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One Of The Most Powerful Chest Exercises For Men

by Garry Davidson on December 18, 2012

One Of The Most Powerful Chest Exercises For Men

The best chest exercises for MEN focus on growing chest muscle as quickly and efficiently as possible and at the same time, widening the chest to give you that unstoppable masculine look.

When it comes to burning chest fat and losing man boobs, while at the same time, growing muscle and sculpting an unstoppable masculine chest, this one exercise is perhaps the best I’ve ever known. It’s far better than bench presses, pushups, cable crossovers, dumbbell flys and the like.

I was first convinced about using this exercise when I learned about a guy called Vince Gironda. Now let me tell you a little about Vince. Vince was a bodybuilding legend who was known as the ‘Iron Guru’, and known for getting his clients big and ripped in record time.

For 50 years, he trained more champion physique competitors than anyone in the business. He trained some of the most famous bodybuilders, as well as some of the world’s best actors and actresses. He was also known to get great results with regular joes like you and me.

Vince was the “go-to” guy for absolutely anyone who wanted to get into shape. Now you could argue that there were and are plenty of other guys around who know a lot about training, but Vince was different.

Back in the day, Vince came up with a lot of weird and controversial ideas about exercise and nutrition, a lot of people thought he was crazy and avoided taking his advice, or even going to his gym. But what we’re finding now, is that new scientific research is showing us that Vince was right all along!

One of Vince’s most controversial ideas was that the bench press is a poor exercise for the chest. In fact, he threw out all the benches in his gym and replaced them with dipping stations. Vince believed that when it comes to developing the chest, the chest dip is a far superior exercise to the bench press, and guess what? Electromyogram (EMG) studies today, reveal that he was right!

Chest Dips

If you could do just one chest exercise to carve out a set of pecs that you see on the statue of a Greek god, the Hulk or a mythological beast, it would be chest dips. Not the bench press, not pushups, and certainly not dumbbell flys.

Chest dips work the entire upper body, and really give you that hormonal boost you need to grow muscle, tone your chest and lose those man boobs. They work your arms, your shoulders, your chest and your upper back.

Chest Exercises For Men

Chest dips are a powerful exercise for building a muscular chest. They also work your entire upper body including your back, arms and shoulders.

When it comes to both performance and sculpting your body through muscle-growth and hormonal stimulation, bodyweight exercises always come on top. This is largely because unlike weight-training, which tends to isolate one particular body-part, bodyweight exercises require you to stabilize your entire body as it moves through space.

When you use your core stabilizers and other muscles throughout your body, not only do you get a bigger hormonal boost from the workout, you also lose more fat, gain a more even distribution of muscle throughout the body, which means better posture, less injuries and a better more attractive appearance.

Since most guys rely almost completely on the bench press for building chest muscle, let’s discuss…

Why Dips Are FAR Better Than The Bench Press For Building A Hurculean Chest

Disadvantages Of The Bench Press

1. A Poor Exercise For The Chest

Now don’t get me wrong, many bodybuilders DO use the bench press to build some huge muscles. But did you ever stop to think how many people fail with the bench press? Almost every guy that goes to the gym spends time on the bench press – but how many of these guys end up getting a huge, wide, stone-slab-like chest that gets women weak at the knees?

See, the trouble with the bench press is that it is more an exercise for the front deltoids of your shoulders, than it is an exercise for the chest. EMG studies reveal that the front deltoids receive the same stimulation as the pectoralis major of the chest during the flat bench press.

The front deltoids are very small in comparison to the pectoralis major muscle of the chest.

Since the front deltoids are a very small muscle compared to the huge pectoralis major of the chest, it stands to reason that during the bench press the deltoids of your shoulders will fatigue way before your chest even starts to get a proper workout. As a result you will end your workout before fully involving your chest.

2. The Most Common Cause Of Shoulder Injuries In The Gym

Due to the rising popularity of the bench press, rotator cuff surgery is at an all time high.

The bench press places too much strain on the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders, and very commonly leads to injury, damage and wear & tear of the rotator cuff over time.

For this reason, the bench press is widely reported as being the most common cause of shoulder injuries in the gym.

3. Kills Shoulder Flexibility, Leading To More Injuries

The bench press kills shoulder flexibility. The massive strain on your shoulders from this exercise makes your rotator cuff muscles tighter and tighter over time. The first sign of this is when you start to find it difficult to reach behind your back as if to do up a bra (not that I have ever tried one on, but you know what I mean ;) ).

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t having big muscles that makes you inflexible, but rather, incorrect training. If you have read ‘Stretching Scientifically’ by Thomas Kurz, you’ll know that big muscles actually make you MORE flexible.

4. Torn Pecs (Pectoralis Major Rupture)

Yet another common injury with the bench press. Here’s a video of a guy tearing his left pec during a set of bench presses. Warning: this video is NOT for the faint hearted.

Watch as this guy tears his left pec with the bench press… Youuch!

With this injury, the tendon that attaches your pectoralis major muscle to your upper arm bone, is torn right off the bone. It can be extremely painful and in most cases requires surgical repair. It will take many months before you are lifting anything again.

Advantages Of Dips For Developing The Chest

1. Faster And Better Development Of The Chest

When doing dips, you are moving your arms in a downward motion. This downward motion ensures that you bypass the shoulders and isolate the chest muscles far better than any other compound exercise for the chest. Although your shoulders are still involved to a large extent and get an excellent workout, they are not as engaged and overloaded as they are during the bench press.

Studies have shown that the deltoids are much less involved during the decline bench press, compared to the horizontal bench press. Since chest dips are a bodyweight variation of the decline bench press, this means that more focus is placed on the chest than on the shoulders while doing dips compared to the bench press.

Wide Chest

Chest dips give you wider chest development than the bench press.

2. Wider Chest Development

I’ve seen guys with 6-pack abs who look like scrawny wimps when they have a shirt on. The key to looking like an unstoppable alpha-male is to work on widening that upper body, namely your chest and upper back.

Chest dips performed with a wide grip and the elbows flared to the sides, target the outer chest better than pushups, bench presses, or any other exercise for that matter. In doing so, they give you that huge, wide chest that resembles a set of stone slabs set on your chest sideways.

This is yet another reason why chest dips are one of the most powerful chest exercises you can do.

3. Increased Shoulder Flexibility

At the bottom of the movement your shoulder muscles are both strengthened and stretched, giving you improved flexibility.

Do be careful however, since if you already have inflexible and/or weak shoulders, you can still suffer shoulder injuries while doing dips, especially with weighted dips. The key is to only go as low as you feel comfortable. Over time, your shoulders will get stronger and you’ll be able to descend write the way down, thereby fully stretching those pecs.

4. Dips Are Functional – They Give You Strength That You Can Use

Dips require you to lift and move your entire body through space. You need to keep your body tight so you maintain your posture, and as a result you not only involve your chest, upper back, shoulders and arms, but also your legs, abdomen and lower back. It is a true whole-body workout that trains your body to function as a unit as opposed to targeting individual sections of the body.

By working your entire body in this way, dips will help you to lose weight, look better and build strength all round. They will help make you a better athlete, better able to handle yourself in a fight, better able to manage your body weight, and even help you bench more.

5. Hormonal Stimulation – Better For Weight Loss And Man Boob Reduction

Because dips engage your entire body, they result in a greater release of testosterone and growth hormone both during and after the workout. Increased levels of these hormones help to reduce man boobs, burn fat and pack on extra muscle.

How To Do Chest Dips

Dips can be modified to focus on the triceps, upper back or chest. Here I will tell you how to do chest dips.

Place your hands on two parallel bars on either side of you. If you don’t have access to parallel bars, you can also use two tables, or the top of the back-rests of two chairs facing away from each other. If you are using the chair option, it helps to wear a set of garden gloves to take the pressure off your hands.

1. Prop yourself up with your arms straight and your elbows locked out.
2. Bend your knees so your feet are behind you. This helps to balance your weight as you lean forward. Leaning forward is necessary to target the chest.


Chest Dips Upper

3. Bending at the elbows, lower your body in a slow and controlled fashion, without ever touching your feet or knees to the ground. Breath in while doing this.
4. Stop when your shoulders are level with your elbows, then while breathing out, slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position.
5. Repeat steps 3-4, always making sure to maintain good posture and a forward-leaning position.

Chest Dips Lower

In case that ain’t clear enough, check out the following video:

Incorporating Dips Into Your Training

Changing The Resistance

The only real problem with bodyweight exercises is unlike with weights it isn’t easy to change the level of resistance. But not being easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. All you need is a little creativity and you can change the resistance all you like.

If you’re not accustomed to training, or you are a little on the heavy side, you may find it difficult to perform even one repetition of dips. If this is the case with you, then all is not lost since there are many things you can do to work around the problem. This includes getting someone to help you, letting your feet touch the ground and aiding the lift with your legs, doing static holds at the top position or doing partial reps and negative reps to condition yourself until you are strong enough to do full reps.

If you find dips to be too easy, you can do weighted dips by wearing a backpack and throwing some weight plates into it, or using a weight belt with weights hanging off it, holding a weight plate between your knees, or getting your buddy to jump on your back.

Combining Dips With Other Exercises

If you just did dips and nothing else, your chest and upper body would look phenomenal. You will however get better results if you combine dips with other exercises that target different portions of your chest – like incline and decline pushups and, in the gym, cable crossovers and the pec dec.

If you are working on your chest, it’s also important to work on your upper back for good posture, symmetry and that wider look.

In order to get that truly wide, masculine and unstoppable upper body physique, it’s important also to do upper back exercises like bent-over rows, pullups and lat pulldowns.

If you only worked out your chest, your shoulders would be pulled forward in a hunched position. If on the other hand you work out your chest and upper back equally, your shoulders will be in a neutral position in the middle and to the sides, giving you a wider appearance.

It is also important to throw some whole-body training and leg training into the mix, to help get rid of those overlying layers of fat.

Dips may be a good exercise for building muscle and burning fat, but it is well known that nothing gets rid of excess fat than whole-body training and a good diet.

FAQ: “Won’t Dips Make Your Man Boobs Stick Out?”

I’m yet to see this happen. It is theoretically possible that in a minority of guys, dips will stimulate more of the lower chest than the upper chest. However, EMG studies have shown that, surprisingly enough, the decline bench press stimulates the upper portion of the pectoralis major muscle, better than it does the lower.

I’m willing to bet that dips (again, dips being like an extreme decline bench press) stimulate the upper chest just as well as the lower, since all of my clients who only do dips, end up getting perfectly even chest development.

But hey, EMG studies also show that the incline bench press does isolate the upper chest more, so if you are for whatever reason, afraid that your lower chest will get bigger and your man boobs will stick out if you do dips, then you can always do both dips and incline presses to even things out.


Dips are a powerful exercise that target the entire upper body. They are arguably the fastest way to build a wide muscular chest, while at the same time making you stronger, increasing your core strength, and helping you to lose chest fat.

Not only are dips more effective than the bench press at working out the muscles of the chest, they are also safer, work out more muscle groups (effectively the whole upper body) and – by targeting the outer pecs – give your upper body a much wider and more powerful appearance. For these reasons it is easily one of the most powerful chest exercises for men.

What Do You Think?

Have you tried doing dips? What was your experience? Are you having any difficulties performing dips? What else would you like to learn about? Please share your comments, questions and experiences in the comments box below. Just type what’s on your mind and hit the reply button ;)

Where Can You Learn More?

Dips combined with a good upper back exercise like chins or pullups can be all a guy needs to build a powerful upper body. But sometimes, you can’t help but wonder, “What are some other exercises that can help develop your chest better than just the usual bench press and pushups?”

What about training the shoulders, the abs, the lower legs and the arms? Aside from dips, what other non-conventional workouts can help you to develop a powerful physique that makes you look and feel like a living tank? What other unconventional workouts will work where conventional methods have failed for you in the past?

Well you can learn all these things and more on this here free video on Chest Sculpting. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tony Nguyen February 27, 2013 at 11:10 am

Thanks for this article. Hope this will fix my man boobs problem.


2 Garry Davidson February 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Hi Tony, no problem. Let me know how you get on.


