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Dips, Chin ups and Pull Ups for beginners

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  • Dips, Chin ups and Pull Ups for beginners

    I normally do about 80-100 pressups every weights session- this is normally 4 times a week.

    I want to start doing dips pull ups and chin ups,

    i tried doing dips today and could barely manage to keep my form, i.e i couldnt keep my body striaght..

    i was able to do 5 chin ups

    and have not attempted pull ups as yet due to the feeble efforts above and my own embarassment.

    i presumed i would be better at these movements as i find pressups very simple..

    i remeber when i started pressups i could barely manage a few and made myself get better by performing everyday.

    any advice on improving these exercises- or is it just a case of manning up and keep going as with the pressups?

    thanks in advnace-
    To "pay the piper" means to face the inevitable consequences of one's actions

  • #2
    I recommend the PB fitness eBook.

    It advises no more than three "Lift Heavy Things" sessions each week, one of which can be very short. The key is intensity---not necessarily time or number of reps.

    You should start dips, chin-ups and pull-ups using less-intense alternatives---e.g. do assisted pull-ups until you can do 50 reps then progress until you can perform unassisted pull-ups. See Mark's progression videos on youtube.

    Form is important, do a less intense exercise if you can't maintain good form.
    thorN's Primal journal


    • #3


      • #4
        Couldn't do dips, chin ups or pull-ups to save my life ten years ago They are all harder to do than push ups, or press ups as you say across the pond. Now I can do reps with a 25 lb. weight attached.

        A workout partner to hold your feet while you work up the strength to do more reps is invaluable. This works for dips, chins and PUs.

        For those w/o the luxury of a workout buddy, bands are the way to go. they come is various sizes and resistances depending on how much assistance you need. For chins and PUs, you girth hitch the band to the bar and place one foot inside the loop and rep away.

        Some will tell you to do the negative on a pull up or chin up, ie jump up to the bar and just lower yourself. I'd say be careful as this tends to be stressful on the tendons.

        Lastly, on dips, holding strict form depends on which muscles you want to work. A forward lean (which makes it easier for most people) brings the pecs into play. A straight up and down focuses on the triceps and these are harder.


        • #5
          I for one don't believe in progressing pull-ups or dips. I too struggled with pull-ups for some time, even when using one of the hybrid/dip machines at a local gym. One day I made up my mind to do only "real" pull-ups, even if it meant starting at one or two at a time.

          Sure enough, in only a handful of days I was building to solid sets of six or more pull-ups, netting better and faster results than when I used the machine. The way I see it, such machines (or other mechanisms to make the exercise easier) are crutches, nothing more.

          To be fair, though, I understand not everyone can start doing even a single pull-up, which is fine. There are variations you can try at this juncture, such as single negative reps that gradually lead to standard pull-ups. The elastic bands mentioned above are better than the machines because you do more of the work when compared to how machines offset your bodyweight. Even so, anything that lightens your weight is only counterproductive, in my opinion.

          Just my two the way, the advice above goes for dips as well.
          Last edited by PhiPsiJB; 02-24-2012, 05:27 PM.


          • #6
            I agree machines suck, but I think progression is important.

            But that's because progression to me means eventually progressing to the point of being able to do one-handed pullups.


            • #7
              thanks for the replies guys/gals,

              phipsib- this is wat i was thinking and essentially wat i did to improve pushups...

              i would really like to master these exercises and will get to work on them..

              To "pay the piper" means to face the inevitable consequences of one's actions


              • #8
                I've got a new book that is all about pull-up bar training (including dips) coming out soon. In the meantime, I've got lots of free info on my blog. Start with this article: Al Kavadlo – We're Working Out! Learning to Do a Pull-up
                "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                My blog: