Q: In Positions-of-Flexion mass training, how do you identify dips and bench dips for triceps? Are they midrange, stretch, or contracted?
A: While both parallel-bar dips and bench dips have synergy, or muscle teamwork, which is generally a midrange quality, we classify both types of dip as contracted-position exercises. In other words, we like either as a BIG finisher to put more size on your tri’s…
True, neither dip style has resistance in the top contracted position. But with your arms slightly behind your torso, your triceps are in a position to flex hard at the top. That will provide plenty of occlusion and muscle tension, the hallmarks of a good contracted-position exercise. And as we said, we like to use those last in most POF bodypart programs…
For example, here’s a 4X triceps routine that has been proven to put more size on your tri’s (same weight on all sets, 30 seconds between sets):
Midrange: Close-grip bench presses, 4×12
Stretch: Cable pushouts, 3×10
Contracted: Bench dips, 4×12
Here’s a tip: Don’t just support your weight at the top of bench dips—or parallel-bar dips if you use those. When you hit the elbows-locked position, really SQUEEZE your triceps for a count to heighten the occlusion, or blood-blockage, effect. Studies have shown that keeping continuous tension on the muscle for an extended time is one of the BIG keys to sizeable muscle gains.
Oh, in case you don’t know what cable pushouts are, here’s Jonathan demonstrating…
That’s a stretch-position exercise for triceps. You could use overhead triceps extensions instead; however, the cable pushouts are more elbow friendly. Use the move that suits you best.
Note: For more on the Positions-of-Flexion mass-building method for all muscle groups, see the 3D Muscle Building e-book, the official POF manual.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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