3 matt yaeger April 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Great article man. I’m trying to get cut up for a summer vacation to puerto Rico in 2 months, im eating healthy and taking good supplamentation . I can dreally notice the changes in my body getting stronger, but the one thi g I really want to work on is the bottom part of my pecks. The top and sides are solid, but I still have a little point around the nipple area. I’m gonna take this advice and started dippin my ass off in the gym hoping to get some good results. Thanks a lot. Is there any specific technique to fous on the bottom portion of the peck around the nipple?


4 Garry Davidson April 10, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Hi Matt

Nice one. Generalized body fat reduction and hormonal methods are important here. During dips, the bottom part of the pecs are best worked toward the top of the movement when your arms are straightening up. As an advanced tactic, you might consider doing partial reps with heavier weights, where you don’t descend all the way down.

Conventional wisdom suggests you can’t target any one particular PART of a muscle using partials, but the studies suggest not all muscle fibers extend from one tendon all the way to the other, there are those that end within the belly of the muscle. This basically means partial reps CAN indeed work one particular portion of a muscle. So give it a go and let me know how you get on ;)


5 george April 30, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Im trying to do the same thing but im not sure what supplements to use e.g protein etc. Any tips?


6 Jack Casler April 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Hey Matt.
great article. Quick question for you. I LOVE doing dips. I do mine on gymnastic rings, and find it impossible to lean forward as in bar chest dips. Do you think I am still hitting the pecs?


7 Garry Davidson May 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Hi Jack.

You most certainly are. The pectoralis major muscle of the chest plays a big role moving your upper arms toward your body from the sides. By doing the exercise vertically, you end up also stimulating the lats in the back, but there’s still a lot of pec involvement.


8 Ibanez May 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I can understand but isnt spot reduction a myth?? I mean isnt it true that one cant lose fat from a selected spot in the body. I would be grateful if you could explain it to me why it burns off fat from the chest in particular. Like other exercises it too stimulates the pectoralis nd if its the whole body workout which makes the change how does it defeat squats in its performance?


9 Garry Davidson May 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

Hi Ibanez, excellent question.

Though I’ve had some experiences that suggest spot reduction DOES occur to a very small extent, it’s better to assume that it is a myth, since you’ll always get better results if you focus on whole-body fat reduction. As a whole-body workout, dips don’t even come CLOSE to squats, but the advantage dips have over squats is they also directly stimulate the muscles in your upper body. So you not only get that hormonal boost of stimulating multiple muscle groups, but you also get more muscle growth in your upper body with dips than if you just do squats. The best scenario of course, is to do both.

It isn’t that dips have some magical ability to spot-reduce lots of chest fat. What they DO do is transform the appearance of your upper body by widening your chest and building your arms.


10 SAEED May 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Thanks Garry,
I have been reading so much different stuff over the years but finally have found advice that really makes sense and saves so much time!


11 Garry Davidson May 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hi Saeed

Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you find the content useful. Please do get started, and let us know how you get on.


12 Robert May 14, 2013 at 2:58 am

Can we get a sample workout with upper back included? Doing dips once or twice a week? How many sets and reps can we do so we don’t over train? Great article!


13 Garry Davidson May 14, 2013 at 6:48 am

Hi Robert

Sure, I’ll see if I can post that up on the site at some point in the future. You can do dips on non consecutive days, so 3-4 days per week. In terms of overtraining, this is something that varies between individuals, and depends on your level of conditioning. Remember that the bigger your muscles, the more time they need to recover. As a beginner, you can get away with doing say a single set every day. As you progress, you’ll find that you need to do multiple sets for further gains. At this point, you need to add in rest days. Generally the studies suggest the best protocol for muscle hypertrophy is 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps.


14 Eymeric VAUTREY May 19, 2013 at 2:58 am

It’s really interesting I would Like to know how many reps and sets I have to do to obtain the best results André lost my boops.
I’d like to know what you think of the Vince Gironda Dips.
Thank you for your answer!!


15 Garry Davidson May 19, 2013 at 6:24 am

Hi Eymeric.

Gironda dips are the best form of dips around. A wide V-grip with your elbows flared out puts your shoulders in just the right angle for maximum stimulation of the chest. Studies suggest multiple sets are better than one (though as a beginner, one set will serve you just as well). I generally get best results with 3-4 sets, though you can push it to 5 as well, especially if you’re not able to do all that many reps in one go. A good rep-range for hypertrophy is 6-10. If you’re doing 10 reps, stick to 3 sets. If you’re doing 6-8 reps, you can push it to 4 sets. If you’re only able to do 5 or less reps in one go, consider doing 5 sets.

There’s no hard and fast rule, but many of the classic bodybuilders did 3 sets of 10 reps on most of their exercises. Though some, like Reg Park, got great results with a 5×5 regime and other variations.


16 Mike May 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

Really enjoyed this article. Just wondering what you would recommend for someone who has hit the flat bench for too long and is suffering from an uneven chest. I had a reasonably well shaped chest before, but now my pecs appear to droop a little, and I suspect it has to do with too much flat bench.

I’ve since dropped all my usual chest stuff, and am only focusing on incline to hopefully balance things out. I noticed you touched on the fact that dips build the entire upper body – how much do you think this will affect my attempts to even out my pecs? Or will this naturally happen as I incorporate dips with my incline work.



17 Garry Davidson May 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Hi Mike

Though dips are excellent for targeting the entire chest, if you already have droopy pecs from overdoing the flat bench press, then I suggest you stick to mostly incline work for now.

Dips will target both the lower and upper pecs. Continual stimulation of the lower pecs may make it harder for you to lose any unwanted thickness in the lower chest.


18 Robert May 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm

I usually work out at home. I have very basic equipment bench, dumbbells, etc… But I do not have access to a dip chair. what would be the next best alternative for that problem?


19 Garry Davidson May 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Hi Robert

I work out at home too, it’s the best way to go about it ^_^. With a little creativity, you can usually find a couple of equally elevated platforms above hip level for doing dips on. Have you seen my page on doing dips at home?

When I was on holiday in India last year, the walls had a horizontal border that stuck out enough to place your palms on. I propped myself up on a chair and did my dips up near the ceiling. At home before I got my power rack, I used to do dips in the corner of my kitchen worktop. If all else fails, you may consider getting yourself a simple mobile dip stand.

If you absolutely can’t do dips, then you may consider doing the neck press, which is another powerful chest exercise that we Chest Sculptors and many others in the bodybuilding community swear by for spurring on chest-growth when no other variation of the bench press was working.


