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Dips & Chin-ups alternating

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Rise, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    I've been working on this ABBH by Waterbury http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459341 and for the most part I'm liking it. I'm currently in the last week of the 2 month sample plan he posted (at which point i'm probably going to try something new) but I have a concern about the Dips & Chin-ups day. The day calls for 5 sets of dips & 5 sets of chin-ups, alternating sets. The first time I tried this, i was able to do all 5 sets of dips and i got to 8 reps of my last set of chin-ups (48 total), at which point i couldn't muscle out the last 2 reps and i quickly went to the Lat pull down next to the chin-up bar and finished out the set just under body weight.

    Since then, I've done that same work out something like 3-4 more times with similar or sometimes even lower results on the chin-ups (lowest being 46 total), but i can always finish out the dips. so now, my questions:

    1. should i be trying to add weight even though i can't do all 5 sets at bodyweight? or should i be starting lower (assisted machine)? because right now all my sets are at body weight, including my dips.

    2. this is probably obvious but - i haven't gone up in weight with my chin-ups so i never went up in weight with dips. should i go up in weight in dips even though i seem to be maxed out with chin-ups? should i pyramid them or just add 5-10 lbs. to each set? truth is, i just don't know how to add weight to these types of exercises.

    lastly, i don't want to use the assisted machine. no offense to anyone who uses it, but it would make me feel like a sissy because i know i can do plenty of bodyweight pull/chin-ups (25 in a single set).
     
  2. chris0374

    chris0374 Active Member

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    1. You should always try to improve your performance. In ABBH, it would be weight. If you can't do all 5 sets at bodyweight, do them assisted. Don't let your ego get you, because those are the things that hold you from making progress (getting stronger).

    2. Go up in dips if you can. If you haven't gone up on chin-ups, then keep working on them.

    You mentioned instead of improving on the chin-ups, you got weaker. This means that you are not recovering between your workouts. Way to fix this would be to reduce the load, meaning do the exercise assisted. From your post, it seems that you always try to max-out (in other words, lift to failure) in the exercises. In the ABBH article, Waterbury tells you not to lift to failure, instead pick appropriate submaximal loads. If you are not doing this, then you are not following the program.

    Lastly, if using assited machine makes you feel like a sissy, then follow some other program that doesn't involve pull-ups, dips, etc (I wonder how effective they will be considering pull-ups, dips are among the best exercises). Most people can't even pull off a bodyweight chin-up. You should be glad you can pull off 25 in a single set.
     
  3. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    yeah my ego sometimes gets the better of me in the gym. i'll try doing assisted pull ups next round.

    its not that i try to max out, i just wanted to finish out the sets. i could do more reps at the lower weight than the last 2 of the last set, but i guess that's irrelevant if i'm doing the workout wrong in the first place.

    so assuming i'm estimating the weight incorrectly (which seems to be the case), how do i figure out how much i should be lifting for these workouts? i know he writes loads in terms of % of RM, but i don't know what RM is to begin with, so I just guess with all my exercises.
     
  4. chris0374

    chris0374 Active Member

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    1RM = 1 Rep Max. Which is the max amount of weight you can lift at one repetition. For example, if your one rep max at the bench is 100lbs then 80%RM will be 80lbs.
     
  5. chang

    chang Well-Known Member

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    You're making it more complicated than it has to be. If you can't finish 2 reps on your last set of chin-ups, then who cares? Just stop there. From what I remember I don't recall him saying to jump to lat-pull downs if you can't get the last 2 reps on your last set of chin-ups. Besides, those 2 reps probably won't do much, you got the majority of your work in, good workout.

    Has your bodyweight gone up at all? If so, then you have been going up in weight on both exercises. If not, then add weight to both exercises, hold a 5-10lb dumbbell between your feet. Even if you find yourself doing less chin-ups, you will be stronger when you do bodyweight chin ups the next time.

    Also, if chin-ups are weaker than your dips, then do them first in your exercise pairings.
     
  6. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    yeah this may sound dumb, but what is the best way to find that out? go around doing different lifts one day finding out the most you can lift? i never try finding my max since i don't work with a partner and i would imagine it could be dangerous to do so alone.
     
  7. chris0374

    chris0374 Active Member

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    You don't have to find out your 1RM, although it'll be more precise that way. The way I do it is, I find a weight that I can do for the amount of reps the program prescribes. For example, if it's 6reps at 8RM or some percentage, I find a weight that I complete 6reps but cannot do more than 8reps. It's usually a guess but it's accurate enough. Follow your instincts and you'll be fine without being 100% precise with what weight you lift.
     

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