T Nation

Stronger on Dumbbells than Barbells


Why is this? I can do 100lb dumbbells for almost 20 reps on flat bench, but my barbell bench was a measly 245x5 today. Maybe its just me, but that seems very weak in relation to how easily I move weight with the dumbbells. What sorts of things might be causing this?


Did you do BB after DB?


no. i do db right after bb


Vids of your DB bench and BB bench. Should be able to figure out why very quickly once we have those.

EDIT: Suspect small ROM on DB bench, hence the disparity.


Different range of motion with a barbell vs. dumbbell. I know 145 barbell press, I can do 2x. Double 70 kettlebells 5x. you can move the dumbbells out where has a bar has a straighter path.


^ This probably.

Or personally, I can use more on DB Incline then BB Incline, simply because with DB's I take a grip in between that of a pronated grip and neutral grip, which is stronger for me.


actually this is probably it, i do pretty much a full bench with the bar i just dont lock out. my db bench is more bodybuilding style, no locking out and no going all the way down. ive always had problems with a strained left pec and i noticed it only ever gets aggravated when doing dumbbells, so i never go all the way down or i feel like im gunna snap my shit up. another thing, ive noticed that my close grip bench (just within shoulder width) is actually slightly stronger than my regular bench. i must have some serious form problems or imbalances


The way you have written this message, you are comparing what you "can do" to what you happened to get today. Put them under the same conditions and then measure to get a more accurate picture.


You answered your own question. Of course if your ROM is much shorter you'll be able to get a lot more reps. I see guys in my gym all the time doing dumbbell shoulder presses with say, 80's for 12 reps and their arms MAYBE get to a 90 degree angle before going back up, and if they actually touched their shoulders, or came close, they probably couldn't get them up for a single rep. It'll make all the difference, but for too many people, their ego prevents them from using a smaller weight with better form.


Better leverage maybe? Why you are stronger at DB doesn't really matter, but I think it's a good thing. I am the same. DB gives better pec development. I don't envy the build of guys with a strong bench but weak with dumbells. High five!


I think you posted this in the wrong section. This is the powerlifting section not the bodybuilding or beginners section. is your question how to get your bench up? Because that's a good powerlifting question but it's unrelated to DB pressing.



Do you count the weight the bar adds? 45 pounds would make a difference.


i do powerlifting style training, i use dumbbells as an assistance exercise to my bench. for the record, today i hit a 225x15 bench, i dont know what the hell happened, a few weeks ago i only did that for 8 reps. i think heavy dumbbell rows have made all my lifts go way up


haha yes, i count the bar