20 Joseph F May 22, 2013 at 2:32 am

Hi Garry,

I have had surgery on both of my shoulders. I had loose shoulders and had to have them tightened which I believe involved the labrum. I am still recovering and trying to find chest and other upper body exercises that do not put to much pressure on the front of my shoulders and help correct my poor posture problems. Would dips cause more damage or would they be ok?


21 Garry Davidson May 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Hi Joseph

I’m afraid dips cause a huge strain on the shoulders. When you are starting out, you’ll especially feel the pain in your shoulders, and it takes some time for the shoulders to adjust. Where with the bench press the shoulders are doing most of the work, with dips, the shoulders act merely as stabilizers, with your pecs doing most of the work. But even as stabilizers, your entire body weight is a big load to bear, no matter how small you may be.

I wouldn’t advise anyone with shoulder problems to do dips, especially not to start out with. I recommend you work closely with a physiotherapist or under medical supervision to find out which chest exercises are most suitable for you. Unfortunately, any chest exercise will involve the shoulders, since the prime function of the pectoralis major muscle is to move the upper arm at the shoulder joint.

One tip I can give you is that pushups put far less strain on the shoulders than any variation of the bench press. This is because with the bench press, the only contact you make with the weight is with your arms. With pushups on the other hand, your feet are also acting as stabilizers, helping to take the strain off your shoulders. While the bench press is the commonest cause of shoulder injuries in the gym, I’ve never heard of anyone getting shoulder injuries from doing weighted pushups.

If you suffer from excess chest fat, then I suggest you focus mostly on generalized body fat reduction through lower body weight training and fixing up your diet.


22 phil gomes May 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Hi Garry,im a 25yr old man weightin at 264 and 6ft.I have trouble doing dips.i have manboobs and had it for years and its very uncomfortable,how should i start off to to lose them. Thanks


23 Garry Davidson May 23, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hi Phil

I had trouble doing dips to start out with as well. You can start by doing partial reps. Just hold yourself at the top position with your elbows straight and locked out, and descend by just a few inches. Place an object like a bucket below your knees so you know how low to go for each rep. As you get stronger, use a smaller object beneath your knees so you can descend lower. In a few weeks, you’ll soon be doing full-depth dips and you’ll notice how much stronger you are, and how much better you look.

Remember though, that dips are just one piece of the puzzle. It’s important to also sort out your diet and do full-body training to reduce body fat and get rid of those man boobs.


24 Mo Maklawalo May 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for the lights, I am doing a program of fitness called INSANITY.
my questions are :
-1- should I stop doing the program and just start practicing dips ?
-2- how many reps of DIPS should I do ?
-3- and is it just 3 days a week ?

Thanks a lot.


25 Garry Davidson May 28, 2013 at 6:14 am

Hi Maklawalo

1. I’ve heard about Insanity, though I haven’t had a chance to look at their training regime in detail. Seems like a lot of calisthenics with cardio combined with resistance training in the same workout. I don’t think you have to give it up, unless you find yourself being totally drained from their workouts. It sounds pretty intense, and if they are causing you to overtrain a muscle group, then it really won’t help much with growing muscle, and can even impede on losing man boobs.

If you find you’re doing lots of different chest exercises with Insanity, and feel too drained to do dips, then you certainly can’t do both. I haven’t looked into Insanity training though, so you’d have to decide on that yourself.

2. Aim to get to 3 sets of 10 reps

3. 3 days a week is sufficient, though you can do it every other day.

Also, don’t forget to combine dips with other exercises for good overall upper body development. Please read this article on developing a wide chest.


26 Rodrigo June 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I do dips often maybe 10 sets of 11 is it bad to do them 6 times a week?? will they help burn chest fat


27 Garry Davidson June 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

Hi Rodrigo

I’m afraid you can’t spot-reducing using dips in this way. If you can do 10 sets of 11 reps, it might be a good idea to increase the weight to the point where you are doing a maximum of 4 sets of 10 reps (where the weight is heavy enough so you couldn’t complete 10 reps in a 5th set). 6 times a week does not allow enough time for the muscles to recover. I would advise 3 days a week, or a maximum of every other day.


28 David June 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Hi Gary,
I’m a 18 year old skinny kid. I started doing dips to widen/strengthen my chest. After a few sessions of dips, I can see, my lower chest on my right side by the under arm having the ripped cut by the rib cage that goes to the lower chest muscles. How do I even it out, to make my left side have that same cut?


29 Garry Davidson June 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Hi David

Trouble with dips is it’s pretty much impossible to do one-armed training. You can do one-arm pullups and one-arm handstand pushups, but it’s impossible to get both the balance and angle right with a one-arm dip. I think what your problem is, is that you are focusing too much of the weight on your right arm. It may be because of the way you position yourself while doing dips, or because you are leaning too much to the right. If this is the case, then try to correct your positioning so everything is more symmetrical.

Also, we all tend to have one side that’s smaller/weaker than the other. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s left arm was smaller than his right. If this is the case with you, then you might consider using a cable machine at the gym to simulate the dip movement (i.e. shoulder adduction) just for the left side.


30 gaurav pant June 19, 2013 at 3:22 am

m doing workout since last 10 mnths and that 2 regularly but still m not getting that mch result because i dnt think that i m taking proper diet so i want 2 knw the exercise and also the diet chart.


31 Garry Davidson June 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Hi Gaurav

I’m writing about more and more stuff about diet and exercise on my site, please feel free to look around. If you want to get stuck in with all the advanced stuff, then you might benefit from my program, the Chest Sculpting Blueprint. It has all the exercise instruction (with workout routines), and dietary guidance you’ll need.


32 Rage June 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

Hi Gary,

I am 26 year old and I have puffy nipples, along with some fat deposited beneath my underarms. Will Dips help me shed the fat and remove the puffiness. Also, please let me know whether there are any other chest exercise that will help me deal with puffy nipples.


33 Garry Davidson June 19, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Hi Rage

Dips will most certainly help, but they are best combined with a multitude of different whole-body exercises, and a good diet.

Dips are an excellent exercise for the chest, but their main function is to grow chest muscle, rather than to help lose chest fat. To lose chest fat, you need to do whole-body weight training, eat the right foods, and maybe even try intermittent fasting.

