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  1. #1
    Registered User jimmyhots's Avatar
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    Dips vs. Bench Press

    Has anyone done a lot of work with dips? I'm wondering how effective they are at building mass compared to bench press.

    I was reading some stuff in IronMind the other day & they talked about a squat/dip/chin routine. I've added about 20 lbs to my bench in the last two cycles and have just about plateaued out, so I'm thinking about trying squat/chin/dip for a cycle for a change. I've never used dips as a main chest exercise and am wondering if anyone has experience to share about how effective dips are when worked hard as a primary lift for chest/shoulders/triceps. Any info is appreciated.

    JH
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  2. #2
    veritas & aequitas iKermit's Avatar
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    they're my favorite mass builder for tris but for chest, i'd still stick with bench/fly variations.
    reborn.
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  3. #3
    Banned ChingChang's Avatar
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    gironda dips are pretty good for chest.
    bench is pretty good too.
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  4. #4
    Registered User synapse's Avatar
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    Since I work chest and triceps on the same day, I do dips to transition from chest focus to triceps focus. When you do dips for the chest, you just have to make sure that your hips are bent. That tilts your body forward and allows you to use your chest as the primary muscle group. I feel them in my center and lower chest the most when I'm done with a set. They're a great exercise if you're not used to doing them.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Renaissance68's Avatar
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    I used to bench as the primary movement for pecs and had moderate results but ultimately ended up with rotator cuff injuries. I subsequently turned to dips a number of years ago and have never switched back. Without a doubt on weighted dips I have developed alot more pec and general upper body strength and thickness. They really hit the belly of the pecs and especially the outer and lower portions. I would recommend always keeping good slow form and building the weight up slowly but wihtout a doubt dips are a fantastic movement. In the book super squats by Randall Strossen they are referred to as the upper-body squat, and Mike Mentzer often stated that if he could recommend just one upper body exercise it would be dips. I agree with both these statements. Give them a go, its the only way to find out.
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    Banned LungeManiac's Avatar
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    Provided you progressively add weight intelligently and use correct form the Weighted dip can add mass to the over all chest with a great emphasis on the lower pectorals. (IMO) dips should be used in combination with bench (especially the inclined variation) for better overall mass development of the chest. Good luck.
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    <3 Tea Zensuji's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimmyhots View Post
    Has anyone done a lot of work with dips? I'm wondering how effective they are at building mass compared to bench press.

    I was reading some stuff in IronMind the other day & they talked about a squat/dip/chin routine.
    what did the routine look like? volume freq etc.
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  8. #8
    Registered User BIG GUNNS's Avatar
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    Like a few others said I always did dips on chest /tricep day as my last chest excercise working into tri's .Best of both body parts this way. If I only did chest I would lean forward and go down alot further and more reps.
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  9. #9
    Registered User jimmyhots's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tetsu. View Post
    what did the routine look like? volume freq etc.
    it left a lot of details such as volume, # reps, etc. up to the interpretation of the reader. i'm just looking for a change of pace for a cycle or two and this looked like a good basic strength-building routine. i got it from a piece of literature but they might have it on their website too, not sure:
    http://www.ironmind.com
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  10. #10
    Registered User jimmyhots's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BIG GUNNS View Post
    Like a few others said I always did dips on chest /tricep day as my last chest excercise working into tri's .Best of both body parts this way. If I only did chest I would lean forward and go down alot further and more reps.
    so what's the best way to get good form for dips targeting chest? it's kinda tricky since you're hanging there, if you lean or bend then leverage has a way of moving you where it wants you to go. so basically bend legs so knees are up, and try to lean or hunch forward?
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  11. #11
    Registered User synapse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimmyhots View Post
    so what's the best way to get good form for dips targeting chest? it's kinda tricky since you're hanging there, if you lean or bend then leverage has a way of moving you where it wants you to go. so basically bend legs so knees are up, and try to lean or hunch forward?
    If you bend at the hips and pull your legs up slightly, you'll notice that tips you forward. When doing dips, you're still going to be pushing downward, kind of like a decline bench press. Just be careful when you start, especially if you're doing weighted dips. Trying to be explosive before your body is used to dips is a good way to screw up your shoulders or chest.
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    Wink My Way.........(I love this exercise).

