When it comes to increasing your bench press, there are a lot of different factors to consider. Some people might tell you that using barbells is the only way to go, while others might swear by the benefits of using dumbbells. So which is better? And more importantly, how do you figure out how much weight you can bench press with each type of equipment? In this article, we will break it all down for you and help you make the best decision for your individual lifting needs!
How Much Should I Be Able To Bench Press Based On My Dumbbell Press?
Your bench press should be about 125-150% of your dumbbell press. So, if you can dumbbell press 100 pounds (50lbs each arm), you should be able to bench press around 125-150 pounds. This is just a general guideline, and there are many factors that contribute to how much you’re able to bench press (including muscle size, joint flexibility, and lifting experience). But this simple calculation can give you a good starting point.
So does that mean if you can dumbbell press 100lb dumbbells to go out and barbell press 150lbs off the bat. Absolutely not start at around your dumbbell max or a little less then work your way up in 5-10 lbs increments. Also make sure you have a spotter or at least your power rack safety bars setup correctly. Another tip when maxing out by yourself is to not put the clamps on the weights. So if you get into trouble you can tip to one side then the weights will come off then the other side.
Convert Your Dumbbell Press To Barbell Press
There isn’t an exact conversion calculator for this scenario so you need to start lighter than you think and work your way up to that max still.
Dumbbells and barbell bench press are two distinct exercises, but you’ll almost always be able to lift more with the barbell bench press. This is due to the fact that you’re not balancing two different weights when performing a chest press; rather, you’re stabilizing one weight while your body works together to stabilize another, resulting in greater balance and power behind the push.
I’ve seen individuals who can bench press 300 pounds but struggle to pick up 100 pounds of dumbbells during their press. If you only do dumbbell presses, you should combine in a bench press at some point, even if it’s just for a set or two.
The majority of people begin with a barbell flat bench press, either pyramid training or 5 sets of 10 reps. After that, they may progress to dumbbell chest exercises like incline dumbbell press, fly’s, and pullovers before adding weighted dips to their routine. However, you may hit a plateau at some point; when this happens, it’s time to switch things up by trying dumbbell flat presses first, followed by barbell incline press and decline press.
If you’ve done barbell presses before, start with your best on dumbbells; when they’re used together, the pecs can press more than when they work alone. This is a proven fact: If you are hesitant, make sure you have a spotter or perhaps even utilize the Smith machine, which still won’t compare to a barbell press.
Dumbbell To Barbell Bench Press Conversion Calculator:
Dumbbell Press Max = DPM
Barbell Press Max = BPM
DPM * 150% = BPM
Average Dumbbell Bench Press To Barbell Press Calculations:
We didn’t want you to just take our word for it on this matter so we went out and researched what other average to pro weightlifters had to say on this. We went to everywhere from weightlifting sub reddits, to forums, to even facebook lifting groups to get this information. These opinions were curated from these sites so nothing has been changed except any grammar to make readable. These guys talk about the actual calculations and also what they think is best.
- Athlete1010 – “Average: 0.363 (So if you use 50s for DB this would convert to ~138 for BB) Standard Deviation: 0.04367 Variance: 0.00191. So with a terrible sample size, about 98% of people have a ratio between and 0.28 and 0.45
- Celticpred – “As others have said, different movements and muscle involvement. I can do 4×8 w/80 dbs but bb is only like 165, I just feel less comfy with bb and it’s a mental stick for me.
- CactusNips – “This might be a positioning issue. Also you dont really need a spotter for DB to failure but definitely do for BB. Dumbbells kinda force you to activate the right muscles, meanwhile it can be easy for the shoulders to take over in BB.”
- Pmward – “Strength is specific. There is no correlation that can be drawn between db and barbell bench. They are 2 different movements. If you haven’t barbell benched in awhile, your skill in barbell benching will be your limiting factor at first, not your strength. I would just go in and warm up by adding weight to the bar slowly until you find a good working weight. It’s futile trying to calculate your bb bench in advance based off of your db bench.”
- V_crustacean – “I’ve heard it’s dumbbell weight x 2 + 30, but I’d say work your way up from your dumbbell weight and work on form. I think dumbbell presses put emphasis on stabilizers so your barbell weight is typically higher but you could treat it as deloading”
- Roger_191 “I always thought my dumbbell bench was really weak compared to my barbell bench. I can bench 90kg / 198lbs x 6 with a barbell but only around 33kg / 73lbs with dumbbells for the same amount of reps. Then I realized I was comparing myself to other people in the gym who only do half reps. People rarely do full rom with dumbbells.”
- Gianmk – “i can do 55 lbs 3×5 with dumbell, however i struggle to do 110 lbs on a barbell. I think this is because i havent got the technique to do barbell yet.”
- FodderFries – “whichever lift you spend more time refining technique and working on it will be the better of the two. my dumbell press is 25kg(55lbs) an arm and my Barbell Bench is 70kg(154lbs) including the weight of the bar. for both these numbers I can do around 3-5 reps before I hit failure. I’m still pretty novice when it comes to both and I havent hit a plateau in progressive overload so I’m sure those numbers will increase in a few months.