Other good exercises that will really help to improve the appearance of your chest, include the incline dumbbell bench press and the dumbbell pullover.


34 David June 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Fantastic article. Thanks Garry. My main problem with my physique, and has been for a long time, is my lower chest fat is not going away at all. Its been there for at least 3-4 years and I cannot get rid. To give you an idea of how much lower chest fat i have, when i put my middle finger under the nipple side of the chest it covers 2/3 of my finger. Really getting me down as I cannot wear normal fitting clothes but baggy clothes even though everything else looks good. Need some advice when you get a minute please. Much appreciated. David P.S. There is no lump under the nipples, it is just fat. 


35 Garry Davidson July 4, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hi David. No lump under the nipples is great news. It means you most certainly CAN lose your man boobs and get a completely flat chest without surgery. Though chest dips are an excellent exercise for growing muscle in the chest and improving the appearance of your upper body, if your main problem is large layers of fat, you need to focus on three things:

1. Diet
2. Reducing your exposure to the female hormone estrogen
3. Whole-body weight training
4. Cardio

It’s also important to see your doctor, just to make sure there isn’t some underlying hormone-disrupting disease.


36 bob July 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm

hi gary,been reading our article and a very interesting read.Could i incorperate the dips into a chest superset?and which exercise to best superset with?
cheers bob


37 Garry Davidson July 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

Now why would you superset with dips? :p

Dips are a very draining exercise, especially when you start adding weights to a dipping belt. You need all the rest you can get between sets.

Since dips pretty much kill your triceps along with your chest, I would advise doing other chest exercises that don’t involve the triceps. The dumbbell pullover is the best one I can think of. Others include isolation exercises like incline dumbbell flys and cable crossovers that are angled to target the upper chest.


38 Lee July 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

Hi Garry,thanks for your great article.I have a rounded lower chest muscle with a triangle gap between them,it makes my chest muscle looks really narrow at the lower part and the boundary of lower outer chest muscle is very close to my nipple.So my lower chest muscle looks oval in shape.Will dips widen my oval chest muscle?
I don’t have dips station in my gym so i do dips in my house by using two equally high desk.However,there is no bar for me to hold it,i just put my palms on the surface of the desk and i can feel strain on my wrist(near to thumb side)while doing dips,so will this hurt my wrist?Do i need to hold something to prevent wrist injury while doing dips?


39 Garry Davidson July 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hi Lee, thanks for the question.

The triangle gap and oval-shape you mention is actually something I personally had when I was overweight with man boobs. This appearance is bought about by fat deposition on your chest, rather than by the shape of your muscles. Rather, I am willing to bet the actual muscles in your chest are underdeveloped. Full pectoral development will see the gap in the lower sternal area filled.

Dips are actually the best exercise to remedy this problem, especially when you use a slightly narrower hand placement than usual. A narrow hand placement will hit the triceps harder, but it will also better hit the lower, inner aspect of the pectoralis major muscle. Just keep at it until your triceps are conditioned, and soon enough the lower inner aspect of your pectorals will start to respond.

Please also remember that you have to take care of your diet to get rid of the excess chest fat. I always explain to my clients how no amount of exercise can undo a bad diet.

With regards to wrist pain, it’s all in the positioning of your hands. You will get wrist pain if you position your hands in a way that your fingers are pointing straight ahead of you (i.e. your hands are parallel to each other). Try positioning your hands with your fingers pointing INWARDS – as much as by 45 degrees. This will both help to totally prevent any wrist pain/problems, AND help you to flare your elbows, thereby better targeting those pectoral fibers.

Remember to condition yourself with this exercise GRADUALLY, to avoid putting more strain on your shoulders than they are ready to handle.


40 mahmd July 23, 2013 at 4:30 am

hii Garry, iam 20 yrs old, 76 Kilogram, i have the same problem of gynecomastia, and i have started diet and workingout trainings from 1 mounth ago, but my whole body is transforming to better except my chest ! :S and i don’t know what to do, and i don’t have the cost of the surgery so i want to do anything to make my man boobs go without resort to the surgery… please help me bec. iam very sad and Embarrassed.


41 Garry Davidson July 23, 2013 at 9:23 am


Having excess chest fat can be a result of your genes, or a result of environmental influences on your hormones (or both). Even if the problem is genetic, your genes can only cause you to store excess chest fat by influencing your hormones. The key to getting rid of excess chest fat, is through a diet, exercise and lifestyle regimen that focuses on changing your hormones.

I have had a lot of clients who have had the same results as you, by following a traditional diet and exercise regimen – they had lost weight from every part of their body except their chest. It was only when they started focusing on decreasing their estrogen to testosterone ratio, that they started to see their chest flatten at the same time as the rest of their body, and sometimes even before the rest of their body.

I cover this in detail in my advanced program, How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally. You can check it out here:


42 Mark July 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I found this really useful. But I was wondering how many and how long the chest dips should be done for


43 Garry Davidson July 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hi Mark

It depends what your goal is. Are you looking to build strength? Hypertrophy? Or a bit of both?

If you’re looking to improve your appearance in the quickest time possible with the least amount of effort, I suggest following a hypertrophy protocol, where you do around 3-4 sets of 10 reps. Do them no more than 3-4 days per week.

You can check out my program, the Chest Sculpting Blueprint, for further details.


44 Joshua July 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Hi Gary,
I’ve had man boobs for as long as I can remember, even before puberty. I’m 21 now and I think I have hardened lumps under my nipples. Does this mean that even if i follow the exercise/ diet regimens you suggest, I will see No reduction in chest fat? And that I’ll still be stuck with puffy nipples?  
Please Help!! 


45 Garry Davidson July 26, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Hi Joshua

You can most certainly still reduce chest fat using my methods, but if you have large hardened lumps beneath your nipples, then there’s no guarantee the puffy nipples will go away. A good surgeon will tell you you need surgery when your glands are 4cm or more in diameter.

Many of my clients who have hardened glands beneath their nipples, still manage to get a perfectly flat chest and do away with puffy nipples, but admittedly, there are those who do end up needing surgery.

