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Can't Do a Dip. Can't Break OH Press Plateau

Hello there.
My chest and shoulder workout basically revolves around the wide gripped dip and the overhead press. No other workout I do hit these body parts more than those 2 exercises. Problem is, I only can do half a dip and have been stuck on an embarrassingly low 20kg for my overhead press.

For my dips, I do the wide grip variation. How wide? I do my dips on the side handles of a threadmil since I don’t have a dip bar. I have been able to go deeper since I started off but am still not happy with the speed of progress. Any tips on how to improve my dips?

As for the overhead press, my workout is 3x5 then add 2.5kg on the next rep. I’m only able to do like 3 reps max with 20kg. Arms have always been a weak point for me. I do not have access to micro-plates and I make sure I squeeze my glutes and abs whenever I do the O Press. If you’re going to tell me to eat more, I am doing exactly that. If I were to deload, to how heavy should I deload?

All responses are appreciated.

How long have you been lifting?
What are your stats? (height weight etc)
Whats your training split like?

most people will need to know the above things before they can give a proper answer, but first of all its no wonder you can only do half a dip, if your treadmill is anything like the ones at my gym the sides are wayyyyyy too far apart for any normal person do to dips on. you need a set of parallel or dip bars. Also i don’t understand how your workout revolves around dips if you cant do them? please clarify that.

I’ll need to know how long youve been doing overhead pressing for to understand why your weak in that area, but as a suggestion i would replace them for preferably dumbbell shoulder presses or even smith machine shoulder press as it sounds like you are on the beginners side. (correct me if im wrong)

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:
My chest and shoulder workout basically revolves around the wide gripped dip and the overhead press. No other workout I do hit these body parts more than those 2 exercises.[/quote]
I don’t really understand what this means. Dips are the basis of your chest workout and the overhead press is the basis of your shoulder workout?

You’ll eventually build strength as long as you’re on a smart training plan. It just takes time, especially if you just started. The only other option for now would be to use your legs (from the floor or a chair) a bit to “cheat” just enough to get your target reps in, similar to people using the counterbalance on a pull-up machine.

Best way to do dips is to do them on an actual dip bar. Like dopes said, treadmill handles are way wider than I’d ever want someone doing dips on. It’s good that you were able to increase the ROM, but you’re seriously increasing stress on the shoulder joint by having the hands that wide. You’d pretty much be better off doing push-ups if you have to use a bodyweight exercise for chest.

How can they “always” have been a weak point if you’re just getting into training? Everyone has to start somewhere, man, but the right program will build a good base to work with. I took a quick look at your IBB log. You’re not actually following the I, Bodybuilder program, are you?

Deloading shouldn’t be anywhere on your radar. You’ve got plenty of work to do first.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Best way to do dips is to do them on an actual dip bar. Like dopes said, treadmill handles are way wider than I’d ever want someone doing dips on. It’s good that you were able to increase the ROM, but you’re seriously increasing stress on the shoulder joint by having the hands that wide. You’d pretty much be better off doing push-ups if you have to use a bodyweight exercise for chest.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing, but then I thought about how many gymnast do the Iron Cross. Do you think the iron cross stresses the shoulder as much the too wide dips?

[quote]Airtruth wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Best way to do dips is to do them on an actual dip bar. Like dopes said, treadmill handles are way wider than I’d ever want someone doing dips on. It’s good that you were able to increase the ROM, but you’re seriously increasing stress on the shoulder joint by having the hands that wide. You’d pretty much be better off doing push-ups if you have to use a bodyweight exercise for chest.[/quote]
I was thinking the same thing, but then I thought about how many gymnast do the Iron Cross. Do you think the iron cross stresses the shoulder as much the too wide dips?[/quote]
I’d say yes and no. The stress itself might be greater, since it requires strength in such a disadvantaged leverage position, but it’s also a fairly advanced exercise so by the time someone attempts an iron cross, they (hopefully) have already built a more-than-sufficient level of strength and mobility.

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:
Hello there.
My chest and shoulder workout basically revolves around the wide gripped dip and the overhead press. No other workout I do hit these body parts more than those 2 exercises. Problem is, I only can do half a dip and have been stuck on an embarrassingly low 20kg for my overhead press.

