At some point I discovered Elliot Hulse while watching YouTube at night. Watching YouTube is kind of a guilty pleasure. I can’t stand TV, but I think YouTube is great. You can search for whatever you want and once you get close to your topic, YouTube starts giving you a bunch of other stuff you’re interested in.
Elliot is blunt, which is I like. He also swears a lot. To be honest, I feel like I haven’t done this post justice because I didn’t put fucking in the title. That’s how much Elliot swears—just thinking about him alters my language.
One video he says something like, “Just do these four exercises and you’ll be really fucking strong.” The four exercise? The dip, chin, deadlift, and squat. Big exercises. Dips and chins are great. I love that combination. Deadlifts just make you feel really strong. We are rear wheel drive creatures and when you develop your posterior chain, as you do in the deadlift, it just makes you feel insanely strong.
The squat, of course, is also a phenomenal exercise. Great for mobility of the hips (when you full squat) and develops powerful legs. It doesn’t convey the same sense of strength to me as deadlifts do, since deadlifts really target the hands and abs, but it does transfer over and give you a powerful feeling.
Of course, there are varying set and rep protocols. I like 5×5 and variations on that theme. Typically low rep, multiple sets. Occasionally 2×5 for daily training. 5×5 for twice or three times per week.
The dip is a fantastic exercise. It makes your arms feel like pistons. It gets your triceps, shoulders, and pecs—and lats, if you do them right. In fact, if you do them right you target pretty much your entire upper body.
You’ll squeeze the bars and lock in your abs and your lats as slowly lower yourself under extreme control. Your back and head stay neutral as you descend. Your triceps and pecs really starting kicking in at the bottom of the movement as you squeeze your hands and tense your lats and abs. Then you power back up, reversing the movement.
I love pulling myself up in the chin. You grab the bar and adjust your grip, just finding the right groove. From a dead hang, you have tense lats and your arms and grip is fully contracted. Under control, you pull yourself up. Your shoulders stay packed, down and back, you lock out and your elbows are tucked firmly into your sides, chin well over the bar.
Squeeze everything hard. You can even draw your knees up to finish off with an intense abdominal contraction.
Then lower yourself under control. Keep your shoulders locked into the sockets as you lock out, arms straight. Pause, and then pull yourself up again. This exercise makes your grip, forearms, biceps and lats super-strong. It balances out the dip perfectly. You’ll pick up kids more easily and be able to lock your arms easily in a carry position.
Benefits of the dip when combined with chin
The bottom line is doing these two exercises makes your upper body super strong. First, do them with your body weight using impeccable form. Then, buy an Iron Mind Dip/Chin belt and start doing them with weight. Maybe 10 pounds.
The easiest guidance is do 3 to 5 sets, 3 to 5 reps, 3 to 5 times per week. From there, train less every fourth week. By less maybe cut your reps in half. 1 set of 5 or 5 sets of 1 in each exercises.
In the next post I’ll describe the squat and the deadlift. In the meantime, here is the Elliot Hulse video I was referring to.