    Originally Posted by jimmyhots View Post
    so what's the best way to get good form for dips targeting chest? it's kinda tricky since you're hanging there, if you lean or bend then leverage has a way of moving you where it wants you to go. so basically bend legs so knees are up, and try to lean or hunch forward?
    You got to get the elbows OUT, not tucked because remember, tucked=tris and out=pecs, just as in presses. Head is forward for pecs, back for tris. The most difficult way and yet easier way to balance upper body forward is to extend the entire length of legs forward, head down/forward with elbows out. Forward extended legs are the counterbalance to the torso, thus allowing a more forward position that targets the pecs more, especially if elbows out.

    At first, you probably wouldn't need to add weight because it's difficult (yes, tricky), but also very targeted. Obviously, keeping legs extended out can't happen very easily once weights are added, but breaking the hip with bent knees is. You have to in order to keep the center of gravity forward and on the pecs. It's an oldie, but one of the best for outer lower development. I feel it in the center as well. If you dip low enough, obviously you get a wide stretch in the center because there is no bench in your back in the way. Combine that with the inclines and flies as mentioned and I think you will like the roundness and results.
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  13. #13
    Registered User caut1on's Avatar
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    You can not beat bench press for chest seeing as its a "compound" exercise and is designed for building mass.
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    Originally Posted by caut1on View Post
    You can not beat bench press for chest seeing as its a "compound" exercise and is designed for building mass.
    And dips aren't?
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    Bulk it and HULK it hulkinout's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by caut1on View Post
    You can not beat bench press for chest seeing as its a "compound" exercise and is designed for building mass.
    I do all the time. Inclines and declines/dips. Haven't flat benched in years, and my pecs don't miss them.
    Keep on hulkin'.

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    <3 Tea Zensuji's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by caut1on View Post
    You can not beat bench press for chest seeing as its a "compound" exercise and is designed for building mass.
    someone designed it?
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  17. #17
    No cardio No cry RU4A69's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by caut1on View Post
    You can not beat bench press for chest seeing as its a "compound" exercise and is designed for building mass.
    Yes you can. Dips are AT LEAST equal to bench press for size.
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    Originally Posted by RU4A69 View Post
    Yes you can. Dips are AT LEAST equal to bench press for size.
    Yes. Dips are a multi-joint compound exercise. Weighted dips are especially effective at adding mass to the chest.
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    I was never a huge fan of dips. I would prefer bench, but DB bench I feel is the best for chest size. For triceps, I like DB bench and behind the neck barbell extensions.
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  20. #20
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    I too am not a big fan of dips and prefer benching for my chest development.
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    I love dips but the problem is they are way too easy.... if you're experienced, doing reps with 150lbs hanging off of you is most likely rather easy.... there's only so much weight you can comfortably add, plus the more weight the more pressure on your shoulders.

    What I do is save them for the very end and doing high reps to avoid using as much weight, even then I'm using around 100lbs, I don't know about you guys but it's tough on the shoulders for me.
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    Registered User Chris@UGA's Avatar
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    I do incline bench, a few sets of flat bench, and then I use dips for my lower chest and transition into working triceps.

    I think dips are an excellent way to build your lower chest. Hands close together for medial inferior chest and use a wider grip for lateral inferior chest.
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    Originally Posted by BigLifter85 View Post
    I love dips but the problem is they are way too easy.... if you're experienced, doing reps with 150lbs hanging off of you is most likely rather easy.... there's only so much weight you can comfortably add, plus the more weight the more pressure on your shoulders.

    What I do is save them for the very end and doing high reps to avoid using as much weight, even then I'm using around 100lbs, I don't know about you guys but it's tough on the shoulders for me.
    You're 150 and experienced? Are you like a wrestler or just a really small guy who's strong as hell?

    Also you know you're supposed to add weight.
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    Registered User damnglass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BOLT. View Post
    You're 150 and experienced? Are you like a wrestler or just a really small guy who's strong as hell?