For my dips, I do the wide grip variation. How wide? I do my dips on the side handles of a threadmil since I don’t have a dip bar. I have been able to go deeper since I started off but am still not happy with the speed of progress. Any tips on how to improve my dips?

As for the overhead press, my workout is 3x5 then add 2.5kg on the next rep. I’m only able to do like 3 reps max with 20kg. Arms have always been a weak point for me. I do not have access to micro-plates and I make sure I squeeze my glutes and abs whenever I do the O Press. If you’re going to tell me to eat more, I am doing exactly that. If I were to deload, to how heavy should I deload?

All responses are appreciated. [/quote]

Do you look to gain anything from only two workouts? Please say this whole thread is a joke.

[quote]dopes1 wrote:
How long have you been lifting?
What are your stats? (height weight etc)
Whats your training split like?

most people will need to know the above things before they can give a proper answer, but first of all its no wonder you can only do half a dip, if your treadmill is anything like the ones at my gym the sides are wayyyyyy too far apart for any normal person do to dips on. you need a set of parallel or dip bars. Also i don’t understand how your workout revolves around dips if you cant do them? please clarify that.

I’ll need to know how long youve been doing overhead pressing for to understand why your weak in that area, but as a suggestion i would replace them for preferably dumbbell shoulder presses or even smith machine shoulder press as it sounds like you are on the beginners side. (correct me if im wrong)[/quote]

I have been lifting for half a year, but only SERIOUSLY lifting since the start of this year.
I’m 69kg and 180cm tall. Estimated body fat level is around 14-16%
My training system is very similar to Rippetoe’s Starting Strength.

It revolves around dips because dips and push ups are the best chest exercises I could do. I do not have a bench at home. Doesn’t the fact that O increased my ROM mean already that I’m improving? This thread is to seek out a faster way.
As I have small arms, I have always been stuck at this weight for half a year. I used to be stuck at 15kg but managed to break that plateau.

Yes, I’m ALOT on the beginners side.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:
My chest and shoulder workout basically revolves around the wide gripped dip and the overhead press. No other workout I do hit these body parts more than those 2 exercises.[/quote]
I don’t really understand what this means. Dips are the basis of your chest workout and the overhead press is the basis of your shoulder workout?

You’ll eventually build strength as long as you’re on a smart training plan. It just takes time, especially if you just started. The only other option for now would be to use your legs (from the floor or a chair) a bit to “cheat” just enough to get your target reps in, similar to people using the counterbalance on a pull-up machine.

Best way to do dips is to do them on an actual dip bar. Like dopes said, treadmill handles are way wider than I’d ever want someone doing dips on. It’s good that you were able to increase the ROM, but you’re seriously increasing stress on the shoulder joint by having the hands that wide. You’d pretty much be better off doing push-ups if you have to use a bodyweight exercise for chest.

How can they “always” have been a weak point if you’re just getting into training? Everyone has to start somewhere, man, but the right program will build a good base to work with. I took a quick look at your IBB log. You’re not actually following the I, Bodybuilder program, are you?

Deloading shouldn’t be anywhere on your radar. You’ve got plenty of work to do first.[/quote]

They are the basis as in they are the exercises that hit the chest and shoulders the most respectively.

Thanks, I will try that! Thing is, it’s just my arms that are incredibly weak and small. Should extra arm work be put in? Since you mentioned you saw my IBB log, you should be able to judge better.

I wasn’t aware there was a specific program to follow. I assumed that that forum was for the members to use freely to post their own logs. I have been OPressing for half a year already. It may not seem long, but it is long if you’ve been stuck at a low weight for majority of that period of time.

So what do you recommend I do? Keep on doing 20kg?

[quote]Jaycuts wrote:

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:
Hello there.
My chest and shoulder workout basically revolves around the wide gripped dip and the overhead press. No other workout I do hit these body parts more than those 2 exercises. Problem is, I only can do half a dip and have been stuck on an embarrassingly low 20kg for my overhead press.

For my dips, I do the wide grip variation. How wide? I do my dips on the side handles of a threadmil since I don’t have a dip bar. I have been able to go deeper since I started off but am still not happy with the speed of progress. Any tips on how to improve my dips?

As for the overhead press, my workout is 3x5 then add 2.5kg on the next rep. I’m only able to do like 3 reps max with 20kg. Arms have always been a weak point for me. I do not have access to micro-plates and I make sure I squeeze my glutes and abs whenever I do the O Press. If you’re going to tell me to eat more, I am doing exactly that. If I were to deload, to how heavy should I deload?

