Maxing Out On Weighted Dips

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    Maxing Out On Weighted Dips


    Would it be a bad idea to try to do a one-rep max on weighted dips? I've worked my way up to doing 135 now for 4-6 full rom reps, and i've been wondering how much I could do for one rep. The thing i'd worry about though is possibly injuring my clavicle or tearing something. Just wanted to get some peoples opinion on how safe it would be to try something like this.

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    Be real careful bro. I had maxed out at 180 (4 plates) for 3 and one day tore the costal cartilige where one of the ribs joins the sternum. to make things worse, the injury threw my whole upper girdle out of balance and my rotator cuffs started to get impinged a few weeks later. It took nearly a year before I could bench again, it was awful...

    3 years later and I just started doing weighted dips again, and I am so freakin' happy because they're one of my favorite exercises. I keep the reps high, around 8-10.

    One word of advice, if you do go super-heavy, warm up thoroughly and dont go past parallel, the deep stretch with that much weight might end up putting you out of commission.

    BV
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    Be real careful bro. I had maxed out at 180 (4 plates) for 3 and one day tore the costal cartilige where one of the ribs joins the sternum. to make things worse, the injury threw my whole upper girdle out of balance and my rotator cuffs started to get impinged a few weeks later. It took nearly a year before I could bench again, it was awful...
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    Dude it sucked... I saw my bench from 300x1 at the time to barely being able to push 225. I couldnt even do more than 10 pushups without it flaring up and causing a sharp pain on the left side of my sternum straight through to where that rib joined the spine.

    I ended up reading some of my buddy's physical therapy textbooks, and designing my own recuperation program...oddly enough it was the exercise that caused the injury that helped it heal...weight-assisted dips, I slowly added more weight until I could do dips on my own again. That, and icing the area down religiously 3 times a day , along with exercises to strenghen the rotator cuffs every week.

    3 years later, my shoulders are a bit off, and I still get a twinge in my chest from time to time, but Im stronger than ever.

    BV
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    That is interesting. You could do 180lbs for 3 plus body weight in dips and 300 x 1 on bench.

    I wonder if this means your tris are hella strong or something else.

    I can do over 300 bench but would never think of trying 4 plates on dips. Actually I don't even do dips.

    Just intersting to me and makes me think of the relationship between these 2 exercises.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Be real careful bro. I had maxed out at 180 (4 plates) for 3 and one day tore the costal cartilige where one of the ribs joins the sternum. to make things worse, the injury threw my whole upper girdle out of balance and my rotator cuffs started to get impinged a few weeks later. It took nearly a year before I could bench again, it was awful...

    3 years later and I just started doing weighted dips again, and I am so freakin' happy because they're one of my favorite exercises. I keep the reps high, around 8-10.

    One word of advice, if you do go super-heavy, warm up thoroughly and dont go past parallel, the deep stretch with that much weight might end up putting you out of commission.

    BV

    180lbs for 3??? Wow bro. Your tri's must be huge.
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    BigVrunga- thanks for your story and advice. After hearing that I don't think I will be going under 5 or so reps on weighted dips, it just sounds too risky. I'll just keep adding weight at a slow pace, and not do anything too wild. Don't feel like putting my body at anymore risk than I have to at 18. Being out of commission and seeing your strength drop is the worst feeling in the world. I had started maxing out on squats at 505, and then had a nasty patella dislocation wrestling. After that it took me along time to get back up to that level, but now i feel stronger than ever too. I'm still paranoid about it though, and treat my knees extra careful now. Injury free = happiness lol.
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    You chose wisely. Definitely don't push the weighted dips to far; I'm pretty sure that is what did my RC in a couple of years ago. Flareups squashed my progress every time I started improving until last year.

