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  1. #1
    Registered User thyce's Avatar
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    dumbbell bench press > barbell bench press?

    ive heard that chest wise, it goes dumbbells > barbell > smith/machines for bench press..

    is this true?

    the facts backing it up is dumbbells recruit more muscle fibers, use more stabilization muscles and have a greater ROM.. which sounds logical

    the thing i cant get my head around is, and this is most likely gonna sound really dumb..


    dumbbell bench is apparently better for building mass on chest, rather than say a barbell, yet the weights are lighter? e.g. i can bench 85kg with a barbell, yet max 28kg per dumbbell per arm, which is 56kg in total?

    the only thing i could thnk of with using more muscle fibres in your chest would that it would just develop a more full chest..?

    yet again, im sorry if this is dumb i just dont understand it, so could someone explain it please
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  2. #2
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    What "facts" do you speak of?

    The "stabilizers" used have nothing to do with the chester. They get used when form wobbles and the chest stops doing it's job.

    'More fibers' get recruited by pushing heavier weights, and doing it on a smith or with a barbell is going to have you doing that sooner than most dumbbells.

    As for RoM, it's valuable but can get over-rated. If you need more RoM than a barbell provides, something's probably wrong. Just how deep are people going with dumbbells that a barbell would stop?
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  3. #3
    DETERMINED1 firefox16's Avatar
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    another one of these threads? (sigh)
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  4. #4
    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Dumbbells allow for a more flexible ROm in general, not just with depth either.

    With barbells, the weight is just pushing your arms straight down, given that you have proper tension in your arms holding the bar up. With Dumbbells, the weight is pushing your arms out to the side, given that you have the proper tension.
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  5. #5
    Registered User thyce's Avatar
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    well, not facts but reasons then.. im not being incredibly literal im just saying haha

    and firefox16, if its just another thread dont comment? not needed

    so to conclude there isnt a whole lot of benefit apart from using dumbbells? apart from like less chance of injuries etc.. which type would be the best for chest growth then..? surely smith, as thats the way to use the most weight?
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    heavy strict Decline bench with a barbell hits my chest harder then any dumbell
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by thyce View Post
    well, not facts but reasons then.. im not being incredibly literal im just saying haha

    and firefox16, if its just another thread dont comment? not needed

    so to conclude there isnt a whole lot of benefit apart from using dumbbells? apart from like less chance of injuries etc.. which type would be the best for chest growth then..? surely smith, as thats the way to use the most weight?
    "The best" is a lie. Period.

    You will have the greater results with that which you focus on the hardest, work with the longest, and recover from the best.
    It isn't a race. If you look for shortcuts you'll be disappointed and/or injure yourself.

    Having said that, Here's a brief Pro/Con listing:

    Dumbbells:
    Pro: Hand position can be closer to parallel. This reduces stress on the shoulder for some.
    Pro: Ability to do a press which is also a pseudo fly movement. More work with less weight.
    Pro: No need for a power rack or spotter.
    Con: Less overall weight can be lifted typically compared to barbell.
    Con: Somewhat greater amount of effort involved getting into position to perform the lift.

    Barbell:
    Pro: Heavier weights can be lifted
    Pro: Ability to incorporate resistance bands to provide accommodating resistance (attach bands to barbell, as they stretch and you approach lockout the resistance provided is increased)
    Pro: Given the equipment necessities, it is typically easier to get into position and start performing he exercise than it is with dumbbells.
    Con: More equipment and/or spotter needed.
    Con: Restricted hand position unless specialty bars employed.

    I use both because I have the space to do so. I primarily lift with barbell as I enjoy strength training. I use dumbbells as a warm-up and on lighter, higher rep days.

