For seated dips, people usually push right back up only milliseconds after lowering into the dip position.

Instead, hold the dip position for a 2-count: “One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand.” If your counting is fast, go for a 3-count.

Adjust your body position so that achieving 8-12 repetitions takes you to muscle failure. Don’t go through the motions. Figure out how you must position your body in order to reach failure.

Here is how an 8-12 rep max with dips feels like: The first rep is challenging. Right off the bat you can tell that it won’t be long before you can no longer push yourself up.

As you continue, you are forced to pay very close attention to breathing and are not able to bounce through the set.

You begin feeling that after you lower, you won’t be able to push back up. You feel like grunting on your last two or three reps. You barely squeeze out that last rep.

How do you adjust body position, then? The easiest way to do seated dips is to place hands on a platform that isn’t that far off the floor. Feet are placed on floor, legs bent.

However, a beginner can do dips off of a standard weightlifting bench, with bent legs.

Experiment because leg positioning determines resistance load. Straighter legs increase load. Elevated feet increase load.

If you cannot achieve an 8-12 rep max with your feet on the floor, it’s time to get that second bench (or stool).

Do not lock out knees if your feet are elevated. If your toes are pointed towards the ceiling, make sure your legs are almost straight, but not locked out.

Do four sets of 8-12 rep maxes (after warming up if this is your first routine of the session). Make sure that this routine comes after any kind of chest pressing, and not before, since chest pressing recruits the triceps.

Follow these guidelines for perfect dipping and watch your triceps grow!

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.