The Family Chin-up Challenge

The Monkey Chin Bar

My boys and I are starting this challenge – please feel free to participate and share your results as well (and please feel free to taunt and talk smack – within reason; this is the family Chin-up challenge).

This is a training volume test. The goal is to see who can do the most chin-ups between now (call it May 1st 2014) and July 31st 2014 – that’s 3 months of glorious chin-up action. To be clear, this is not the most at one time; it’s the most done cumulatively between those dates.


  • If you are heavier and/or subtly out of shape, you can initially do banded-assisted chins using the equation 3 banded chins = 1 chin for the contest
  • Chins should be dead-hang or as close as your elbows will allow; plus chin over the bar (i.e. all the way up and all the way down) – I’ll use the old adage here – you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t perform the reps correctly
  • No kipping chins allowed; we’re looking to strengthen the back in this instance; we’re not performing a total-body workout
  • Any grip (overhand, underhand, or neutral) is accepted

  • Additional Rules Specific to my Situation (just sharing to share)

  • I am +100 chins out of the gate (my oldest son is giving me the 100 for our contest) – I’m not happy about this but candidly, I need them
  • My middle son is +75 out of the gate (my oldest son is giving him the 75)
  • We are using the “honor system” – you can jump on the bar whenever you like and record your chins – any day or night
  • I am creating a master sheet to report the progress
  • For full disclosure; we’ve made some smallish side bets to sweeten the deal
  • Why chins?

    In my case for three reasons:

  • I don’t do enough back work and I need the additional incentive/motivation
  • I believe it’s really hard to overtrain the back, so this format of training should not interfere with other training modalities
  • With regard specifically to my sons; I believe chins are a great upper-body exercise for athletes
  • Good Luck!

    The Monkey Chin Bar

    The Monkey Chin Bar

    Beast Reality: Shitty days

    When I was a young boy,

    My father took me into the city

    To see a marching band.

    He said, “Son when you grow up

    would you be the savior of the broken,

    the beaten and the damned?”

    He said, “Will you defeat them,

    your demons, and all the non-believers,

    the plans that they have made?”

    Because one day I’ll leave you,

    A phantom to lead you in the summer,

    To join the Black Parade.

    — My Chemical Romance, “Welcome to the Black Parade”

    Will you defeat them, your demons…?

    I’m restless in bed. My shoulders are throbbing from a serious training session involving heavy military pressing (throbbing in a good way…well, mostly good). I can’t fall asleep, so I prop up some pillows, flip on my side, and turn to YouTube. I like to watch the “YouTubes,” as Mark Bell would say. Just a couple of quick vids and then I’ll be able to fall asleep.

    That’s when I accidentally fell in love.

    Click link below for full article:

    Beast Reality: Shitty Days

    Nova Football Head Coach Lauds Beast Athlete

    Cherry 500 Box Squat Celebration

    “… Donny Cherry from Trumbull, Connecticut had a spectacular summer with us — he was head-and-shoulders above everybody running and lifting.”

    - Andy Talley, Villanova Football Head Coach

    … he was head-and-shoulders above everybody running and lifting - What a fantastic compliment to an athlete who had completed 3+ Strength & Conditioning cycles with BEAST.

    Below: Don Cherry High School Football and Beast Highlights

    Clearly I have a bias toward Beast. If I did not, I would have closed its angry maw two years ago. From a trainer’s perspective, when it comes to working with young athletes there is a tremendous amount of sacrifice required, but there can be a substantial rewards as well. Read more »

    2012 RPS Connecticut Battle of Champions – 625 Deadlift

    625 Deadlift

    2012 RPS Connecticut Battle of the Champions, sanctioned by Gene Rychlak’s Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate, was held at the EUROPA Expo at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on June 30, 2012.

    I weighed-in at 287.6 and competed in 308 Amateur “Raw Modern” (knee wraps allowed for Squat), Master 40-44.

    This was my third and final Deadlift attempt at 625. The lift only received one “White Light” from the judges, and therefore was not counted in my total, yet it’s the lift I am most proud of because it represents a significant increase in my deadlift strength and I’ve worked really hard for it over the past two years.

    I hit a 605 on my second lift, which is currently a RPS World Record for my Division, and was the first time I was able to pull north of 600 in competition.

    The Walking Dead Press

    The Walking Dead Press Beastly Zombie Girl

    Zombies have really gotten a plethora of press as of late. Eating another’s face off after ingesting “bath salts” is apparently becoming the new grisly crime du jour.

      The grisly assault on a homeless man whose face was eaten by a deranged assailant lasted for 18 agonizing minutes and was captured on nearby surveillance cameras.

      Rudy Eugene, who authorities suspect may have been high on a dangerous new street drug known as “bath salts,” had to be shot four times by a police officer to halt the cannibalistic attack.
      - ABC News

    Bath salts? WTF?

    “Bath salts” have apparently become increasingly popular in the Miami party scene and it has been suggested they can trigger extremely violent outbursts.

    Who knew?

    Bon appetit; ya know?

    I love talking about the Zombie Apocalypse. It can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. To be honest, I think I have a lot of bottled anger and pent-up aggression that I wouldn’t mind releasing on droves of fucking zombies – a la ZOMBIELAND (just keep Bill Murray away from my itchy trigger finger please).

    However, I’ve already digressed in excess, because this is a blog about BENCH PRESS TRAINING and an extremely effective exercise that has found its way into my programming – The Dead Press (aka Pin Presses) or, for the purposes of this blog, The Walking Dead Press.

    The Walking Dead Press Beastly Zombie Girl

    The Walking Dead Press Beastly Zombie Girl

    A little about The Walking Dead Press:

    Read more »