Jordan and Pippen.

Oats and Eggs.

Fitman and Sprints.

Some things in life just belong together.  Chin-ups and dips definitely are the greatest dynamic duo in the history of the iron game but in today’s world, they have seemingly been forgotten like a one-hit wonder.

Major Meathead

When it comes to building the upper body, most men are absolutely lost at sea.  A typical meathead’s upper body workout looks something like this:

Barbell Bench Press 3 sets
Incline Smith Machine Press 3 sets
Hammer Strength Incline Press 3 sets
Cable Crossovers 3 sets
Machine Preacher Curls 3 sets
Machine Cable Curls 3 sets
Dumbbell Front Raises 3 sets

Total workout time:  2 hours and 35 wasted minutes

During this entire “workout” the trainee has not trained his back at all.  What is even worse is that the trainee will perform this workout 3 days per week.

I actually know men who do this and have done this same routine since Kobe and Shaq won their first title in the year 2000.  This “training program” will have you going absolutely nowhere fast.

To develop a phenomenal upper body you do not need all these movements jammed into one lame training session.  Just pumping volume because it is printed on page 47 of Meathead Monthly does not make it the right way to create change.

In order to build a bigger, stronger, and more muscular upper body, you need to focus on the two most effective upper body movements of all time.

Success Leaves Clues

Gymnasts, who sport the best all-around upper bodies perform all of their upper body training on the bars and the rings.  There are zero machines in the gymnasts routine.

Gymnasts have supremely muscular pecs, backs, and arms.  Yes, they have big, muscular arms without performing machine curls!

Now, I do not expect you to start training exactly as a gymnast would for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  You do not have to master the iron cross to build a fantastic upper body although that would be an amazing feat!

Back To The Basics

Bodybuilders and lifters have been performing chins and dips since the genesis of the iron game.  In today’s iron era, lifters and trainees are more likely to spend all of their time in the gym on machines instead of performing some old-fashioned, honest work like John Henry.

The bad part about this is that what worked then still works now.  Chins and dips form a devastatingly effective combination for developing the upper body.  Check out the videos below to learn how to properly execute each move.



The Workouts

Chins and dips work very well with my RP-21 Training System.  If you consistently perform the workouts below, you will dramatically change the way your upper body looks and feels.  Confidence is one of the greatest things on this planet that you can possess.

Note:  Each workout should begin with a dynamic warm-up or mobility work for 5-10 minutes to prepare the upper body.  Refer to the RP-21 Training System to learn how to do the program.

Bars Workout: This workout involves you performing chins and dips using the chinning bar and the parallel bars.

Chins SS Dips 7×3 (use a weight belt when necessary)
Chins SS Dips 6×5 (use a weight belt when necessary)
Chins SS Dips 1x to failure (use a weight belt if necessary)

Rings Workout:  This workout involves you using gymnastics rings and it has much more of a core component to it because the rings are not fixed.

Ring Chins SS Ring Dips 7×3 (use a weight belt if necessary)
Ring Chins SS Ring Dips 6×5 (use a weight belt if necessary)
Ring Chins SS Ring Dips 1x to failure (use a weight belt if necessary)

Bars and Rings Workout:  This workout involves you using the gymnastics rings and the chinning/parallel bars.

Ring Dips SS Pull-Ups 7×3 (use a weight belt if necessary)
Dips SS Ring Chin-Ups 6×5 (use a weight belt if necessary)
Ring Dips SS Neutral Grip Chin Ups 1x to failure (use a weight belt if necessary)

You can perform these workouts for 3 weeks on (escalating intensity) and 1 week off (deload).  Do these workouts with consistency and there is nothing that your upper body can do except GROW.

I’ll holla at you next time.

The People’s Trainer,