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  1. #1
    Registered User Crusier's Avatar
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    Incline Bench: Barbell vs Dumbell

    When you do incline bench presses which do you prefer; barbell or dumbell? Why?
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  2. #2
    Bulk-ity Bulk medjen's Avatar
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    I like DBs. They're better on my shoulders. Haven't done BB bench or incline bench in quite awhile.
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  3. #3
    Registered User bigvin73's Avatar
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    DB's for me, I hate the angle of the fixed bar bench and I tend to end up with really sore shoulders working with a bar, not to mention I prefer the ROM and variety DB's give me.
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  4. #4
    Registered User sha11's Avatar
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    DBs are more comfortable for me.
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  5. #5
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Crusier View Post
    When you do incline bench presses which do you prefer; barbell or dumbell? Why?
    I use DBs and have for years, but that doesn't mean they are better for you. Some people seem to be suited more for BB presses (e.g. Arnold S), some for DBs.

    If I had to make a generalization, "stockier" people seem to gravitate toward DBs, "rangier" to BBs. But, that is still a generalization.

    Use what works.

    In all cases.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by bigvin73 View Post
    DB's for me, I hate the angle of the fixed bar bench and I tend to end up with really sore shoulders working with a bar, not to mention I prefer the ROM and variety DB's give me.

    This ^ is damn near exactly what I was gonna say !!!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Most Muscular's Avatar
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    I don't use either a lot lately... I tend to gravitate towards the Hammer Strength incline machine because I found that although I like dumbbells I can also tend to get hurt when trying to get them up by myself. I like the Hammer Strength machines because they tend to guide the pecs in the natural motion of how the pecs should press a weight. Barbells force a pushing movement when in reality the pecs are meant to bring the arms together, typical from what you would feel from a flye motion exercise. If fact, at times I feel flyes can be as an effective pec builder as presses themselves.

    Dumbbells can also be made to mimic this motion but as I said, I have floundered a few times with heavy dumbbells and at this point in my life I care less about how much weight I put on compared to trying to keep myself injury free.
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  8. #8
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    I like em both and freely switch out... Do what works best for you.
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  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by 2nd_chance View Post
    I like em both and freely switch out... Do what works best for you.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^I'm in that group at this point in the journey.
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  10. #10
    Do it or don't do it... tomdana's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by *STEVE* View Post
    This ^ is damn near exactly what I was gonna say !!!
    This ^ is damn near exactly what I was gonna say !!! I would only add that a shoulder injury has the bar furthest from my thoughts. I cannot even do the bar without pain, but am playing with the 100's on flat dbbp. I miss the bar a bit, but am starting to look for 110's
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  11. #11
    Registered User kevsworld's Avatar
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    I tend to do more dumbbell when it comes to incline. As the others have mentioned, seems easier on the shoulders. I also like the range of motion.

    Sometimes I do nothing but dumbbell for both flat bench and incline--seems to do better with training my chest.
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  12. #12
    Tingly like Beta-Alanine! alkemyst's Avatar
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    DB's...almost anytime I can use them I do. I feel I get greater range of motion, better overall strengthening and the ability to clear weights if I get stuck safer.

    My shoulders definitely feel it on a barbell time to time as well and that can't be good over time.

    The limiting factor for many is too many gyms cut off the dumbbells around 80lbs. My gym goes to the mid 100's with 5lbs for most of the way and a couple magnets for 2.5 and 5lbs available.
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  13. #13
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    I never have a spotter, so it's usually DB's or like MM says, Hammer Strength machine.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Most Muscular View Post
    I don't use either a lot lately... I tend to gravitate towards the Hammer Strength incline machine because I found that although I like dumbbells I can also tend to get hurt when trying to get them up by myself. I like the Hammer Strength machines because they tend to guide the pecs in the natural motion of how the pecs should press a weight. Barbells force a pushing movement when in reality the pecs are meant to bring the arms together, typical from what you would feel from a flye motion exercise. If fact, at times I feel flyes can be as an effective pec builder as presses themselves.

    Dumbbells can also be made to mimic this motion but as I said, I have floundered a few times with heavy dumbbells and at this point in my life I care less about how much weight I put on compared to trying to keep myself injury free.
    I only wish I could use the hammer strength machine, unfortunately they are not made with people as tall as me in mind they compress the holy **** out of my shoulders. As for the fly comment, it is funny my uncle is 78 now and competed for years, was well known around here for a huge chest and back, has always preached heavy flies for pec development over pressing movements. I sort of listen, while I do heavy flies, got 65s last night for 9, I should probably do more of them and less presses.(MM just confirmed it) My wing span is very large so it leave my shoulders a bit more vulnerable during presses, however, for some reason flies do not bother me at all. Even when I PLed in my younger days bench was so far behind my squat and DL that it held back any real shot I had at being a top shelf PLer, well that and I was so young I did not have enough commitment to the work or drive as I do now.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Klayfish's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Most Muscular View Post
    I don't use either a lot lately... I tend to gravitate towards the Hammer Strength incline machine because I found that although I like dumbbells I can also tend to get hurt when trying to get them up by myself. I like the Hammer Strength machines because they tend to guide the pecs in the natural motion of how the pecs should press a weight. Barbells force a pushing movement when in reality the pecs are meant to bring the arms together, typical from what you would feel from a flye motion exercise. If fact, at times I feel flyes can be as an effective pec builder as presses themselves.

