http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=3204417270327&set=a.3204415950294.2125795.1262976148&type=1&theater

Dip bars are not created equal. Free-standing dip bar custom built in 1985 by designer who claimed the dimensions are perfect. He was right. Nothing beats dips for triceps. Those of you who need to increase your 225-lb bench press for combine testing, do weighted dips. Guaranteed to increase 225 reps. #Neverignorebasics

During my 42-year workout career, there’s been a dramatic change in the fitness industry. A total facelift. And bodylift. I started lifting in 1969 when lifting weights wasn’t mainstream. In fact, I was considered a freak. Lifting weights not only wasn’t popular, it wasn’t considered normal. I was one very few high school football players who lifted weights. I repeatedly heard the myths at the time that getting “muscle-bound” was a negative for sports. That myth permeated every level of sports from the pros all the way down. But lifting worked out for me. Lifting changed my life – athletically, professionally, and personally.

Even though there was nowhere near the fitness information in 1969, there was one major benefit with limited information – emphasis on the basics. The focus was strictly on the fundamentals. And the basics worked out.

We know much more now about lifting and fitness today than ever. Research has taught us volumes about the science of getting in top shape. Depending on perspective, making muscle and losing fat is either complicated or simple. It’s easy to get lost in the abyss of fitness information. It’s easy to get confused about what is fact and what is myth. The fitness industry has grown exponentially since 1969 as a business. One outcome has been competition for the next big thing. It seems to me that there is a race to discover the new secret, the magic formula. Separating fact from myth has never been more challenging.

Here’s one fact – dips builds muscle. Guaranteed.

In 1969, I read an article that taught a simple truth – properly executed dips will build monster triceps and overall upper body strength. The article taught the fundamentals – stance and form, set/rep selection. And when to add weight with a belt and when not to.

Dips worked out. In less than 6 years, I went from an obese, grossly out-of-shape 12-year-old to a member of the 300 club – I bench pressed 300 lbs for one rep when I was 17. Naturally. No steroids, no drugs. One year later, I raised my personal best to 340. Dips played a major role. I have never stopped doing dips. Never replaced them. And never will. Why? They work out. Dips are one of the basics that are transformative.

The photo I posted at the beginning of this article shows a free-standing dip bar that I’ve been using since it was built in 1985. Hundreds of athletes I’ve coached have used it. Take a close look at the handle – Fat Gripz. The handles are wide. That’s the first difference between this dip bar and anything else I’ve ever used. The other difference are the dimensions – the width separating the bars and the height off the ground. The designer guaranteed top-notch results. He was right.

Dips are simple, basic, and transformative. Fact.

Gino Arcaro has written 12 books. He started his writing career by writing 6 best-selling academic law enforcement textbooks. Then he changed his focus and wrote 6 non-academic books to compete on a new stage. The first book is Soul of a Lifter, available in paperback and e-book. The book is about how lifting is a life-saver – lifting others and lifting weight. Dual-purpose lifting. You can review all Gino’ books them by clicking here at the top of the S.O.A.L. blog.