- Welcome_Sandy “If you want to make the most progress in a particular lift, you should do that lift. That being said, getting stronger in dbell press will help your barbell bench. It’s the same muscle group. But there are differences in stabilization, so you shouldn’t totally neglect barbell.”
- Smocklock “Absolutely. 43 and my current bench is 405, I’m shooting for 5 plates. I had a few injury setbacks last year, and found that adding in incline dumbbell press really has helped break my plateau. A few years ago on my way up to 4 plates, I took about 1 month and did primarily dumbbell work. When I.went back to straight bar, I had gone up almost 50 lbs, probably thanks to a stronger core and stabilizer muscles.”
- Jjcbalak “Dumbbell pressing will help because it will actually work on stabilizers for each arm rather than using your chest stabilizers. Once those stabilizers are up to par, you’ll start advancing much more quickly. Source: from my personal experience with benching and also squats (legs would shake for weeks until they eventually stopped, then my squat amount was starting to go up quicker.”
- Weighter_151 “It’s the opposite for me, OP. Whenever my barbel bench press goes up, my dumbell bench press follows. But if my dumbell bench press goes up, it’s not guaranteed that my barbell bench press will go up as well, in fact, it doesn’t at all. I suggest that you do the barbell first and the dumbell second, if you goal is maximized progressive overload on both moves. Everyone is different though, so check what works best for you.
- Kylelikesmorgan “I was doing bench press for a couple of years until my whole body’s form finally kicked into gear (elbows not flared, lats tight, shoulders down, lower body right & braced, Drive-In through the heels while keeping the butt down) and then I started moving weight like crazy. Db press didn’t help with that, but now that everything is firing like it should every single time, my db press has increased quite a bit, and, as others have said, I get way more noticeable peck activation than with barbell. So keep benching to increase your bench, but it’s not just about pushing the bar off your chest, it’s seriously a full body effort. And once you crack that code (seriously for me it was one day and since then it’s been magic) your strength will follow suit. All that to say, do db presses, they’re excellent, and soon enough you’ll crack the code. Keep it up!”
- MalakElohim “Source: I dumbbell bench 2x45kg dumbbells for 3 sets of 10 and am going up to 2x50kg next week (roughly 220lbs total) As someone who is waiting until tax time to get a proper rack to do barbell bench, you can definitely gain with dumbbells. Double progression is your friend with the dumbbells because you’ll be going up at 5kg/10lb intervals rather than the normal 2.5kg/5lb for bench. Due to the difficulty of getting heavier dumbbells up into position, a large rep size makes your increases easier. So try for 8-10 reps. Because 8 reps at 5kg heavier is a small step up from 10 reps so you don’t fail but still increase in strength. I’ve gone from 15kg dumbbells to 45kg with this, following essentially the r/fitness beginner program. And my chest and shoulders look amazing compared to what they were.
- AccelertatorPrime “Dumbbells have significantly greater ROM and your muscles will be under constant tension during the entire press. You also can’t cheat in a dumbbell bench press by doing things like bouncing the weight off your chest. From what i’ve learnt I feel that the barbell bench press is highly overrated and really the only benefit it has over the dumbbell bench press is that you can go with higher weights.
Dumbbell To Barbell Chest Press Related Questions
Can You Bench More With Dumbbell Or Barbell?
You can usually bench press more weight with a barbell than you can with dumbbells. This is because both of your pectoral muscles are pushing one weight, while with dumbbells you are lifting each independently. Also, generally speaking, you have to lift dumbbells off the ground before starting your set, where as a barbell will already be on an elevated rack.
What Weight Should I start Bench Pressing?
This is a tough question to answer with too many variables, but there’s an easy place to start: use the barbell (45 pounds) for 10-20 reps, then increase by 10 pounds at a time until you reach 8-10 repetitions.
Are Dumbbells Harder To Bench?
Dumbbells are more difficult to bench press because you must use two stabilizing weights independently, as opposed to just one with a barbell.
Should I Do Dumbbell Press And Bench Press?
Yes, you should alternate between dumbbell presses and barbell bench presses. This will help your overall strength improve while also allowing you to break through plateaus when required. It’s great to keep using just dumbbells until you hit a plateau, then switch to barbell pushdowns.
How Much Should I Be Able To Dumbbell Bench Press In Pounds?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the amount of weight you can dumbbell bench press in pounds will depend on your strength, Size and fitness level. However, as a general guide, most people should be able to dumbbell bench press about 50% of their body weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be able to press a 100-pound dumbbell.
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry if you can’t reach this target immediately. Just focus on gradually increasing the amount of weight you can lift over time. And always consult with a certified personal trainer or coach before attempting any new exercises to ensure you are using proper form and technique.
When trying to increase the amount of weight you can dumbbell bench press, it’s important to focus on both your chest and back muscles. This will help ensure that you are using proper form and technique, and also help prevent injury. In addition to working on your strength, make sure to focus on your flexibility as well. This will help you maintain proper form and technique when lifting heavier weights.