    Also you know you're supposed to add weight.
    hes saying he straps 150 to himself and reps it like air,i seriously doubt his rom is so great considering he says it hurts his shoulders,like a person who does not do atg squats.I dont know any one who does full rom and over 100 pounds extra for dips more then a couple reps,if you post a vid of you with 150 pounds strapped to yourself doing 20 full rom dips i rep you for life.
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    bench press OVER-RATED OVER-RATED

    weighted dips is all you need. I haven't done a bench press in over 2 months. Magically when I tried the other day, my bench had increased by 25 pounds from the last time I had done it magically. Yep, I might be "only" 150 pounds (although for a gymnast that I am, that is quite avg to above avg), but I can also do over 100 pounds attached to me doing dips. or 66% of my own bodyweight attached onto it. As far as I'm concerned, anybody can sit their ass under a bar and lift up an iron weight that's symmetrical. not everybody can move their body with weight attached to them in a non symmetrical (or not as symmetrical) unit. It's harder, much harder. and uses many more muscles

    bench press is THE most overrated thing you can do in a gym along with regular old curls
    Last edited by mroth86; 12-16-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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    This is kind of an open-ended question, but how much extra weight is considered moderatley heavy for dips. For instance a 200 lb bench is pretty good for an average sort of dude. What about for dips?
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    Originally Posted by jimmyhots View Post
    This is kind of an open-ended question, but how much extra weight is considered moderatley heavy for dips. For instance a 200 lb bench is pretty good for an average sort of dude. What about for dips?
    It's not as easy to say, depends on your body weight. If you're a 300 lb guy, I don't expect you to be strapping on plates the way someone that's only 200 lbs would. If you can do your bodyweight for reps, that's good. If you can strap on a 45 or two, that's great too. I don't want to say that the bench is an "easier" exercise, but there's a lot more to account for while doing dips. Just start with bodyweight and go from there.
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    Originally Posted by mroth86 View Post
    bench press OVER-RATED OVER-RATED

    weighted dips is all you need. I haven't done a bench press in over 2 months. Magically when I tried the other day, my bench had increased by 25 pounds from the last time I had done it magically. Yep, I might be "only" 150 pounds (although for a gymnast that I am, that is quite avg to above avg), but I can also do over 100 pounds attached to me doing dips. or 66% of my own bodyweight attached onto it. As far as I'm concerned, anybody can sit their ass under a bar and lift up an iron weight that's symmetrical. not everybody can move their body with weight attached to them in a non symmetrical (or not as symmetrical) unit. It's harder, much harder. and uses many more muscles

    bench press is THE most overrated thing you can do in a gym along with regular old curls
    I hate posts like this. Benching is great for chest development. I do DB press, incline bench, and crossovers. I found dips not great for chest development, and tricep to a small degree (I found DB bench much better for triceps).

    Yet others find dips very useful. The problem is they read things online telling how bad bench is, then they try dips and find out it's a good exercise too. And then are magically convinced dips rule and bench sucks.
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    Originally Posted by BOLT. View Post
    I hate posts like this. Benching is great for chest development. I do DB press, incline bench, and crossovers. I found dips not great for chest development, and tricep to a small degree (I found DB bench much better for triceps).

    Yet others find dips very useful. The problem is they read things online telling how bad bench is, then they try dips and find out it's a good exercise too. And then are magically convinced dips rule and bench sucks.
    where do you get that everyone reads up dips are better and that they ignore bench,75 percent of people i know dont do dips at all in their workout reguardless.i just believe its more practical to do body weight excersises as your body can improve faster,ive seen more pec development from dips,but i still dont neglect flat either.i start with incline bench heavy,do medium on flat bench and finish off on dips,ive done workout with just dips and no incline,and incline without dips,variety really is they key.
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    Originally Posted by damnglass View Post
    where do you get that everyone reads up dips are better and that they ignore bench
    I didnt say that. I said there's a lot of info on dips, and lots say they're good at the expense of bench. Most people do not do them, you're right. But there's still the "dont do bench only dips" crowd.
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