Bench press: dumbells vs. barbell

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  • Bench press: dumbells vs. barbell
  • Premier Icon sadexpunk

    dont think it makes toooo much difference, just as long as you work with a fair bit of volume, half decent workout plan and eat to maximise your goals. diets the key, weights help tho.


    People tend to lift a barbell with an un-natural elbows out stance which can put strain on the elbows. Keep a narrow grip, elbows close to the body and don’t let your upper arms go past parallel with the ground and you’ll be fine.


    There’s good arguements for either, so I’m personally not convinced one is necessarily ‘better’ than the other

    The biggest thing to focus on is correct form/technique


    Facts is; if its easy it ain’t working. Dumb bells allow a more focused isolation move whereas an Olympic bar gets more muscles working at the same time hence why you find it harder.
    If you’re doing it right it should NEVER get easy. Increase weight and mix it up when it does.

    Keep to big moves first ie squats, dead lifts, bench presses and pull ups. Then do your isolation stuff after. It will hurt more but will stimulate test’ production and more growth.

    Add more weight and reduce reps for strength and vice versa or endurance. Or 6 weeks of each and you’ll see big increases.

    Premier Icon simonbowns

    a bit of both, variation is always good.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk

    spose the main question is…..whats your goal? size, strength, endurance etc


    Tend to use dumbbells for this sort of this sort of thing myself. Seem to recall reading something about their conferring some arcane physiological advantage over a barbell. Is there anything in this, or is it a pile of gash?

    In practical terms, dumbbells do let me work without someone to spot. However, I’m beginning to think that a barbell might be easier to achieve progress with, as it would allow me to add smaller increments more often (cast dumbbells only in my gym, going up in 2 kg increments).


    Dumbells can be better for beginners as they cannot compensate for their weak side with their strong side. When all is equal they move onto barbells, which will get you strong very quickly.


    I prefer a bar as it feels as though its less strain on my duff shoulder. Dumbells seems to incorporate more core muscles (to stop me waving them around), I lift heavier with a bar.


    I find that the dumbells I bought thinking I would use them to bench press at home fit nicely in the shed, whereaas the barbell I bought takes up a lot of room in the garden and look a mess

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