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 A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!

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Fed X

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PostSubject: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:19 am

Parallel Bar Dips: Old School Power Builder
By JP Carlson


For www.EliteFTS.com







I enjoy reading everything I can about the conjugate training methods. My problem is that I train alone at home, and I can’t safely use a lot of the assistance exercise ideas. So I’m always looking for ways to use the core concepts of the conjugate system and make them work with the resources I have available.

A big name in the strength world has written extensively about the importance of increasing triceps strength to improve bench press performance. He has many good ideas about how to do this. Unfortunately, board presses aren’t possible for me because I train alone. I do the usual triceps exercises, but I can’t handle enough weight in triceps extensions for there to be meaningful carryover for my bench because my elbows hurt too much. So what’s the answer?

Looking back over many years of lifting, and thinking about what worked and what didn’t, the exercise that contributed the most to my bench was the old school parallel bar dip with extra weight. Not many people do them anymore to build power, but there was a time when some top benchers used them with great success.

First, let’s clear away the misconceptions and the nonsense. Mike Mentzer used to write that dips were the “upper body squat,” and this idea was picked up by a lot of armchair trainers who write articles for bodybuilding magazines and fitness columns. It makes for good copy because it sounds cool—upper body squat. But I can tell you flat out—it’s pure BS. There is no magic to dips despite what the columnists say. They work the triceps, shoulders, and chest, and they produce good gains but only when you use enough weight.

This is where the magazines and all the armchair trainers fall apart. For experienced powerlifters, body weight dips are useless for producing strength gains, and few writers have any idea what kind of weight is possible in the dip because they’ve never done them. To illustrate what’s possible, sometimes they refer back to an old story that’s been retold many times about Marvin Eder doing dips back in the 1950s with guys literally hanging off of him, but there’s very little concrete information.

So how much weight do you have to use? Is 100 lbs of extra weight for five reps a lot of weight? Some people actually think 100 lbs is a big deal. The fact is that 100 lbs isn’t a lot of weight. It’s a decent weight, but a 200-lb guy who is doing dips with 100 lbs is actually lifting maybe 270 lbs, and that’s not a lot of weight. A smaller guy who weighs in at 150 lbs and is doing dips with a 100-lb dumbbell is lifting a nice weight as a percentage of his body weight, but he’s only moving maybe 220 lbs.

Because some guys mistakenly think that dips with 70, 80, or even 100 lbs is a lot of weight, they don’t push beyond that level, and they never see significant size or strength gains from dips. But the truth is that moving 100 lbs in dips for 5–8 reps won’t turn you into a bench machine. To get a much bigger bench you need to change your thinking about what’s possible.

So what’s a good goal? To start, shoot for extra weight in the range of 50 percent body weight, and build from there. Try to move it up to 100 percent body weight for five reps. The closer you get to handling extra weight that’s equal to your body weight, the closer you get to a raw, double your body weight bench press. For many of us, that’s about as much weight as we’ll be able to handle. If you’re gifted in the bench, you’ll be able to use more, but average guys will have to work hard to get to extra weight equal to body weight.

Assume you weigh 200 lbs. Your max raw bench is 250 lbs, and you decide to include dips. You aren’t used to the movement so you start out with just body weight to give your shoulders, pecs, and arms time to adapt to the exercise. Over a period of weeks/months, you slowly add weight until you’re now dipping with 100 lbs (50 percent body weight) for five reps. You’re now moving 270 lbs for five reps. This could very well add 20–50 lbs to your max bench. Are you any bigger? Your triceps will be bigger, and you will see it in the mirror. Have you gained any weight from this? Probably not.

If you’re an experienced lifter and you’re already raw benching in the mid-300s and up for reps, don’t expect an increase in upper body mass or your max bench when you hit 100 extra lbs of weight. You’re already strong, and getting up to 100 lbs isn’t going to do much for you. If you’re at that level, you need to look at 100 lbs as a milestone and plan on getting stronger.

