T Nation

Dips and Chins


I've started a ruotine based on chin and dips. I train 3-4 x week: I'am doing 1,2,3 Pavel's ladders on this exercises in jump set.
Bodyweight Chin up: 1 rep, 5 seconds rest, 2 rep, 10 seconds rest, 3 reps, 2 minutes rest... --> dips with 7 kg(same protocol)
I'm very weak...
Week after week I try to raise overall volume doing more rep and more set.
Suggestion?? Ideas??

I train in garage and I don't have lat pulldown or other machine..

TNX in advance


Machines are wack. Good thing you don't have them. It seems like you have a good progression for your dips and chins. If that's all you're doing right now, then you could continue to do so until you feel unmotivated, see no improvement, or feel burned out.

At that point you could switch it up a bit. If you have a barbell and some outdoor training equipment you could try CT's Renaissance Training (with dips, chins, and deadlifts in the weighted portion).

Other than that, I think the ladders and GTG are great for increasing your repetition numbers.

If your goals are to increase your limit strength on these exercises, then you could try a Westside Approach (WS4SB).



Don't worry about not having a lat pull down or other machine. Chins and dips will do you just fine. Mix 'em up. Wide grip, close grip, neutral grip, mixed grip, invent some variations. There is no such thing as a bad chin/pull-up. When you get bored hang some weight from your waist. There must be something heavy in your garage. No belt? Use some rope. No rope? Squeeze it between your legs and build your adductors. Good luck.



Lots of people have experienced great success with ladders. I am not one of them.

Do ladders if they work for you; if they don't (after you've given them a month or so), try density training. I have experienced great increases in max reps by doing density training with these very exercises (as many reps as I could crank out in 20 minutes). Density training with weight (when you're strong enough to need the extra load) seems to carry over extremely well to both max strength and max repetitions (endurance).


Chins! Yey! Why use weight? :smiley: You could simply have only one hand on the bar and the other on the wrist. And as you progress you move the hand lower and lower. From wrist to above biceps to on biceps to one armed chin.
Strength, Vlad


And one arm push-ups. And then one arm one leg push ups. lol. What can I say, taht russian can get some really weird ideas in your head...


TNX boys. My objective is size. I have barbell, dummbell, power rack, bench and some stuff (like chain...).

I am fascinated by olympic gimnast and so I train with dips and chin.

I use too pistols.

Again TNX

PS: Sorry for my bad english!


chins= upper body deadlift

dips= upper body squat


My objective is size. I use this exercises because i'm fashinated by amazing physique of gimnast.

I use too gimnast exercises of coach Sommer.

I have bb, db, power rack, bench and some stuff (like chains).

TNX boys!!


I use too pistol for legs.

PS: Sorry for my bad english!




negative are very useful. if i can't make the set/rep scheme i'm shooting for i finish it out w/ the negatives. for instance when i started doing pullups my first goal was to do 5 sets of 10. at that time i could do 5 or 6 at a time and they just about killed me. but i attacked it doing as many as i could 4, 5, 6 and then finished the set jumping up to do the negative as many as it took to get to ten. now i've worked up to pullups w/ 25k and can do a few single arm negatives w/ each arm. and i'm still using that same negative method to get to the rep/sets as the load increases.

pullups are great and it's kind of cool when i think back to how grueling those first workouts to 50 were and now i do 50 everyday practically just for fun/warmup/cooldown.


Ladders did not work for me, but working chins and farmer's walks one day a week and bent-over rows and biceps another improved my chins.

Everyone's different but keep in mind that training your weak links (lats, biceps, grip) can help.

Bench helped my dips.


Very well stated!


Check out an artical by CP called "back to basics" it is one of the more complete articals on chinning strength and progression.

have fun


Good ideas but I do pull and dip 3-4 times x week. With negatives I overtrain in one week... wrong???


.... Another question: I'm using this execution time:
Dips 31X0
Pull up 30X1

Is it really usefull? Or I train with controlled eccentric and explosive concentric without counting speed???
With this execution time I must use lower weights.
I've read a Waterbury article's but i'n not sure...


Um, don't over think it. How would you lift (or move) if you were moving a heavy object unrelated to training? Right! You would grab the thing and with maximum power move it.

Do the same thing with Pull-ups and Dips. Unless you are trying to somehow improve a weak area by adjusting speed and distance. Otherwise, just go at it and have fun.

Counting on the eccentric or concentric seems like a negative distraction to me.


Eastern Boy,

Overtraining with negs is not going to be a huge problem because the absolute load is low and you are relatively untrained.

However, all of the routines that I've seen employed to get increase chin-up numbers from 0 to 10+ (on the web and in person) make use of a number of different techniques. Variety of training = faster progress. Here are some things you can do:

  • Full reps
  • Negatives (Just lowering, no pulling up)
  • Full reps with assistance. You can use a Gravitron - one of those machines that reduces your bodyweight, but Jumpstretch or Iron Woody rubber bands are better. When you wrap these around the bar and put your feet in them, they help you at the beginning of the pull-up but leave you to do most of the work at the top - where most people are weakest.
  • Body rows (Grab a smith machine or other fixed bar and pull yourself up to it with your feet on the ground or on a bench)
  • Lat Pull-downs for higher reps
  • Lockoffs - Holding the top position of the pull-up or chin-up for time. Like the bands, this technique is especially useful if you are weak at the top.

Don't use all of these methods, pick a couple. If you're confused and you have some doubt as to whether you can put together a good routine out of this movements, just do Christian Thibaudeau's program 'Get Your Chin Up.' (or, 'Keep Your Chin-Up'?)


Two of the best bodyweight exercises around.They hit just about every muscle in the upper body.