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Old 07-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
Dave Van Skike
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I can't imagine a situation where a person could use more weight on dips than bench. dips are inherently unstable, relying on two small contact points balanced on long levers with the shoulder joint operating from a weak position

compared to bench, one large contact point moving a contained mass with two levers.

that said..it's a f'ing excercise, either it works for your goals or not. bench is a standby for a reason, it's easy to learn, easy to increase load, builds mass like a mother and is functional for a lot of activities.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
Pat McCarthy
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In my opinion, this is a silly debate that comes up over and over again. Both exercises are awesome, and both can/should be included in a good strength program. Of course, your goals will shape your program, but both dips and the bench are the best exercises for developing overall upper body strength.

I think the distaste for the bench press is overdone by many serious lifters these days because of how popular it is and how badly it is misused by the pretty boy teenager group in the globo gyms. Yes, the bench can screw up your shoulders if you overdo it without developing the rest of your upper body musculature. However, if one includes pull-ups and overhead pressing in their programming, the bench is a perfect complement to developing sheer brute strength in the chest, shoulders, and arms. I think the argument that it isn't functional is flawed as well. Yes, I know, there aren't many times in nature where I will be lying on my back pressing something over my chest, but I don't often snatch things over my head either and nobody is going to convince me to take snatches out of my routine with that argument either.

As to dips, I think their biggest advantage is the range of motion they allow and the shoulder flexibility that develops as a result of this range. Ring dips accommodate this more than bar dips, but both allow a range of motion that can not be accomplished with any barbell exercise. Dips, especially ring dips, help develop coordination and body control better than barbell pressing. While I don't think they develop the same brute strength as the bench press, the ability of the dip to develop relative strength is probably only equaled by the pull-up.

Quite simply, I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The bench press is a great exercise that complements the dip and overhead pressing quite well. As balance seems to be a key part of elite fitness, rotating the exercises and developing all of them seems to be the best path unless you are a competitive powerlifter or gymnast.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:02 PM   #13
Robb Wolf
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I just like dips and standing press more at this stage of the game...although physio ball DB press is actually kinda fun.

Here is an interesting article that advocates....bench press to enhance gymnastics performance. It's essentially a conjugate approach and i think the main point is to use exercises that are close enough to your "sport" to move towards your goals.
"Survival will be neither to the strongest of the species, nor to the most intelligent, but to those most adaptable to change."
C. Darwin

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:12 PM   #14
Brandon Enos
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Hey, sorry to post and run like that. Been kinda busy the last few days and havent had a chance to get back on.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I think Ill just keep the bench in my routine for now, at least for a few weeks and see how it goes.

I have two more questions regarding the Starting Strength routine. First, in the book it sounds like a traditional 5x5 where you add five or ten pounds on every workout day. Last few times on here though, it sounded like your supposed to add five or ten pounds every set (ie start at 150, end at 200; next time start at 160 end at 210, and so on). Just wanted some clarrification on that.

Secondly, right now Im doing; workout 1 - squat, press, pullup; workout 2 - dead, bench, hanging knee raise. I kinda want to switch to the starting strength routine in the book, but where are the pullups and abs? Im GTG with pullups on non-workout days since my numbers are so low, but Id like to work on them from a strength focus. And what about abs? With heavy deads, shouldnt you wanna make sure that your abs are strong? Any idea as to how you could (or if you should even) add pullups and ab work to the program?

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Old 07-23-2007, 05:05 PM   #15
Steven Low
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Shrug. I mean I like dips, and push over 100 lbs so my triceps are pretty strong. Both will get you there though..

Abs are worked in the hanging knee raise... and as stabilizers for pretty much all the other exercises. You don't need any extra work for now.

The pendlay (?) rows in SS are the sub for the pullups.

I know for Bill Starr's 5x5 you're supposed to do the ladder of increasing weight. With SS IIRC you're supposed to add 5-10 lbs to ALL of your 3 work sets of 5. So if your work set was 225 squat last workout, it would be 230/235 squat for 3x5 next workout.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:45 PM   #16
Brandon Enos
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Maybe I should clarify a little bit. I meant what was the best way to add pullups and hanging leg rasies (or any good ab exercise) into the starting strength routine?

My first thought was to stick them in after the upper body press. Ie, workout 1, squat, bench, pullup, dead; workout 2, squat, press, leg raise, power clean.

Based on exercises and workouts Ive done in the past, I think I should be able to handle this load with minimal or no problems, just always nice to get outside opinions.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:05 AM   #17
Brandon Enos
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:25 PM   #18
Steven Low
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Looks fine. Normally you'd put the deads after the squats but that's a bit much. Same with the power clean in front of squats.. but SS is a squat program so it looks good.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:46 PM   #19
William Hunter
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From the book Rip is pretty clear that the program is Squat-Bench-Dead and Squat-Press-Power Clean. The objective is to get stronger at these lifts. He goes to mention that abs and other assistance exercises are "to be kept in their proper perspective" ie, performed after the big 3, and used to help you get stronger in the basic lifts. He never says not to do them, just not at the expense of the core program.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:58 PM   #20
Mark Fenner
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Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
I can't imagine a situation where a person could use more weight on dips than bench.
At 200 pounds, I can walk downstairs right now, put 50 lbs. around my waist, and do 2 or 3 reps on dips. I can't bench 250. In fact, my max bench is only around 210 right now. At bodyweight + 10 lbs, I can probably get about 12-15 dips. Note, that these are for dips on a stand; not on rings. But, even my ring dips > my bench.

People that bench with a "super arch" are essentially putting themselves in a more dip like position. The equipped style of benching is highly tricep dominant -- I think that leads to good prospects for dips. I do happen to know one person who benched 500, raw, in about 1967. His advice: dips and (overhead) press like a fiend to build your bench.

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