Chin Up Challenge Attempt at 284 Lbs.


About 30 days ago, June 23rd 2009, I challenged myself. I was to perform one unassisted chin up by August 1st. I recorded myself not being able to perform a chin up, as proof. I then did some band assisted chin ups, three reps, for the first time ever. Not being able tp perform a chin up was pretty embarrassing, but the way I look at it is that I have a ton of room for growth. And I will show growth!

Just to recap, here are the starting numbers from June 23rd:

  • 0 reps unassisted chin ups
  • 3 reps band assisted chin ups

The good news is that instead of performing a chin up by August 1st, I was actually able to do it exactly one month after I challenged myself. On July 23rd I was able to record myself performing a chin up. Cool right? I think so. Not only does it show some strength, it helps me mentally because it encourages me to keep on plugging away at it. This part of the journey is great because I just keep showing positive signs of improvement.

One of the main reasons I was able to do the chin up is the weight loss. I basically lost about 18 lbs or so from June 23rd to July 23rd. Those 18 lbs were holding my fat ass down! The bands helped a lot to, thanks to Iron Woody Fitness for helping me reach my goal!


After watching the video I noticed that I had full control of that rep, so it was a good one. During the chin up I thought that I may have looked a little sloppy, but that’s not the case. That’s why I kept saying that I didn’t have full control. I am accustomed to doing chin ups from a dead hang, thanks to the military…but Muata suggested I don’t do that so that I’d engage the lats and not hurt any ligaments.

So Muata (Mr. Israel can’t do a pull up at 284 lbs because he is too fat and I was able to do my first chin up at 225 lbs but can now do 9.5 chin ups), I was able to do a chin up. What do you have to say now? You keep doubting me brotha!!! I told you that I was a beast. That’s what the whole unleashing thing is about my man. I’m not at your level yet, but I will be thanks to you. Critiquing and providing advice is always welcomed in my book. I know that I need to work on form for some movements, but that’s why video and people were created. Keep pushing me. It helps tremendously.

Numbers after 30 days:

  • 1 rep unassisted chin ups
  • 5 reps band assisted chin ups

Not too shabby! I can’t wait until I’m repping 10+ chins up! I don’t think that’s too far away…End of year maybe?

That’s one challenge down…2 more to go.

About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (24)

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  1. MuataNo Gravatar says:

    Not too shabby my friend. You proved me wrong (to a certain degree), and I applaud you for your efforts. Now keep focusing on losing fat, so your chin-up numbers will increase ….

  2. WOW!
    I admire your commitment. From expereince, i know that the joy of looking at what my body used to look like and what it looks like now.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. ZeronaNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been trying to lose those extra few pounds for a long time now. But, every single time i’ve given up. Your progress has inspired me to give one more try to getting this done.
    Thank you…
    And keep it going…

  4. BMI ObesityNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff! Chin-ups are hard to do.

  5. JeremyNo Gravatar says:

    Very inspirational and as a new reader to your blog I look forward to seeing how you progress. I bet you can do 10 by the end of September!


  6. Keep up the good work. Its good that your able to finally do some pull ups/chin ups. As a word of advice though, never do dips the same day you try to do chin ups. I did this and learned the hard way how to injure my shoulder. Anyway good luck with reaching 10 reps. Sure you will get it soon!

  7. BuhNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent work! Pullups require a lot of effort to perfect. You might want to try static (isometric) holds at 3 different positions: top, middle, and bottom. These will help coordinate the movement. You seem to have a sticking point slightly above middle. Try to get strong enough to touch your chin to the bar. 1 rep with the complete range of motion will give better strength than 5 half reps. Best of luck.

  8. NeoNo Gravatar says:

    Chin up is one of most toughest exercise for me….even tougher than machine exercises.I started doing 5 good chin ups after 5 months of machine exercise.


  9. Jackson NgNo Gravatar says:

    One effective way of exercise is to ensure that it is enjoyable. Rather than going for a full chin up initially for starter. Choose a lower bar whereby your leg will be able to touch the ground. Incline your body by moving your leg forward. When you tilted a greater angle the easier it will be with the chin up.

    Some one might think that it is cheating yourself, but in this way you can do more repetition. That will give you a lot of motivation. You may even want to get assistant to give you a little help. Most important it will avoid unnecessary injuries and it will be fun & motivating that you will improve along day after day. Soon you will be able to do more full chin up in the standard chip up bar even by starting this way.

    It is just another alternative suggestion for those who wanted a fun & sustainable way of carrying out exercise.

    Good work! Keep it up. Hope to see more update from you.

    • Thats a good idea and I actually tried that a few times, but since I have the bands I like being able to be suspended in air without my feet on the ground. It will teach and force me to control my body so that it doesnt swing excessively.

  10. Thanks Israel Lagares for the good tips, your evolution has inspired me to furnish one more try to getting this done.


  11. Congratulations on 3.4 more pounds lost! That’s great!

    I’m impressed by the 5 chin ups. I don’t think I can do that.

  12. LouisaNo Gravatar says:

    Well done fella!

    I’m concentrating on shifting the pounds firstly but it’s great to see what’s possible with mind power πŸ™‚

  13. SabrinaNo Gravatar says:

    So, how is the progress coming…Have you done more pull ups?

  14. StephanieNo Gravatar says:

    Way to go! Thanks for posting – very inspiring. Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  15. JimNo Gravatar says:

    Love articles that blast away the excuses. Where there is a will there is a way. Keep up the great work!

  16. AlNo Gravatar says:

    Its good to know that everyone is striving for a goal. This is a lot about gaining more respect for your self. Im a 69 year old senior guy. About 2 years ago I realized my body was flabby and I had no muscle tone. I was able to do 1/2 of a chin up. I said to myself that Im going to Public fitness centre to get in shape. Ok ,so ive been exercising one hour each week. Im happy to tell you I can now do 7 chin ups . Ive been counting each time I went to the centre, so far as of March 1, 2011 it been 58 times. I see no end in sight… im hooked.. you people inspire me.. Ontario Canada

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