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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
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Negative Chins & Headaches
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Captain Puny

My first exposure to negative chins was in Dr. Darden's "Bigger Arms in 2 Weeks" routine. I loved the exercise, so I rolled negative chins and negative dips into my current full-body HIT routines.

The one somewhat bizarre problem I'm experiencing now is that for the last 2 workout, I have been getting a sudden headache at around the 8th rep. I assume it must be oxygen or tension related, but I can't figure it out. I'm breathing many times per rep, though not especially deeply. The headache subsides after a roughly 30 second pause.

My general negative chin and negative dip protocol: I shoot for 8-12 reps and increase weight if I can get all 12. I "target" 10 seconds per rep but I "accept" reps as fast as 6 seconds toward the end of the set.

Does anyone have any suggestions for this problem specifically or for the negative chins\dips in general? I love this exercise and definitely want to keep it. And I will, assuming that my head doesn't pop like a blister or something.
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davise

I had a similar issue on negative chins (pain in the back of the head and feeling like blacking out) Being that each rep takes roughly 10 seconds, I cut the rep range to 6-9 and this seemed to help quite a bit. Thats still 60-90 seconds TUL which is plenty. Could be that you are gripping so hard its raising your blood pressure sky high causing your headache.
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jastrain

davise wrote:
I had a similar issue on negative chins (pain in the back of the head and feeling like blacking out) Being that each rep takes roughly 10 seconds, I cut the rep range to 6-9 and this seemed to help quite a bit. Thats still 60-90 seconds TUL which is plenty. Could be that you are gripping so hard its raising your blood pressure sky high causing your headache.


make sure you are not holding your breath during any part of the exercise.breath normally keep mouth open. also your rep range seems pretty high for the neg only chins/dips.do 8 second rep.you should be able to get 3 or four with the strict 8 sec count.

the 5 rep will move alittle faster and the 6th faster but keep fighting to get 8sec on each rep even though you will be moveing faster. stop the exercise when are fighting a 1or 2 second rep.you will probably have to keep adding weight each neg only workout.

i add weight if i can do 4reps at 6 second on the next workout.you will be shocked at how strong you will become in a very short period of time with neg chins and dips.hit 4 at 8 seconds and add weight the next workout. you will work up to some shoching strength levels.
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JohnV474

Though you are breathing (which is good), are you keeping your face and neck muscles relaxed? If you are making faces or moving your neck out of a neutral position then that could contribute to muscle tension and pressure build up in the head.

JohnV474
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Captain Puny

Thanks for the tips\feedback.

davise and jastrain, thanks for the tips on adjusting the rep range, weight, and TUL. That really makes a lot of sense. A little decrease in reps and\or TUL replaced instead by more weight could be what I need.

JohnV474, I think you've nailed me here. I do consciously try to keep my neck and face relaxed when I think of it, but you know how concentration can slip when the set gets into that life-or-death feel, heh heh heh. Given how hard the work gets at the end of neg-only chins, I probably look like I'm being electrocuted.

I appreciate the help, guys.
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Ciccio

I experienced some exercise induced headache in the past.
After I implemented shrugs as my first exercise in the routine they went away.
Nowadays I don't have always shrugs in the beginning or at all, except some light warm up with 50% of my usual working weight. Still, the headaches never came back. Maybe I got better at relaxing unreleated muscles when lifting intensly.

Franco
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Acerimmer1

levator scapula? Go see a therapist.

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CBhitter

West Virginia, USA

This has nothing to do with headaches but only with negative chins. I am a heavy person that is not even strong enough to do negative chins. I was hoping someone can help me devise a plan to get strong enought for me to perform a negative chin.
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McNultyEssex

CBhitter wrote:
This has nothing to do with headaches but only with negative chins. I am a heavy person that is not even strong enough to do negative chins. I was hoping someone can help me devise a plan to get strong enought for me to perform a negative chin.


There's a good Arthur Jones video on YouTube about a professional football player, I think, who couldn't begin to perform a negative chinup. Problem was, he needed to do 4 or so regular chinups to pass the team fitness test.

Jones got assistants to help the man lower himself. You could use one of those machines that have a chin assist, if accessible, or perhaps use bodylastics to force your body weight up towards the chinning bar.
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tylerg

CBhitter wrote:
This has nothing to do with headaches but only with negative chins. I am a heavy person that is not even strong enough to do negative chins. I was hoping someone can help me devise a plan to get strong enought for me to perform a negative chin.


Start by doing reverse, narrow grip pulldowns (underhand, if you will, or,with your palms facing you). Use heavy weights, maintain control, emphasize the negative.

Tyler
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Nautilus1975

I can get you a weight assisted chin and dip if you are that serious.....
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Captain Puny

Just a little update, in case anyone else experiences this. I took some of the earlier advice -- I slightly increased the weight and went with an 8-second "slowest" speed. If I could still do a 6-second rep by #4, I increased weight for the next neg-only chin workout. In addition, I paid special attention to relaxing my face and neck and tried to keep my breathing nice and steady.

Long story short, the headaches are gone! I think a combination of the above changes and just getting used to this very demanding (but awesome) exercise made the difference. Thanks to all who gave advice!

Oh, also -- I'm not very heavy, but when I first picked up weights I was too weak to do positive chins. I gave up on the exercise and just started progressively training on the lat pulldown machine instead. When I went back to it much, much later, the chins were suddenly no longer a problem.
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