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It's been an year now that I'm doing a proper workout 6 days a week without a break.

I started as a newbie with a small pair of dumbbells. I wasn't able to do push ups or pull ups (Chin Ups). After 6 months I was able to lift heavy dumbbells and also able to do push ups but no pull ups. I thought maybe my arms are still not that strong to lift my self. But now It is around an year. I have transformed myself very well into a good shape and everything looks good. I do heavy weight exercise of each and every muscle of my body. I can list heavy weight while I'm working out on CHEST, SHOULDERS, WINGS, ARMS (Bicep-Tricep), Thighs...

But I am still not able to do the pull ups(chin ups) effectively/properly.

Could you please let me know where I am wrong or what I am doing wrong in my workout?


EDIT:

My workout plan that I am currently following.(Monday to Friday). On Saturday I usually run and do few cardio exercises for abs.

Day 1: Chest

  • Barbell bench press - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 15kg to 25kg(on each side) gradually.
  • Incline dumbbell press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 12kg to 20kg dumbbells gradually.
  • Dumbbell flyes bench press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 12kg to 20kg dumbbells gradually.
  • Butterfly chest press - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 40kg to 60kg gradually.
  • Vertical bench press machine - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 50kg to 70kg gradually.
  • Cable Crossover - 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 16kg to 24kg(on each side) gradually.
  • Pull over - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 16kg to 24kg gradually.

Day 2: Back/Wings

  • Pullups - Unable to do it properly even a single one
  • Behind the neck lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 34kg to 44kg
  • Reverse grip front lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg
  • Bent over barbell row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 20kg to 30kg.
  • Straight arm standing lat pulldown - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 29kg to 34kg
  • Seated Cable Row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg
  • T Bar Row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 20kg to 30kg
  • Barbell Shrug - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with heavy dumbbells

Day 3: Shoulders

  • Front Plate Raise - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 15kg to 20kg
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 16kg to 24kg dumbbells
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 20kg to 30kg
  • Barbell shoulder press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 20kg to 30kg
  • Side Lateral Raises - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 10kg to 12kg dumbbells
  • Machine Shoulder Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 34kg to 44kg

Day 4: Arms

  • Close grip barbell bench press - 3 sets of 6-8 reps with 20kg to 30kg
  • Triceps pushdown - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 34kg to 44kg
  • Cable Hammer Curls with Rope - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 34kg to 44kg
  • Lying Triceps Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 10kg to 15kg
  • EZ-Bar Curl - 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 15kg to 20kg
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl - 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 12kg to 16kg dumbbells
  • Standing Biceps Cable Curl - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 34kg to 44kg
  • Bicep Machine Curls - 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 20kg to 30kg

Day 5: Legs

  • Simple Squats - 3 sets of 20-30 reps
  • Barbell Squats - 4 sets of 4-6 reps with 40kg to 50kg
  • Leg press - 4 sets of 8-10 reps with 40kg to 80kg
  • Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg
  • Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg

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    Please add more detail about which exercises (weights, sets, and repetitions) that you do on each of the days that you work out. – Christian Conti-Vock Mar 10 '17 at 14:02
  • @CCCV the question is updated. Now you can look into it in a detail and please suggest a solution if you have any. Thanks. – Suhaib Janjua Mar 14 '17 at 15:14
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    How much do you weigh? – Gunge Mar 15 '17 at 8:49
  • Thank you for the additional information. Like @Gaius, I think you are doing too much volume, and too many isolation exercises. I like @JJosaur's answer, and suggest a similar resource, "Training The Chin-Up". – Christian Conti-Vock Mar 15 '17 at 16:52
  • @JJosaur I'm around 84 at the moment.. – Suhaib Janjua Mar 16 '17 at 13:32
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"however I am lifting heavy weight and also doing lots of push ups"

Lets have a look at the movements that would help with being able to achieve a pull up:

  • Pullups - Unable to do it properly even a single one
  • Behind the neck lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 34kg to 44kg
  • Reverse grip front lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg
  • Bent over barbell row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 20kg to 30kg.
  • Straight arm standing lat pulldown - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 29kg to 34kg
  • Seated Cable Row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg

Closest to a pull-up is:

  • Behind the neck lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 34kg to 44kg

Closest to a chin-up is:

  • Reverse grip front lat pull down - 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 39kg to 49kg

Those weights put you around 60-70kg for your 1 rep max. Try loading up the lat-pulldown with your bodyweight and try completing the exercise.

