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Chest Workout: Barbells vs Dumbbells


Today i finished off my chest workout. I usually use a barbell for my chest , but i decided to use dumbbells instead since i heard they build your muscles more and evenly as well. Sadly, after i finished my incline and flat bench press i did not feel the same soreness or pump as i would have with a barbell . I made sure my form was perfect.. I tucked my shoulders back , chest sticking out , and squeeze at the top.

I dont what else i might have been doing wrong? I bench 80 lb for about 10 atm on the barbell , but i used 25 lb dumbells to do 10 reps of 3 sets and it didnt feel the same and my chest hardly made that separation feel.. The same thing happened on the incline.

Am i doing something wrong or is it best that i jus stick to barbell training?


Uh, if you are serious, and bench 80 lb on the barbell, I would not worry about anything other than progressing on that exercise and focusing on getting stronger (which shouldnt be hard) instead of worrying about using dumbells to "feel" a "chest" you probably dont really have yet.


Go to the beginners section and read the stickies.


how long have you been lifting weights?
You don't have to do dumbbells at all. if you focus at getting stronger on barbell bench press your chest will grow fine. I would do machine pec flies after barbell bench.


why cant you just answer my question? =\


Ive been weight lifting for a couple of weeks and my chest has grown some what from barbell. My1rm is 135 at the moment on it and thanks man. Its that a lot of kids in my school keep telling me that barbell wont make it grow much and all that stuff.


  1. Dumbbell benching is not for everyone. Since I have long ass arms I feel the exercise mostly in my shoulder.
  2. It cauld be your technique that is the problem. The dumbbells must be lowered enough to touch your chest. also your arms have to be spaced out enough, so the upper arm more than 45 degrees from the body.


my arms are extremly long as well... i might just stick to barbell then as well..


I'm sure the kids in high school know more then the accomplished lifters on a rather elite site who answered your question.

-- sarcasm off---

This is a game that is measured in years, not weeks...
I've been lifting seriously for 2 years and am still a beginner.

read the stickies in beginner section.
define your goals.
pick a workout.
stick with it for 6 months to a year.
rinse repeat...

Oh, and...
Squats and Milk!


I know. Im not trying to make it seem as if they know more than you.. Im just explaining my reasoning for saying this.


then you will need to make your triceps strong as fuck too if you want a strong bench press. maybe do dips once in a while.


edited previous post.

Just bustin' on you.

Any tool will work, for a long time, until it doesn't.

1) avoid injuries: develop proper form, lift for results, not ego.
2) results seem to be related to how well and disciplined you can be in following areas:
a) recovery
b) nutrition
c) workout (presuming proper program selection for goals)

My 14 year old son is doing a 5/3/1 variation, primarily Arnold's big 6 lifts...
His stated goals are strength, aesthetics and MMA.
He's been at it for about 18 months. Squat/Dead are >1.5 bw, Bench is 1.3, Curl ~.66 bw.
He occasionally gets caught up in the numbers, but hasn't seriously hurt himself yet and is monstrously strong for his age.


Alright man. atm im doing a hypertrophy program and bulking(about 3000 - 3600 calories daily im 5,11") .


Im doing a dip machine on my shoulder and tricep days .


People really did answer your question. If you just read a few of the articles around here or the beginner's stickies, you will realize how silly your question is.


I don't think your doing anything wrong. The pump you probably feel is because barbell recruits the shoulders, triceps, chest whereas dumbbells take a lot of the pump away from your shoulders and triceps. It is a different kind of burn with the two exercises. As far as putting on size I'd stick to the barbell.


I think the pump your referring to is the fact that the barbell recruits much more of your upper body compared to dumbbells (i.e shoulders, triceps, chest). If your really only doing 80lbs then stick with the barbell for a while to build up your mass, and worry about definition and symmetry later on.


hmmm...I only read the words "pump" and "burn" and this post lost all credibility for me.