dumbbells or barbells?
- 12-26-2003, 10:47 PM
- 12-26-2003, 11:49 PM
I find that I am able to exert much greater concentration and place much more of the impact on my pecs with db's rather than a barbell, improving isolation, range of motion (especially with the incline press movement) and fatigue, etc... so I would say yes to the second question as well, incline presses give your chest a much more dramatic, less "slopey" appearance and really help give the whole front of your physique a "completed" look, as if you actually bodybuild rather than act like a "curl and press" pansy.
- 12-27-2003, 12:04 AM
Incline movements will definely work on the upper part of the chest, decline on the lower. I would mix it up.. one week do movements with dumbells and the next with barbell..
12-27-2003, 09:39 AM
The one perception a lot of people have who's just starting off is that barbell is more for overall mass and thickness, while dumbbell is to cut up the muscles and make oneself leaner. (ha).... yea ok.....
The question of DB vs BB is debatable and i would lean towards an answer of "its up to the individual's presence and comfort in choosing one over the other". I second the notion that DB gives myself personally, a feeling of better contraction. Also, when lifting the last rep or two, i feel a lot of people (myself too), lose strictness in their form more so using BB presses, than DB. But remember, you body adapts to the exercises you do and if you're doing one exercise, on one angle, on everyday you train a specific bodypart, you're just asking for adaptation. So vary it up with db and bb, as well as the angles and types of exercises.
12-27-2003, 09:46 AM
I too prefer dumbbells personally for all pressing movements. I used to use barbells exclusively for chest exercises, and found that I was seeing very little in the way of gains in my chest, as barbell pressing for me tends to only hit my front delts and triceps exclusively. It was getting to the point where my chest was lagging quite a bit, and still does now somewhat, I'll likely be playing catchup for a long time yet.
I find it way easier to make the proper mind/muscle connection with dumbbells, and find that they are much easier on my shoulders as well. I've switched to dumbbells for all my pressing exercises exclusively, and have no intentions of switching back to barbell pressing.
12-27-2003, 09:49 AM
The only complain I have with DB is getting them into position to do a press. As you move up in weight in gets harder and harder to swing/knee bump them into place, at least that is with me
01-02-2004, 09:33 PM
Variation is nice. Inclines work the pec minor while declines work the pec major the best. Flat bench isn't as efficient for chest development.
01-25-2004, 08:34 PM
I've heard that it is good to switch it up from time to time.
01-26-2004, 01:03 PM
I use DB's for flat bench and BB for incline press. I think I would switch this up but I workout alone usually, so (as Matt said) it's harder to get those DB's up into position for inclne. In general though, I'd say I prefer DB's.
01-26-2004, 01:47 PM
absolutely. not just dumbells vs barbells. But always keep variation an open option with the angles of your exercises, rep and set schemes, choice of exercises, splits, priority training, etc. The human body is a scary thing bro... its adaptation awareness is pretty damn amazing. So why would someone stick to one constant workout?Originally Posted by pegasus
01-26-2004, 11:32 PM
I dont even think the pec minor is visible is it? it sits underneath the front delt and pec major i thoughtOriginally Posted by Future
01-27-2004, 12:15 AM
Try pinching your shoulder blades together when you're pressing. You won't be able to handle as much weight, but it has positive effects when training for hypertrophy. So, don't be an ego-lifter.
Bean, are you saying that it's not as important to train then? If so, that's wrong. Hypertrophying the pec minor will "bring out" the muscles you mentioned. Hence, why it's the prefered press for bodybuilders.
01-27-2004, 12:55 AM
I will tell you this:
I can't remember the last time I did flat barbell bench press.
I do not do any decline movement.
I use incline movements as the foundation for my chest via barbell, dumbbells, smith machine, hammer press, etc.
Does this mean I am right and everyone should follow? Of course not,well maybe , but I have seen better gains just by sticking with strict heavy incline movements.
01-27-2004, 09:37 AM
I did variations of BB benching (incline, decline, flat) for about 9 years and saw moderate gains. For about the past 2 years, I've been doing DB's only and my chest has grown more in that short timespan than the previous 9 years.
01-27-2004, 10:43 AM
I just read an article about this here's the clip that pertains to this discussion:
EMG studies (which measure the activity of a muscle) show that the decline dumbell press is the single most effective excercise for stimulating the primary muscle of the chest-pectoralis major. This is thought to be due to the fact that the shoulder muscle, specifically the anterior deltoid, is taken out of the movement, placing virtually all the load on the pecs.
01-27-2004, 12:22 PM
Decline DB are my personal favorite and weighted Dips
01-27-2004, 01:22 PM
01-27-2004, 01:38 PM
mathewD i agree 100% i'm now doing 70lb db incline presses and it SUCKS to get them into position, i dread that more than lifting them. i now have to stand up and do the knee bump and sit down to get under them, it blows, but once i'm there, wooo hooooo
01-27-2004, 02:41 PM
Wait until you start using the 100's and up. It is brutal.Originally Posted by 2gcorey
01-27-2004, 02:53 PM
Agreed. I tried getting 120's up on incline, didn't happen too wellOriginally Posted by size
01-27-2004, 02:54 PM
100's where not to bad. 110's where a pain. I can't wait for 120's.