To complete a pull up you want to work from an "active hang". hang relaxed from the bar and then firm your abs and pull your lats down and back. Try to bend the ends of the bar away from yourself and squeeze your lats to give yourself some movement off the dead-hang position. Relax and repeat for reps.

You want to always pull-up from this active hang.

Here is a great progression for how to move from leg assisted, jack-knife, cccentric, half and then full pull-ups: http://www.startbodyweight.com/p/pull-up-progression.html

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Working out six days a week, week in and week out seems to me like it could be a problem. Your body needs time to rest as well. I think at the very least if you are pushing yourself to new goals you should work one day and rest the next.

Working out three times a week has always been the sweet spot for me. You can then always ramp up the exercise for a short term goal and then rest a full week. More is not always better.

If this is your goal then loosing some weight may do you well. I certainly was never going to do a pull up when I weighed 130 kg but now that I weigh 105 kg a pull up is much more of achievable ambition.

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Pull-ups are a fantastic exercise but it is a hump to get over before you can do them. If your gym has an assisted machine, try that. Or just place a chair behind where your bar is, hang from the bar then bend your knees and place your toes on the chair, and try the pull up giving yourself just enough assistance to complete the movement. If you are using your toes to make contact with the chair, you won't be able to give yourself too much help anyway. This will also build the coordination you need to do this compound move. Do the move in a controlled way, 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down. Work your way up to 5x5 like this, then take the chair away and you should be able to do at least 1x5.

I should also say that your volume is far too high. Cut back to 4 days a week and cut out some of the isolation exercises - focus on the compound moves.

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Pull ups aren't easy because you're pulling up your whole body weight. Also a pull up is a compound movement that should activate your back muscles. What kind of back lifts are you doing?(rows, lat pull downs, etc) Those could help strengthen your back to accomplish some pull ups.

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Ex-competitive swimmer here, speaking from personal experience. Pull-ups/chin-ups were something I found easy in my competitive years, but coming back to the gym after many sedentary years, I was in a world of hurt after about 3-4 pullups.

Linear progression is what i found worked for me - start light, add weight each workout, don't compromise recovery by trying to do too much, and ditch the ego.

The problem seems to be too much volume, and little/no progression. Doing the same weight/reps week in/week out will get you nowhere.

To get stronger, you need to increase the weight each workout. For pull/chinups - concentrate on the lat pulldowns and rows, and check your form otherwise you're risking injury. Bring your volume down a bit, maybe to 4-6 reps, but you must increase the weight each week.

For example if you can hit 4-6 reps for all your sets at 44kg, go up one increment in your next workout. If you complete all reps for each set, move up again, and again and again until you hit your body weight. If you fail to complete a rep, that's fine - try again next workout. Only move up if you complete all reps/sets. If you fail 3x in a row, deload by 10% and start again.

It'll take a few weeks, but stick to it, keep progressing and don't be in a hurry for gains. You'll get there.

Finally when you reach body weight on the lat pulldowns, ditch machine altogether and move to the pull up bar, again looking for the same progression - use a dip belt to attach weight.

It's a slow process over many weeks/months, but you're in this for life, right?

Also, I suggest looking at your program - you're a beginner, so there's no need to do so much volume and isolation work. Look at swapping out this "bodybuilder's" routine for a linear progression 5x5 program like stronglifts or starting strength, stick to it and watch the numbers grow. These programs have been around for a while, and are pretty popular, because they work.

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