- File Size: 259 KB
- Print Length: 31 pages
- Publisher: KBI Publishing; 1 edition (April 28, 2012)
- Publication Date: April 28, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007YT25I0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,942 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Your First Chin-Up (Steve Maxwell´s "Your First" Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Basically, this short e-book provides an even more specific progression than CC for achieving a chin up. It's aimed at poor souls who've lost the capacity to do a single rep, and those other poor souls who never had the capacity in the first place. If you're already doing CC, you don't necessarily need the book as the the two approaches are pretty compatible. In fact, the 1st. step of the Steve progression is very similar, if not identical, to step 3 of the CC pull up progression (the jackknife pull up).
However, the Steve approach is a bit more explicit and focused on achieving the goal than CC, which probably has you working on push ups, core and squats as well as pull ups. Also, CC suggests that beginners work out only once a week on each exercise while in the early stages. This is good advice, as it's wise to make it protecting your tendons and ligaments the 1st. priority, and achieving the pull up a secondary goal. In this vein, CC also includes two easier steps before you do the jackknife (foot-assisted) pull ups, which is where Steve begins, and it also recommends a more stringent progression standard. Making slow, steady progress is a lot better than having to wait out an injury. Steve coaches you on proper form, as well, but recommends that you focus on chinups 3 x week and moves you right along through his progression. It's more of a fast track approach.
In the usual (but not universal) terminology, the grip with your palms facing you defines a chin up, while palms facing away defines a pull ups. Steve advises doing chin ups, since he estimates they're about 20% easier than pull ups. CC leaves the choice to you. I won't describe either progression in detail, but will mention that Steve recommends negative pull ups over partial pull ups at a certain point, as do many other trainers. CC, for some reason, is very negative on negatives, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read this book.
I'm rating it at 4 rather than 5 stars as there are some free tutorials on the web that are close in quality and there are also a few topics that could have been included. As good as this book and Convict Conditioning are, it makes sense to also scour the web for additional points of view (Beast Skills and Dragondoor have some great stuff). Two topics not discussed in the Steve book are elbow tendinitis (tennis elbow) and care of hands. People trying for their 1st. pull up are in some ways like the advanced pull up mavens trying to achieve the one arm pull up. They're at risk to develop tendonitis. I'd have liked some discussion on what to do if you develop tendonitis and how to evaluate its severity if you get it. One of the best sources for this is Steve Maxwell, himself, deep in the archives of his blog, but you won't find it in this book. Also, de-conditioned people are very likely to have soft skin. An overview on callouses, chalk, gloves, treating your hands etc. would have been good. Sweaty hands and grip fatigue late in sets are closely tied to straining your tendons.
Although the progression in this book is excellent and will work for a large percentage of folks, Steve's web site has a lot of information on grease the groove (GTG) and other sub-maximal workout strategies, which might be helpful if your grip/forearm strength is poor at the outset. Some people, myself included, hit an early plateau where our lats and upper arms were barely engaged because our hands and forehands were giving out. For those people, which includes a lot of older exercisers (the group I'm targeting in my search for good progressions), a section with some remedial GTG work such as inclined rows or auxiliary grip work would have been a good addition. In fairness, though, I have to say that Steve's suggestion to use the chin up grip seems to alleviate tennis elbow type of strain.
In summation, this is one of the better books or web sources out there. Since it will probably takes months for you to reach your pull up goals, and since you'll need to adapt existing progressions to find your own ideal path, this book might well be part of your personal solution. I'm definitely thinking about buying Steve's DVD on upper body bodyweight exercises at some point, despite all the good stuff on the web for free.
If you pay attention to the advice about breathing, controlling your facial expressions, being disciplined about your exercise form, tracking your progress, and not cheating to "accelerate" your progress, you'll also improve in every other exercise you do.
Of course, this book also delivers on its promise of rational plan for attaining the chin up and for coaching others to do the same. Extremely clear-cut, detailed instructions guide you along every step of the way towards chin up mastery.
So, whether you can already chin or you can't, this book is a valuable read.
Over the summer I worked with a female client who played college volleyball and wanted to stay in shape over the summer as well as address her weaknesses, one of which being unable to do a chin up.
Using Coach Maxwells your first chin up routine, I was able to get her to her first chin up in under 12 weeks! I couldn't have done it without the excellent breakdown.
Now I can send her back ready to shock her coaches.
I've seen a bunch and Maxwell is the best authority on safe, non-nonsense strength building.