Move the weight up to 200 extra lbs and you can expect that your triceps and shoulders will be much larger and you will be much stronger. This is a level of strength that’s tough to reach, and most guys never get there because they don’t stay with it. And they don’t stay with it because they don’t think it’s possible to get there.

The great Pat Casey did dips with 205 lbs at a body weight in the 240s and raw benched in the mid-400s as a young man. As his body weight increased to the low 300s, he raised his dip weight to the low 300s as well. His max competition bench was roughly 620 lbs. So looking at Pat’s routines, his max strict bench was roughly equal to his max total dip weight (body weight plus extra weight) for 3–5 reps. Pat’s routines are still on the internet. His main assistance exercises were very basic and included lying triceps extensions (300–365 lbs), incline dumbbell bench (220-lb dumbbells), dips with heavy weights (minimum 205 lbs up to low 300s), and front presses.

Pat did a lot of dips! He relied heavily on this exercise, and it worked well for him. Because Pat weighed anywhere from 250 lbs to the low 300s when he performed dips with 205 lbs for multiple sets of five reps—which was a low weight for him—he was moving some nice weight. When he did dips with extra weight from 205 lbs to the low 300s and up, he was moving some tremendous weight!

My old training partner and I did dips with around 155 lbs for five reps at body weights in the low 200s. By powerlifting standards, we were both too lean to lift heavy weights because we’re both over six feet tall. I’ve written about this problem for this web site. Suffice it to say, your muscle mass will limit/define your maximal strength, and we both needed to gain mass.

When I look back at what we did then and the lifting I did in the years afterward, the dips made a big difference during this period. Neither one of us was naturally good at the bench, but the dips were the number one reason our bench weights went up. I wish we had pushed for bigger numbers in the dip, but we thought those were big weights at the time, and we placed mental limits on what we were doing. In hindsight, we should have kept going heavier!

This year I’ll try to get my raw bench back up to 400–410 lbs at a body weight of 195 lbs. To do that, I’m going to try using dips as my main assistance exercise. I’ll need to get the weight up to 205 lbs for five reps. Right now, I’m using 95 lbs for four reps at 195 lbs body weight. So I have a long road ahead.

Should you try doing dips? Here are some possible benefits. You may find that even though the bench press makes your shoulders sore, you can do dips without pain. This has always been the case for me. It depends upon the reason your shoulders are sore, so this may not work for you. It’s worth trying though.

Even if conventional triceps exercises like the lying triceps extension make your elbows intensely painful, you may be able to do dips with little or no pain and little or no inflammation. This is a significant benefit if you’ve abused your elbows. In my younger days, I had very bad elbow tendonitis from overtraining my triceps, and many years later, my elbows become inflamed if I try to do a lying extension with significant weight. I can do heavy dips without any problem and they work for me. They will build your triceps power and size.

You can easily incorporate chains into dips. This is very easy to do. So if you’re concerned about overstretching your shoulders or pecs in the low position, you can set up your chains the usual way to lighten the load at the bottom and increase it as you push up. And you don’t need more than one or two sets of chains if you’re also using plates. If you get really good, you can use more sets of chains.

You don’t need a spotter with dips. Just make sure you can touch your feet on the floor or that you have a stool to step on. At any point if you feel a twinge in a pec or shoulder, it’s easy to bail on this exercise. I never knew anyone who got hurt doing dips, but if you poke around the internet there is a story about someone who tore both pecs doing dips. No details.


The key to safe dipping is to control your depth. Be consistent from workout to workout, and never do a dip where you can’t touch the floor with your feet when you get to the bottom of the lift. If the dipping bars are too high and you can’t touch your feet to the ground, put something on the floor that you can reach before you start dipping. If you feel a twinge, stop what you’re doing and put your feet down immediately.

You don’t need a lot of equipment with dips. A set of stand alone dipping bars are very affordable. I’ve used dipping harnesses, and I’ve also used a length of chain. They both work fine to hold the weight. If you’re using a length of chain, wrap a towel around it or it will hurt like hell.

