Need a challenge? Need to shock your muscles into a growth spurt? Need to make that personal trainer with the oversized head and youth-sized Under Armour shirt drop his favorite baby blue dumbbell on his toe?

Then this killer workout – a mash-up of Poliquin, Staley, and even Arnold's training ideas – is for you.

The Challenge

Your challenge: Perform a chest/back day consisting of only two exercises: the dip and the semi-supinated (palms facing each other) chin-up.

Your goal: Get 100 reps of each exercise, alternating between them. One set of dips, short rest, one set of chin-ups, short rest, back to dips, repeat until you get 100 total reps of each movement.

The twist: Use a stopwatch and time the entire workout, from rep one to rep one-hundred. The next time you do this particular workout, try to beat that time.

The Exercises

Dip: Taking a fairly wide grip on a set of dipping bars (if you have that option), lower yourself under control into a deep bottom position. None of that halfway-down crap; the biceps should touch the forearm. Pause a split second at the bottom, then fire back up. That's one rep.


Allow your legs to extend behind you a bit to put more emphasis on the chest. Remember, wide-grip dip plus leaned-forward position equals chest exercise. Narrow grip and upright position makes it more of a triceps exercise. Not what we want here, though your tri's are going to get clobbered pretty good anyway.

Semi-Supinated Chin-up: Use two parallel chinning bars here if your gym has them (you'll usually find these in the middle of the crossover machine or attached to a dip station). From a rock-bottom hang, pull up, pause a split second at the top, then lower yourself under control back to rock bottom. Again, none of that halfway-down, leg-kicking jackassery.

Semi-Supinated Chin-up
Semi-Supinated Chin-up

Notes and Tips

• Most people are going to finish the dips before the chins. That's okay, just alternate exercises until you hit 100 dips, then finish out the chins all by themselves.

• A notepad is handy here since your mind may start playing tricks on you after 75 reps.  Make a column for each exercise and write down the reps while resting between sets.

At the end of the workout, make a note of the time it took you to hit 100 reps of each movement. Remember, you'll try to beat that time the next time you do this same workout.

• If you can, try to find one of those dip/chin/leg raise stations. That way you can park there for the whole workout. Ignore the looks from the housewives wanting to do leg raises (thinking this leads to spot reduction, of course).

• If no parallel chinning bars are available, a V-handle will work in a pinch.

V-handle chin up

• If you can count the number of chin-ups or dips you can get on just one hand, then try for 50 reps of each instead of 100. (By the way, the best exercise for increasing your chin-ups is the Push Away From the Dinner Table You Fat Bastard.)

Give this shock routine a try the next time you need a challenge in the gym, and be sure to tell us about your workout in our discussion section!