I love variety in my training.
If I do the same old stuff all the time, I get bored.
Honestly, as good of a lift the Bench Press is for developing upper body strength and putting on muscle, I just can not get “into it.”
Lately, I have been doing a lot more Dips instead.
And, I have been going super heavy on them.
I think you should try Dips Plus Weight too, and today, I am sharing my Top 10 Reasons for why you should use Dips Plus Weight in your Upper Body Training.
10 Reasons to Train Dips Plus Weight
1. Better for Shoulders and Elbows
On most Dip Set-ups, your hands will be in a neutral grip, or close to it. If your shoulders are beat up, this will take pressure off them. If your elbows are beat up, this will give them a break. Less distraction from pain, better effort during the exercise!
2. Freedom of Movement for the Shoulder Blades
When you lie on a bench, the shoulder blades are restricted in their movement. When you perform Dips, the scapulae can move freely. Again, if you are feeling beat up, this can give your body a chance to recover while still training hard.
3. Better for the Back
If you have lower back issues, a hard arch of the lumbar spine can really cause you problems. Believe me, I know. But with Dips, you actually experience a degree of traction, and the back can feel better. I talk more about how dips can make the back feel better here.
4. No spotter needed
When you are going heavy on the Bench you want NO DOUBTS whatsoever. It is a lot easier to do this if you have a spotter. No spotter, and you are taking a risk. You don’t even need a spotter with Dips. If you miss, you just drop down to the floor or foot platform.
5. Better Stretch for the Chest
One key aspect of lifting weights is getting the muscles to stretch under tension. This results in microtrauma that our body must repair, making us bigger and stronger. With Dips, I feel a better stretch than with Bench Press, and if you pay attention to your form closely, I think you will feel this too.
6. Works the Triceps Big Time
Just like the Bench Press, Dips will hit the triceps hard too. Depending on how wide the handles are and how you angle and load your body, you can also switch up how hard the triceps get hit by the movement.
7. Add Weight with Belts or Chains
You might not have tried this, but you can add a lot of weight to your body for Dips. You can use a Dip Belt and hang Kettlebells, Inch Dumbbells, Weight Plates or a Loading Pin from it. You can also use Weight Vests, Chains, and other forms of weight to your body to progressively overload Dips and keep your body growing.
8. Dynamic Stability for the Grip
I like the stability aspect that Dips require. You need to grip the handles harder in order to keep your balance, especially when you are loaded with a dynamic load, such as weight from a Dip Belt, or Chains around the neck/shoulders. Your hands get good solid work from Dips when you go heavy.
9. Improve Speed
You’ll quickly notice when training Heavy Dips that SPEED is your FRIEND. Being explosive out of the whole will get you more reps with heavy weight, and help you build more muscle and strength.
10. Deload the Body from Bench
If you are feeling beat up from the Bench, make Dips your primary lift for a couple of weeks. When you go back to it, your body will feel refreshed and ready to set new PR’s on the Bench Press.
Here is a recent video of 1RM Dip Plus Weight from the Grip Monsters Challenge. While super tough, I felt no pain in either of these attempts in my shoulders or chest, which is something I could never say about Bench Press.
Dip Plus Weight: 442.8 Total Lbs
Obviously, you don’t have to go adding close to 200 pounds to your body to get great benefit out of dips. Instead, start lower and go up. I think you will be happy with your results.
Dip Plus Weight Training Plan
Try this ramp-up for Dips Plus Weight.
Week 1: Bodyweight Only. 3 Sets of 20
Week 2: 25lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 15
Week 3: 50lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 10
Week 4: 50lbs Weight Added. 4 Sets of 12
Week 5: Deload
Week 6: Return to Bench or Dips + 25lbs 3 Sets of 20, and so on.
Enjoy your Dips and all the best in your training.
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