T Nation

Weight Lifted with Bodyweight Dips?


Anyone know what the percentage of your body weight you actually press during a dip? I've searched this site for the last 45 minutes to no avail.


lol there is no definite answer. people have different limb lengths, head sizes body shapes.


That's like asking how much weight you're doing w/ a "bodyweight" squat... since you're not lifting anything below the knee, or how much weight you're doing on a pushup.

The best answer imo is zero. Only added weight counts for anything on those.

are you trying to keep the weight constant after gaining/losing some weight or something?


Does it really matter if a "bodyweight dip" really only has you lifting "eleven-twelfths bodyweight"? If a "bodyweight" dip is too challenging, there are several ways to reduce the load or improve leverage (assistance machines, band assistance, partial reps, etc.)

But just for squirts and giggles, I spent all of 45 seconds Googling, and it looks like the average human arm is about 5-6% of your total bodyweight (that's average, as in, not specifically weight-trained).

So if I'm 210 pounds, I'll err on the side of a mild ego and say I'm sporting a pair of 13 pounds guns and when I do bodyweight dips (which, interesting side note, I never do), I'm actually "only" lifting about 184 pounds.

But really, when you think about it, your upper arm (from the elbow to the shoulder) is still actually moving, so you could probably make a case that you're lifting that part as well, which throw off the above calculations and makes me think dear sweet mother of all things holy, why the hell are we trying to put this much effort into figuring this out?!?


Your question makes no sense. Unless some part of your body is staying on the floor, you are lifting ALL of it.


There was an old book that had the % of bodywt. lifted for various exercises. Steve Maxwell gave some figures and I believe the dip was 90% of bodywt (if you really want to know check his stuff).

You do want to calculate bodywt into the formula for dips and chins/pullups if you're using percentages or you will really mess up your workload calculations. Poliquin also talked about doing this (ex. squat add 75% (% of bodywt. lifted) to calculations- not too many people do this myself included).


This is correct. Some may have better levers for it, but you ARE moving your entire bodyweight, or you'd still be on the floor.



Use how much you weigh.

I used to do sets of bodyweight dips and weighed 195. I am now 220 and Dip with a 45lb plate. so over 2 years that is an increase of 25lbs in bodyweight(220-195=25) plus the 45lb plate so total is 70lb difference in my opinion.

Same for pullups. a 300lb gorilla doing pullups sure is a hell of a lot harder than a 165lb gymnast. Just keep track and improve.


So I'm a huge geek and want to know exactly how much of my body weight I'm moving, be it a fraction of a fraction. Something about numbers with me. Thanks for the input.



Checking out Poliquin right now. Thanks.



I don't know about your dip technique, but hands never come off the handles or move up or down.


No shit Sherlock. What's your point? Do the basic principles of physics really need to be explained here?

When you do a dip, ALL of your bodyweight is distributed evenly between your two hands, dig?
How much does your body weigh? Because THAT is exactly how much weight you are moving.

Is this that hard to comprehend? Really?


I don't think Poliquin talked about dips.

Unless you're really anal, just use your bodywt to keep it simple plus added wt. The difference is minimal.


If you want to get technical, the amount of force generated is directly proportional to the acceleration applied to the mass. So it's not such a straight-line equation after all, it's more of a second order exponential, Newtonian physics problem.

Force = mass * acceleration

So you're actually lifting "more" when you're going up, "less" when you're going down, and only holding exactly your bodyweight when you're in the locked position.

However, none of this matters at all.



This site is amazing at not being able to directly answer a simple fucking question.


10 responses over 4.5 hours and still no answer...I thought this site was supposed be chock-full of experts on all things lifting...nothing but meatheads.


Behold, the troll reveals his face.

  1. Chop your hands off.
  2. Scoop hands up with your new stubs.
  3. Place hands on scale. Note weight.
  4. Subtract weight of hands from total body weight.


Was it a trick question?


I put my hand upon your hip...

when you dip, i dip, we dip