What would you say if I told you that two moves could drastically change the way your upper body looks and feels? What if I told you that those two moves have been around since the dawn of training and offer excellent results?
Prioritizing Chins and Dips
In today’s get fit quick society, no one wants to put in the hard effort to become what they desire to become. Many males desire to have a full and ripped upper body. The problem is that many males want to take shortcuts to try to achieve that goal.
Lame workout design, too much volume, and avoiding progressive overload are the three biggest causes for concern. The typical meathead routine of flat bench, incline bench, decline bench, horizontal machine press, dumbbell fly, and cable crossover all in the same day with a ridiculous amount of volume is not the answer for the complete upper body.
When you add in way too many drop sets and forced reps into oblivion, you have the recipe for total disaster. I know many folks who perform this routine weekly and have nothing but a wide, unsculpted chest to show for it. It is absolutely appalling.
I love to study other disciplines in the world of athletics. Every sport has a bodypart that stands out due to the training used in that field. Sprinters have the greatest hamstrings and glutes on the planet. Speed skaters and sprint cyclists have quads that put some bodybuilders to shame. And male gymnasts have supreme, superhero like upper bodies! And from what I know these guys are doing a lot of upper body pushing and pulling namely a great, great amount of chinning and dipping variations.
In my opinion chins and dips are the ultimate moves for the upper body. Chins and dips have always been a staple of my training but normally as part of a training session. The new thought in my brain early last year was what if I dedicated a separate day to only chins and dips? The mere thought of this had me fired up like Ray Lewis during the pre game.
The results were astounding. I programmed the chins and dips into my training as a separate day and before I knew it, I had developed a thicker and fuller upper body.
Hitting chins and dips with heavy weight offset with high volume forced me to grow. A thicker chest, a much wider back, and larger arms were all a result to this programming change. The frequency of doing them as a separate day combined with my training protocols plus the progressive overload had my upper body growing like Rocky’s beard in Russia.
I also noticed that as my chins and dips became stronger, my other pressing and pulling moves were getting stronger too. But enough about me because now it is time for you to grow.
Below I will outline a basic 18 week chin and dip protocol to get you going in the right direction. And please remember this very important fact. A lot of phony fads in the game today promise you some unbelievable results in a very limited block of time. 4 week abs, 60 days to a massive chest or similar gimmicks. I am not about that and I do not stand for it.
Real results take time and effort. What I will promise you is this though. If you follow this chins and dips and protocol, you will be stronger and more muscular in your upper body at the end of 18 weeks. I do not know how dramatic the results will be because everyone responds differently and everyone’s nutrition will be different. But you will be better, believe that.
You will perform your chins and dips as a separate day each week for 18 weeks. On that day you will only perform chins and dips. The scheme will be a basic Legs-Push-Pull split. Your training week will look like this:
- Monday - Chins and Dips
- Tuesday - Legs
- Wednesday - Off
- Thursday - Push
- Friday - Pull
- Saturday - Sprints or Off
- Sunday - Off
The Training Scheme
You will need to purchase a dip belt so make that a priority and get one. Remember, progressive overload is a very important key to making great gains. We are not doing all the difficult movements that gymnasts perform daily so our challenge has to be adding more weight or working faster.
Once you can complete the whole day without a missed rep, it is time to move up in weight. Doing bodyweight dips for 5×10 for three weeks makes you Anderson Average. You do not want to be the run of the mill stagnant lifter.
For the first three weeks you will use a basic 5×5 training scheme for your chins and dips. Remember with 5×5 you have two options. You can increase the weight slightly each set, or use the same weight for each round even if it starts off as bodyweight.
For the second three weeks you will use more volume and use a basic 5×10 scheme. Again you can increase the weight slightly each set, or use the same weight for each round even if it is bodyweight. You will also be performing the moves as a superset but with a slightly longer rest than a typical superset.
For the 5×5, after you start with your chins, you will rest 1 minute before performing the dips and then rest 2 minutes before starting the rounds over again. For the 5×10 you will rest 45 seconds before performing the dips and then rest 90 seconds before starting the rounds over again.
The third scheme of the phase will be performing the chins and dips RP-21 style with the 7×3 and 6×5 schemes. Please refer to my article on RP-21 for a detailed explanation of RP-21.
- Week 1-3 - 5×5 Chins and Dips, rest 1 minute between moves and 2 minutes between sets
- Week 4-6 - 5×10 Chins and Dips, rest 30-45 seconds between moves and 60-90 seconds between sets
- Week 7-9 - RP-21 Chins and Dips, use the 7×3 and the 6×5 scheme on the same day. Perform the Chins 7×3, rest 2-3 minutes and then perform the Dips 7×3. After the dips rest 2-3 more minutes before performing the 6×5 chins. Rest 2-3 minutes and then perform the 6×5 dips. Please refer to my RP-21 training scheme for the details of the 7×3 and 6×5 sets.
- Week 10-12 - Repeat week 1-3, but with heavier loads
- Week 13-15 - Repeat week 4-6, but with heavier loads
- Week 16-18 - Repeat week 7-9, but with heavier loads
Simplicity is the key to life. When things are made supremely complex, the natural human nature is to lose focus and eventually quit. With this simple scheme here you can begin to improve your upper body.
Chins and dips are basic movements that are thee go-to movements for the upper body. All you need to do is simply record your weights/reps and move forward.
Eat accordingly to your goal whether it is to lose fat or gain muscle mass. And if you train hard enough, you too may develop that superhero upper body. But also make sure you definitely have the solid wheels to match the upper body.
People fear and respect a character like Batman. He has a balanced and imposing superhero physique. People laugh at a character like Johnny Bravo. His legs were used as pipe cleaners for my kitchen pipes last week. Keep it simple and make progress!