We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Pull-ups and Chin-ups are perhaps the most frequently-used measure of men's fitness, and some form of them belongs in any fitness regimen. What's the difference between the two?
If you are in bad shape, you will not be able to do many, or even one. That feels pathetic and unmanly to most guys. I recall that my Dad had the habit of morning pull-ups and push-ups well into his mid-70s before work (worked until 76). He kept that part of his Basic Training going. He was naturally wiry and strong anyway.
Only the fittest women can do any because they have less native upper body strength and tend to have a higher fat/muscle ratio. Many middle-aged guys find their paltry pull-up counts to be deeply humiliating, and rightly so. Weakness is shameful for most guys, even more so than ignorance, for evolutionary reasons. In fitness training, humiliation and failure are always on the agenda. That builds character, victory does not.
One good test to assess your pull-up potential is to jump up to a bar and see how long you can hang with your chin at bar level. That is, in fact, a good strengthening exercise in itself for beginners. Count the seconds that you can hang up there before slowly collapsing.
Chin-ups and pull-ups test primarily back muscles, and secondarily arms and core. Three sets/wk is plenty. The technique is not to muscle one's way up with your arms, but to lift your chin to the bar by driving your elbows down with full power.
As far as I'm concerned, pull-ups can be viewed as either weight-training or as calisthenics. It's a body weight, multi-muscle group stress and, if 15 reps gets easy, just put on a weight vest to keep it challenging. Here's how to Do More Than One Stinking Pull-Up
Are kipping pull-ups cheating? It depends.Certainly anybody would prefer to do more dead-hang pull-ups if they could. They are hard. All exercise is agonizing, though, if done right. No pain, no gain.
"Certainly anybody would prefer to do more dead-hang pull-ups if they could."
I'm not sure. Kipping and strict pull ups are different variations of the same exercise, with different benefits. With kipping the angle of pull is different, more into the chest as opposed to down to it, and because of the kip, you can do more volume, and you work the core. (Need a strong core for a controlled effective kip.) Both are good.
Another variation is chest to bar pull ups, forcing you to be more explosive, both with the arms, lats and the kip. And if you can do all this, there is the bar muscle up. (Something I have not yet been able to do.)
I spent 30 years in the moving business. I can still move an upright piano by myself in my 60's. I have moved my daughters apartments alone numerous times. I cannot do more than 3 pull ups or chin ups.