Guide To Doing Pull-ups & Chin-ups To Build Bigger Back & Biceps…

Click on the pictures below to see how to do certain variations of Pull-ups & Chin-ups for bigger arms & back muscles…

Any of the Pull-ups & Chin-ups above done alone will help you build an impressive set of arms along with a nice back but…

Certain Pull-ups & Chin-ups will help you focus more on a certain area of your arms & back (like doing the close grip chin-ups for bigger biceps) and in case you didn't know…

Using Pull-ups & Chin-ups to get the bigger back & arms you want…

Once you're able to do about 30-to-50 bodyweight only Pull-ups or Chin-ups (and not all necessarily in a row) butpull-ups and chin-ups within a workout where you are doing 5-to-10 bodyweight Pull-ups & Chin-ups at a time…

Then you're going to end up with a pretty decent looking set of arms & a wider back so quite simply…

Just do a workout where you do 4+ sets of 8+ reps of bodyweight only Pull-ups or Chin-ups to get better looking arms & back that you may be satisfied with but…

Bodyweight Pull-ups & Chin-ups can only take you so far so…

If want an even thicker & wider back along with even bigger arms then you're going to have to do weighted Pull-ups or Chin-ups using more than just your bodyweight and there's 6 ways you can do that…

  1. You can wear a Weight Vest or…
  2. You can wear a Dipping Belt or…
  3. You can wear a book bag filled with weights or other stuff or…
  4. You can hold a dumbbell or weight with your legs or…
  5. You can have a small child or person get on your back or…
  6. Find some creative way to add more weight to your Pull-ups or Chin-ups because…

The key to getting bigger is to get stronger and your arms & back can only get but so big using just your bodyweight on Pull-ups & Chin-ups so To do weighted Pull-ups or Chin-ups for bigger arms & back…

Don't believe the myth that using an ultra wide grip wider than shoulder width works your back more because…

It can actually injure your joints and really wide Pull-ups & Chin-ups decreases the range of motion giving you an even worse back & bicep workout.

3 fast muscle building techniques you can use with Pull-ups & Chin-ups…

1. Drop Sets

In these you'll start off doing up to 12 reps of any Pull-up or Chin-up and once you can't do any more reps (or once you get up to 12 reps…)

Drop sets are best saved for the last 1-to-2 sets of your pull-up workout because they are so intense.

2. Forced Reps

Forced reps are done during a regular set to help you do all the recommended number of reps or…

You can do a lot of forced reps on the last 1-to-2 sets of a Pull-up and/or Chin-up workout (like drop sets) where your partner gradually gives you more & more assistance to help you do more & more reps.

3. Negative Pre-Exhaust

Play the video below for an example of the negative pre-exhaust technique with Pull-ups & Chin-ups…

In a negative pre-exhaust set you're doing a slow 20+ second negative Pull-up or Chin-up followed by you doing another back or arm exercise so for example…

Negative pre-exhaust are also very intense and they should only be done by themselves in their own workout maybe even replacing your current back and/or arm workouts and because they are so intense…

Behind Olympic lifts like power cleans…

Pull-ups & Chin-ups are the best exercises for a bigger back &…

This may be even more true for you if you have a hard time learning the correct technique for the Olympic lifts or don't have access to weights or a gym and if you want that V-taper or V-shape body…

Then you have to find a place in your back workout for Pull-ups & Chin-ups to target your lats for a wider back and also…

Pull-ups & Chin-ups are definitely the #1 exercise for bigger arms so…

Forget about doing curls unless you're already also doing Pull-ups & Chin-ups (especially close grip Pull-ups & Chin-ups) as your main bicep/arm exercise because…

Curls are just a simple isolation exercise that CANNOT match the intensity of a Pull-up or Chin-up for bigger arms &…

Do you think your biceps are going to get bigger by curling up 25-to-75 pounds with 1 arm or… By you doing a chin-up with all of your bodyweight (all 100+ lbs. or more of you) wearing a weight vest?

The answer is simple. The chin-up! &…

TO make myself even more clear see how your muscles get bigger & stronger but to break it down in simpler terms…

What's going to cause more damage after running into your house - Is it an 18 wheeler (the chin-up) or a tiny 4 door car (the bicep curls)?

If you're not strong enough to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up then…

Doing negative Pull-ups or Chin-ups where you take at least 5 seconds to lower yourself down is one of the best ways to quickly get strong enough to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up.

Note: The "negative" portion of a Pull-up or Chin-up is the non-working part or the part where you lower yourself down during a Pull-up or Chin-up. See an example a negative close grip Pull-up here

TO use negatives to get strong enough to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up…

Here's 4 more exercises you can do to get strong enough to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up…

1. Beginner Pull-ups or Chin-ups

Play video below to see how to do Beginner Pull-ups or Chin-ups

2. Machine Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

Play video below to see how to do Machine Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

3. Partner Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

Play video below to see how to do Partner Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

4. Band Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

Play video below to see how to do Band Assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups

If you're having trouble doing negative Pull-ups or Chin-ups where you can't even hold each rep for 3-to-5 seconds then these 4 type of beginner & assisted Pull-ups or Chin-ups are your next best option &…

As you get stronger you can use less & less assistance until you're able to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up on your own &…

You can also do other back exercises here to help you get strong enough to do 1 Pull-up or Chin-up.

