dips and chin-ups

The most popular article on my website up to this point is my full chin-ups and dips program for mass.

This article has exploded because many lifters have read it and are starting to discover what I found out many years ago: you do not need tons of exercises or machines to build a great upper body.

The Basics Will Always Work

In the iron game, it does not get more basic than dips and chin-ups.

The basics should always be the foundation of your training program.  When you focus on making progress with the basics, your physique and your performance will see phenomenal changes.

As your sprinting improves, your speed will improve.

As your incline bench press improves, your chest will improve.  Progression is hard work, but without progression, your body will not change.

The problem is that many lifters try to avoid the basics because doing and making real progress in the basics is not flashy or easy.  Avoiding that real work is the true definition of fake hustle.

Dips and Chins vs. Their Machine “Counterparts”

It’s easy to load up a lat pulldown machine, yank weight, and feel like the big man on campus.

But it’s hard work to go from doing no chin-ups to doing them with 50lbs strapped to your chinning belt.

It’s easy to load up a seated dip machine and press the weight down, with gravity, instead of up.

But it’s hard work to go from struggling with bodyweight dips to doing them with 100lbs of iron added to your dip belt.

There are some lifters in the gym who can almost pull down the whole stack on the lat pull machine and also press down a lot of weight on the weighted dip machine.

But these same cats can barely do 3 real chin-ups or 10 full range dips with 25lbs attached to their dip belt.  I’ve seen this fake hustle show live and in person during my career in the iron game.

Hollow machine numbers may pump up your ego, but they do not improve your physique.

The body does not lie.  Hollow training numbers = a hollow physique and lousy performances.

Real iron lifers can always tell who is lifting for real, and who is trying to front like they actually lift.  Their bodies and performances will automatically tell you.

You cannot front in the presence of real lifters without quickly being exposed.

Chin-Ups And Dips Workout

The workout in the video started with weighted chin-ups and dips.  The exact workout I did is below:

1) Weighted Dips SS Weighted Chin-Ups 4 x 6-8
2) Floor Press SS Straight Bar Curls (w/Biceps Blaster) 4 x 8-10
3) EZ Bar Skullcrushers SS Incline Dumbbell Curls 2 x 12-15
4) Seated Calves 5 x 15 SS Barbell Rollouts 4 x 8

Lean Away Lateral Raises
Run The Rack 30/25/20 to failure x 1

• I rested about 45-60 seconds between moves and about 2-2:30 minutes in between sets for the chins/dips superset and the floor press/curls superset.

• My rest for the skullcrushers and incline dumbbell curls was about 30 seconds between moves and 90 seconds between sets.  I rested about 30 seconds between moves and 1 minute between sets for the calf raises and rollouts.

• The lean away lateral raises were done consecutively starting with 30lbs and working down to 20lbs.  I rested about 1 minute in between arms.


Most lifters waste too much time and effort trying to do every press, fly, curl, and row known to the iron game during every workout.  But what these lifters must realize is that progression is significantly more important than variety.

The lifter who increases his or her added weight and reps on chin-ups and dips will develop a fantastic upper body.

The lifter who mindlessly pumps on every single chest or biceps machine during every workout will be going nowhere fast.

If you simplify the game, and focus on mastering prime-time exercises like chin-ups and dips, you will build the upper body strength and muscle that you are looking for.

You just have to be all in and give a consistent, quality effort.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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