Although they aren’t that popular anymore, you can do negatives in the dip pretty easily. If you’ve thought about trying negatives, the dip is a good place to start. You can also incorporate chains into your negatives. Someone once said that negatives don’t help strength development but will increase size. Use them wisely. Don’t overdo the weight and control your depth. If you want more mass, dips are one of the few big, upper body exercises you can do using negatives without a spotter.

There is no doubt in my mind that some of the best benchers could do some amazing numbers in the dip, but they’re already doing triceps specialization exercises that are effective so there’s no point in doing dips at their level. Which Elite Fitness lifters would I like to see try dips for six months and write about their experiences? My number one choice is Jim Wendler. I don’t think I have to tell you why. Jim would tell it like it is. If I’m reading his training log correctly, Jim raw benches around 455 lbs and weighs around 235 lbs. So Jim could probably work up to 200 lbs in the dip for reps pretty easily. He’d probably need to go as heavy as 250 lbs to really see some carryover in his bench, but that could take him up to a 500-lb max. That would be very interesting.

I’d also like to see what Matt K. can do. Matt sometimes does dips at the end of his workout with 100 lbs and reps out with that weight. I’d like to see what he could do if he decided to concentrate on heavy weights for a while. We already know what he did with basic one-arm rows. Matt K is a guy who doesn’t set limits on his performance. As a result, he raises the bar for the rest of us. Matt’s performance forces everyone to rethink what they can do in their own workouts. If Matt can do rows with 300 lbs for eight or more reps, what’s stopping the rest of us from doing 150 lbs for 20 reps? Nothing. We need to believe that we can do it first and then the body will follow. If you don’t read Matt’s training log, I recommend it.

If Matt decided to try dips with heavy weights, I’m sure we’d see some amazing numbers. Because Matt is into bodybuilding right now, this would be a very cool experiment. Matt’s logs indicate that he hurt his shoulder, and dips have become painful for him. Maybe he will consider it when his shoulder heals up.

To sum up, for average guys, dips are a long-term project. You won’t see results overnight by adding dips to your bench routine, and body weight dips aren’t going to do anything for you. Get rid of that upper body squat nonsense. You’ll need time and determined effort to make them work, but they offer a lot of advantages for guys who are raw lifters and have limited access to advanced equipment. You don’t need a lot of equipment to do them. You can do them alone, and you don’t need a spot even when you’re handling max weights. Adding chains is easy, and they allow you to control the resistance at the bottom, middle, and top of the lift. Dips are one of the few exercises that allow you to really work the triceps hard without elbow pain. It’s also simple to see where you are in terms of your bench and easy to see if they’re helping. If you’re looking for a way to get your triceps stronger to increase your bench, consider doing dips.






Im applying this to Claisthenics of course, but, overall what do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Benefits Of Doing Dips   Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:20 am

Benefits Of Doing Dips


Dips are better than Push-ups. Your whole body is moving & you can do them weighted more easily. Like Pull-ups & Chin-ups, Dips force you to lift your own body-weight. Stressing your upper-body & thus building muscle.

All strength training exercises have a technique to master. Dips are no different. Here's how to perform Dips with proper technique.


What are Dips? Raise yourself on 2 supports with elbows locked. Lower your body until your shoulders are lower than your elbows. Push yourself up by straightening your arms. Variations for Dips:
Parallel Bar Dips. Parallel bars that are 55cm/22" apart. My Squat Rack has 2 removable parallel bars I use for Dips.
Rings Dips. Dips using rings are harder than parallel bar Dips: you need to stabilize yourself more.
Chair Dips. Put 2 chairs back to back & dip in between. Make sure the chairs are stable enough so you don't fall.
Bench Dips. Feet elevated, hands on a bench. Avoid. The torso position is unhealthy for your shoulders, especially when you do them weighted.


Benefits of Dips. Push-ups have your feet planted. Dips move your whole body through space. Dips are harder and thus superior to Push-ups because you have to balance your body. Other benefits of Dips:
Build Strength. Dips build lockout strength: straightening your elbows. This helps the Bench Press & the Overhead Press.
Build Muscle. Dips will develop your triceps & chest muscles.
Rehab. Try Dips if you can't do the Bench Press because of a shoulder injury. Dips work similar muscles, do them if your shoulders can take it.