    If you want to increase the difficulty on dips, you can always slow down your rep speed instead of adding weight. It is hard as hell, and can be humbling, but it is a lot better than 3 months of no upper body training.
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    I love weighted dips too. I used to do them after thrashing my chest on bench, so my added weights were moderate. I decided to switch bench & dips where I could use significantly more weight. It trashed my elbows. It took me months to get them healed up. I went deep, which may have been part of the problem, but it messed up my workouts for several months and I'll never do it again. I'll probably keep them later in my workout and keep the weight where I can get at least 5 reps. jmho

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    That is interesting. You could do 180lbs for 3 plus body weight in dips and 300 x 1 on bench.
    I wonder if this means your tris are hella strong or something else.
    I can do over 300 bench but would never think of trying 4 plates on dips. Actually I don't even do dips.

    Just intersting to me and makes me think of the relationship between these 2 exercises.
    Bro my bench has always sucked! I think its limited by the strength of my delts, honestly, because my chest and tris seem to be an ok size (definitely not huge). Also, keep in mind that 180x3 was not a full ROM - I wasnt going past parallel or a little below. So compared to the bench it was more like board press than the full movement.

    After just starting back with weighted dips, Ill throw 90lbs on the belt and do 12-15 reps pretty easily, and my bench is better now, go figure

    BV
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    Do the DC version of weighted dips. For example, do a few warm ups, then proceed to your one and only work set which includes 3 sets rest paused anywhere from 15 to 20 reps. So take 90 lbs (remember, this is just an example), bang out 10 reps, rest 15 seconds or so. Do another 6 reps and rest another 15 seconds. Do a final set of 4 and you're done. Follow that up a minute or so later with some extreme strectching and your chest and or tris (depending on what you're working) are toast. Much safer than repping out with massive amounts of weight.
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    Do the DC version of weighted dips. For example, do a few warm ups, then proceed to your one and only work set which includes 3 sets rest paused anywhere from 15 to 20 reps. So take 90 lbs (remember, this is just an example), bang out 10 reps, rest 15 seconds or so. Do another 6 reps and rest another 15 seconds. Do a final set of 4 and you're done. Follow that up a minute or so later with some extreme strectching and your chest and or tris (depending on what you're working) are toast. Much safer than repping out with massive amounts of weight.
    That's basically how I do them now. And youre right its a hell of a lot safer!
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    It's a very risky excercise on it's own..but one of my favorites. I used to work up to 90 to 100 pounds for sets of 5-6 until a semi-pro BBer I knew was watching me with a terrible look on his face. He had torn out his shoulder doing this and spent a good 3 years out of commission. I now stay in the higher rep range after doing all my benching.
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    It's a very risky excercise on it's own..but one of my favorites. I used to work up to 90 to 100 pounds for sets of 5-6 until a semi-pro BBer I knew was watching me with a terrible look on his face. He had torn out his shoulder doing this and spent a good 3 years out of commission. I now stay in the higher rep range after doing all my benching.
    Yeah when my brother and I used to do these, this big old dude always used to come up and warn us, explaing he had torn his elbow when he was young. I wish I would have listened!
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    I agree with all above who say maxing out on weighted dips is risky. The delts and elbows are put under a tremendous amount of stress. It's just not an exercise that I would intuitively think to max out on.

    Having said that, I do sometimes max out on weighted chins. I do them with an underhand grip so as to keep the biceps in an advantageous position in terms of leverage.
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    Dips just seem to put your shoulder and elbow joint at a bad position, leaving them prone to tearing or worse. That said, the position also activates more muscle fiber than most but it should obviously be done with extreme care.

    I manage to pull my uppermost thoracic vertebrae out of alignment everytime I do heavy dips.
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    One of my favorite exercises, but 115 hanging from my belt kills my shoulders everytime. I have injured both shoulders doing these. So be carefull with the weight.
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    Wow, i'm surprised at the number of people who have been injured doing these on this thread. My friend has got to the point now where he can do 180 for about 5 reps (ive seen it, its unbelievable), and hes starting to get rotator cuff pain at only 19 (go figure). I'll direct him to this thread i think.

    I told him he should just start dipping people. They could jump on his back, and he can dip away. Would make a sweet picture... I would have to only dip girls, children, or midgets though. Nothing above 130, lol.
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    Yeah bro its not worth it, 4 plates hanging off the belt looks monstrous but is just way too much strain on the supporting connective tissue. At least for my weak-ass ecto frame it was!!