All responses are appreciated. [/quote]

Do you look to gain anything from only two workouts? Please say this whole thread is a joke.
[/quote]

If you read properly, you would have noticed I said that the OPress and Dips are the basis of my CHEST and SHOULDER workouts respectively. I work out other body parts with deads, power cleans, barbell rows, biceps curls and back extensions.

I don’t think a beginner, or anyone who isn’t very strong for that matter, cans do a dip on a treadmill.

Just do pushups instead. Do them with perfect form, slowly and methodically. I guarantee that they will kick your ass. So many people do pushups with horrible form that reduces load on the proper parts and think they can do dozens as a result of that. Whelp, I think I’ve only seen two or three people at my gym use proper pushup form, and only one of them had the sense to stop when his form began to break down.

As for the OHP, I will bet that it’s your form. I was perpetually stuck at 70lb until I realized my form sucked. Got that fixed and my max went up to 115 after two months.

I agree w/ magick that slow push-ups will give you a lot of work. You can also try doing floor presses to get some heavy work in.

If you’re doing an SS style routine… Rip has 5x3 for OHP, not 3x5.

Do you squat?

Also, I don’t think any confusion is us not reading carefully. I’m assuming that english is not your first language, and that’s what’s causing the confusion.

Yes, basis as in basic? Lol gtfo if you base youre chest and shoulders on dips, overhead presses i could relate but sounds to me if you do dips on the tredmil you have no equipment or you’re just over-stating the fact that you’re a begginer. You’re asking how much to de-load? how much YOU think is comfortable enough to slightly push.

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:

[quote]dopes1 wrote:
How long have you been lifting?
What are your stats? (height weight etc)
Whats your training split like?

most people will need to know the above things before they can give a proper answer, but first of all its no wonder you can only do half a dip, if your treadmill is anything like the ones at my gym the sides are wayyyyyy too far apart for any normal person do to dips on. you need a set of parallel or dip bars. Also i don’t understand how your workout revolves around dips if you cant do them? please clarify that.

I’ll need to know how long youve been doing overhead pressing for to understand why your weak in that area, but as a suggestion i would replace them for preferably dumbbell shoulder presses or even smith machine shoulder press as it sounds like you are on the beginners side. (correct me if im wrong)[/quote]

I have been lifting for half a year, but only SERIOUSLY lifting since the start of this year.
I’m 69kg and 180cm tall. Estimated body fat level is around 14-16%
My training system is very similar to Rippetoe’s Starting Strength.

It revolves around dips because dips and push ups are the best chest exercises I could do. I do not have a bench at home. Doesn’t the fact that O increased my ROM mean already that I’m improving? This thread is to seek out a faster way.
As I have small arms, I have always been stuck at this weight for half a year. I used to be stuck at 15kg but managed to break that plateau.

Yes, I’m ALOT on the beginners side. [/quote]

you really need to invest into a gym membership, or even some better gym equipment because by the sounds of it your really limited to what you can do, as a beginner you want to be hitting all the major compound movements (bench, squat, deadlift, chin-up) then throw in other isolation movements when you get stronger and more experienced. i really dont even think someone whos been training as little as you have should be targeting shoulders for a whole workout, thats just my opinion but i think you should be doing full body workouts for a year or until gains slow right down.

if you cant afford a gym membership or equipment then yeah go for pushups like everyones said, when you get stronger (40 reps+) you can even get someone to put a weight plate on your back, as for the OH pressing it is probably your form, just look up a video on OH pressing form and correct yours if need be and stick at it.

Have you tried switching to push presses and really overloading your shoulders and triceps. Really helped me up until recently and I am now having to focus more on strict pressing but worth a try in my opinion. Also buy a decent bench and Squat stands both are reasonably cheap but priceless in a home gym or get a gym members ship.

Why don’t you start by bench dip between two chairs or one chair and a desk ? It’s far easier and you won’t hurt your shoulders (you probably will on your mill)

For OHP, I was stuck at 25 kgs, then an advanced lifter corrected my form. I was lifting like a sucker, hurting my shoulders etc… It’s not an easy move…

This really is a case of train with a proper, known program and eat more. At sub 70kg, at 180cm, and with your BF not being low to even counter that.