What If You Can't Do 1 Rep? Stay away from Dip Machines. The strength you build on machines doesn't transfer. Dips are harder: you have to balance yourself. If you can't do 1 rep, try one of these:
Ask for Help. Ask someone to help you on the way up by grabbing your side with his hands and squatting up & down.
Partials. Get on the 2 supports with locked elbows. Unlock your elbows, lower yourself slightly & push back up. Gradually increase the range of motion as you get stronger until you can break parallel.


Weighted Dips. Switch to Weighted Dips once you can do 10-15 reps with proper technique to keep the exercise challenging.
Dumbbell Between Legs. Hold a dumbbell between your feet while doing Dips. Doesn't work well with weights above 10-15kg.
Rucksack. Wear a rucksack & put plates in it. Make sure you use a strong rucksack so it doesn't break.
Belt + Chain. Wear a belt. Attach plates to a chain and to your belt. I recommend this method for Weighted Dips.
Dip Technique. You might not be able to lean forward & go as deep as James on the picture above. If your shoulders or sternum hurts, stay more upright with your chest up. But always apply the following rules on Dips.
Squeeze The Bar. Put your thumbs around the bar & squeeze it hard. The more force you apply to the bar, the stronger you are.
Look Forward. Don't look straight forward, don't look the floor. Look to a point slightly in front of you.
Breathing. Take a big breathe while hanging with locked elbows & hold it. Lower yourself & come back up. Breathe at the top, not during reps.
Chest Up. Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Keep your chest up & shoulders back. It's easier on your shoulders.
Bend Your Legs. And cross your feet. Letting your legs hang means less strength in my experience. Squeeze your glutes on the way up.
Break Parallel. Your shoulders must go lower than your elbows. Deeper stretches your chest more, but your shoulders might not agree with it.
Lock Elbows. Drive out of the bottom until your elbows are locked. Squeeze your triceps. No partial Dips.Common Problems. Break parallel on each rep just like with Squats. Use a complete range of motion from start to finish.
Not Hitting Parallel. Don't cheat by doing partial Dips. Your shoulders must go lower than your elbows on each rep.
Not Locking the Elbows. Lock your elbows at the top. Squeeze your triceps & keep your chest up.
Shoulder Issues. Don't go too low. Stop when you break parallel, keep your chest up & torso upright. Try shoulder dislocations.
Torso Pain. Don't let your shoulders roll forward & don't let your torso shift forward too much. Keep your chest up.
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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:49 am

I have to say that I love dips! But I dont agree with the statement in the first post "and body weight dips aren’t going to do anything for you." ( I undrstand that this article is pertaining to power lifting.I am applying this to regular joes like myself or others on this site.)I have done plenty of bw dips and have seen size gains and strength gains. Going from 10 bw dips in a row to 20 is what I expierenced with bw. I do think that the info about the heavy weight with dips transfering over to a heavy bench is quite intresting, but I dont know if it really applies to me. I dont bench, nor do I care about those #'s, and I am never going to be a powerlifter either. I dont agree with what you said in the second post about dips being superiour to pushups either. Yes, you can add weight easyer, and yes you use more weight in general. But, there are far more variations of pushups than there are of dips, plus there are a few variations that have more weight being pushed compared to regular pushups as well(handstand, planche). With these variations come the art of balance as well. Not only that, you can get a deep stretch in your chest with pushups like you can with dips as in modified atlas pushups.
I personally feel more comfortable doing explosive pushups compared to explosive dips. With all that being said, I beleive that both dips and pushups have a place in the workout, and one is not supeiour to the other. I also think that dips will transfer to bench, but if you are like me and dont bench, the strength gains and size gains you get from dips alone make them an adequate replacement for the bench. Doing them with pushups will give you the most bang for your buck as far as I am concerned, and overall, I think that dips are an excellent yet underrated exercise.