If you don't have access to a gym then…

More back exercises…

Click on photos to see how to do exercise

More Bicep Exercises…

Click on photos to see how to do exercise

Make sure you also see…

You may also want to look at…

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There are 23 comments

hi adrian,i hav lost quite bit weight like 130pounds and still losing i hav issue with back fat and lose arm fat to tone arm and back fat i bought doorway gym bar now i dont want bigger arms or wider back actually quite the opposite dont hav upper body strength that's why cant do chin ups or pull ups i most try to hang on it trying to lift my feet up from the floor can you guide me what exercises i should do at home to tone arm and lose flab

June 21, 2015


Hi. I am 15 years old 65kg and178cm tall. I have been trying to do a first pull-up/chin- up. I train negatives with three grips : neutral-grip, chin-up grip and pull-up grip everyday. I do the negatives 20-40s for each rep. I keep my shoulders down and I can feel the muscles working. I have been working like this for 1 and a half months. I still can't do a full chin-up or pull-up although I can do partials about below 90 degrees. Can you help me with this? Or is it that I need to carry on for a longer time?

August 17, 2014

Adrian Bryant

do some of the other 4 exercsies along with the negatives to help you do 1 chin

August 17, 2014


Thank you, Adrian

August 18, 2014


Hi There I'm just wondering what would be the the best number between 4-12 reps to build muscle using pull ups and chin ups.Thanks best regards Daniel

January 15, 2013

Adrian Bryant

no best number. just pick the BEST weight that will only allow you to do 4-12 reps per set

January 15, 2013


Hey, I love doing pull ups and chin ups, but everytime i workout on the pull up bar, the next day my neck(or trapezius not too sure) feels kind of stiff and the more exsercises I the stiffer my neck/trapezius feels. I wonder what could be the reason of this stiffnes? or if there is something i could do to avoid it ?

Thank you

December 04, 2012

Adrian Bryant

was that your first time doing pull-ups in a while?

December 06, 2012


No, I am doing them kind of regularly , trying to do some pullups at least once in two weeks

December 07, 2012


I just want to say great article. Pull ups are by far my favorite workout exercise. I like how you've broken down the different types of pull/chin ups. In the fear of over training and not allowing the body to rest and muscle to grow, can I really do a different pull up everyday and effectively rest? If I can I would love to. I do Squats/Overhead Press/Dead lift Mondays, then Squats/Bench/Rows Wednesdays, then back to squats/oh press/dl Fridays, then the next week make my Wednesday my new mom and fri and my mon my new wens. Can I add a different type of pull up each day of the week?

September 23, 2012

Adrian Bryant

pullups everyday? it depends on the amount of sets and reps you do

September 24, 2012


Hi, I have a bar in my doorway at home and normally do 3sets of 10 chinups on occasions which am comfortable with doing. I want to get bigger and find it hard because I have quite a athletic body type even though I eat alot too! I prefer working out at home as gym is quite far from me, can you give me advice on what the best workout routines would be for me and also if weight gain would be a good idea too? Thanks Jay :-)

August 09, 2012

Adrian Bryant

this workout here would suit you best

August 10, 2012


Adrian can i just do the bicep curls instead of pull ups

September 11, 2012

Adrian Bryant

is there some reason why you cant do them?

September 12, 2012


Hi Adrian, now that i am able to do 4 chin-ups by following the method you describe with negatives, should i continue with the negative chin-ups or start up with just chin-ups now,i'd hate to neglect the negatives ,they treated me well.

June 22, 2012

Adrian Bryant

you can start doing regular chins but if you still want to do negs... do them at the end of workout

June 24, 2012


hi, this is my kind of working out, but what i would like to know is if you can do chin-ups/pull-ups everyday or every other day? I am 52 years old 5-11 205 pounds

June 12, 2012

Adrian Bryant

It depends on how much weight, reps and sets you are doing if you want to do it everyday

June 14, 2012


Hi Adrian, thanks for your reply, actually right now i am back at the toddler stage for doing chin/pull-ups, i am starting off with the negative method just as you describe and holy cow are my arms and latts sore the next day ,so i have no choice but to do them everyotherday. Back when i was in my twenties i could do 5 sets of 25-28 chin-ups so i am hoping my muscles remember and get stronger fast so i can follow your other routines. Also thankyou for inspiring me to do the farmers walk, that one is where my heart is. Sacre cool

June 16, 2012

Matthew Bradshaw

Hi there pal, I have a few questions for you. Firstly, I was wondering how long will it be before I see noticeable changes in arm size/back size If I am doing chin ups and pull ups once a week ( 3 sets for each), working up to sets of 10 before adding weight? Also are tricep dips good for adding mass to triceps and how many exercises should I perform for triceps, as I want to keep to bodyweight movements only. Cheers for your time.

May 12, 2012

Adrian Bryant

Just chinups and dips alone for 4-6 sets of 4-12 reps to get bigger arms in 2-to-4 weeks

May 13, 2012

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