Eat more. Really.


You know less about program design and are weaker than me when I started. And I was even smaller than you.

Join a gym and follow stronglifts 5x5. The best advice I can give you.

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
I agree w/ magick that slow push-ups will give you a lot of work. You can also try doing floor presses to get some heavy work in.

If you’re doing an SS style routine… Rip has 5x3 for OHP, not 3x5.

Do you squat?

Also, I don’t think any confusion is us not reading carefully. I’m assuming that english is not your first language, and that’s what’s causing the confusion.[/quote]

Will put the push ups into consideration.
I’m pretty sure OPresses in Rippetoe’s program is 3 sets of 5 reps as well as most of the lifts he recommends.

[quote]Jaycuts wrote:
Yes, basis as in basic? Lol gtfo if you base youre chest and shoulders on dips, overhead presses i could relate but sounds to me if you do dips on the tredmil you have no equipment or you’re just over-stating the fact that you’re a begginer. You’re asking how much to de-load? how much YOU think is comfortable enough to slightly push. [/quote]

I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.
Let me try again to explain stuff to you.
For my shoulders, I do OVERHEAD PRESSES.
For my chest, I do DIPS.
Since I can’t do bench presses (no bench,spotter) I chose to do dips over push ups.
I DON’T have a dip bar.
I use the bars on threadmil since its wide and sturdy.
I over-state the fact I’m a beginner because I AM one, and I’m trying to humble myself here.
I created this thread to GET help and FIND solutions but unfortunately for me, some people here answer my thread rudely and ignore the fact I’m here for HELP.

[quote]dopes1 wrote:

[quote]LiftAndLetLive wrote:

[quote]dopes1 wrote:
How long have you been lifting?
What are your stats? (height weight etc)
Whats your training split like?

most people will need to know the above things before they can give a proper answer, but first of all its no wonder you can only do half a dip, if your treadmill is anything like the ones at my gym the sides are wayyyyyy too far apart for any normal person do to dips on. you need a set of parallel or dip bars. Also i don’t understand how your workout revolves around dips if you cant do them? please clarify that.

I’ll need to know how long youve been doing overhead pressing for to understand why your weak in that area, but as a suggestion i would replace them for preferably dumbbell shoulder presses or even smith machine shoulder press as it sounds like you are on the beginners side. (correct me if im wrong)[/quote]

I have been lifting for half a year, but only SERIOUSLY lifting since the start of this year.
I’m 69kg and 180cm tall. Estimated body fat level is around 14-16%
My training system is very similar to Rippetoe’s Starting Strength.

It revolves around dips because dips and push ups are the best chest exercises I could do. I do not have a bench at home. Doesn’t the fact that O increased my ROM mean already that I’m improving? This thread is to seek out a faster way.
As I have small arms, I have always been stuck at this weight for half a year. I used to be stuck at 15kg but managed to break that plateau.

Yes, I’m ALOT on the beginners side. [/quote]

you really need to invest into a gym membership, or even some better gym equipment because by the sounds of it your really limited to what you can do, as a beginner you want to be hitting all the major compound movements (bench, squat, deadlift, chin-up) then throw in other isolation movements when you get stronger and more experienced. i really dont even think someone whos been training as little as you have should be targeting shoulders for a whole workout, thats just my opinion but i think you should be doing full body workouts for a year or until gains slow right down.

if you cant afford a gym membership or equipment then yeah go for pushups like everyones said, when you get stronger (40 reps+) you can even get someone to put a weight plate on your back, as for the OH pressing it is probably your form, just look up a video on OH pressing form and correct yours if need be and stick at it.[/quote]

Thanks for the kind reply.
Not trying to make excuses here but, I’m just a teen (no drivers license), nearest gym to really far away, parents work till 8 so going to a gym is out of question.
I do, do deadlifts but progress has been limited so far due to lower back pain, New Years Resolution is to hit 400lbs before the year is over.

I DO NOT target shoulders for a whole workout. Dips and OPresses are just a part of my workout. I hope I clarified that for everyone. Reason I do OPresses are because Mark Rippetoe recommends them, and who am I to question a person of his level? As for dips, in Rippetoe’s book, he clearly stated that a dip is a good replacement for the bench press.

Will take your advice on the push ups and form checks, thanks!