If you are having trouble increasing the amount of weight you can dumbbell bench press, there are a few things you can try. First, make sure that you are using proper form and technique. If you are still having trouble, consult with a certified personal trainer or coach to help.
Does Bench Press Work Biceps?
Bench press does work your biceps, but to a lesser degree than other exercises like curls. The bench press primarily works your chest, shoulders and triceps. However, the biceps are still recruited to a certain extent to help stabilize the weight as you lift it. If you’re looking to give your biceps a more significant workout, consider doing some curls in addition to the bench press.
How Low Should I Go In The Dumbbell Bench Press?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on your individual anatomy and range of motion. However, as a general rule, you should try to go as low as possible while still maintaining good form.
If you’re able to lower the weight all the way down to your chest, then great! If not, go as low as you can without compromising your technique. Remember to keep your core engaged and press the weight back up smoothly.
How Should I Dumbbell Bench Press To Minimize Shoulder Pain?
There are a few things you can do to help minimize shoulder pain while performing dumbbell bench presses. First, be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement. Secondly, use a moderate weight – going too heavy can put unnecessary stress on your joints and muscles, which can lead to pain.
Finally, pay attention to your form and technique – both of these play a big role in how much stress is placed on your body during the exercise. If you find that you’re still experiencing pain, consult with a certified personal trainer or other fitness professional who can help you troubleshoot the issue.
How Heavy Should I Lift During The Dumbbell Bench Press?
So, you’re looking to add some muscle and strength with the dumbbell bench press? Here’s what you need to know.
How heavy you lift during the dumbbell bench press will depend on your personal goals. Are you looking to build size? Strength? Both?
If your goal is increased size, then you’ll want to focus on using a heavier weight and lower reps. For example, 4 sets of 6-8 reps with a 90 second break between sets.
If your goal is increased strength, then you’ll want to focus on using a moderate weight and higher reps. For example, 4 sets of 10-12 reps with a 60 second break between sets.
Is 40lb Dumbbell Press Good?
If you’re looking to improve your strength and size, then yes, 40lb dumbbell presses are definitely good! In fact, they can be great for helping you reach your goals.
Dumbbell presses allow you to target your muscles more specifically than barbell exercises, making them ideal for isolating specific muscle groups. Plus, they’re relatively easy to learn and perform.
When performing dumbbell presses, be sure to use a weight that challenging but doable for you. If the weight is too light, you won’t see any gains. If it’s too heavy, you could risk injury. Start with a moderate weight and increase it gradually as you get stronger.
40lb dumbbell presses are a great way to build strength and size. Be sure to use a weight that is challenging but doable for you, and focus on form and technique. If you find that the weight is too heavy or you’re experiencing pain, consult with a certified personal trainer or other fitness professional.
Is Benching 90lb Dumbbells Good?
It depends on your goals and how long you’ve been weight training. If you’re a beginner, then no, it’s not that good because you need to lift heavier weights in order to challenge your muscles and create the stimulus for growth.
But if you’ve been weight training for a while and are looking to increase your strength, then benching 90lb dumbbells is a good starting point. Remember that it’s important to work across a variety of weight ranges in order to maximize muscle growth.
Lifting 45lb dumbbells for bench is not a bad place to start if you weight around 180lbs and are doing 8-10 reps with them. If 90lbs is your max then look at this way it will be easy to make new PR’s (personal records) for weeks to come as you improve upon this.
Is Benching Dumbbells Harder Than Bar?
No, benching dumbbells is not harder than bar. In fact, I would argue that it is actually easier to bench with dumbbells because you have more control over the weight. When you are benching with a bar, the weight is distributed evenly across your body.
However, when you are holding dumbbells, you can adjust the amount of weight in each hand to match your strength levels. Additionally, using dumbbells also allows you to focus on each side of your body independently, which can help to correct any imbalances that you may have.
Why Can I Bench Less With Dumbbells?
When it comes to the bench press, a lot of people think that using two dumbbells is automatically going to be harder than using a single barbell. And while this may be true for some exercises, the bench press is not one of them. In fact, when done properly, you should be able to lift more weight with two dumbbells than you can with a barbell.
The reason for this is because when using a barbell, you have to keep your elbows in close to your body and tuck your chin so that the bar can move smoothly up and down. But when using dumbbells, you can flare your elbows out and position your hands wider on the bells so that they are in line with shoulders.
When it comes to the bench press, there are a lot of different opinions on whether using dumbbells or barbells is better. But the truth is that both have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the best option really depends on your individual goals and training experience.
=>If you’re a beginner, then I would recommend starting with a barbell so that you can learn the proper form and technique. Once you’ve mastered this, you can then start experimenting with dumbbells.
=>However, if you’ve been weight training for a while and are looking to increase your strength, then benching 90lb dumbbells is a good starting point. Remember that it’s important to work across a variety of weight ranges in order to maximize muscle growth.