Weighted dips standards

Weighted Dips Standards For Males At Different Training Levels And Body Weights

Weighted dips standards not only allow you to benchmark your performance against yourself but also against others.

For the average 200lb male, a good weighted-dip standard is their body weight plus an extra 121 pounds. This weight is for a single repetition. However, an individual’s dip weight will also be affected by their training level and current body weight.

These benchmarks were important for me when I first started doing dips, and they should benefit you as well.

After all, you want to know if you’re doing a good job with your training right?

My research will reveal the numbers YOU should be hitting for it to be deemed “respectable”.

You’ll also find out how to improve your dip strength if your numbers are below average.

Looking To Improve Your Dips At Home?

I started with band-assisted dips before progressing onto unassisted dips and finally dumbbell-weighted dips.

If you’re interested, you can check out my setup below!

Factors Affecting Weighted Dips Standards

3 factors affect how much weight you lift on the weighted dip:

  1. Training Level. The longer you’ve been practicing the dip, the more weight you can lift. As a general rule, beginners have been practicing for at least 1 month, intermediates at least 2 years, and advanced lifters at least 5 years.
  1. Body weight and composition. Generally speaking heavier people can lift more weight on the weighted dip. That’s because there’s a positive correlation between body weight and muscle mass. However, a higher body fat % will negatively influence your weighted dip strength.
  1. Rep number. The less reps you do, the more weight you can lift on the weighted dip. This post focuses on a 1-10 rep range which is generally accepted to be the best for building muscle strength and size.

Beginner Weighted Dips Standards

A beginner has been practicing the weighted dip for at least 1 month.

Here’s how much weight beginners should lift:

Bodyweight1-rep max6-rep max7-rep max8-rep max9-rep max10-rep max
120lb
54kg
-17lb
-8kg
-31lb
-14kg
-35lb
-16kg
-38lb
-17kg
-40lb
-18kg
-41lb
-19kg
150lb
68kg
-9lb
-4kg
-17lb
-8kg
-21lb
-10kg
-24lb
-11kg
-26lb
-12kg
-27lb
-12kg
200lb
91kg
+0lb
+0kg
-15lb
-7kg
-18b
-8kg
-20lb
-9kg
-21lb
-10kg
-22lb
-10kg
250lb
113kg
+3lb
+1kg
-11lb
-5kg
-14lb
-6kg
+16lb
-7kg
-17lb
-8kg
+17lb
+8kg
300lb
136kg
+0lb
+0kg
-15lb
-7kg
-18lb
-8kg
-20lb
-9kg
-21lb
-10kg
-22lb
-10kg
Male beginner weighted dip strength standards.

Note: x-rep max is the maximum amount of weight you can lift for x-number of reps. Generally speaking, rep ranges closer to 1 are ideal for strength gains, whilst rep ranges closer to 10 are ideal for size gains (hypertrophy).

Here’s how much weight beginners should be lifting on the weighted dip, as a percentage of body weight:

  • 120lb body weight – -34 to -14%.
  • 150lb body weight- -18 to -6%.
  • 200lb body weight- -11 to 0%.
  • 250lb body weight- -7 to +1%.
  • 300lb body weight- -7 to 0%.

A negative value indicates an assisted dip (where resistance bands or machines help to pull your body weight upwards).

Therefore if you’ve been practicing the dip for only 1 month or less, don’t worry about not being able to do a full dip.

It’s normal for a beginner to only be able to do assisted dips at this stage.

And if you can do a full unassisted dip, you’re doing a very respectable job!

Intermediate Weighted Dips Standards

An intermediate has been practicing the dip for at least 2 years.

Here’s how much weight intermediates should be able to lift:

Bodyweight1-rep max6-rep max7-rep max8-rep max9-rep max10-rep max
120lb
54kg
+73lb
+33kg
+61lb
+28kg
+60lb
+27kg
+58lb
+26kg
+57lb
+26kg
+53lb
+24kg
150lb
68kg
+95lb
+43kg
+80lb
+36kg
+78lb
+35kg
+76lb
+34kg
+74lb
+34kg
+69lb
+31kg
200lb
91kg
+121lb
+55kg
+102lb
+46kg
+99lb
+45kg
+97lb
+44kg
+94lb
+43kg
+88lb
+40kg
250lb
113kg
+136lb
+62kg
+114lb
+52kg
+112lb
+51kg
+109lb
+49kg
+106lb
+48kg
+99lb
+45kg
300lb
136kg
+145lb
+66kg
+122lb
+55kg
+119lb
+54kg
+116lb
+53kg
+113lb
+51kg
+106lb
+48kg
Male intermediate weighted dip strength standards.

Here’s how much weight intermediates should be lifting on the dip, as a percentage of body weight:

  • 120lb body weight – +44 to +61%.
  • 150lb body weight- +46 to +63%.
  • 200lb body weight- +44 to +61%.
  • 250lb body weight- +40 to +54%.
  • 300lb body weight- +35 to +48%.

If you’ve been practicing the dip for 2 years or more, you should be able to do weighted dips.

This commonly takes the form of a dumbbell held between the legs or a barbell plate strapped with a weight lifting belt.

If you’re above these averages as an intermediate, then you’re doing a great job.

These are also very respectable standards for beginners to aim for.

Advanced Weighted Dips Standards

An advanced lifter has been practicing the dip for at least 5 years.

Here’s how much weight advanced lifters should be able to lift:

Bodyweight1-rep max6-rep max7-rep max8-rep max9-rep max10-rep max
120lb
54kg
+130lb
+59kg
+109lb
+50kg
+107lb
+48kg
+104lb
+47kg
+101lb
+46kg
+95lb
+43kg
150lb
68kg
+159lb
+72kg
+134lb
+61kg
+130lb
+59kg
+127lb
+58kg
+124lb
+56kg
+116lb
+53kg
200lb
91kg
+193lb
+88kg
+162lb
+74kg
+158lb
+72kg
+154lb
+70kg
+151lb
+68kg
+141lb
+64kg
250lb
113kg
+216lb
+98kg
+181lb
+82kg
+177lb
+80kg
+173lb
+78kg
+168lb
+76kg
+158lb
+72kg
300lb
136kg
+229lb
+104kg
+192lb
+87kg
+188lb
+85kg
+183lb
+83kg
+179lb
+81kg
+167lb
+76kg
Male advanced weighted dip strength standards.

Here’s how much weight advanced lifters should be lifting on the dip, as a percentage of body weight:

  • 120lb body weight – +79 to +108%.
  • 150lb body weight- +77 to +106%.
  • 200lb body weight- +70 to +97%.
  • 250lb body weight- +63 to +86%.
  • 300lb body weight- +56 to +76%.

If you’ve been practicing the dip for 5 years or more, and you’re above these averages, then you’re doing a fantastic job.

These are also very respectable standards for intermediates to aim for.

Weighted Dip Strength For The Average Male

The average US male weighs 197.9-lbs.

Here’s how much weight the average 200lb US male should lift on the weighted dip, at different training levels:

Training Level1-rep max6-rep max7-rep max8-rep max9-rep max10-rep max
Beginner+0lb
+0kg
-15lb
-7kg
-18b
-8kg
-20lb
-9kg
-21lb
-10kg
-22lb
-10kg
Intermediate+121lb
+55kg
+102lb
+46kg
+99lb
+45kg
+97lb
+44kg
+94lb
+43kg
+88lb
+40kg
Advanced+193lb
+88kg
+162lb
+74kg
+158lb
+72kg
+154lb
+70kg
+151lb
+68kg
+141lb
+64kg
Weighted dip strength standards for the average 200lb male at different training levels and rep numbers.

Therefore the average US male should be able to lift -11 to +97% of his body weight on the weighted dip.

The exact weight will depend on training experience and rep number (as seen in the aforementioned standards).

How Good Are Your Weighted Dips Vs Others?

Determining your current weighted dip as a fraction of your body weight is a reliable way to compare your performance with others.

To do this, simply divide the total weight you’re dipping (including body weight) by your body weight.

Here are the percentages of males who can dip their body weight:

Weighted Dips 1RM (As A Fraction Of Body Weight)% Of People Who Can Do It
0.50x100%
0.60x100%
0.70x100%
0.80x99%
0.90x97%
1.00x95%
1.10x91%
1.20x85%
1.30x78%
1.40x70%
1.50x60%
1.60x50%
1.70x41%
1.80x32%
1.90x24%
2.00x18%
2.10x13%
2.20x9%
2.30x6%
2.40x4%
2.50x3%
Percent of males aged 24-39 at 200lbs bodyweight who can dip their body weight.
  • 75% of men can lift 1.35x their bodyweight on the weighted dip for a single repetition. This represents the lower percentile of males and is a respectable weight for absolute beginners to achieve. But you should aim for higher numbers with more training.
  • 50% of men can lift 1.60x their bodyweight on the weighted dip for a single repetition. This represents the median percentile of males and is a respectable weight for intermediates to achieve. It’s also a good target for beginners to aim for.
  • 25% of men can lift 1.90x their bodyweight on the weighted dip for a single repetition. This represents the upper percentile of males and is a respectable weight for advanced lifters to achieve. It’s also a good target for intermediates to aim for.

If you’re struggling to build muscle and strength, you might be interested in my complete guide to gaining your first 10lbs of muscle.

Why the weighted dip is difficult.

5 Reasons Your Dip Strength Is Below Average

Here are 5 mistakes I made as a beginner which led to a sub-par dip. Avoid these mistakes!

1) You haven’t spent time training the upper body.

The dip is a powerful compound exercise that engages multiple muscles:

  • Pectorals.
  • Triceps.
  • Deltoids.
  • Latissimus dorsi.

But it’s also a relatively difficult exercise for beginners since it requires you to lift your entire body weight.

And this is no easy task.

Therefore it makes sense as a beginner to first spend a couple of months training the upper body with free weights, before attempting the dip.

Awesome upper body pushing exercises include:

  • Flat and decline dumbbell bench press.
  • Tricep extension.
  • Shoulder press.
  • Dumbbell pull over.

These exercises allow you to start with minimal weight and build a strength foundation which can then be transferred into the dip.

If you want to find out how to train your chest without a bench, you can check out my other article (you’ll need dumbbells though)!

2) Your torso is too vertical and not slanted forward enough.

Torso position plays a significant role in how much power you can generate in the dip.

If you’re too vertical, you’re performing a tricep dip as opposed to a chest dip.

And this limits the amount of weight you can lift.

To generate the greatest amount of pushing strength from the dip, you should angle your torso forward.

Think of it as an angled push-up.

This means your chest should be pushed out and slanted towards the floor.

As a result, you’ll be pushing with the pectorals rather than the triceps alone.

And since the pectorals are larger than the triceps, you’re pushing strength will also increase.

When you’re doing the dip, you’re really doing a suspended pushup”

Jeff Cavalier, C.S.C.S, Athlean-X.

To find out how the chest dip activates the different pectoral regions, you can check out my other article here!

3) Your range of motion is too low.

Range of motion (ROM) describes how far you lower your body on the downward phase of the dip.

If you’re ROM is too low (i.e. you’re not going far enough down), then you’re not capitalizing on the full muscle activation benefits of the dip.

As a result, your strength progression will also likely begin to plateau.

I like to lower myself far enough down that my upper arms become parallel to the floor before driving myself upwards.

Always remember:

A lighter dip performed with good form and ROM is more effective than a heavier dip performed with bad form and ROM.

“You don’t need to go all the way down, just low enough to get a good stretch on the pectorals nad triceps.”

Dr Mike Israetel, Renaissance Periodization.

4) Shoulder pain is restricting the weight you can dip.

Shoulder pain during the dip is a common issue for many beginners (including myself 5 years ago).

And from my personal experience, there are multiple reasons why it happens:

  • Allowing your body to drop too far on the downard phase.
  • Dipping more weight than you’re ready for.
  • Not warming up the shoulders.
  • Allowing your body to “drop” rather than lowering yourself in a controlled manner.

All these factors will contribute to shoulder pain during the dip and should be actively avoided.

5) You aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.

If you’re able to do dips with perfect form and without pain, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to increase your numbers by around 10-20lbs in the space of a few weeks.

That’s unless you aren’t training hard enough.

By that, I’m specifically referring to a weight and training frequency.

If you aren’t adding weight properly every week, or if you aren’t doing dips often enough, you’ll likely fail to progress.

How to increase your weighted dip strength standards.

5 Ways To Improve Your Dip Strength

Here are 5 tips I used to increase my dip strength:

1) Warm up properly and perfect your form.

Shoulder warms ups are especially important for exercises like the dip and pull up which put a lot of stress on the joint.

I always do shoulder rolling stretches before doing any upper body lift to prepare the synovial fluid (a lubricant found in our joints) in my shoulder joint.

My favorites are shoulder circle rolls and arm circle rolls.

Try doing 10 in each direction before switching!

Once you’ve warmed up the shoulders, you can begin working on doing dips with perfect form.

Here’s how to do the perfect chest dip:

How To Do Dips For A Bigger Chest and Shoulders (Fix Mistakes!)

2) Increase range of motion slowly and gradually.

As a beginner, the best way to increase your range of dipping motion is to do it slowly but gradually.

This will allow you to increase your ROM without shoulder pain.

Try doing 2-4 dip workouts per week.

After every week, you should increase your ROM slightly. Then repeat the following week.

This should allow you to reach a point where you’re upper arms can go parallel to the ground.

At this stage, you should begin to apply progressive overload (see next).

If you want to do dips at home, I recommend getting a stable power tower.

Check Amazon Price

I use and recommend the Sports Royal Power Tower (link for cheapest price).

It’s affordable, easy to assemble, has a relatively low footprint, and can accommodate almost all user heights.

As a bonus, it’ll also allow you to safely do pull-ups at home!

3) Progressive overload on reps and weight.

When you’ve perfected your dipping form, you can apply progressive overload to increase your dipping strength.

My favorite way to do this is to increase reps and then weight (in that order).

Aim to nail ~10 consecutive body weight dips (build-up to it over several weeks if required).

At this stage, you can hold a 2.5lb dumbbell between your legs and decrease the reps as required.

Then work your way back up to 10 reps with 2.5lbs.

After you’re able to do this, you can increase to 5lbs, and so on.

If you’re eating right, you’re dipping strength should increase every week.

Dips for Beginners!

If you’re struggling to do even 1 dip, then assisted dips are the solution.

To do this, strap a resistance band to the dip handles and use the other end to support your knees.

As your body lowers, the band stretches and assists in pushing you back up.

Simply decrease the band resistance until you can do an unassisted dip.

How to do assisted dips.

I use and recommend the Undersun Fitness bands (link for cheapest price).

The set includes 5 bands, each with different resistance levels.

They also come with a lifetime warranty (unlike the budget Amazon bands which snap after a year of heavy use, trust me I’ve gone through 2 sets).

4) Work on chest and shoulder exerises.

As you continue building your dip strength, you should also continue working on your upper body pushing exercises too:

  • Bench press.
  • Shoulder press.
  • Tricep extension.
  • Chest fly.
  • Dumbbell pullovers.
  • Rows.
  • Pull ups.

This will increase chest and shoulder strength, and the back exercises will produce balanced upper body development.

The cheapest, most convenient, and effective way to do this at home is with adjustable dumbbells.

I use and recommend the Powerblock Elite series (link for cheapest price).

Having researched over a dozen dumbbell models, the Powerblocks provide the greatest value for money.

They can be upgraded to 90lbs per dumbbell which is more than enough to take a beginner to the advanced stages of training.

They also come with small 2.5lb weight increments for smooth progressive overload and can take a lot of physical abuse.

As a bonus, they also come with a 5-year warranty and Powerblock has some of the best customer support on the market (on the rare occurrence that something does go wrong).

If you’re on a tight budget, then the Yes4All spinlock dumbbells also offer heavy poundages at a much lower price.

But they don’t have the small weight increments of the Powerblocks.

A chained weight belt like this DMoose allows you to strap your dumbbells onto the body for weighted dips.

5) Start eating a bulking diet.

Progressive overload is a surefire way to increase your dip performance.

But only if you’re eating enough protein and calories.

The general recommendation for muscle growth is to consume at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight and a 5-15% caloric surplus every day.

This will fuel the muscle-building process and lead to strength gains.

If you’re someone who has a low appetite, it can be a struggle to eat enough food to hit your daily nutritional targets.

That’s where protein powders can be a godsend.

I use and recommend the MyProtein Impact Whey (link for cheapest price).

Each scoop contains 21g of protein and 100 calories.

The MyVegan Pea Protein is a good plant-based alternative (but it doesn’t taste as nice in my opinion).

If you’re an ultra-thin guy, then the Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass may be a better alternative.

The cost per serving is slightly pricier, but each serving contains 50g of protein and 1250 calories.

Both shakes come in a variety of delicious flavors and make for an easy-to-consume hit of muscle fuel.

I also like to add a scoop of MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate to my shakes.

Creatine helps with muscle energy utilization and allows you to shift more reps and heavier weights.

It’s also naturally occurring in all our muscles, so nothing artificial or dodgy going on here.

Product Recap

Conclusion

I’ve shared weighted dips standards at different training levels and body weights.

If you’re above these averages, then you’re lifting a very respectable weight and you should be proud of yourself.

But if you’re below average, then you can try some of the tips I share to improve your dip strength.

How much weight do you currently lift on the dip?

Let me know in the comments!

Or check out my other posts to find out:

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,

Kal

(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

Comments 2

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Robby, thanks for the comment! Apologies for that. It does seem rather high, doesn’t it? I tried to do the best analysis of current data that I could to give numbers that I couldn’t find anywhere else online. This will be duly updated.

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