T Nation

Bench Press or Dips?

Everyone on this site loves bench press. You all love bench press because you’re good at the bench press. You’re all good at the bench press because (don’t lie) you want to have a high max.

Bench is a fantastic exersize but so are dips. Weighted Dips hit the Latissimus Dorsi in addition to the Triceps, Delts, and Pecs trained in the Bench press. Weighted dips allow you to do more total weight as well.

For an athelete who is only interested in gaining strenght are Weighted Dips better or does the Bench Press still hold the rank as the queen mother of upper body exersizes?

I love/hate dips because they are so challenging. But why concern yourself with which one is better, do both.

[quote]ptarleton wrote:
Everyone on this site loves bench press. You all love bench press because you’re good at the bench press. You’re all good at the bench press because (don’t lie) you want to have a high max.

Bench is a fantastic exersize but so are dips. Weighted Dips hit the Latissimus Dorsi in addition to the Triceps, Delts, and Pecs trained in the Bench press. Weighted dips allow you to do more total weight as well.

For an athelete who is only interested in gaining strenght are Weighted Dips better or does the Bench Press still hold the rank as the queen mother of upper body exersizes?

[/quote]

This is pretty ambiguous. In what ways are you interested in gaining strength? Do you want to increase strength in the amount of weight you are able to “dip”? Or you are you interested in the amount you are able to bench press?

I think you are missing the boat. The debate between bench/dips is largely aesthetic. If you want to increase your strength in the bench press, then learn to BP like a powerlifter and follow a program specifically geared towards max benching.

If you are concerned with the aesthetic appearance of your chest, then incorporate chest dips into your program.

I have a question and I guess I will add it to this thread… not to jack it. I dont have a dipping belt so I put dumbbells between my feet and do dips.

Is this improper? I feel it working but I have never used a belt and I am unsure of the results I am missing out on… does anyone else ever put a dumbbell between the feet to do dips/pull-ups???

[quote]musclebuilding wrote:
I have a question and I guess I will add it to this thread… not to jack it. I dont have a dipping belt so I put dumbbells between my feet and do dips.

Is this improper? I feel it working but I have never used a belt and I am unsure of the results I am missing out on… does anyone else ever put a dumbbell between the feet to do dips/pull-ups???[/quote]

There is nothing wrong with that. If you feel like it’s making the exercise harder than just using your bodyweight, do it. Plus, as a bonus you’ll work your adductors. Keep it up!

[quote]musclebuilding wrote:
I have a question and I guess I will add it to this thread… not to jack it. I dont have a dipping belt so I put dumbbells between my feet and do dips.

Is this improper? I feel it working but I have never used a belt and I am unsure of the results I am missing out on… does anyone else ever put a dumbbell between the feet to do dips/pull-ups???[/quote]

It works just fine. So does a backpack or weight vest.

I do both. I was always good at dips and I sucked at the bench press. I started to like the bench press when I stuck to it the most. I started seeing more strength improvements. As EnTransit said learn how to bench Powerlifter-Style if max strength in the bench press is your priority.

Read Eric Cressey’s “Shoulder Savers: Part I”

Scroll down to “Shoulder Saver #3: Learn to Bench Press Correctly.”

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1053531

Keep up the Training

-Serious

Sorry about not being specific. I really want to know which exersice I should give more focus to if I’m interested in building strength that’s useful outside the weight room (100M Butterfly, Track and Field Events, etc).

Replacing bench with Dips would be idiotic but should I set up my workout to have weighted dips first and bench press second or the other way around?

[quote]ptarleton wrote:
Sorry about not being specific. I really want to know which exersice I should give more focus to if I’m interested in building strength that’s useful outside the weight room (100M Butterfly, Track and Field Events, etc).

Replacing bench with Dips would be idiotic but should I set up my workout to have weighted dips first and bench press second or the other way around?[/quote]

Well since in a bench press you move a bar around your body, and in dips you move your body around a bar, which would give you more functional strength. I think that since more functional strength is what you’re looking for dips would be the best bet.

As far as order of exercise try the following twice a week for a few weeks and let me know how it works for you.

A. Weighted dips-6x4,6 reps
B. BB bench press-4x6,8 reps
or
B. DB bench press 4x8,10 reps
C. Bench dips 4x15,20 reps

Note: each workout pick only one “B” exercise and then alternate with the other the next.

Hope this helps

Weighted dips don’t work the lats any more than bench press. I would have to say that for athletics, the bench press would be a better choice. My rationale would be that even though bench press can be very hard on shoulder, elbow and wrist joints, weighted dips are even harder on those joints and could lead to an injury which would prevent you from playing your sport. Also, I think that the plane of motion in the bench press is more similar to certain athletic tasks such as swinging a racquet, throwing a hook, pitching side arm, swimming breaststroke, lineman going at it, etc., than dips.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
musclebuilding wrote:
I have a question and I guess I will add it to this thread… not to jack it. I dont have a dipping belt so I put dumbbells between my feet and do dips.

Is this improper? I feel it working but I have never used a belt and I am unsure of the results I am missing out on… does anyone else ever put a dumbbell between the feet to do dips/pull-ups???

It works just fine. So does a backpack or weight vest. [/quote]

Backpacks and especially weight vests are better options as your load increases. It’s difficult to focus on holding heavy dumbells with your feet and do the exercise.

Thanks Bretc. I guess that pretty much answers my question.

another good way to do a weighted dip if you don’t have a belt is wearing a backpack full of heavy things,like bricks. Even dumbells if the pack is strong enough. I find that more structurally sound than holding one between your legs.

I usually do both in each chest workout, but I switch up the order. However I’m just interested building muscle

Dips are one of my favorite exercises ever, and actually bother my shoulder less than benching.

Just thought I’d throw that out there. They are invaluable.

I did bench press for a few years but eventually as I started to fine tune my training goals, I decided to drop it from my workout. I really think whether you do bench, dips, or both is a matter of what you want to accomplish.

Since my goal for chest strength is to eventually hold a planche, the weighted dips have proved far more valuable for me. I haven’t regretted dropping bench as it’s allowed me a sharper focus and I believe better progress.

The major problem with bench presses are that people have a complex with the weight they are using. I would say to the extent that many people would not do certain programs because the weight they would have to use would be so much less than usual (Volume training), alot of people just like the whole experience of bench pressing with alot of weight on the bar, during the sets, between the sets, after the sets. You have to be willing to do other exercises and work with different programs and rep ranges to get the most out of your training, the same goes for exercises too.

Flat bench is one of my least favorite exercises. It’s not a weak area, I just think it’s boring. Weighted Dips are definately high on my totem pole of favorites.

Just in case you were wondering.

There should be room in your workout for both exercises if you choose.

And for the record, there is nothing wrong with doing bench press because you are good at it, and want to have a heavy bench. If it’s something you like to do, and you look forward to chest day because of it, keep it.