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Fundamentals: Will chins and dips do it?

Weight-free Workout

Q: Can chinning and dipping substitute for weight training? A friend told me that’s all I need, that I can get a great build with those simple exercises.

A: I agree that those two exercises are excellent, and you can accomplish a lot with them; however, they aren’t substitutes for barbell work. As for using weighted chins and dips, the answer is yes. Those two exercises will provide a complete workout for your upper body. You still need squats or at least heavy leg presses for lower-body work.

If you want a good abbreviated program, do chins, dips, squats or leg presses, and some lower-back work. Add about five minutes of abdominal training.

If you want a program you can do when weights aren’t available, do chins, dips and deep-knee bends with someone on your shoulders, or do high reps. It’s not perfect, but it will suffice in a pinch.

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