01-27-2004, 05:18 PM
you guys do 100lbs for incline shoulder press? you've got to be kiddng me
guess what i do is more of a military press with a very slight incline back. not near like an incline bench though, between incline bench and straight up. its brutal with 70's. can't imagine anyone under 230lbs doing 100's for that
01-27-2004, 05:37 PM
This is how I look at it guys, You can use dumbells and get strong at them and of course any adaptation will obviously result in an increase muscle mass unless neurological adaptation ocurrs. Now when you start getting to heavy DB, 80-100 or more, there will be a problem taxing your muscles because you will give up before even hitting the muscle properly , whys that? cause ur already fatigued from lifting those heavy dumbells already, so for me Barbell would be the reason to keep going slowly but surely , and you can destroy it because there is no limit as to how much amount of weight you can put into a barbell unlike dumbells.
01-27-2004, 06:07 PM
I'm up to using the 110's for flat bench dumbells. I just keep them againsed my chest and then lean back and I never have to swing them. Now Incline is a different story....aarrgg!!!!
01-28-2004, 01:20 PM
I have never done 110's for a shoulder press (don't care for them). A guy at my gym that is about 180 does them though. Have done 110's inc followed by 110's on the flat bench. But right now I am useing the barbell for my inc bench. I will switch back to DB's here in a few weeks to change things up. Or might just add inc flys into my workout. Who's knows. Also the guy I workout with who is 46 does the same weight.
01-28-2004, 02:06 PM
I'm ok for about 130's on Incline bench.
Once I get over that... It becomes a struggle to get the weight up from the knees.
I agree on DB Shoulder Presses... slightly less than 90 - murder.
When it comes to Shoulder Presses... I still prefer BB for that. Load'er up and let have it.
01-28-2004, 02:17 PM
It's good to use a combo of both DBs & BB. I prefer BB incline & decline, but DB flat bench. I don't think one is better, but you do get a better ROm with DBs. I totally eliminated flat BB bench over a year ago, & my shoulders/joints have never felt better. I do mostly incline now & my chest has developed much better than it ever did using flat bench. I still do DB flat about once a month, but never touch BB.
I have been using almost exclusively BB lately because my ****ty gym got rid of all DBs over 85lbs. So now I'm limited to flyes only, or I can incline press the 85s if I pre-exhaust the crap out my pecs first.
01-28-2004, 02:23 PM
Ditto this.Originally Posted by Longdog
I haven't seen a flat bench - for either BB or Db purposes - in well over a year+.
I stick to HS Flat Macvhine Presses as a replacement. More weight, better ROM, peak contractions and static holds. Nice.
01-28-2004, 03:09 PM
House brings up a good predicament I've been having. I prefer db's for my presses as well, but I also vary my workouts every other week. I have moved to a different state and have lost my workout partner which means no spotter for my forced reps and is also another reason I like the DB's better. If I'm doing forced reps and get stuck it is much easier to get out from under DB's than it is to sit there with a BB on your chest. Are hammer strength press machines a good equivelent? I never really used them much in the past because I was always told machines do not stack up to free weights. I know HS machines are a bit different than cables, but again was told to avoid machines as much as possible. So I switch the question from DB or BB to HS or BB? I know, I know, everyone is different, but I was just curious how much the differences of opinion vary.
01-28-2004, 03:22 PM
Well....if you are a bodybuilder there are many ways to skin a cat.Originally Posted by BingeAndPurge
Machines are not bad. Especially if your form is spot, contractions are tight and intentisty high.
I wouldn't dare use them as a means to build overall strength but for muscle? I got no problem with that.
01-28-2004, 09:13 PM
Originally Posted by Onslaught
no not at all; i just think it was wrong to say that inclines targeted the pec minor... a lot of people assume the pec minor is the top of the pec itself; which it isnt...
decline presses and dips work the chest the best; i've found this out over time...
06-17-2007, 03:50 AM
my chast day alternates DB barbell and has an incline variation each day too, personally i find DB excercises (shoulder press too) do a lot to strengthen the synergistic pressing muscles in the shoulder and give you a far stronger bench and better overall upper arm and chest development.
Hard to get into position for heavy presses tho, 100lb DB's can do a lot of damage if your shoulder gives out.
06-24-2007, 08:17 PM
Flys and pullovers are what adds size to my chest much more so then presses. And I had a delt injury for some time and presses, especially incline were abosulute hell for me. But as already mentioned, I can incline press with 110 DBs... getting them up without a spotter is a workout in it's self haha. I hit a plateau some time ago and what got me past it was negatives, I LOVE negatives.
07-03-2007, 01:12 AM
Dumbells for me hands down. Full range of motion is the biggest reason. It also allows you to cheat a litte and incorporate the entire chest once youve burnt out the majore pec muslces. Barbells are far too restrictive for flat IMO but good for your incline and declne presses.
You cant favour one side also as you can sometimes do with a barbell so it makes for even gains on both sides of you body.
I like the fact that you can also just dump the weights when your done so you dont really need a spotter.
07-03-2007, 09:19 PM
dump the weights.... do that at my gym and you get kicked out haha. Its my college gym.
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