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View Full Version : Preferable Method for Weighted L-Chin-ups?


Patrick Donnelly
12-21-2008, 04:13 PM
Three options:
1. ankle weights
2. weight vest
3. weight belt (weight hanging behind you, obviously not with the chain going between the legs in front)

Which is the standard one? (Is there even a standard?) For general strength-building, with the goal of a L-rope climb, which one would you recommend? Why? Each method of adding weight so drastically changes the exercise that I really can't determine which would be best.

George Mounce
12-21-2008, 04:17 PM
Whats the goal? Stabilizing the mid-line while doing a chin-up is all about ankle weights, but doesn't add much to the total weight of the pull-up (at least I don't think people could add even close as much as the other methods). The other two don't accomplish much more then add weight to a chin-up, and require the normal amount of mid-line stabilization.

Blair Lowe
12-21-2008, 04:27 PM
Hold a Dumbbell between your ankles.

Patrick Donnelly
12-21-2008, 06:49 PM
Whats the goal? Stabilizing the mid-line while doing a chin-up is all about ankle weights, but doesn't add much to the total weight of the pull-up (at least I don't think people could add even close as much as the other methods). The other two don't accomplish much more then add weight to a chin-up, and require the normal amount of mid-line stabilization.

Well, the challenge that you typically get from an unweighted L-chin-up comes from the fact that your center of mass is offset. It forces you to put your body behind the bar, pulling up with your arms at an angle, in a very small way, similar to the front lever pull-ups. So, adding more mass to the ankles increases this offset. While it becomes much more difficult, when weight is added, not much of that difficulty comes from a lack of ab strength.

This is what makes me wonder which method is preferable.


If you imagine the system of the bar, body, and additional weight, as the weight approaches infinity (wouldn't we all love to do a chin-up with infinity extra pounds?), the position of the center of mass varies greatly between ankle weights (at the ankles), a weight vest (in the torso, like a regular pull-up), and weight belt (slightly behind and below the torso). These are all drastically different exercises.


Re: Blair
Fortunately, I have 2x10lb adjustable ankle weights. If I decide to use them, I'm certain that they will keep me plenty occupied for a while.

Steven Low
12-21-2008, 07:56 PM
Depends on what you want to accomplish like George said. No ifs, ands or buts on this one....

Blair Lowe
12-22-2008, 03:39 PM
Hmm, I'll try one with my DB and tell you how much it sucks. It's heavier than I would prefer (25lb) but I either will do one or it won't happen.

Garrett Smith
12-22-2008, 03:55 PM
I'd personally find a harder BW exercise to do. Why not get good at ice cream makers?

New moves are more fun to learn & do than simply adding weight to old ones, IMO.

That's exactly the reason I started doing focused gymnastics training instead of metcon....

Patrick Donnelly
12-23-2008, 12:07 PM
Depends on what you want to accomplish like George said. No ifs, ands or buts on this one....

Well, how do the goals they help you reach vary? That's what I'd like to know.

Garrett Smith
12-23-2008, 12:47 PM
What goal are you trying to reach by adding weight to L-chin-ups, other than being able to do them weighted? That will help their response...

Steven Low
12-23-2008, 02:18 PM
I mean if you're looking for brute pulling strength there's better stuff... cross, weighted pullups, some form of rowing, front levers, etc. If you're looking for core there's better stuff too.

It's a good combo of core + pulling I suppose if that's what you want... but I wouldn't waste my time with them. If you were looking for core + pulling then it'd probably be better to do them with the weights on your ankles.

Patrick Donnelly
12-26-2008, 03:56 PM
It's mostly that I just want to have good pulling strength, but I find it very hard to make progress with regular chin-ups. So, I was looking to the L-pull-up as an alternative, interesting, and fun way to continue working on that. Just a slight weight variance completely changes the difficulty. Just an increase of 2-3lbs can easily be the difference between a 3 rep set and a 2 rep struggle for me, and then doing further sets after a struggling one is simply impossible. That's like eating a large meal pre-workout, rather than a small one, or forgetting to remove your squat shoes before moving on to chin-ups, or drinking too much water. It's also weird that I set my 3RM record of 50lbs at a bodyweight of about 178, and now that I'm about 200, that's difficult for me, but my ability to do a OAC negative has improved dramatically (gone from absolutely no control whatsoever to a 1.5-2s negative).


I am also working on ICPO's 3x a week, but want to keep some bent-arm pulling too (eg. a pull-up variation).

Darryl Shaw
12-27-2008, 05:19 AM
Three options:
1. ankle weights
2. weight vest
3. weight belt (weight hanging behind you, obviously not with the chain going between the legs in front)

Which is the standard one? (Is there even a standard?) For general strength-building, with the goal of a L-rope climb, which one would you recommend? Why? Each method of adding weight so drastically changes the exercise that I really can't determine which would be best.

I'm not sure if it's necessarily the best method or the safest but I use a regular leather dipping belt with the weight in front and the chain adjusted so it's a little longer than I normally use. I'm always very careful getting into position with the weight hanging slightly below thighs in the L position and so far I haven't had any problems using this method, although for obvious reasons they're some of the strictest deadhang pull-ups I ever do.

Ben Reynolds
07-14-2009, 03:16 PM
Most gymnasts I've read about add small amounts of weight at the end of limbs to challenge balance. As far as training for an L-sit rope climb, I would recommend training with ropes specifically if you have at least 10 pullups. Personally, I would get comfortable rope climbing with arms only and straight legs, then gradually incorporate the L-sit as the exercise becomes easier.