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Train Dips to Increase Push-ups?


I am trying to increase my max number of pushups. As I sat down, pondering on it i had an idea. What if doing parallel bar dips could increase my pushups while making me stronger and bigger than pushups would. After all, both exercises work the same muscles and both are a pushing motion. However the parallel bar dips lifts 100% of the bodyweight while the pushups only does 65%.

I would like to know if i am right in thinking that switching to parallel bar dips will boost my pushup numbers. what you think???


If you want to improve something, train that thing specifically. Obviously, Dips will give you more strength, and that will definitely help as both movements train the same muscles, but if you want to improve Push-Ups, train Push-Ups.

Let's say your max is thirty Push-Ups. If you have the time, do a Pyramid workout. You start at one, and keep adding one Push-Up a set until you get to thirty, and then you reduce a Push-Up a set until you're back down to one. That's 900 Push-Ups. Then, do 3-5 sets of Weighted Dips at about 3-5 repetitions a set. You should see progress.

Although, I'm curious, if you want more strength to improve Push-Ups, then what's stopping you from training a similar, yet tougher, movement like Diamond Push-Ups or even One Arm Push-Ups.

If you said where you are and where you want to be, then you'd get some better advice.


I'm in England and joining the British Army as an infanteer. My workout regimen consists solely on running and pushups. The running is a fail or pass test but the pushup is simply a best effort test in 2 mins. I just want to be able to do more than 50 in two mins


The pyramid workout sounds great


nope. do push-ups to get better at push-ups.


You should give the pushup pyramid a try. When I've done it I rested 30 seconds between each set.

It depends on where you're at right now. IMO, f you can get up to 20-25 pushups(not total, but your last set) on the 1-2-3-4, order, your time might be better set with bigger sets and more rest in between. With pushups, i've also done a pyramid of 30-40-50-60-50-40-30 pushups(this can obviously be scaled down to 10-20-30 or whatever).


yeah, pyramids sound really good. I found this on youtube.This guy is sic.


Doing pushups will help you get better at doing pushups. (like everyone has said)

Buuuut if you have strong "push up muscles" (chest, delta, tri's) then you'll be able to do more push ups. Work on building some strength with dips and BP while also working on your stamina (by doing lots of pushup reps)

How long do you have till you need to meet your goal of 50 in 2min?


ABout a couple of weeks. They are still processing my medical documents


I did notice some carryover to my APFT pushups. At 4x15xBW I was getting 72 PU with barely any actual pushup training. As others have mentioned though, specificity rules.


MadFocker, you may end up waiting longer than a couple of weeks before you do any physical tests.

If they are still processing your medical documents, you'll have to wait for those to clear, then attend a couple of interviews (with your AFCO) and pre-selection, before being given an ADSC date. Although the order of that may be changed, as it does seem to vary somewhat between different careers offices. So you may have more time to train than you think.

Also I don't think that they do the 2 minute push up test anymore, I certainly did not do any at either pre-selection or ADSC (I went to ATR Lichfield in December 2010), apart from during the PT session. As long as you can do about 30-40 in one go fairly comfortably you should not struggle.

You might be better served focusing on chin-ups (not suggesting that you neglect the press-ups just pay more attention to the upper body pulling).


Hey Mate,
What you are saying sounds about right which in a way is great because it gives me more time to train. As for the 2 min pushups, that's what my recruiter said. Did you pass your adsc?? What else did you do other there?


Yeah I passed mine.

Aside from the physical stuff you will do an icebreaker. All that entails is standing up and talking about yourself for 5 minutes or so. Your AFCO will go through with you the topics that they expect you to cover, but to make life easy they usually put up a white board with them all listed anyway.

The team tasks are the bit that you want to do really well on, as a good score on those will give a significant boost to your overall score. Which ultimately will determine what grade you get. They usually involve getting an ammo box or other piece of kit over two or three obstacles with a set of planks or beams without touching the floor or allowing people to return back over obstacles once they have moved on to the next one etc.

All in all it is excellent fun. I was nervous before mine but I thoroughly enjoyed it and was actually quite sad to be leaving.

Best piece of advice I got was from my recruiter who said treat it like one long job interview.

There is alot more on all the stages of the recruitment process on the army rumour service website www.arrse.co.uk.

Out of curiousity are all three of your job choices infantry or are you going for some other trades as well?


The other job choice was logistics and support but two were infantry. why? Sounds great mate. As for the pushups,did you have to tuck your upper arms tothe side, head looking up, hands directly under chest or you were allowed to have upper arms a bit further and face looking at the floor?? How did you find the 1.5 mile run? what was your time?


Unfortunately, because of the weather we did not get to do the 1.5 mile run, ended up with the bleep test. Not sure what level I got stopped at it was between 10 and 11, but supposedly my score was equivalent to a 10 min run, although I am taking that with a pinch of salt because I think the run would have been more difficult than the bleep test.

Honestly I would not worry about the press-ups as much as you are, it really is a very small part of what you do at ADSC. As long as you are reasonably fit, know your job choices and apply yourself while your there you won't have a problem.

Best of luck mate.


As for the pushups,did you have to tuck your upper arms tothe side, head looking up, hands directly under chest or you were allowed to have upper arms a bit further and face looking at the floor??

It seems to depend on the tester and the day- a couple of years ago one of my mates was doing the fitness test to become an officer and all the way through he had been told he had to do close-grip press ups, elbows going back rather than out so they brush your sides, and he had to get 44 in 2 mins. He trained really hard to get to this point then on the day they said to just do them however they felt best, which really p!ssed him off as he could have done that with almost no training.

As for advice on push ups or dips- do both, there's no such thing as over-prepared. Don't just practise for the exact events as you'll have all sorts of things you'll be expected to do at some point- do some sprints, some heavy bergan runs over hills wearing boots, burpees, leopard crawling, rope climbing, swimming in clothes, etc.