    You can gain mass in your chest from both/either. Hell, you can do so with Push-ups, too (if you do them right).
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  8. #8
    The true Alpha Male Apollo 13's Avatar
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    Don't just think of sticking with dumbells. You should use both.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Curlingrack's Avatar
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    As far as strength goes, barbells are easier to micro-load for linear progression.
    Squats - 315lb
    Bench - 225lb
    OHP - 165lb
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by thyce View Post
    ive heard that chest wise, it goes dumbbells > barbell > smith/machines for bench press..

    is this true?

    the facts backing it up is dumbbells recruit more muscle fibers, use more stabilization muscles and have a greater ROM.. which sounds logical

    the thing i cant get my head around is, and this is most likely gonna sound really dumb..


    dumbbell bench is apparently better for building mass on chest, rather than say a barbell, yet the weights are lighter? e.g. i can bench 85kg with a barbell, yet max 28kg per dumbbell per arm, which is 56kg in total?

    the only thing i could thnk of with using more muscle fibres in your chest would that it would just develop a more full chest..?

    yet again, im sorry if this is dumb i just dont understand it, so could someone explain it please
    Dumbbells for sure. All uni lateral movements are better. When it comes to barbells, one side can be pulling more with strength.
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  11. #11
    Green Mountain Boy Vermonter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jblove53 View Post
    Dumbbells for sure. All uni lateral movements are better. When it comes to barbells, one side can be pulling more with strength.
    Not if you are using proper form and, you know, paying attention.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Jblove53's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Vermonter View Post
    Not if you are using proper form and, you know, paying attention.
    yea your right. You definitely have to be more strict.
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  13. #13
    Registered User thomasDB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by firefox16 View Post
    another one of these threads? (sigh)
    ^^ x2
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  14. #14
    Registered User GrapplerPower's Avatar
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    Well from what I have been around and experienced; Most people who think dumbbells are better either...

    A) Have horrible form with barbell bench
    B) Are embarrassed because they can't do much weight on barbell bench
    or C) Have "pains" when they barbell bench press

    To me, both barbell and dumbbell bench press should be used in your workouts. However, I think barbell bench press is a much better strength/power exercise for your chest...
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  15. #15
    Registered User Leonidas82's Avatar
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    i prefer dumbells because for some reason the barbell keeps blowing out my shoulders/rotator cuffs/not quite sures
    If the bar aint bending , your just pretending !
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by Vermonter View Post
    "The best" is a lie. Period.

    You will have the greater results with that which you focus on the hardest, work with the longest, and recover from the best.
    It isn't a race. If you look for shortcuts you'll be disappointed and/or injure yourself.

    Having said that, Here's a brief Pro/Con listing:

    Dumbbells:
    Pro: Hand position can be closer to parallel. This reduces stress on the shoulder for some.
    Pro: Ability to do a press which is also a pseudo fly movement. More work with less weight.
    Pro: No need for a power rack or spotter.
    Con: Less overall weight can be lifted typically compared to barbell.
    Con: Somewhat greater amount of effort involved getting into position to perform the lift.

    Barbell:
    Pro: Heavier weights can be lifted
    Pro: Ability to incorporate resistance bands to provide accommodating resistance (attach bands to barbell, as they stretch and you approach lockout the resistance provided is increased)
    Pro: Given the equipment necessities, it is typically easier to get into position and start performing he exercise than it is with dumbbells.
    Con: More equipment and/or spotter needed.
    Con: Restricted hand position unless specialty bars employed.

    I use both because I have the space to do so. I primarily lift with barbell as I enjoy strength training. I use dumbbells as a warm-up and on lighter, higher rep days.

    You can gain mass in your chest from both/either. Hell, you can do so with Push-ups, too (if you do them right).

    thank you for the information i appreciate the effort and thats helped quite a lot with my decision

    and thanks everyone whos replied, i feel i may start doing both, barbell first though as it would require more effort/more weight and then do dumbbells after to burn it out a bit more

    or possibly turn to dumbbells if barbells start hurting my shoulders again, which they did before cos i have a lot of issues as i have very short arms, etc ahaha
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  17. #17
    Objective optimist Xuaxace's Avatar
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    My gym only goes to 110lb. How am I supposed to progress past that point?
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by GrapplerPower View Post
    Well from what I have been around and experienced; Most people who think dumbbells are better either...

    A) Have horrible form with barbell bench
    B) Are embarrassed because they can't do much weight on barbell bench
    or C) Have "pains" when they barbell bench press
    It's not your fault. You just don't have much experience yet at 19.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by Xuaxace View Post
    My gym only goes to 110lb. How am I supposed to progress past that point?
    My gym stops at 100lb dumbells...

