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ForzaCavaliere

What's the likelihood of one-arm chinups using predominantly freeweight training?

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ForzaCavaliere

I was talking to a friend of mine, who works out at a commercial gym and does freeweights and cables and stuff and doesn't train pullups often, and he mentioned casually that he can do a one-arm chinup (hand supinated). I was surprised, and made sure that he and I were thinking of the same exercise. He didn't show it to me, but from what he described he is really talking about a one-arm chinup (one hand free, the other doing the pulling). He said he did it as a warmup. 

 

Then he proceeded to say that a lot of people at his gym can actually do one-arm chinups and such. I don't know what their training is like, but if they go to a commercial gym regularly I'm assuming it's not really focused on GST. 

 

Do you think it's possible (probable?) to get a one-arm chinup without focusing too much on GST, rather training mostly freeweights?

 

PS. My friend weighs almost 90kg, making it seem crazy to me.

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Kevin Conley

Possible. Not probable.

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Guest

Developing more neurally complex exercises will allow for greater strength gain than if you were just adding weight to an exercise. This is why Coach's and other programs follow a progression that gets more difficult both strength wise and neurologically.

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Klemen Bobnar

That's an impressive achievment, what pulling exercises did he do? My bet's on weighted chins, a lot of lifters do them as supplementary work.

 

And it's a weird thing, how little or how much carryover there can be. When I started, I could do 1-2 single leg squats with no previous strength training and some guy at the gym I used to go to who had some serious weight on squats and Oly lifts couldn't do one.

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Colin Macdonald

I'd see wait to see him actually do this move before making any conclusions.

 

In my experience from talking to people and fitness sites like Fitocracy, general gym attendees who train without any objective standards or criticism tend to be full of all kinds of BS.

 

Maybe he can in fact do a proper one arm chin up. Some people have some mechanical advantages that make them easier. But it's still a rare move among body builders. And for him to say that a lot of people in his gym can do it makes me extremely suspicious.

 

And if you go see him do it, film it for us.  :D

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Jon Douglas

Gotta say puts a couple warning flags up for me too the way you described it :) proof is in the pudding!
At crossfit i was surprised to hear of a guy who could do 10+ ring hspu with the shoulder development to match it; wasn't until I saw him performing that I saw legs on straps, back arched to a combination chest stand/pushup, and no lockout.
Still, no sense judging either way without something concrete to base it on :) Plenty of strong people out there

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DiTi

this is what bodubuilders call a one arm chin up

 

 

this is far more easy than the real one

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ForzaCavaliere

Yeah, truthfully I doubt he can actually do one, as many have said it seems quite unbelievable. Here I was, thinking one-arm pullup was quite rare outside of gymnastics circles and then bam - apparently heaps of people at this one commercial gym can do one.

As many have said there are some aspects of what was described that could be seen as 'warning signs' that it's not entirely true, but another thing that I didn't mention before is that my friend considered "the side to side pullups" to be harder than OAC, which probably means he can't do an actual OAC.

 

I may see him again in the near future, where I will get him to demonstrate it to me.

 

But that's aside the point, the real purpose of my original post was to see what are the chances that someone could get a OAC without focusing on GST, and how hard it would be to get it. What's the chances that, say, a world champion olympic lifter that is <90kg could get a OAC first attempt? 

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Chris Hansen

If you have someone who deadlifts like 800 pounds and bench presses 2.5 times bodyweight and trains weighted chins, I don't think it's too big of a stretch that he could pull his bodyweight with one hand.

 

On the other hand, I do know one guy who can bench press a lot but he can't do two pullups. He never trains vertical pulling and he doesn't row with the same passion he bench presses with.

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Colin Macdonald

If you have someone who deadlifts like 800 pounds and bench presses 2.5 times bodyweight and trains weighted chins, I don't think it's too big of a stretch that he could pull his bodyweight with one hand.

 

 

And yet they generally can't, with a few rare exceptions. You can't think about strength as an absolute number. Training the right patterns is essential.

 

What's the chances that, say, a world champion olympic lifter that is <90kg could get a OAC first attempt? 

 

I don't really think asking what a world champion is capable of is very useful for general discussions. A real OAC is a rare skill for body builders and power lifters, I think that says it all.

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Bryan Wheelock

Getting a one armed chin is one of my long-term goals at 100kg, I will be in very rare company.

I'm starting to go hand over hand leg less on a rope climb, so I can see the goal on the horizon.

Below is a list of big boys doing one arm chins:

http://www128.pair.com/r3d4k7/Chinups.html

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Michael Washienko

Several years ago I performed 5 (non consecutive) OAC without any bodyweight training.  At the time, I could perform full range of motion pullups with an extra 125lb at a bodyweight of 165lb and +100 for 5 reps.  After about ten minutes of fooling around I totally blew out my elbows and was unable to train for several months.  This was the first moment I realized something was missing from weightlifting.

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WitnessTheFitness

It's certainly possible to do a skill without specifically training for it if you already have a ton of strength in that muscle group--especially if the skill is something similar to other movements you train. So I can believe that one guy can do it. But as a warmup? And that a lot of people at the gym can do it? I'm skeptical, unless he goes to a really hardcore gym.

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