Chin Up Strength Standards – UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide
Want to get started with chin-ups? This is a popular and essential exercise to have in your workout toolbox, but you might just not have had a chance to add them to your routine yet in 2022.
Chin-ups have benefits such as promoting muscle hypertrophy and building strength, but at first, it can be hard to figure out how many per session you should be doing. This is where chin-up strength standards can help.
Chin-up strength standards are designed to give you a guideline for chin-ups based on your gender, age, weight, and other factors. It’s important to understand chin-up standards thoroughly before you start doing chin-ups, and that’s exactly what this guide will help with, plus answers to more common chin-up standards questions!
Chin Up Strength Standards – A Complete Guide
When we’re talking about chin-up strength standards, this usually means the number of individual reps of chin-ups someone can do in a single session. Chin-up standards usually consider the individual’s body weight, as during a chin-up that’s technically the weight that you’re lifting.
Who decided on chin-up strength standards? Sometimes, for exercise in general, there are scientific studies to determine what the average number of chin-ups or other exercises should be aimed for by certain age groups and weight categories.
Other times, the accepted standard spreads on the internet through sites like YouTube. Content creators and influencers will test the standards for themselves, to try and inform people like you and me of where we should be aiming to.
You might think that standards circulated online can be unreliable, and that’s a fair assumption. But what makes standards so important is that there’s not one single standard for everyone. Workout standards change based on gender, age, height, weight, and potentially other factors.
By looking at the chin-up strength standard that’s closest to where you are currently, you can set an achievable and realistic progression milestone or goal.
Understanding Chin Up Standards
Chin-up standards are split by personal characteristics, but they can also be further split into a sort of ‘tiers’ system of standards. Understanding chin-up standards comes hand in hand with understanding the classifications of the standards.
Usually, there are 5 classes. Beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, and elite. The standards are split this way to help you gauge what level you’re currently at.
When trying to use standards to improve your chin-up strength, it’s a good idea to first test yourself to find out where you fall within the standards. Record your score and use this to determine which of the 5 categories you fall into.
Don’t take these categories at face value though; if you just barely managed to get into the intermediate standards group by forcing yourself to do that 1 last rep, then you’re probably more suited to the novice group. It’s important to remember that the standard assumes you can do the required number of chin-ups comfortably, and not with much effort.
How Many Chin Ups is Good for a Woman?
As we mentioned, the chin-up strength standards will change based on certain factors. One of these is your gender, combined with weight. The difference is very minimal, but it’s still worth asking how many chin-ups is good for a woman?
First, let’s set some assumptions. We’ll be using the average weight of the American woman, which is 166.2 pounds. We’ll round this up to 170 pounds, for consistency’s sake.
At a beginner level, at least 1 single chin-up is expected to be possible for a 170-pound woman. The novice tier takes quite a step up and asks you to do 7 chin-ups to be considered at this standard. Intermediate is 13 chin-ups, advanced is 20 chin-ups, and elite is 28 chin-ups.
As you can see the difference between each tier is around 6-8 chin-ups. If you find yourself easily smashing the elite tier for your body weight at your current standard, you should try to push yourself to go for a higher standard.
How Many Chin Ups Should a 15-Year-Old Do?
Starting exercising when you’re young is great and should be encouraged. Being able to do even a single push-up at 15 still puts you leagues above every other 15-year-old, but unfortunately, there isn’t much information available for improving at that age.
Official scientific standards usually only start at 18 years old due to ethical constraints with researching on anyone under 18. Thankfully, thanks to some unofficial research and some basic calculations using the average body weight and strength of teenagers, it’s possible to determine a standard for how many chin-ups a 15-year-old should do.
To be considered at an “average” or intermediate level, a 15-year-old should be able to do 6 chin-ups comfortably. Again, this is for an average weight 15-year-old male, which is 130 pounds.
Average Chin Ups by Age
For some people, age is a much more accurate measure of chin-up ability than gender. This is because age is much more of a physically limiting factor, as over time muscular atrophy and weakness can set in.
Below is a quick rundown of the standards for the average chin-ups by age. This is for a male of the average weight for their age, and to put them in an average category, which refers to the top 50% of ability in their age group.
Age 6 – 12: 2 Full Chin-up Reps
Age 13: 3 Chin-ups
Age 14: 5 Chin-ups
Age 15: 6 Chin-ups
Age 16 – 18: 8 Chin-ups
Age 19 – 30: 12 Chin-ups
Age 31 – 50: 9-10 Chin-ups
Chin Up Strength Standards – Closing Thoughts
That’s all we have about chin-up strength standards. We’ve based our research on existing 2022 data from studies and online forums and influencers but remember to take it with a pinch of salt. Do your research, and don’t push yourself to the point of injury for the sake of meeting a standard.
Want to know more about standards and workouts to be in the top 50%? Check out our complete guides, tips, routines, WOD plans, and more!