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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:35 pm

great insight, lately Ive negelected pushups all together and opted for dips weighted/body weight instead. Do you think that this is a proper substitute, or, should I be doing both dips and push ups?!?. What are the pros and cons of Just doing dips. Thanks!!! btw I didnt write either article
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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:13 am

Nothing (in my opinion) is a substuitute for pushups...they do so much for you and they work so many muscles that they really should be done often. I think that pushups and dips together are a deadly combo (in a good way) and I have personally seen a lot of benefit from doing this. I have gained a good bit of size, but more importantly for me, my strength/endurance/explosiveness and overall conditioning has skyrocketed. Before, I had tried doing just dips. On their own, they do a fine job of hitting the pushing muscles, but they are not enough. I dont know about weather it would be bad if you only did dips, but I really dont think they are enough on thier own.

Some people on other forums I have read say pushups suck and that you only build endurance with them...this is ridiculous! I think those people only say that becase they themselves cant do pushups. As far as the whole endurance vs strength training goes, you can easily tailor the way you do pushups so that you build strength, endurance, explosiveness and general conditioning. There certainly is something to be said of high volume pushups. 8 months ago, I was doing 300 pushups every day. Why? Cause I wanted to see what would happen. After 6 weeks went by of doing all those pushups and eating meat like it was the begining of a 2 year famine, I got my results. In just 6 weeks, I made some significant progress. Firstly what I noticed was that my upper body overall was thicker. When I tried to do my nemisis of that time, the handstand pushup, I was surprised when I knocked out 4 solid reps. My explosiveness was now high too. I was able to do a triple clap pushup, a clap pushup where my feet got launced in the air and "clapped" as well and much more. All in all, my strength, endurance, explosiveness, and conditioning went up real high. It was amazing.

So yeah dude, do the pushups and remember, you are not pushing yourself up when you are doing them, you are pushing the world down!
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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:59 pm

Push-ups vs. Parallel Bar Dips


Push-ups
As full-body, functional training exercises go, it's hard to beat the push-up. In a push-up, you place your body in a plank position, with feet together and hands directly below the shoulder with arms straight. You should be perfectly flat—like a plank—from the back of your head, down your back, across your hips, down your legs to your feet. Now, maintaining that flat posture, lower your chest to the floor by bending your elbows. Your chest should lightly touch the floor before you, well, push back up to your starting position.

All pretty familiar, right? Here are the strengths of the push-up:
1.Focuses on pecs and triceps: This exercise, like the bench press, which also involves a pressing motion directly forward from the chest, engages the complete pectoralis major. This is the big fan of muscle underneath your "breasts" that gives your chest its size and definition and is what you think of as your chest. A push-up also challenges your triceps.
2.Unlimited variation: You should think of the basic push-up as being sort of like a plate of spaghetti: there are a lot of sauces you can put on it. Variations include medicine balls and stability balls, plyometrics and inclines; but if you want to do chest isolations, just moving your hands is a great variation. Varying the width of the hands will focus the work on different parts of the pecs. The wider your hand placement, the more you isolate the outer portion of the chest. The narrower the placement, the more you work the sternal head (center of the chest near the sternum) of the pectoralis muscles. This narrow placement will also shift the intensity more towards your triceps.
3.Functional training: Beyond the chest work it provides, a push-up trains your entire body to function as a unit. That's because you have to use your abdominal muscles and back muscles to maintain your alignment as you push. Hence, it is a functional exercise. You won't get six-pack abs by doing push-ups. But the kind of full-body, real-world strength you develop from push-ups will help you in real-life strength tests—slipping in the shower, picking up a bag of groceries, tossing your little nephew in the air—in ways that a lifetime of isolated weight-lifting cannot.
The push-up is therefore a key exercise to any program that seeks not only big muscle, but functional strength for life activities. And, because of its endless versatility, it is possible to keep adapting the push-up to changing programs.

