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dumbell bench vs barbell

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:15 am
by Jeff D
Ive been a barbell loyalist you could say over the last god i dont know...2 years when it comes to benching. However a few days ago i decided to go with the dumbells. When finished i looked in the mirror and to my surprise i looked like the Incredible Hulk! (ok, well, minus 150lbs of muscle and the green color). Ive never looked as big as i did at that pont. Are dumbells really that much superior, or do you do think it was just do to the fact that it was something different? Also, ive read that dumbells dont necessarily have a direct correlation to what you use on the barbell..i.e just because you can use 2 150lb dumbells doesnt mean you can bench 300 on a barbell. However, i also read a dave tate article (talking about louie simmons stuff) saying that doing dumbell presses will improve your bottom strength with the barbell...is this true? The strange thing to me is that he was talking about doing high rep sets of 12-20....doesnt that go against the low reps for strength thought?

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:44 am
by TimD
Hi Jeff. LOL, I sometimes wish I had the green color. I think, that the difference you saw, was due to the fact that the DB's gave you a fuller range of movement, getting blood into the chest area. Personally, I never benched with a bar until my first PL contest in 1968, I only did dips between chairs, and worked alot on the P bars. To my surprize, I did 275 weighing 138. Now, to the question, I do not believe any apparatus is superior to another, I just think you should get a good mix of everything. Just my .02
Tim

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:59 am
by Matt Z
Actually, if you can do 150 lb dumbbells then you probably can handle a 300 lb barbell. However, the oposite isn't neccessarilly true, since you can generally lift more with a barbell.

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:04 am
by Matt Z
As I'm sure I've mensioned before, I feel that, although barbell and dumbbell presses are both compound movements, dumbbell presses are more pectoral specific, while barbell presses include more front delt and triceps involvement.

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:18 am
by Jeff D
Im gonna go with dumbells for a little while...since i havent done them in SO long i'll probably make very fast progress with them. I also do feel it more in my chest. However, do you guys think if i went with strictly dumbells for like a month my barbell bench wont go anywhere or even down any? Thats what i meant when asking about the relationship between the 2. Will going up in dumbells also increase your barbell bench at the same time...

Barbell vs Dumbell

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:04 pm
by Keith Rowland
During my dyoderm days, I used to drop most of the barbell work and focus on details with dumbells and the cross-over pully station. It was also as way to avoid precontest injuries as you were getting lighter. During the off-season, though, I'd load most of the weight on a bar and occasionally use heavy "tinkertoys" (dumbells) for that extra stretch. The equasion is fairly simple and timeless for building muscle: More weight=more load=more muscle fibers. Squats, power cleans, deadlifts, heavy benching and rowing: this is where you lay the foundation. I believe dumbell work is best for light days or as an addition to barbell work on heavy days, depending on your split.

Sorry - it's a male trait

Posted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:17 pm
by Keith Rowland
My wife says I never answer the question, and I'm guilty of doing that on the subject at hand. I believe the best way to increase your bench is to keep putting more weight on the bar and have a spotter make you do several forced reps. Sooner or later, your spotter will be distracted by a female gym member and not assist you. Your bench will then increase. I have tried this method with much success.