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Bench Press Vs. Dumbell Press

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    Bench Press Vs. Dumbell Press






    Do to a recent (couple years ago) I have found that my bench press is more of a challenge. I prefer to stick with dumbells. Is there any difference in the way the muscle is developed with dumbells as opposed to the bench? Is one more effective then the other in working the chest? Do you guys have a preference?

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    IMO it's best to use some form of bb bench along with db's. with db's the muscles can't load share so you can end up shortchanging yourself in the long run if you use db's exclusively.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Dumbbells can be a bit tough logistically when you get up in weight. Barbells are easier to deal with a lot of weight. I think that is the main advantage. At my current gym, d-bells only go up to 150, so that is a problem, too. All that aside, I think there are things to be said for both exercises. I've always thought of Barbell work as my main mass work, and d-bells as kind of an accessory. Just my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Dumbbells can be a bit tough logistically when you get up in weight. Barbells are easier to deal with a lot of weight. I think that is the main advantage. At my current gym, d-bells only go up to 150, so that is a problem, too. All that aside, I think there are things to be said for both exercises. I've always thought of Barbell work as my main mass work, and d-bells as kind of an accessory. Just my 2 cents.
    Good stuff, and yea when I use db's I have to make sure I am using just under my max when I don't have someone to spot...which doesn't allow for fast progress. My right wrist healed at a slight angle to the left (when looking at the back of my hand) this means I can't get a full extension with my right arm on the bench, with db's its easier...

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    That makes sense.

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    DBs have an advantage of allowing a larger ROM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    DBs have an advantage of allowing a larger ROM.
    True, which I actually need for full extension with my right wrist. But here is a question, does the shape of your pec muscles have a better symmetry with the bench? Not really sure because I mostly use dbs, but I don't have "perfect" symmetry....

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxingorilla View Post
    Good stuff, and yea when I use db's I have to make sure I am using just under my max when I don't have someone to spot...which doesn't allow for fast progress. My right wrist healed at a slight angle to the left (when looking at the back of my hand) this means I can't get a full extension with my right arm on the bench, with db's its easier...
    i recently decided not to use a spotter, just for self motivation to get that damn bar up and not rely on help.

    but i have seen lots of people use the squat rack for a fail safe if you cant lift the bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Dumbbells can be a bit tough logistically when you get up in weight. Barbells are easier to deal with a lot of weight. I think that is the main advantage. At my current gym, d-bells only go up to 150, so that is a problem, too. All that aside, I think there are things to be said for both exercises. I've always thought of Barbell work as my main mass work, and d-bells as kind of an accessory. Just my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Dumbbells can be a bit tough logistically when you get up in weight. Barbells are easier to deal with a lot of weight. I think that is the main advantage.
    that is because with a barbell the muscles can load share. the muscles on the dominant side can help assist the weaker side, can't do that with db's..
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    yeah, power. I've never seen anyone except pros and semipros benching 250-300 with dumbells. You can do heavier weights with standard bench press olympic bar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Dumbbells can be a bit tough logistically when you get up in weight. Barbells are easier to deal with a lot of weight. I think that is the main advantage. At my current gym, d-bells only go up to 150, so that is a problem, too. All that aside, I think there are things to be said for both exercises. I've always thought of Barbell work as my main mass work, and d-bells as kind of an accessory. Just my 2 cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by boxingorilla View Post
    True, which I actually need for full extension with my right wrist. But here is a question, does the shape of your pec muscles have a better symmetry with the bench? Not really sure because I mostly use dbs, but I don't have "perfect" symmetry....
    genetics determines the shape of a muscle. diet and exercise only cause muscle cells to grow or shrink.

    the same goes for changing the angle at which an exercise is performed at. decline, incline and flat bench all work the exact same muscle groups the only thing that changes is the pattern of muscle fiber recruitment.
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxingorilla View Post
    Do to a recent (couple years ago) I have found that my bench press is more of a challenge. I prefer to stick with dumbells. Is there any difference in the way the muscle is developed with dumbells as opposed to the bench? Is one more effective then the other in working the chest? Do you guys have a preference?
    I prefer dumbbells for benching as I'm not the strongest animal in the gym and I hate to ask for spots. With dumbbells there's no reason. I have no problem kicking (or kneeing) the bells up to my shoulder and rolling back on the bench.

