Pull-ups, dips, and the upper body symbiosis and more . . .

I’ve written about this before, but I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it quite this way!

Anyway, cutting straight to the chase, I was doing dips today. After a very, very long time indeed.

On thick handles at that.

And despite not having done dips since March I believe, guess what.

I was doing BETTER at them than I did in March!

Now, this may not seem strange to a lot of you, but remember two things.

One, my chest and core has always been a traditionally weak area (as it is for most “pear” shaped bodies). And two, every time I don’t do an exercise for a while, guess what.

It takes me a while to get back up to speed and reps etc on it.

Except if you’re talking pushups of course which I seem to be able to bang out anyway, but not really those either. Years ago, I wrote about how I was doing pull-ups for months and not a single pushup, and then when I did 15 pushups, I could do ‘em, but damn, that BACK of mine was SORE, despite me doing handstand pushups and regular pull-ups in the 100’s!

Just goes to show why I’ve often touted and rightfully so (much to the chagrin of the weight pumpers and bros seated on benches or benches seated on bros) that pushups are the best damn exercise ever.

But this ain’t about pushups.

It’s about dips, and I was amazed.

I banged out 20 reps, all the way down like it was nothing and then all the way up again.

Note – the former is something I don’t recommend for most people (if you’re a Shoulders like Boulders fan, you know this already) but I’ll do it sometimes anyway (but just sometimes).

If just to test myself, but unlike with pul-ups, with dips, that last little bit should be avoided (again, unlike with pull-ups where you DO need to go into as much of a dead hang as you can and then some).

And you know WHY?

It wasn’t so much muscle memory as other things, and neither was it grip (though grip helped).

It was my LATS doing most of the work.

Right, bench pressers and gym addicts.

I was using my lats to press up and down – – not the show muscles aka pecs (and hint – if you’re a bench press addict no matter what, then the chest isn’t really whats helping you move that weight off your back – – it’s your lats).

Wanna get better at the bench press?

Then do pull-ups. IT’s that simple, and o ‘em right!


Strengthen the back and grip!

They truly are a symbiotic exercise and work magic in a way you’ve not even probably thought of when done together.

Now, some have had questions before.

“Is the reverse true as well? Getting better at dips before pull-ups”.

Well, mostly NO.

And yes . . . MAYBE to a very small degree.

Pull-ups, my friend require you to do pull-ups and pushups to get better at them. It’s as simple as that!

The reason is mostly grip here.

Dips will strengthen your back, but that last little bit on pull-ups (when you go up) is mostly graps and trip.

Or was that grip and traps! 😉

And . . . That can only be built – well – you know how!

So it works well one way,not the other.

And that’s that on this one. I’m off to recover from a great one!


Rahul Mookerjee

PS – I teach you all the different kinds of pushups you DO NEED TO GET GOOD at ; damn good at for that matter – FIRST before you start cranking handstand pushups in Shoulders like Boulders. This book really doe work, my friend. Get it now!

PS #2 – and no, el cheapos. The secrets won’t be revealed in this here email, at least not THIS ONE! 😉