Dumbbell to Bar (Bench Press correlation)

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    Dumbbell to Bar (Bench Press correlation)


    I've heard countless times that one can easily lift more doing bar bench presses than dumbbell presses, due to the lack of stabilizer muscles used with the bar. If true, what would be the correlation between the two? If one can lift 200 lbs with the bar, what would one be able to lift with dumbbells?

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    From my experience, when you're dealing with weight totals in the area of 100-400, the BB Bench is roughly equivalent to the DB Bench + 20-30 lbs OR DB Bench x 2.3 in general.

    For someone who can BB Bench 200 lbs..

    200 = DB + 20/30 = Roughly 85s or 90s
    200 = DB x 2.3 = 87 = Roughly 85s or 90

    However, this may become skewed when you get guys benching really heavy weights (450 or so and greater+). From what I've seen, the difference between the BB Bench and the DB Bench weight totals is more drastic. (A guy who can BB Bench 500 is probably going to have trouble putting up a pair of 215s). Just my observations!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    From my experience, when you're dealing with weight totals in the area of 100-400, the BB Bench is roughly equivalent to the DB Bench + 20-30 lbs OR DB Bench x 2.3 in general.

    For someone who can BB Bench 200 lbs..

    200 = DB + 20/30 = Roughly 85s or 90s
    200 = DB x 2.3 = 87 = Roughly 85s or 90

    However, this may become skewed when you get guys benching really heavy weights (450 or so and greater+). From what I've seen, the difference between the BB Bench and the DB Bench weight totals is more drastic. (A guy who can BB Bench 500 is probably going to have trouble putting up a pair of 215s). Just my observations!
    I understand. I asked because I have never BB benched before, I only DB bench. I can DB bench 90-95 lbs and always wanted to know how that would translate to the bench. Thank you.
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    There's a 55lbs (25kg) difference between my dumbbell and barbell bench :O
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    its different.. they both work your chest different... if i workout with db's then switch to bb for a about 6 weeks my db strength has gone down quite a bit...and vise versa...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chub View Post
    There's a 55lbs (25kg) difference between my dumbbell and barbell bench :O
    Then you are an exception to the generalization my friend! Nah, I know it can vary drastically from person to person, but I feel like 20-30 lbs is an acceptable approximation.

    Just curious -- do you use a BB more often than DBs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Then you are an exception to the generalization my friend! Nah, I know it can vary drastically from person to person, but I feel like 20-30 lbs is an acceptable approximation.

    Just curious -- do you use a BB more often than DBs?
    he could be putting up 115 on bb and 30's on db
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBigPR View Post
    he could be putting up 115 on bb and 30's on db
    Yup.
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    i max 260 barbell bench and rep 100s for 5 i think is the highest i have done after flat barbell benching i think there is bout a 25 pound diff rep 225 for 5 and can hit 100 for 5 but idk if i strarted out fresh on DB bench it might be the same.
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    In my opinion, there is no direct correlation. I think it's a one way street. If your barbell bench goes up, your dumbbell pressing ability will go up. If your dumbbell pressing ability goes up, your barbell benching may go up, stay the same, or go down. This is because typically so much less weight is handled with dumbbells. There are exceptions to this, but that doesn't apply to the typical gym rat.

    As for me, my gym only goes up to the 120's, and I've done a set of 20 with those. No real way to compare that to my barbell bench, which is a lot more.
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    your chest is working more with the dumbell press due to the isolation, the bench press is more of a power movement..... id say 2/3s of your bench press is in your triceps and not in your chest
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    Quote Originally Posted by stullsy View Post
    your chest is working more with the dumbell press due to the isolation, the bench press is more of a power movement..... id say 2/3s of your bench press is in your triceps and not in your chest
    And how much is your front delts than? 1\3? So you dont use your chest at all? Tris are not 2\3 of your bench. 1\3 at best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedlifter1 View Post
    And how much is your front delts than? 1\3? So you dont use your chest at all? Tris are not 2\3 of your bench. 1\3 at best.
    Barbell bench from a powerlifting perspective can be mostly triceps. If you bench like a body builder, elbows out, it's far more chest. Vincent Dizenzo, who has a 600 raw bench on the books told me bench is all about triceps and lats. I agree, but only if you use powerlifting form.
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    Benching Dumbells of equal weight is far harder than benching with a straight bar. There are 2 main differences. With Dumbells you must balance with only 1 arm helping to balance. The 2nd is you have much greater range of motion for example on a straight bar the bar only goes to your chest a dumbell will go much deeper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    Barbell bench from a powerlifting perspective can be mostly triceps. If you bench like a body builder, elbows out, it's far more chest. Vincent Dizenzo, who has a 600 raw bench on the books told me bench is all about triceps and lats. I agree, but only if you use powerlifting form.
    Right, i agree with that totally, my buddy is a powerlifter, he goes elbows tucked. I thought the previous guy made a blanket statement though.
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    sorry i should of been more precise with my statement, i talk from a powerlifting thought of mind all the time cause thats how i train, but i will also add correct form with a powerlifting type style bench press is way easier on your elbows and shoulders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stullsy View Post
    sorry i should of been more precise with my statement, i talk from a powerlifting thought of mind all the time cause thats how i train, but i will also add correct form with a powerlifting type style bench press is way easier on your elbows and shoulders.
    Yup, that is true, much easier on them!! I love doin powelift style bench, i feel like a stud.
  

  
 

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