    Being that I am working with those now, I am starting to worry about a lack of progression beyond that!


    Oh yea, our bench is the squat rack.. so, that gets a bit... yea.. you get where I am going here.
    --
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  20. #20
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    If you want to isolate chest as much as possible - the Smith machine is your friend, since you are literally just pushing the weight, usually with palms open. And that's why you can Smith-bench way more than any other exercise.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by thyce View Post
    and firefox16, if its just another thread dont comment? not needed
    how bout you just learn to use the search function!!! this thread is not needed...

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...ll+bench+press

    the list goes on.....and on....and on...hundreds of people and their moms have made threads on this topic
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by ThickAsABrick View Post
    It's not your fault. You just don't have much experience yet at 19.
    Well to be honest here is how I look at the situation. Strength and progression in your chest in measured my bench press. Granted it can be measured in many other ways as well. But saying that you think dumbbell bench press is better than barbell is like me saying dumbbell squats are better than barbell squats. Everyone has there preference of exercises that work for them. But the majority of people who like dumbbell bench press better have a crappy barbell press. Just saying...

    People who have amazing form and can push a ton of weight in barbell bench press will like that.

    People who do better with dumbbells will like that better.

    Naturally we tend to like the exercise that we can push more weight with...
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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by firefox16 View Post
    how bout you just learn to use the search function!!! this thread is not needed...


    the list goes on.....and on....and on...hundreds of people and their moms have made threads on this topic
    looked at a few of those briefly and seems none of them answered my questions about using more muscle fibers with dumbbells and about stabilization, whether either of them affected size? so i asked a question that was more tailored than what i wanted to know, and seems a lot of people were nice enough to inform me, whereas you just decided to leave a pointless comment..
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    The Raid ThickAsABrick's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrapplerPower View Post
    But the majority of people who like dumbbell bench press better have a crappy barbell press. Just saying...
    As stated previously, you clearly don't have much experience.

    Just sayin...
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    Registered User GrapplerPower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThickAsABrick View Post
    As stated previously, you clearly don't have much experience.

    Just sayin...
    Well then if you think dumbbell bench press is so much better, than what are your reasons behind it??? I would love to get your opinion on this...
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    I use DBs because my left shoulder is messed up, I can angle my hands a bit and feel no pain in my shoulder. I do agree that with a barbell you will have better strength gains and push more weight.
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    I mean its easy to sit here and tell people they don't have much experience and tell them that they're wrong. By the way if your going to quote one of my statements take the whole thing. You can make anyone sound bad by only taking a portion of what they say...
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    Yeah, ThickAsABrick you phaggot.

    It would give me astronomical pleasure to see him beat your AsS in a fight.
    bb.com, a place that turned Deadlift into a forearm isolation exercise

    and a place where 99% of 21 year olds have bad back and knees.
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    Originally Posted by thyce View Post

    1) or possibly turn to dumbbells if barbells start hurting my shoulders again, which they did before cos i have a lot of issues as i have very short arms, etc ahaha

    2) I use DBs because my left shoulder is messed up, I can angle my hands a bit and feel no pain in my shoulder. I do agree that with a barbell you will have better strength gains and push more weight.

    3) i prefer dumbells because for some reason the barbell keeps blowing out my shoulders/rotator cuffs/not quite sures
    Wow, 3 people just in this thread alone who just said they turn to dumbbell bench press when they feel "pains". And what do you know, that was one of the three reasons I stated in my original post. hmmm....
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    Originally Posted by GrapplerPower View Post
    By the way if your going to quote one of my statements take the whole thing.
    Anyone moving a good amount of weight on a DB press will be able to press a good amount on BB press. You don't magically get strong at one and stay super weak at another. Sure, some people may move a higher % of their BB 1RM with DBs vs. other people, but you get the point.

    There are enough examples of people using both DBs and BBs with results that debating which one is "best" for everyone is idiotic. People who have been around gyms a while don't do things like that. They know better.
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