T Nation

Dips vs Bench Press


I was wondering if it would be beneficial to maybe throw in a workout with no benching and replace the benching with just heavy sets of dips, maybe for a workout or two do you guys think that it could increase my bench even though I would not be benching specifically?

I just recently bought a dip belt because I am finally getting stronger to be able to add weight to the dips. Last time I was at the gym I pulled off 2 sets of 4 with a 45lbs weight attached and that was after doing benching, skulls, and tricep pulldowns.


do a quick search of Vince Gironda's chest workout routines..you'll see all you ever wanted about dips for chest workouts. Good luck


I think tricep dips are basically a more extreme version of decline bench presses.


I am currently doing dips instead of BP. I had a C6-C7 herniated disc a few years back that caused atrophy in my right arm and upper chest which over a years time recovered, but, when I did BP or incline I had a hard time keeping my shoulder back when pressing. I did plenty of rows and facepulls and it seemed to help but my right shoulder still wanted to move forward causing impingment -pain. I am guessing my disc injury effected my upper back to some degree, never went to a Dr about it. But I found dips to be painless and my shoulder stays back. My chest started to grow again so I just gave up BP. I put a 2x4 under the front of the dip station which lets me lean forward easier to hit my chest better. I have gone as high as 2 - 45s and a 25 for 5x5.


i've found that i can increase my BB bench by going with the DB bench for 6-8 weeks then go back to it. if your feeling zealous do a DB bench down, up 1/4 of the way, back down, and then all the way up. thats one rep.


Generally you bench to increase your bench assisted with various other shoulder, tricep and chest work.

If you're trying to increase your bench I would continue benching and throw dips in with it, or do bench on chest day, dips later on the week on tricep day, unless you do chest and triceps and if so do them both on the same day.


Superset of Floor Presses 3x5 and Weighted Dips 5x5 on an alternate day???


Assuming your diet is in check.. If you've been going heavy and hard with the barbell bench for several weeks and decide to replace it with weighted dips for a workout or two, once you return to the bench I believe you'd notice a slight increase in strength. This would come from the wonders of a deload. This could be a good thing.

If you wanted to replace the bench completely with the weighted dips, don't expect any gains on the bench press. In my opinion, the best way to utilize your new belt is to supplement your big lifts. There's no reason that you can't do both in the same workout. I do it all the time, and when I began adding weighted dips, I was able to break through bench plateaus. Good luck


I would recommend Cosgrove's wave loading protocol using DBs (posted again recently). I use this myself employing 2 waves of 4/3/2 reps. I follow this with weighted dips, as opposed to max push-up as recommended by AC. I find it a good strength builder, as well as better on my shoulders compared to BB benching.


That is kind of what I was looking at doing, deloading that is, I usually do barbell flat bench all the time I think giving it a rest for a week would be a good thing. Like others were saying, I think I might give DBs a try for 4-6 weeks then go back to barbell. I will just do dips when I bench. thanks for all the opinions.


Austin had a good point about the shoulders too


I love dips. You can do both, just do the dips first if you want to emphasize it.


You could drop barbell benching and do heavy dips followed by flat or incline dumbbell presses if you want a change of pace for a few workouts.


dip rock but i like them for triceps, not chest.


I don't have a spotter right now (train at home), so I've had to replace bench presses with weighted dips when I want to do heavy horizontal pushing. I bring my knees up towards my chest to make me lean forward more so that it hits my chest more than my triceps. Plus, I emphasize the stretch on the bottom and go just short of locking out at the top to hit the chest more.


Just a thought, one day I put a 2x4 under the front of my dip station(my carport gym) to see if it would help with leaning forward. Man, it was better than I thought. It puts you in the right position to hit your chest but it was also very comfortable for my wrists and shoulders when I use heavier weights.


I never thought of something like that. Thanks! I'll give it a shot.


In July, I switched from an 8x3 flat bench program to doing 8x3 incline bench, and 5x10 weighted dips post bench. Come testing day, I went from 255 to 265, after previously going from 225 to 255.

I thought the dips would be a fine replacement, because I figure if my chest and triceps are moving my bodyweight + 25lbs (245lbs combined) for 5 sets of 10, that's just like benching. It wasn't, and I was disappointed.

Now on my first cycle of 531, I'm making much faster gains flat benching and doing weighted dips after my work sets.


Do both?