Whatever the case though, your best course of action is always to reduce the size of your man boobs as much as possible using natural methods first, before you even consider having surgery. This will take away the need for extensive liposuction, and skin and chest wall reconstruction after surgery. It will also reduce the cost of surgery, reduce the chances of serious complications (scarring and permanent chest wall deformity) and failure of surgery, and reduce the chances of recurrence after surgery.


46 Kevin N. July 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Hi Garry,
I have been through a variety of exercises to try and reduce my man boobs. I even tried doing some chest dips but my exercise schedules are intermittent (I will exercise for a few weeks, when there is no apparent change I end up giving up). I have also tried checking on my diet. This had worked since I have reduced from 68 kgs to 59 in a period of two years. (I’m 19 turning 20 this month). Chest dips might seem like a good recommendation but upon reading the conversation thread above, I can’t help but be alarmed. when I feel my chest, I think I have lumps on my nipples (not an even hard mass, but scattered small hard lumps). Taken that I have been through  a series of exercises, my chest is quite well formed ( since I can sense the muscle beneath the fat). My problem however is, is losing more fat advisable (taken that i am 59 currently) and will regular chest dips flatten out my chest completely(taken that I have small lumps). To add, when it is cold the protrusion on the nipples diminishes completely, but when it is hot they regain their normal appearance. (Is this a sign that if I reduce chest fat, the nipples will regain a normal appearance). will the nipples flatten out completely irregardless of the small lumps. Confused.


47 Garry Davidson August 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hi Kevin

The main role of chest dips is to form the muscle underneath the fat. This in itself can take you a long way toward improving your appearance. If your main problem is excess chest fat and breast glands, then just chest exercises, like chest dips, alone may not be enough.

You need to take a whole-body approach with weight-training, preferably combine this with some high intensity interval training, and also adopt a diet & lifestyle regimen that’s geared toward reducing the effects of estrogen and enhancing the effects of testosterone on your body.

For a comprehensive explanation and guide, I suggest you check out my program, How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally:


48 Jeremy August 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I tore my pec minor about 8-9 yrs ago. I never got it repaired, and have manage to do push ups, dips, and some  bench press With this injury. I can do dips with no problems, but I wonder should I. I will try doing dips for the next couple of weeks and let you know how it goes. 


49 Garry Davidson August 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

Hi Jeremy

When it comes to serious injuries like a torn muscle, I’m afraid I can’t assist you in this manner. You need to work closely with a personal trainer and see advise from a medical professional.

My thought would be that the pec minor plays a relatively minor role (no pun intended:p) in doing dips, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. But this totally depends on the severity of the injury, and the extent of healing (if any), considering that you didn’t get it repaired.


50 Siddharth August 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Hiiii Garry..
i am 18 years old. i am 167cm tall and i weigh 82kilos.. thats way too much. i wanna get rid of my man boobs and build a great body. i am willing to buy your book. but i am confused. which one should i buy? the chest sculpting blueprint OR how to lose your man boobs naturally. i want to know the correct diet plans, exercises and tips to get rid of these man boobs fast. so please help me out. thanking you in advance


51 Garry Davidson August 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Hi Siddharth

How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally is on reducing man boobs using diet, exercise, estrogen reduction tactics etc, while the Chest Sculpting Blueprint is more based on exercise and growing chest muscle to sculpt a chiseled set of pecs and overall masculine physique.

I generally recommend How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally to skinny guys with man boobs, while I recommend the Chest Sculpting Blueprint to overweight guys with man boobs.

The best option for everyone though, would be to get How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally first, for a good grounding in the fundamentals of male breast reduction, and then to get the Chest Sculpting Blueprint, to take your physique to the next level – beyond just losing man boobs, and sculpting a truly masculine physique.

In your case, if you were to choose one book, from what you have told me RE your weight and height, I think maybe the Chest Sculpting Blueprint would be a good choice.

I hope that answered your question :)


52 Anthony McGlocton August 24, 2013 at 5:56 am

Just read your article, i’m 270lbs and i’m going to start the dips and upper body routine Mon.Aug 24 2013  will write back in a few weeks with results. Thanks Anthony Mc.


53 Sheldon September 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Great info, learnt something new today, thank you.


54 Scott September 28, 2013 at 2:51 am

Hi Garry,
Thanks a lot for this incredibly helpful article!  I have been thinking a lot about this before finding your expertise.  This summer I was doing dips at home with a stool and a table (same height) on those days when I couldn’t hit the exercise gym.
To my astonishment, I was noticing that my pecs looked much better after my dipping days than my machine workouts of bench, incline bench, curls, flys, and more.  I thought it must be my imagination.  But truly I thought that while I know I will benefit from this gym, the dips were really working to create a much better shape, ESPECIALLY at the top where that little point occurs at the top of the pec just kitty-corner down from the shoulder.  
Now everything you’ve said makes sense and validates my personal observations!  I am going to go back to my dips with a smile!
The one thing I would like to add, however, is that my right wrist started to get sore after a few weeks.  To the point where I gave it a rest for awhile.  So I bought two “push up handles” at a store the other day so that I can keep my hands at a more appropriate angle when doing the dips.  For $15 it seemed worth it.  I’ll update!
Thanks again, Garry!


55 Garry Davidson September 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hey Scott, nice to know dips are working out for you. I’ve seen so many trainees fail with all the variations of the bench press, yet succeed with dips. Dips really do isolate the chest muscles well. People mistake it for primarily a lower chest workout, but it really hits the upper pecs hard as well.

If you are using two flat surfaces, then pushup handles are an excellent idea. Let me know how it works out for you.


56 Joe October 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Garry , 
What a fantastic article about dips , I am now 46 years old and I can no longer do bench press  , it causes to much pain in my shoulders , dips have been my saviour , I do a set with my bodyweight to warm up then I do weighted dips . I would recommend dips to anyone to build their chest .
Many Thanks Joe
Canberra , Australia .


57 Garry Davidson October 20, 2013 at 9:06 am

Hi Joe, nice one!

Your shoulders are in a MUCH stronger position when doing dips, than when doing the bench press. This may not seem true when you first start doing dips, but that’s only because you usually lift a much heavier weight when doing dips than when doing the bench press. With dips being a bodyweight exercise, you can’t lift anything less than your full bodyweight.


