Maybe this will help you.
[quote]Ian King Wrote:
Bench Press: Dumbbells vs. Barbell
I’ve been using dumbbells almost exclusively for about a year for the bench press for lack of a training partner. Now I have one and my barbell bench press sucks! I can rep hundred pound dumbbells with no problem but with a bar I’m lifting like a girl. What’s up with this? Did I screw myself up by using dumbbells too much? I thought they would be better because of greater range of motion. Any advice?
The bilateral (bar bench press) and semi-unilateral (dumbbell bench press) lifts can be significantly different in their adaptation as you’re finding out! One of the many difference is the line of movement. Dumbbell bench pressing tends to have a narrower line of pressing. It allows you to rely more on your triceps. If you’ve been doing this, you may have lost a bit of pec strength and size. Unless you’re benching with a grip that’s similar to this line of movement, this may explain why you’re struggling.
If this is the case, you aren’t alone. Many with superior tricep strength fall into a trap by using the closer grip bench press too often during their training year. In fact, some even use it as their primary lift! It certainly builds great triceps, and you can develop quite impressive stats this way (arm circumference and load lifted), but I feel it’s not the best for chest development.
To balance chest development, I believe you need to spend as much time with an extra wide grip as you do with the extra narrow grips, which is where wide grip benching and cambered bar benching come in (don’t go wide grip on a cambered bar though!) Those with strength in close need humility to train bench with a wider grip, which is often absent!
If I’m on the money, you have nothing to be egotistical about in the bar bench anyway, so go wide. Over a number of stages, bring the grip width back. In fact, in the beginning use dumbbell flyes as a pre-fatigue to your wide grip bench pressing.[/quote]