You know most people used to think we were the fools right?
To most of the fitness world, calisthenics used to be a joke.
It won’t build muscle. It can only be done by younger people or if you are too old to lift.
It’s a hobby, a diversion, a fad that will come an go. Sure you can do some push ups and pull ups, but don’t count on those really making you strong. That’s just silly.
Try telling your gym buddies that you are going full ‘no extra weight, all body weight’. They’ll smile politely and will ask: ”But does anybody really get ripped and strong through only body weight?”.
Yes, they want you to have results. Yes, they would love to see you improve.
But they also think that there is no way in hell that ‘calisthenics or any type of bar workout plan‘ will do that for you.
Well I didn’t want to say this, but…
Those who express this the most confident, fail the basics without exception.
The Ring Dip Progression Basics For Solid Arm Strength
One of the exercises most gym rats fail without exception is the ‘full ring dip’.
While it might seem easy at first glance, actually trying it will prove them otherwise.
No amount of machinery requires you to continuously correct your muscles to the same extent rings will require you to.
That’s why I why you will take your ‘dips’ and strength to a whole new level through this ring dip progression.
Dips will never be the same.
Crab Walk Animal Locomotion
Main goal: Developing basic arm strength and flexibility for pushing and pulling exercises
Additional goal: Warming up for dips, opening the spine and allowing the shoulders and arms to develop for back lever work
1) Start in a table top position with your knees and arms slightly bent while placing your feet underneath your knees
2) Move in all directions while keeping the majority of your weight on your arms.
3) Make this move more difficult by elevating your hips or while bending your arms more
4) Increase the speed, slow down and experiment with all the directions.
Mastery at 5×60 seconds
Note: This exercise will build both endurance and strength while at the same time allow you to increase your shoulder flexibility if you move your hips upward more. A great tool and highly recommended to use if you are working on your back lever progressions.
This will prepare your lower arm for the full range of motion and flexibility required in the full back lever. The more you move your legs forward the more you will adopt a body posture similar to what your would experience in a back lever, only not upside down.
Incline Bar Dip
Main goal: Developing basic arm strength and going through the entire dip motion
Additional goal: Shoulder flexibility, bicep flexibility and elbow strength
1) Start with completely locked elbows behind your back.
2) Move down while keeping your back straight.
3) Go down until you reach your lowest position.
4) Go back to starting position and lock elbows at the top.
Mastery at 5×12 repetitions
Note: You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by lowering the surface on which your hand are supported. The lower the harder, the higher the easier.
The Ring Dip Eccentric
Main goal: Developing stability and strength for the full ring dip
Additional goal: Learning how to stabilize the downward motion on rings
1) Start by grabbing the rings and jump into the highest position.
2) Once you have reached your highest position you lock your elbows and rotate the rings outwards slightly.
3) After you have adopted a stable position, rotate the rings inward slightly and slowly go down in a 6-10 second count.
4) Keep going until your thumbs touch your chest.
5) Place your feet back on the ground and repeat.
Mastery at 5×5 repetitions
Note: This exercise can be done both on bars and on rings. Keep in mind that doing dips on rings is significantly more difficult that doing dips on bars.
The main difference comes from the outward rotation in the top position and the need to stabilize while going through the dip. If you are unable to stabilize, start doing bar dips first and move on to ring eccentrics once you are able to do 5×12 repetitions.
The Full Ring Dip
Main goal: Developing stability and strength for pushing and pulling exercises
1) Start by grabbing the rings and adopt the lowest position with your thumbs touching your chest.
2) Push yourself up until you are able to straighten your arms.
3) Lock your elbows by rotating the rings outward slightly
4) Rotate the rings inwards and go down slowly until you reach your starting position while keeping your feet off the ground.
Mastery at 5×5 repetitions
Note: As with all progressions, start at the first progression and build your way up to the final progression. Even if you have the muscular strength, this does not mean your connective tissues are ready to deal with this new type of load.
Especially all the tissues needed to completely lock out the elbows might need some time.
Workout In Silence Let Your Results Speak
Now, you know what real dip strength is.
Why ‘wouldn’t you do calisthenics?’ And why am I working hours on writing a post like this, sharing why you should and how much it will benefit you in the future and in the entirety of your life.
I’ve been there. I’ve heard them talk. I’ve yelled back. I actually hear people telling me that ‘calisthenics’ won’t build you real strength every single day. And guess what? Let them talk. The only way we can keep spreading the movement is by ‘not talking, but doing’.
After all, isn’t that the reason why we started in the first place? To get real results regardless of what others think?
In the end, that’s what drives us most: every workout, every meal, every ‘no-I’m-not-going-out-today’, every ‘no-I’m-not-having-a-drink-tonight’.
Maybe we say yes every now and then to have some fun, but it’s well deserved by that point.
And the best part, once it’s a lifestyle, it doesn’t take any more energy, it generates energy.
We get ripped, we get healthy, we crush our goals. It’s what we do.
I just wish more people knew it.
After all, isn’t that what we’re here to do? Show everyone what’s possible? To inspire? To let them witness?
Work in silence. The proof screams out loud.
They don’t need to yell, they don’t need to convince, they don’t need to talk…they don’t need to make a sound.
Beast mode ON!