Is a Single Bar Dip a Good Chest Builder?

For the past few months (daily) I’ve been doing parallel bar dips. I need a change. It’s not that they don’t work anymore, it’s that my workouts are getting a little bit stale. So I thought I could replace, at least for a while, parallel bar dips with a single bar dips. But I’m afraid that by doing so I could hinder my results. That’s why I wanted to ask you … is a single bar dip a good chest builder? Can I replace parallel bar dips with single bar dips without bringing my progress to a screeching halt? Or maybe a single bar dip is better and I could benefit from the change?

Thanks for the feedback

What results are you looking for? Do you want a bigger chest? Do you want to be able to do more dips? Do you just want to do dips everyday? What’s the actual goal?

What do your workouts look like? Days, exercises, sets, and reps.

Yes, it can be if ROM/muscle tension and volume are sufficient. Al Kavadlo had some tips for them here.

Ok, I see what happend, I overshared and complicated my question. There is nothing wrong with my routine, it’s fine, it works for me. When I said stale I meant boring in terms of movement patterns, grip i.e. always a parallel bars, always a hammer grip. That’s why I want to change it to a single straight bar dip. I’m just wondering if a single bar dip will stimulate my chest and arms similiarly to a parallel bar dip or not, i.e. will do it better or worse.

In my experience the single bar dip was more of a triceps + abs exercise and as a preparation for the muscle up.

If you’re interested in chest development, you could mix it up with parallel bar dips and leg raises - one dip then immediate transition into one leg raise with a five second hold being one rep. This, in my experience, greatly increases time under tension and you can superset it with parallel bar pushups for maximum effect.

That’s actually what I’m doing. I mean I’m doing circuits consisting of:

  1. Parallel bar pullups
  2. Parallel bar dips - gironda style, with my legs forward, curled, almost
    in a seated position
  3. Parallel bar fatman rows
  4. Parallel bar pushups - feet elevated
  5. Hanging leg rises
  6. Fist pusups on the floor.

Thing is, as you can see, all of it is on the parallel bars. I thought I
could for a while do all of these exercises on a single bar - to change
things a bit. Or I could do one training on a parallel bars and the next on
a single bar. Then parallel bars, then single bar etc.
What do you think.


Well, I’ve been doing dips on parallel bars for almost 25 years - never did much single bar work except in my quest for the muscle up a couple of years ago and I didn’t see that I was missing out on much. But that’s just my personal experience.

If it’s upper body hypertrophy that you want, in my opinion nothing beats alternating pull ups/dips in Charles Staley’s EDT format. When doing EDT I usually do ladders of pullups/dips or sets of 5 as long as I can because 20 minutes is a.very.long time when you’re trying to cram as much reps as possible.

Add some band work for shoulders afterwards and you’re all set.

Again, training I’ve outlined above works. It’s just that it’s always on
parallel bars. I’m not looking for something to fix my workout cause it’s
not working any more - though thanks for the idea, I’ll try that some day.
The need for change is more psychological than anything else. That’s why I
thought about switching from parallel bars to a single bar (at least for a
while) or alternating parallel and single bar workouts. My thought was that
it wouldn’t stray to far from what works for me, but still be enough of a
change to silence my need for variety.