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  1. #1
    brock125 is offline New Member
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    Strong DB bench, Weak BB bench

    I can press 150 lb dumbells on flat and inclines but when I barbell bench I struggle with 300 sometimes 315. I know I should have the strength to press the weight. I see guys pressing 315 like its nothing yet they can't do as much as me on dumbells.It frustrates me because I feel I could bench 400 or more.Any insight would help. Peace.

  2. #2
    Mighty is offline Junior Member
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    Well as a guess I would say that maybe your deltoids are more developed than your chest ? Dumbells use alot of stabilizer muscles, while Bench Press tends to rely less on them, and isolates the chest more. It could be the case that maybe you just don't feel comfortable with a straight bar.
    On a side note, I bench 505, and struggle with the 150 lb dumbells for flat bench lol.
    I would think your bench could come up to what you press with dumbells with a little more practice.
    Mighty

  3. #3
    carbs-rule is offline Associate Member
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    I bench more with a bar than with dumbells, but I think they are fundamentally different. I think the very inside part of your chest is used more with a bar. I used to use dumbells for about 7 months straight, and then suddenly switched and felt a new sore area. The lift starts lower with dumbells, with respect to your chest muscles. I noticed this immediatley because i was so used to using solely dumbells.

    Be happy if you could go start with a lower weight and progressively advance it. I don't use 150 lb dumbellls though...it would look like osmethin out of Mortal Kombat if I tried. I would alternate between dumbells and barbells every 4-6 weeks, nothing less.

  4. #4
    brock125 is offline New Member
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    Yeah I thought maybe my shoulders were overpowering my chest I will try switching it up.Thanks guys.

  5. #5
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    clhp20 is offline Member
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    Nice responses guys. I learned something :

  6. #6
    4U2NV is offline Associate Member
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    Sounds like maybe you are thinking about it too much! Maybe just a head case because if you are pressing 150lbs DB you for sure have the strength.

  7. #7
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    sp9
    sp9 is offline MMA Competition Sentinel
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    Interesting. I use to do 370 for reps on a bar, but due to a right shoulder injury I have permanently changed to DB bench. Highest I can do is 120's for a couple of reps and I don't have anything higher around the house to try (that's a problem that needs solving).

  8. #8
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    Kärnfysikern is offline Retired: AR-Hall of Famer
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    well bench involved triceps and lats alot more then db bench. db bench involves chest more.

    Work on form in bench and blast your triceps hard and your bench will improve
    Since your db bench is so good chest is probably not the weak link in bb bench thats for sure.

  9. #9
    brock125 is offline New Member
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    Thanks all for the responses.

  10. #10
    power65 is offline Associate Member
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    I agree with the previous poster about your front delts being very strong. Depending how you bench w/ DB you may not really even being working your chest that much at all. Here is why I say that.........one time I tried an experiment where I only used DB for all my benching exercises. I got really strong using the DB. I benched w/ DB for about 3 months. Well when I went back to do bar presses I was sooooo much weaker than before. Now my DB bench strength had improved by about 30% over the course of those 3 months, but I loss about that much in my bench strength. I think that if you're going to be a powerlifter and compete in the bench press, then your main focus needs to be the bench press. You can do DB work, but only as a supplemental exercise. Do your bar benches first, learn to master your lifts. Then do the DB work to burn-up anything that may be left in the chest. I don't know why the two don't go hand in hand, but you're not the first person that has had this problem.

  11. #11
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    I have the same problem but its the opposite my barbell bench is high while guys that are benching 275 are doin same db's as me

  12. #12
    power65 is offline Associate Member
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    I guess one conclusion we can all gather from this......DB bench work is not the best for building strength. You would think that it would since the arms move independent of each other......but as you can see from all of the results....it is not very good for building over all upper body strength.

  13. #13
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    I have/had a similar situation. I worked up to 130's with the DB and could not get a clean 315 bb to save my life. Here's what I did...

    In pressing the heavy db's up they would form a V rather than a straight line across like the bb. Obviously you cannot press up the bb the same way as you are locked into a straight line. But, what I did was moved my grip inside the rings about 1 inch which is a bout 4 inches from where I previously was handling the bar. I tucked my arms in a bit, and lowered to the bottom of the pecs as apposed to mid pec previously.

    Problem solved!

    You can push more weight this way, but I find doing reps at 225 with arms perpendicular to the body and a wide grip really rips the pecs up. So as I'm more into trying to achieve the body builder look I choose the lower weight with more of a chest target point.

    Try closer grip, arms tucked in a bit and a lower stop point on the torso and I'll think you'll be moving much more weight.

    Good luck,

    511220

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