and grip strength. Select a weight that you can carry, and that is heavy!)







Day 3 


For the Band assisted chin ups, starting out, keep the rep range lower for each set, and use more bands. As you get stronger and you need less support from the bands, you can progress to higher rep range, less band assistance, or both. Keep in mind that each time you switch to less assistance from the bands you may need to once again lower your rep range and work your way up as strength continues to improve. 



1a. Band assisted chin ups 8-12 reps


1b. Lateral lunges 8-12 reps


(Alternate 1a. and 1b. for 4-8 sets with a 60 second rest in between. This is a lot of sets!! Remember, starting out, always focus on quality over quantity)



Eventually, you should find that pulling up becomes more manageable until you one day realize you can do a chin up with just your bodyweight and without the bands.


 That is the best feeling in the world!


Remember, there is no necessary timeline in which you have to master these exercises. Doing them correctly is far more important than what variation you are working on. Having patience and staying consistent with your efforts will give you far better results long term.


Now get out there!


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Jeannine Trimboli, CEO, real [FIT] life