chin-ups and dips program

Jordan and Pippen.

Oats and Eggs.

Fitman and Sprints.

As you can see, some things in life just belong together.

Chin-ups and dips are definitely 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.

Even when presented with evidence of a significantly more effective routine a typical meathead’s upper body workout still looks something like this:

• Barbell Bench Press 3 x 10

• Incline Smith Machine Press 3 x 10

• Hammer Strength Incline Press 3 x 10

• Cable Crossovers 3 x 10

• Machine Preacher Curls 3 x 10

• Machine Cable Curls 3 x 10

• Dumbbell Front Raises 3 x 10

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 then 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 have to start to focus on planning your upper body workout around chin-ups and dips.

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 are lean (diet) and 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.  But you do have to workout in a way that puts the priority on chin-ups and dips.

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.

But 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 good part about this is that what worked then still works now.  Chin-up and dips still form a devastatingly effective combination for developing the upper body.

Check out the videos below so that you can learn how to properly execute each move.

RP-21 Chin-Ups and Dips Workout

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 combined with a lean and healthy physique 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.

You should buy a chinning/dipping belt now because you will need one eventually.

Due to the vast availability of bars at gyms and outdoor parks, this will the most accessible workout for most lifters.

• Chins SS Dips 7×3 (use the belt when necessary)

• Chins SS Dips 6×5 (use the belt when necessary)

• Chins SS Dips 1x to failure (use the 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.

Rings are not as mainstream as bars so you will need to find a gym that offers them.  Old school iron gyms like The Center have rings.

• Ring Chins SS Ring Dips 7×3 (use the belt if necessary)

• Ring Chins SS Ring Dips 6×5 (use the 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.

The location where you train will need to have both bars and rings to complete this workout.

• 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)

Sample Training Week

Sunday: OFF
Monday: Chin-Ups and Dips Workout
Tuesday: Lower Body
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Upper Body
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Lower Body


You can perform these chin-up and dip workouts for 3 weeks on (escalating intensity) and then 1 week off (deload).  You will do them on Mondays.

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,

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