58 Brian October 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I whole heartedly agree that dips are a great chest workout. I’ve been trying to incorporate more body weight exercises in my workouts; single leg squats, pull ups, dips, to name a few. One thing this article didn’t mention is using rings. If you can get your hands on a set of gymnastics rings you will incorporate more of your muscle stabilizers and get a wicked burn. There are several other uses for them by adjusting the length of your straps you can do body weight tricep or bicep curls. Do leg lifts to work your core meanwhile also working your chest just to hold yourself up. That is one piece of equipment I would never want to be without after having used them.


59 Garry Davidson October 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

Thanks for that one Brian. Rings are awesome! Bodyweight exercises are generally seen as being limited, partly because it’s difficult to target every muscle group. But rings change all of that! All you need is a little creativity, and by adjusting the angle at which your body faces gravity, you can target absolutely anything!

I don’t have a set of rings myself, but I improvise by hanging my jiu jitsu belts off my pullup bar. Currently working on doing bodyweight rows for the mid and upper back – those are tough!


60 Medardo October 25, 2013 at 5:03 am

I completely agree with you regarding chest dips. My wife bought a dip station from Ultimate Body Press but she stopped using it so I started using it last year. The only regular workout I do now is the dips and Perfect Push Ups. I have natural wide shoulders; these workouts have made my whole upper body sculpted beyond my imagination.
I get compliments very often so I just take them gracefully but modesty aside I am very proud. I am 64 years old, by the way. I am 5’11″ and weigh 170 pounds. It is so motivating to see the results. People tell me I don’t look my age but this is not the reason for my working out. I just want to be in good shape; looking younger is just a bonus.


61 Garry Davidson November 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

Good going Medardo, it’s great to hear another success story :p. It helps to have naturally wide shoulders, but I’ll bet your body will be better still if you add in a regular back exercise. I would suggest the wide-grip pullup, lat pulldown, or the bent over barbell row (the pendlay variation).


62 ROCKY November 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hey, thanks my friend 

I like your article now I will do more dip (earlier which I left in gym), and make my chest more stronger and attractive.

Thanks bro


63 Adam November 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Great article. I just started working more consistently in the past year, and I did flat bench a lot and noticed my shoulders were hurting a little bit afterwards lately. I was thinking that maybe flat bench worked more your shoulders, and this article just confirmed it, thanks!
So I am about 6’1″ and 160 lbs and can do dips pretty easily. I have not done dips that consistently really before, so I will be starting out with three sets of ten. Since it is always good to change things up when you work out, what would be some different variations that one could do after the three sets of ten for a while, and how long until things should be switched up a bit?
I am looking to build up muscle since I am not a very big guy and get a good muscular tone look. I always hear and see things a lot about loosing weight and fat, but since I am in the opposite boat I do not hear or see many things for guys like who want to build up their body. Thank you for any comments! 


64 chibundu November 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

i m very glad that i found your site.. i ve already suscribed to your mail list. Please i need your help ,how do i do the dip exercise with chairs or tables..


65 Garry Davidson January 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Hi Chibundu, here’s a nice video that shows you how to do chest dips at home using chairs:

I would personally advice using the backrest of two chairs as a last resort. It’s better to use a stable surface like two tables.


66 Robert December 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Dips is easily the best.  

I heard that Vince lost his gym because of alot of competition.  A lack of benches could be a problem too(yyour article said he dumped them out of his gym)
When ever I go to my family gym.  I(ecto/mesomorph) ussally have one of the best developed chest for a guy who only trained for 2-3 months steady with strong nutrition.  I see skinny dudes doing 200 bench press and they only weigh like 150 pounds… dudes super strong ROM is good but chest less. Same deal with bigger guys but they have a lot of chest fat.  
When ever i go to the gym the Dip/pull up machine is always free.  I just used body weight and extra weights to do pull ups, dips and leg rasies. to develop strong forearm grips, chest, back, lower abs and hip flexors.  
you should write abotu HIP Flexors.  one of the most underrated leg muscles!


67 Robert December 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm

im only 180 pounds.  5’8
and I dip body weight plus 45 pounds.  
but im looking for a good upperchest workout!  


68 Garry Davidson January 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm
69 Garry Davidson December 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hey Robert

Yeh, well spotted with the hip flexors. They are not worked by squats, deadlifts, lunges, or any other pushing-style compound leg exercises. I actually write about training the hip flexors using weights in my new book on high intensity interval training. The hip flexors really come in handy for running and swimming.

You can work the hip flexors using lying or hanging leg raises. If you want to get extreme, you can also do the upside-down squat, where you use foot-straps to hang upside down from a pullup bar or squat rack, and pull yourself up with your legs in an upside-down squatting motion.


70 Barry December 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

hi, great article.
My “problem” is that I am very strong on this exercise.I can do 50 reps of even controlled dips no problem. Id hate to think how much weight I’d have to load on to a belt hanger to just do 10 reps per set. Would doing this manty reps still work but creating lean muscle rather than bulk?


71 Garry Davidson January 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Hi Barry. Don’t be afraid to add on more weight. At 50 reps, you are not building any new muscle. It’s pure endurance, so you are simply improving the blood flow to your muscles.


72 Tony McGurk December 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Hi Garry, great article. I’m 53 & started working out at a gym 2 years ago. 6 months later I bought my own weights & power rack with dip bar attachments. I’ve always loved dips. A few months ago I sold all my weight training equipment & went bodyweight only with rings. I mainly focus on ring dips, ring pullups & lunges. I supplement that with inverted ring rows, ring pushups, calf raises & handstands (hoping to get to handstand pushups one day). I feel so much better for it & since quitting lifting weights my tendonitis I kept getting in my elbows has completely gone & stayed away. I found that now I’m older bodyweight training doesn’t put as much strain on my joints & it still gives me a challenging workout. When I switched from bar dips to ring dips I was managing around 10 – 12 weighted dips on bars. On the rings was a different story, I struggled getting 3 unweighted reps per set. I have slowly worked up over the past couple of months & am now managing around 8 reps on the 1st couple of sets. I really enjoy this type of workout & it doesn’t leave me feeling totally wrecked like weights did.


73 Garry Davidson December 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Hey Tony, nice one.

I have to admit, I don’t have regular access to rings myself, though I do use them every now and then, and they are very tough! Takes some getting used to.