Parallel Bar Dips
Ever looked at a male gymnast's upper body? If so, you probably really envied his muscles. Some of that muscle is gained on the parallel bars. So why not steal a page from his book? Parallel bar dips involve standing between two parallel bars (typically a pair of longish handles on a stand) with one hand on each bar. You will take a step and press up so that you are above the bars with your upper body, arms straight to hold you up, with legs dangling between and below the bars. From here, you will bend your elbows to lower your body between the bars, coming down until your hands are near your chest with elbows bent behind you, then straightening your elbows to press back up and lift yourself back to the straight-armed start position.

Here are the benefits of the parallel bar dips:
1.Multiple upper body benefits: Dips primarily work the inferior pectoralis (lower aspects of the chest), which are largely missed by bench press and push-ups. They also target the triceps as well as the some of the anterior deltoids (front aspect of your shoulder). This exercise is also great for working the flexibility of your shoulder girdle.
2.Body angle important: This exercise depends on your body position, and can be manipulated to target different muscles. If, as you dip down, you incline your upper body forward, you will put more of the lift into your chest muscles. If, however, you remain vertical or upright as you dip down, you will target your triceps.
3.Functional with options: Parallel bar dips are, like push-ups, functional. That is because, like the push-up, they involve your ability to lift and move the weight of your own body, rather than an arbitrary added weight. Like the push-up, they offer the opportunity for training the body to function as a unit rather than simply bulking up individual muscles. Parallel bar dips can be made more difficult with the addition of a weight belt to which you can add however much additional weight you would like. This will give you the functional benefits of balancing your own weight—and engaging your core, abs and back to make your body act as a unit—while letting you add additional pounds as desired.
In the end, these are both great functional chest exercises with additional triceps work, and sooner or later both should form part of any comprehensive weight-training program. Remember that the chest dips will target the lower chest, providing definition, where the push-ups will target the upper and middle chest, providing thickness. Both have sufficient versatility, however, to bring new intensity to any program. .






























you dont wanna know where I found this
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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:03 pm

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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:57 pm

The statement that dips are superior to push-ups and that you can replace push-ups entirely by doing dips is wrong. Yes, wrong! Dips are harder, no doubt, you're lifting your whole bodyweight after all, BUT there is something called plane of movement. Doing push-ups, you're pushing forward, moving your bodyweight up. This is considered as horizontal pushing/pressing. In the dips' case, you're pushing downward, resulting in bodyweight moving up. This is considered vertical pressing. Both exercises emphasize on different muscle groups(or in the exact case, different aspects of the muscles). In the same case, handstand push-ups are harder than dips, but it doesn't mean they're superior and you can completely replace dips with HSPUs. While they're in the same plane of movement(vertical pressing), the body is held in a different position in each exercises, resulting in stimulating different muscle groups.
Same goes for Pull-ups and Rows. Pull-ups - vertical pulling, while rows - horizontal pulling.
So.. dips may be superior to assisted dips, but they're not superior to push-ups!
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PostSubject: Re: A Power Lifters take on Parallel Bar Dips... Do You agree with any of his views?!   Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Zhulien wrote:
The statement that dips are superior to push-ups and that you can replace push-ups entirely by doing dips is wrong. Yes, wrong! Dips are harder, no doubt, you're lifting your whole bodyweight after all, BUT there is something called plane of movement. Doing push-ups, you're pushing forward, moving your bodyweight up. This is considered as horizontal pushing/pressing. In the dips' case, you're pushing downward, resulting in bodyweight moving up. This is considered vertical pressing. Both exercises emphasize on different muscle groups(or in the exact case, different aspects of the muscles). In the same case, handstand push-ups are harder than dips, but it doesn't mean they're superior and you can completely replace dips with HSPUs. While they're in the same plane of movement(vertical pressing), the body is held in a different position in each exercises, resulting in stimulating different muscle groups.
Same goes for Pull-ups and Rows. Pull-ups - vertical pulling, while rows - horizontal pulling.
So.. dips may be superior to assisted dips, but they're not superior to push-ups!





thanks bro!! so what would be the advantage or disadvantages of doing solely weighted/unweighted dips, and, no other chest excercise
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