T Nation

Sub in Dips in Layer System

Hi Coach,

I want to try your Layer System in my next training cycle. I’m curious as to why you have flat bench and incline bench versus, perhaps Dips and and incline bench? In your 2014 article “The Best Exercises. Period”, you say that dips are superior to flat bench for chest development. Would it be ok to sub Dips for flat bench or just keep as is? I could see how the set up for the first activation set would require some creativity to adapt to dips.

Thank you

Dips might not be optimal for the layer system for a few reasons.

  1. For a lot of people, dips with maximal weights is very hard on the shoulders.

  2. Weight adjustment is more difficult. You need to include body weight in the weight lifted. So for a lot of people,you will not be able to go “light enough” on dips to be able to use layers. Lets’s say that the last layer uses 50% of your 2RM. It means that your body weight should represent 50% of your 2RM since that is the lightest you can go on dips. This means that if you are 180lbs you must be able to do a 2RM on dips with an extra 180lbs. I guess in theory you sould use band help for the lighter layers if you are not strong enough, but it is almost impossible to know how much they take off.

Got it. Thank you!

Thanks Sigil! Good idea. I plan on doing 6 weeks of layers and taking a couple weeks to deload and may try that during the second cycle. Man it is really hard to cluster at 90% of 2RM for squats. I have to drop the weight each time. I hardly ever do less than 10 reps for squats so I guess my nervous system isn’t used to the heavier loads. Hopefully that will change soon.