    BV
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    i used to do 135 hanging x8 pretty easy until my elbow was acting up.

    try doing 5x20 (deep) and see how pumped your chest gets!!!!!!!!

    i did these for a week str8 once in my more stupid years.
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    Dips and flys are my favorite exercises. But after 20 years of lifting using extreme range of motion my shoulders are shot.Be very careful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf
    You chose wisely. Definitely don't push the weighted dips to far; I'm pretty sure that is what did my RC in a couple of years ago. Flareups squashed my progress every time I started improving until last year.

    If you want to increase the difficulty on dips, you can always slow down your rep speed instead of adding weight. It is hard as hell, and can be humbling, but it is a lot better than 3 months of no upper body training.

    Bump to that... Slowing down the rep speed works better and is easier on my RC...
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    Dips and flys are my favorite exercises. But after 20 years of lifting using extreme range of motion my shoulders are shot.Be very careful.
    One thing you are always trained to think is that you should always use a full ROM, which if youre above 6 or so reps is true. On an exercise like weighted dips, when youre all the way in the hole all the stress to come back out initially is on the RC's and chest tendons...its a one way ticket to a debilitating injury.

    bV
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    Bro my bench has always sucked! I think its limited by the strength of my delts, honestly, because my chest and tris seem to be an ok size (definitely not huge). Also, keep in mind that 180x3 was not a full ROM - I wasnt going past parallel or a little below. So compared to the bench it was more like board press than the full movement.

    After just starting back with weighted dips, Ill throw 90lbs on the belt and do 12-15 reps pretty easily, and my bench is better now, go figure

    BV
    Add one more to the list of injured shoulders from heavy dips. One of my favorite excersises but now I can't even do them with body weight too much, my shoulders starts twinging right away, and it hurts! I think my problem is that I still go too deep. I 'm like you BV. My bench has allways sucked(315x2 being my best EVER) but my chest and tri's get huge! I never went as heavy as you on weighted dips though, thats some crazy weight! I used to go up to 90lbs as my heaviest.
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    Add one more to the list of injured shoulders from heavy dips. One of my favorite excersises but now I can't even do them with body weight too much, my shoulders starts twinging right away, and it hurts! I think my problem is that I still go too deep. I 'm like you BV. My bench has allways sucked(315x2 being my best EVER) but my chest and tri's get huge! I never went as heavy as you on weighted dips though, thats some crazy weight! I used to go up to 90lbs as my heaviest.
    How are you built bro? I dont how to explain the bench press lameness...thinking it could be due to arm length vs shoulder width (I have a typical ecto frame - long arms/relatively narrow shoulders). Im back to doing weighted dips again, but I never go below parallel with more than 2 plates, and never go below 6 reps.

    BV
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    I injured my sternum doing dips. Then I didn't realize what had happened and tried to stretch it out. oops.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigVrunga
    How are you built bro? I dont how to explain the bench press lameness...thinking it could be due to arm length vs shoulder width (I have a typical ecto frame - long arms/relatively narrow shoulders). Im back to doing weighted dips again, but I never go below parallel with more than 2 plates, and never go below 6 reps.

    BV
    Hey BV. I do have kind of long arms, and my rear delts are pretty big, side delts allright, but I feel my front delts are under developed and weak. But I could never get them to get really big. I guess yo might be right.
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    Same here bro, its hard to tell from your pic but we look pretty close structure wise.
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    This is my favorite exercise also and when I finally worked up to a set with 100 added to my bodyweight in full ROM I tore my right pec minor on the negative of the 5th rep. Didn't hurt much as it happened; it felt like you were cutting all the rubber bands inside a baseball ! I knew I screwed something up so I stopped the set and put the DB back on the rack. I didn't know how bad it was until I realized I couldn't raise my arm more than 8" in either direction.

    The next day it hurt enough to where I couldn't shift gears in my truck without alot of bull****. I'd have to do it with my left arm and what a pain in the ass that was, LOL.

