Need Help with DB Bench

Just joined T-Nation— Hello all !
Have been a long time lifter— high school and college sports.
Within past year, have begun to focus on powerlifting.
My numbers arent great, but having fun…


I lift by myself in our barn
I really struggle getting heavier DB in position to do DB bench.
Once in position, I’m fine.

Here is what has worked best so far

Bring DB to rest on my knees while I’m in sitting position, then lay back as I bring DB to chest.

Works great for lighter weight, but not heavy

And to avoid the ‘use lighter weight’ comment, when I did DB bench this week, I used 100#. Then did sets of 15 once in place. I would like to avoid dropping down in weight and have to increase reps. And I’m doing DB bench after flat bench-- when I tried doing DB bench prior to flat bench, I still struggled gettting weight in place.

I know a spotter is ideal, but wont happen for me.

Any equipment ideas? Maybe I’m just out of luck

Thanks in advance for any ideas

While sitting up straight set the dumbbells on your thighs with your butt positioned near the end of the bench. Drive your legs up while laying back. It may take you a few tries to figure out how hard to drive your legs but you should catch on quickly.

I’ve worked up to 145’s like this is in the past…

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Also, you might already know this, but taking in a really big breath(full massive breath) really helps me out with this issue.

thanks to you both.

seems like a simple solution- especially the drive the knees back comment.

now— to the gym to get HUGE !

I agree with what has already been said.

Start in a seated position with the DB’s on your thighs. I like to place them as far out towards the knee as possible, without them tipping over. I do a “calf raise” that lifts both dumbbells and use that motion to start my “lean back.” With the right amount of calf thrust, the DB’s should be positioned pretty close to where you want them on your chest. I rotate my wrists from a neutral position (thumbs toward ceiling while seated), to a protonated position (thumbs pointing at each other while laying on the bench). Remember to set your shoulders, back arch, I keep my butt just touching the bench, and set your feet where you want them.

Try Powerhooks. The hooks let you hang DBs on a racked barbell and start your lift from there. I’ve used them over 100# and they work great. Here’s a link to Clarence Bass (there’s a name from the past) on his web page using them. (Power Hooks and Powerpins)

It’s a weird motion keeps arms tight and I kinda just roll back and let the dumbells move with the motion of my body and end up in a position with both dumbs bascially in the bottom of the lift and then press up and start from there done this with 175 in each hand just keep your body right

Never used them But these might help…