    Dumbbells can also be made to mimic this motion but as I said, I have floundered a few times with heavy dumbbells and at this point in my life I care less about how much weight I put on compared to trying to keep myself injury free.
    Oh man, I am glad to hear you say that. I use dbs, my gym doesn't have a Hammer Strength incline machine. But I struggle to get the heavy dbs into place. I thought maybe it was just me. That said, I like them better than the bb. And I do flat flyes also in chest day...I actually feel the "squeeze" more when I do these than the db bench.
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  16. #16
    Registered User bigvin73's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Klayfish View Post
    Oh man, I am glad to hear you say that. I use dbs, my gym doesn't have a Hammer Strength incline machine. But I struggle to get the heavy dbs into place. I thought maybe it was just me. That said, I like them better than the bb. And I do flat flyes also in chest day...I actually feel the "squeeze" more when I do these than the db bench.
    I do heavy Db presses(130on inclines) what I do once I go to the 100's and anything over, I have someone hand me 1 of them up high after I put the first one up myself in my right arm. Takes all the pressure off getting them out of the hole.
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  17. #17
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    Thumbs up

    Do em all, mix it up every 4-6 weeks, do perfer DB myself, tend to help build core & stabalizer muscles

    Keeponpumpin RED !
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  18. #18
    Registered User Most Muscular's Avatar
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    Although I not a big fan of super setting I have also found that the best finishing exercise for me is doing moderate weight flyes with DB and super set them with DB presses. Many times your triceps will tend to give out during a pressing exercise before your stronger pec muscles do. By doing flyes first it prefatigues your pecs, which do not involve the triceps at all, and when you finish up with the presses the pecs will fail long before the triceps do.

    When I had a pinched nerve in my neck and lost most of the strength and size in my left tricep I could keep some of my chest strength and size maintained by doing only flyes since they did not really involve the triceps. As I mentioned in an earlier post the pec muscles are designed to bring the arms together and not to press weight away from the body like most presses have you doing. Working the muscle in the way the insertition points work can lead to better chest development IMHO.

    nuff said...
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  19. #19
    Registered User rnicholes's Avatar
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    I personally get a better pump from using a bar,I don't lock out at the top,but I am starting to get some discomfort in my right shoulder when I use the bar.So.I generally try to mix it up week-to-week.
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  20. #20
    CARLMAN ntrllftr's Avatar
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    The dumbells at my gym only go up to 85lbs.
    So, I'm pretty much forced to use the barbell for the most part.
    When I do drop sets (especially double drop sets) I like to drop down to dumbells the final stage.
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  21. #21
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    as other replied I mix mine up...

    barbell , dumbells or the hammer machine

    Generally I do barbells the most, however If my shoulders are even slightly sore I go right to db's or hammer machine...
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    I prefer Barbells. Incline Pressing is actually my favorite form of Benching.
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  23. #23
    Do it or don't do it... tomdana's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Klayfish View Post
    Oh man, I am glad to hear you say that. I use dbs, my gym doesn't have a Hammer Strength incline machine. But I struggle to get the heavy dbs into place. I thought maybe it was just me. That said, I like them better than the bb. And I do flat flyes also in chest day...I actually feel the "squeeze" more when I do these than the db bench.
    Look into power hooks. The only thing is you would tie up a rack for a bit and that may hit the "you know what I saw someone doing the rack today" threads. I am lucky and have my own. There is no way with my bad shoulder that I could get the 100's into place, I almost hurt myself getting them on my knees for db seated calf raises The hooks make it a lot easier on the shoulders and core.
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  24. #24
    Registered User silverlightning's Avatar
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    i started with barbell at the Y, but moved to dumbell when i started at 24 hour fitness. i can't remember if i did any dumbell work prior to that. db give me a great muscle stimulation on chest. wide grip hammer strength is great also
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by Most Muscular View Post
    When I had a pinched nerve in my neck and lost most of the strength and size in my left tricep I could keep some of my chest strength and size maintained by doing only flyes since they did not really involve the triceps. As I mentioned in an earlier post the pec muscles are designed to bring the arms together and not to press weight away from the body like most presses have you doing. Working the muscle in the way the insertition points work can lead to better chest development IMHO.

    nuff said...

    I was completely unaware of that , I actually thought the pecs were for "pushing".

    It makes sense though. Ive always done some sort of fly ( usually db or pec dec ) ... will have to add more flies in and see what happens !

    Ive been doing incline DB flies in my routine to bring up my upper chest after I do flat and incline DB press ... any suggestiong to help me with that ??? Im all ears !!!




    edit : tried to rep ya MM , have to get you tomorrow
    Last edited by *STEVE*; 02-24-2010 at 11:57 PM.
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    Originally Posted by bigvin73 View Post
    I do heavy Db presses(130on inclines) what I do once I go to the 100's and anything over, I have someone hand me 1 of them up high after I put the first one up myself in my right arm. Takes all the pressure off getting them out of the hole.
    Man...I WISH my Gym had Dumbells that heavy....I've been having to use 80's and have been strapping 10 and 25lb plates to them ("where there's a will"... ).....needless to say:

    Dumbells all the way for me.
    Last edited by CP3102435; 02-25-2010 at 04:38 AM.
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    Originally Posted by CP3102435 View Post
    Man...I WISH my Gym had Dumbells that heavy....I've been having to use 80's and have been strapping 10 and 25lb plates to them ("where there's a will"... ).....needless to say:

    Dumbells all the way for me.
    I used to work out with PLers and one of them(an old timer) had his own DB made up and in his bag, he would use plates on it and do presses 1 arm with a metric fckton of weight. That was many moons ago in a gym far far away, I miss that gym could use all the chalk you wanted and scream as loud as you can........
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