The Upper Body Mass Builder

The Upper Body Mass Builder

If you are a hardgainer looking for a cure to all of your weight gaining and muscle building troubles then the following exercise is for you

If you have read any of my past articles or newsletters then you know that I put a huge emphasis on squats when it comes to gaining weight and building muscle mass as fast as possible. Nothing can ever substitute for squatting hard and heavy, not more exercises, supplements, nothing.

If youve been having trouble gaining weight and/or putting some muscle mass on your frame, then I suggest you start doing some serious squatting. If you have been squatting but still arent seeing results, I would then suggest that you take a look at your squatting poundages. Almost 90% of weight trainers problems with gaining weight and muscle mass can be solved just by getting serious about squatting.

However, if you have been squatting for a while and are getting good progress but want to take a break while still gaining muscle mass consistently, then perhaps you should try what I believe is the next best yet simple exercise for muscle building: parallel dips.

Next to squats, parallel dips are the fastest way to build muscle on your upper body. Now, what I am NOT talking about is how many dips you can do. This is great for athletes and muscle endurance, but I would assume that if youre reading this article that you are looking for ways to build muscle fast.

In order to utilize dips as a tool for further upper body muscle mass development, you need to treat them just as you would treat any other exercise for the same purpose, and that is low to medium amount of reps with progressively heavier weight. If you have never done dips with added weight before, you are in for a treat. If you do them correctly and with the right intensity, they will produce bigger gains in your upper body better then any other single exercise alone.

What I love about parallel dips is that they are one of the few exercises that will add massive bulk to your chest, shoulders, and triceps all at once. Not only will you get a pump in your whole upper body like never before, but dips are a wonderful exercise for size and strength as well!

My favorite way of doing dips is from the late John McCallums book The Complete Keys to Progress. Here is how he broke it down on how to do them for the best possible results:

-First start out with either body weight or really light weights tied around your waist for a set of five.

-Do a second set of five with a little more weight. -Next jump to your best poundages (youll have to experiment with this to find out what weight is good for you) for three more sets of five.

-After you finish your first five sets, finish off by doing ten more sets of eight with much lighter weight with only thirty seconds in-between each set. Continue to strip the weight off each set if necessary.

-The weight for the last 10 sets doesnt matter, just focus on no longer then 30 second rest periods and getting a really good pump.

Try these out for a while and try to add weight to your three heavy sets for each workout. You dont need to do this more then twice a week, even once a week for some is enough. Note that after a hard set of dips, you wont have a lot of strength and energy to do many other upper body pushing exercises, nor will you have to!

An important reminder when training hard is to remember to stay on top of your diet and nutrition. This is a very intense exercise so you have to ensure that you eat enough protein and the rest of your nutrition is solid to stay energized.


Derek Manuel is the author of the best-selling How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle for Hardgainers. If you are a hardgainer and want to learn how to finally put all your weight gaining and muscle building troubles behind, please visit