After training pull-ups, chin-ups and dips for a while I started adding weights(slowly with the same amount of set and reps). My weight is ~86kg and I currently add ~12kg using backpack, and do 5 sets of pull-ups or chin-ups (15, 14, 13, 12, 11) and 5 sets of dips (12reps) in 1 training session.

I know that if my goal were building muscles I would better add more weight and make less reps. But is it healthy to suddenly add more weight and isn't it harmful for spine?

2 Answers 2


If it's harmful for the spine, it will let you know in the form of pain or exhaustion.

Since you're working with weights less than 100kg, there generally isn't much reason to believe that your back can't handle it. Adding 12kg to 86kg isn't a drastic change. Your skeleton has already handled weight on this order for a long time already.

If you're able to do the reps, it's safe to say your back is up to the task.

I assume here, that you're not going from bodyweight to adding weight in huge increments.

  • what would be suggested further weight and reps changes?
    – Herokiller
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 12:28
  • @Herokiller - Sorry for the late reply. I must have forgotten or overlooked it. For weighted pullups and dips, I'd do no more than 8 reps per set. These exercises are great for building lean muscle mass, and if you're able to slap on some weight and do 12+, you should likely be adding more weight and instead go down to 8 reps. For dips in particular, you could go for a pump, and do 12-15 reps without locking out. Locking out depends solely on your triceps, and by taking them mostly out of the equation, you can get a good few more reps in, which thoroughly demolishes your lats and lower chest.
    – Alec
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 12:33

To build muscle, it is best to do a variety of repetitions. There is no magic number at which your spine will be hurting (especially as biomechanics do not cause an injury). Try to do one session a week with heavier resistance and repetitions of 4-8, and on the other session with repetition from 8-12 or higher as you do now. This way you will build more volume more frequently hitting different muscle fibres.

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