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 Post subject: Weight on dumbell vs barbell?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:46 pm 
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Elephant
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Hey all!

I have been doing barbell bench press and tonight I am going to do incline dumbell presses for the first time. What weight do you think I should try for my first attempt at this, as a proportion of what I do on the barbell? The same total amount? A little less? A lot less?

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 12:51 pm 
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Elephant
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A lot less!

For three reasons:

- You do this exercise for the first time. To learn the form is more important than the weight.
- Two dumbeels are heavier than one barbell ;) That's because you have to stabilize them more. I don't know anyone who can use as much weight with two dumbells as with a barbell.
- For most, if not all, people, incline bench is harder than flat bench. Most people take less weight on that exercise.

I can give you no exact numbers, though.
Just start easy and increase the weight step by step until you reach a weight that exhausts you at ~10-12 reps, while maintaining proper form.

Have fun,
Daywalker 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:23 pm 
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Manatee
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So whats better? For a while my boyfriend was training me. He had me doing flat with a barbell and inclined & declined with dumbbells. Wouldn’t I get a better work out if I just used dumbbell because I would have to stabilize them more? When I was seeing a personal trainer I asked her and she told me a barbell was better, but I don’t remember why.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:48 pm 
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Elephant
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I like dumbbell bench presses better. It's a more challenging workout, and if they get too heavy you can drop them on your sides unlike the barbell which can come crashing on you chest

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:42 pm 
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Elephant
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Both have advantages.

Dumbells give you a better feeling of working muscles. You have to stabilize and that's a good thing :) People who never do dumbells, only barbell, tend to be weaker in dumbell press. As Will points out, dumbells are better when working out alone and going for muscle failure.

Barbell on the other hand allows more total weight, which is the key for muscle and strength gains. If you have a spotter, he/she can help with the bar, far better than with dumbells.

I rely mainly on barbell bench press, because i want to get bigger and stronger, but i also do dumbell bench press now and then. Both are excellent exercises.

Incline bench is okay, but i wouldn't recommend to have the angle too high. 30 or 35° are okay, don't go over 40°, it's only risky for the shoulders.
Decline bench has no use imho. It just presses blood in your head :?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:02 pm 
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Elephant
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Hey Daywalker, do you have any more info about incline benches of over 40* being hard on your shoulders? I'm doing my home routine now which just includes a lot of pushups in place of bench presses - but I used to do a chest routine which included a 3 part workout: flat bench presses, 45* bench presses, and 90* presses (i.e. shoulder presses)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:13 pm 
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Elephant
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90° is okay, that's a vertical press. I was talking about incline bench press.
The incline bench is more dangerous for your rotator cuff than the flat bench. If you don't work your rotator cuff specifically, your shoulder is prone to injury, especially on the incline bench and while pressing heavy weights.
I recommend starting to work the rotator cuff when you can bench your own bodyweight. Of course it doesn't hurt to start sooner, but usually it's not necessary.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:05 pm 
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What can you do to specifically work the rotator cuff?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 9:44 pm 
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I never had any problems with the 45* incline benches when I did them in the past. Also, I was doing incline flyes, which is one of my favorite exercises, and is something I'll probably start doing again soon. I was just wondering if you knew of any research of injuries from doing 45* bench presses, or have had a personal experience with injury from it

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:20 am 
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Elephant
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Meggy, i'm sorry, i could SHOW you the exercises, but explaining them in English in a way you could do them correctly afterwards is beyond me... :(
Search the internet, i know there are pages with illustrations on these exercises. Basically they all invole rotating (who would have guessed?) the upper arm in its axis against the resistance.
Okay, now i'll try explaining! :P

1. Lie on your side on a flat bench. Hold a light (!) weight, the lightest you can find, in your hand that is on the "up"-side, that means, when you lie on your left side, the right hand and vice versa. The upper arm lies on your side and stays there thoughout the whole movement. Then you start rotating the hand with the weight around the upper arm, until the forearm is vertical to the floor. Then you lower the arm slowy until it is hanging down again. Do slow and concentrated reps! Not more than 12.

2. Much the same as 1., but this time you sit on the bench, one foot on the bench besides you, and press your elbow into the knee. Your upper arm is parallel to the floor. You rotate the hand around the upper arm, in a way that it goes from hanging towards the floor to being raised vertical pointing up. :oops:

3. Same movement like 1., but standing and using a cable, you pull it from one side to the other.

That's for the beginning. Use VERY light weights, because when you use more, you'll probably not use the rotator cuff to move the arm.


willpeavy wrote:
I never had any problems with the 45* incline benches when I did them in the past. Also, I was doing incline flyes, which is one of my favorite exercises, and is something I'll probably start doing again soon. I was just wondering if you knew of any research of injuries from doing 45* bench presses, or have had a personal experience with injury from it

45° is still okay. It depends on the individual, of course, on the anatomy and one the conditioning. When you're used to it, it's not as likely that something will happen as when you do it the first time.
I recently hurt my shoulders when i did incline bench press at approx. 50° after having not done that exercise for ~10 weeks. I moved and in the gym i trained before the angle was ~40°. In the meantime i have gained strength on the flat bench and wanted to try my new strength on the inclined bench, but i injured way below my maximum lift.
I don't know research on this, but everyone i know agrees that the higher angle isn't so good for your shoulders. So i train incline bench 30-35° and vertical presses (and rotator cuff :P ).

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