T Nation

Bench vs Dips Strength


What's the "good" window of strength ratio on these 2 lifts?

Whether flat or decline bench. For me, it seems like my dips (6xBW+100) always significantly outpaced my flat bench (6x205). Bench might bother my shoulders while dips haven't in a very long time.


Its a tough one because on one side you have an exercise that you are lifting your bodyweight in a vague ROM, there is no absolute beginning or end, each rep goes a slightly different distance. Also, Dips are very similar to a decline press in terms of the movement pattern, which for most people is a very strong direction to push in.

Depending on your grip width and elbow placement on the bench and dip you can be using varying degrees of tricep and chest. The main thing is form. If you are doing dips with a moderately wide grip to the point where your upper arm is parallel you are doing much less rom than on a typical bench press IMO. There are so many different factors.

But in general I would say that number 1 you probably dont weigh that much prob around 170 or less and in that case the numbers arent that out of whack really, you just need to make benching a priority and practice it if you want to make it a very good lift.


Going heavy on the dips for me has helped the bench tremendously.

And I like the stares I get from people when I have alot of plates on the dip belt. haha


I think bench can use more weight the record for a dip was 434 pounds and the guy weighed 198 that would be 632. Bench world record at that weight is 705 I think.But bench is more popular so I geuss it could go either way.


I do weight 165, but the numbers for bench are the upper limit and for dips are the lower limit. And yeah, the stares are nice. It sucks when there is no weight belt because I can't hold >85lb dumbbell comfortably.

I checked and it looks like the record for dips is at least 720 (340+380) by a guy who was the first to bench 600 raw. He regretted doing a lot of heavy dips later in life apparently. But he was a dip addict: http://www.nsca-lift.org/Perform/articles/050502.pdf


I've read that whatever you want to bench you should be able to handle your BW + load for 5 reps equal to the bench load for 1 rep.

So let's say you wanted to bench 315, and you weigh 180 you would need to be able to dip with an additional load of 135 (that would be 3 45 lb plates) lbs for 5 reps. I think that formula is about right.


don't use a dumbell use a belt with a chain and clip on it.


Belts are cheap, like $20. Get one.

I definitely dip more than I bench. I weigh 190, and I can do 3 reps of 135. My max bench is 240..
Maybe it's because of the more freedom of motion with dips, so you'll naturally make slight movement changes to use your strong points.


No way. The most I have used on dips is BW+175x5. There is no way that I could even come close to benching 430x5 (365x6 is my PR).


No, you misread what I wrote. The 5 rep max on dips would equal the 1rep max on bench. So in your case if your hitting 365x6 on bench you should easily be maxing near 430 lbs for 1 rep.


OK, then that is right on. :slightly_smiling: