The Assisted Pull-Up/Dip Machine
Can this machine actually be useful? Many lifters see it as a weakling's way to do pull-ups, and maybe they're right. But it can be used in a way that'll help you get stronger, build muscle, and carryover into your regular pull-ups and dips.
These two exercises activate a majority of muscles in the upper body, fix imbalances, and improve your mechanics in their respective movement patterns. Oh, and the contractions are outrageous.
One-Arm Machine Pull-Up
This exercise will force you to squeeze the bar much harder and move through the vertical pull pattern properly with one arm. It allows you to isolate one side of the pull-up without having to do a one-armed pull-up. The lats and biceps will be hit the hardest, but you'll feel it all over the upper body.
If you find that your grip is lacking in one hand, you've spotted a crucial imbalance. Now you know what side to bring up.
One-Arm Machine Dip
Keep your torso forward just like standard dips. You should feel it mostly in your triceps and chest. Keep your core tight. Towards the end of the set your body will want to lean to one side. This is the key to maintaining tension and building some raw single-limb strength.
Set a weight that'll allow you to move smoothly, but not assist you too much. If you can do more than 12 reps, it's too easy and you need to lower the assistance weight to make it harder.
Do 2-3 sets of 4-10 reps per side. That'll be more than enough to have your upper body begging for mercy. These are best done toward the end of your workout.
Don't Be Closed Minded
I get it, your buddies will laugh at you if you suggest walking over to the assisted pull-up/dip machine. Show them these two exercises to change their minds. Or just do these on your own and watch your strength skyrocket past theirs.