    Plus I have a sketchy shoulder and rotating my palms allows me to work around the iffy rotator or whatever is in there that's not feeling right all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by LAM View Post
    genetics determines the shape of a muscle. diet and exercise only cause muscle cells to grow or shrink.

    the same goes for changing the angle at which an exercise is performed at. decline, incline and flat bench all work the exact same muscle groups the only thing that changes is the pattern of muscle fiber recruitment.
    This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxingorilla View Post
    Is there any difference in the way the muscle is developed with dumbells as opposed to the bench? Is one more effective then the other in working the chest? Do you guys have a preference?
    I start with the heaviest weight on bench press at beginning of workout when I'm fresh, mainly because I work out at home without spotter. Then work down the sets to DB presses and inclines with less weight but get more ROM. Just like to hit from as many angles as possible. Purely preference tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablorivera View Post
    I start with the heaviest weight on bench press at beginning of workout when I'm fresh, mainly because I work out at home without spotter. Then work down the sets to DB presses and inclines with less weight but get more ROM. Just like to hit from as many angles as possible. Purely preference tho.
    in that situation it's best way to train at home alone. knock out heavy sets when energy levels are highest then do more reps. i did the same thing when I worked out a home by myself
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    I've found that using dumbells are easier on my shoulders. Also they build up the stabilizing muscles much more, which helps on the bench press. The dumbells allow a more natural movement arc and will let the pecs contract more at the top of the movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablorivera View Post
    I start with the heaviest weight on bench press at beginning of workout when I'm fresh, mainly because I work out at home without spotter. Then work down the sets to DB presses and inclines with less weight but get more ROM. Just like to hit from as many angles as possible. Purely preference tho.
    Thats a good idea. Thanks

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    I personally do DB bench more often than BB bench because I hate being social at the gym. I try to avoid speaking to anyone if neccisary and sometimes if I see someone I know benching I'll ask to bench with them just to mix up my routine. Also DB's I don't really need a spotter as opposed to BB.

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    start out with bench and heavy for me

    And use squat rack or power rack if no spotter also use chain and or bands really makes a difference then bang out some db sets
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    Quote Originally Posted by superted View Post
    start out with bench and heavy for me

    And use squat rack or power rack if no spotter also use chain and or bands really makes a difference then bang out some db sets
    do u mean to hold the weight of dbs? i think thats a great idea never seen them before. but iam old school of thinking. i just kick the dbs up to my chest, except the 150s i get 2 spotters. if anybody goes high weight i would not kick the dbs up to your chest due to injury from alot of muscles could happen. but will the chains , bands hold the 150, and up? thnx for the info superted.


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    A major difference in the two types of weights would be that you use more stabilizer muscles when you use db. Also, you are guaranteeing that you are pushing the same amount of weight and force with both sides, where as when you use a bb you may favor one side more...

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    A little of both for me, I work out at home as well, and there isnt always a spotter to help me with BB. Thats when I use DB, but I also workout on concrete so I dont risk impaling my hardwood floors.

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    The way it works best for me is doing barbell benches or inclines first. Then, before you go to flyes, do a couple of sets of dumbells at a weight you can do for about 12 reps. Make sure you go slow and feel the movement. It is a great finisher before you go to flyes.
    I do a four days on, one to two days off workout routine. I alternate flats and inclines with each new 4 day regimen. It is really working well.

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    Everyone is unique so their bodies respond differently. My experience has been that db's have helped me tremendously in increasing my bb max. They allow me to obtain a greater ROM and still lift heavy. The db's have been a great tool for me.

    Your results may differ so give the db's a 3-4 week cycle and see where it takes you before you decide.

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    Yep, DBs definitely allow for a greater range of motion. If you struggle getting the weight off your chest, they're a good way to bring up that weakness.

    I also like them because it's easy to learn and master good pressing form using them. For me it's difficult to tuck the elbows when using a barbell. With DBs I can really focus on breaking at the elbows, activating the triceps, and moving the weight along the proper path.

    Maybe that's just an excuse and my setup sucks, but I've found it helps.

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    I much prefer DB's, but the problem I start to face is getting the 100+lb DBs off the rack and over to the bench without f'n up my back like I did the other day.

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    dumbell pressing is superior to barbell pressing! anyone who tells you otherwize is wrong!

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    i use both db and bb in my routine i alternate between the 2... 1month db and next month bb in all lifts, as in flat, incline, decline etc.. i do find that with db you get greater rom and also a better contraction. Aslo you can change the way your palms face to hit different angles...I seem to find that db also help with gaining strength on bb press if im stuck on a certain weight i hit db press for month and bang i go up a wight in bb press of course this works for me but not all....

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtbmed View Post
    it's easy to learn and master good pressing form using them. For me it's difficult to tuck the elbows when using a barbell.
    the mechanics of the db and bb press are quite different that's why there really isn't any carry over from one to the other
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