    Man, what a humbling ****in experiance. I went from dipping with 100 lbs to not being able to do one pushup ; if I tried to I'd bust my face on the floor as I had zero strength to hold myself up out of the lock out position.

    I thought it was my rotator cuff but the doctor said it was 'just' the pec minor. His advice was simply that it would hear on it's own and to just use light weights and to do so in super slow fashion.

    I'm finally healed ... three years later ... etc and through the whole thing didn't lose size like I feared ... but it's something I don't want to happen again.
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    Dips are awful for the shoulders. Whats worse is as you get tired, the better chance of overstretching the motion. I'd avoid dips period! MAYBE with a seated dip machine, but there are better exercises.
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    I wouldnt necessarily avoid them, the problem lies in going too heavy with a full rom. I think they're one of the best exercises for the upper body.
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    I agree with Big Vrunga ; dips are one of the best upperbody movements . I believe you can get as close to your natural potential by being progressive on Squats , Dips and Chins.

    The problem of course is remaining progressive and using the weight you'll need to continually overload your muscles with just the three movements.

    I know someone who runs a well known gym in Phila who used 20 rep squats , negative dips and negative chins to the extreme many years ago and now wishes he didn't. He's still in great shape and trains, etc but has some never-quite-healing injuries and such he attributes to the amount of weight he worked up to in using these three big exercises.
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    Man, I've been scared ****less after reading this thread. I'm 19, 145lbs and do sets of 6 with 95lbs and I can hear a popping sound if I go too low. I'm really going to have to be cautious about not going below parallel while going heavy. I sure as hell don't need a RC injury...or any injury for that matter
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    I know what you guys mean. I just started doing weighted dips and yup, sure enough my right shoulder is giving me rotator cuff probs. I'm done doing them, weighted anyway. At first I didn't know what the problem was. My shoulder is pretty sore, but not painful yet. It warning me though. No more of those.
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    Listen, don't blame the exercise ... some of us went about things in a way that could have been better.

    The guy I told you about did negatives to an extreme. He realizes that now.

    My injury was because of a couple of things ;

    One was that I was supposed to be 'off' training for two weeks as I had just reached another goal I set for myself, 405 X 15 in the trap bar deadlift.

    I then happened to visit a friend who managed a World Gym in Florida and thought it would be a shame not to take advantage of having a workout in such a nice gym compared to where I usually trained which was pretty much a ****-hole.

    I decided to tune down the workout poundages but couldn't back up when it came to the dips - because I'm an *******. The second thing was made it worse was that I felt tired and a bit overtrained and the dipping bars were much wider than I was used to , yet couldn't make myself reduce the weight even for one ****ing workout. Can you say STEWPITT ????

    This **** that happened to me easily could have been prevented ... and the sad part is I KNEW I was ****ing up but still went ahead anyway. It wasn't the dips - it was how and when I did thanm that ****ed me up.

    Anyway, I'm fine now and I would just tell you to be careful about things. Let what happened to me teach you something.

    Also, when I went to the doctor and told him I thought I had a torn rotator cuff by doing dips, he immediately said 'NO WAY', that the rotator could stand what I did , that usually a RC injury is a quick, unnatural movement that ****s it up. That was when he right away said mine was a minor tear of the pec minor .

    Hope this makes you feel better and continue dipping ... I still believe it's one of the best upperbody movements you can do and you are certainly stong it it. Just be careful and train smart ; I just happened to let my guard down for a week and it KO'ed my dumb ass .

    BTW, that was the only training injury I had in 20 years of training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioman
    Dips just seem to put your shoulder and elbow joint at a bad position, leaving them prone to tearing or worse. That said, the position also activates more muscle fiber than most but it should obviously be done with extreme care.

    I manage to pull my uppermost thoracic vertebrae out of alignment everytime I do heavy dips.
    Yeah...I have to be real careful not to agrivate my shoulder when doing dips.

    I don't even do weighted ones anymore, mostly slow movements,higher reps, utilizing TUT.

    I do love the movement though.
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