Body weight exercises are generally a lot safer and easier on the joints than free weights. The military press for example, puts a lot of compression on the spine. On the other hand, its body weight counterpart – the handstand pushup – does no such thing.


74 Lucifer December 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

and , i got big pecs with ur workouts but cant seem to lose that fat


75 Garry Davidson January 6, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Hi Lucifer. There’s more to losing chest fat than just doing chest exercises like dips. Here’s what you should be doing to get rid of your chest fat.


76 peter jenner January 28, 2014 at 12:35 pm

when i started seriously doing weighted dips years ago i rocketed in strength on them. wheni did, i beat the local bully arm wrestler who a few years previous had been huge cuz he was roided up too the gills….


77 Garry Davidson February 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Lol, awesome! Dips really do give you a lot of upper body strength.


78 rick February 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Gironda advocates leg position in front of the body. This way your chest has to do alot more work than your triceps. I dont understand why you first talk about gironda and then suggest the wrong kind of dips!


79 Garry Davidson February 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Hey Rick. You’re totally right, and I should definitely mention Gironda’s version of dips in the article, I’ll make sure I do in a future revision. However, this is not to say that traditional dips with knees bent and legs going backwards don’t work the chest. This method still allows you to lean forward enough to work your chest very hard.


80 Wallly February 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Great article. Great dip instructions. Bought a dip stand and try to do dips 3-5 days a week. Been doing it for over six months now . I can’t do the dips without using a wide resistance band for assistance. I guess my shoulders aren’t strong enough.  I do 4 sets to failure. I work with weights twice a week (mostly db presses, flyes and cable crossovers). When will I be able to do chest dips without the resistance band helping me?  My chest is really sculpting nicely.


81 Garry Davidson March 5, 2014 at 9:07 am

Keep at it Wally, your chest and shoulders will eventually strengthen to the point where you no longer need those resistance bands to help you (how are you using these bands by the way?).

Another thing you could do is to do full body-weight partial reps without resistance bands, where you start at the top position with your elbows fully extended, and only descend by say an inch or two. Do this over multiple reps and sets, and over time you’ll be able to descend more and more. Eventually you’ll be doing full dips, and wondering why you found it difficult when you started. This is how I personally got started with dips.


82 Wallly March 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Thanks for the tip Garry . I’ll certainly try it and let you know how I’m doing.  I was using a 5 inch wide fitness gear resistance band draped over the top of the dip stand. I’d put my knees on it to help me lower and  raise myself.


83 Cory March 4, 2014 at 2:50 am

I got to this article as a link within another article. You said in this one that the bench press isn’t optimal, but in another article you said the neck press is a great chest exercise. Would I be correct in saying that combining Gironda’s neck press (to replace my regular flat bench press) with chest dips would be a great start to building and sculpting my chest? What else could I add to compliment these two?


84 Garry Davidson March 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

You are absolutely right! You can add to the mix, dumbbell pullovers, and the incline dumbbell press. I wouldn’t do ALL of these exercises in the same workout though, it’s never a good idea to overtrain any one particular muscle group.


85 Jeremy Coates March 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm

I have been following your recommended diet and starting to see results. However I do have some concerns about a exsisting injury. I tore my left major Pectoral back in 2005. I manage to still lift weights, however the left side fatguies very quick. therefore do you still recommend I do dips, and other chest exercises? 


86 Garry Davidson March 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Hi Jeremy

If you tore your pec in the past, I highly suggest you work closely with a physical therapist to help identify the exercises that are best for you. If you do decide to do chest exercises, then be sure to start with a light weight and to build up gradually. I wouldn’t advise you to start with dips, because it’s difficult to reduce the weight to anything lower than your body weight.


87 Tiki March 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I don’t have men booba I simply have a flat chest and I have a hard time getting bigger chest. So far I have been doing bench press and dumell press and I see results bur not as much as I want to while my shoulders and back are making more progress during last year than my chest. Should i do more od dips aswell?probable with some weights? Thank you


88 Garry Davidson March 18, 2014 at 11:39 am

Hi Tiki. Yes, you should most definitely do dips! Be careful about overtraining though. If you do too many exercises for the chest too often, then the muscles of your chest won’t get a chance to grow. Ditch the bench press and do dips instead.

Let us know how you get on.


89 Saroj March 17, 2014 at 7:11 am

Your article seems a wonder in body building . I got fat deposition at the lower side of the chest  will this dips help to reduce it … Or is it diet will help me overcome this problem . I live in Bhutan and have ill idea abt  diet. As diet consist of varieties of food which is quite not available in our country. Pls help


90 Garry Davidson March 18, 2014 at 11:31 am

Hi Saroj. Yes, diet is far more important that exercise when it comes to fat reduction. Dips will help to improve the appearance of your chest, despite the overlying fat. Whole-body weight training will better help to reduce the fat than dips.


91 Albert April 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm

hi Gary,
Thanks for this article.  I would like to include chest dips in my workout, however, am sort of afraid to do it as I fear my shoulder would give up easily.  If I still have a week shoulder, would using the ‘dip machine’ to assist me in doing chest dips be helpful to start?  Also, I read in another website to have chest dips as workout finisher for chest.  Would that be good?  Thanks.


92 Garry Davidson April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Albert, thanks for the comment

If you have a previous shoulder injury, then I highly advise you work one on one with a qualified professional to make sure you don’t end up doing yourself more harm than good.

Otherwise if you have normal shoulders, then the best way to acclimatize your shoulders to dips is to do dips. Start by doing partial reps, where you start at the top of the movement and only lower yourself by a few inches. Over time, go lower and lower until you are doing full dips.

Though the dip machine CAN be helpful, it won’t get you to doing full body-weight dips nearly as quickly as the above method will. With the shoulder press and handstand pushups for example, I was stuck on lifting no more than 85lb on the shoulder press, progressively increasing the weight by half a pound here and there for YEARS! It would be DECADES before I got to the point of being able to lift my body weight at the time of 190 lb…

So what did I do?

I started doing partial reps on handstand pushups. Within a few months, I was doing full range of motion handstand pushups, which for me was the equivalent of lifting 190 lb on the shoulder press.

Regarding the thing about chest dips as a workout finisher… Chest dips are tough, so they are far better as a workout starter.


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