This is an issue that I have thought about for a while: If you aren’t training for a meet or oly style, why would you ever bench press with a barbell? Bench pressing with a barbell is harder on your shoulders and back, and is even more dangerous if you don’t have a spotter. Dumbbells are safer for your shoulders and back, and build more of the support muscles. Furthermore, the ROM is greater with a DB bench press.
Another argument is that barbells are entirely unnatural. The most authentic way to train would be by lifting rocks, wrestling (lions) and sprinting. Obviously we can’t do that (because they don’t allow rocks or lions into my gym) so we try to use medicine balls and dumbbells as much as possible. In order to remain practical, we need to use barbells for some exercises like squats and deadlifts, but for exercises like the bench, why the hell do we use barbells (if not only because of tradition?)[/quote]
What is easiest or safer?
To take a loaded barbell off the hooks and press it down and up, with the barbell providing a stable axis?
Or to take two heavy dumbbells up and trying to balance them down and up since they now have to move independently of one another (since they have no axis that ties them together)?
For fuck’s sake, this ‘barbell is unnatural’ shit is ridiculous. Have you ever done manual labor? Say, pushing a freezer? Pressing a sack of coffee? Holding a beam into position? Pressing heavy shit up and down to your shoulder? Moving heavy shit?
When was the last time that you have seen a worker pushing things simultaneously with each hand, with each hand independently acting on the other? Very rarely. It is not the preferred way to work.
Unnatural my ass.
A barbell will feel unnatural if you are a dork and grip it with a width unnatural to you. It will also be dangerous if you are really retarded and don’t know what the hell you are doing.
You don’t have a spotter? Use a freaking power cage, or stay at 10+rep, or… you know what… don’t train to failure.
You train at home and don’t have a cage? Fucking easy. Build yourself a ‘pillars of poverty’, or better yet, get a pair of crawford saw horses from home depot - they cost less than $50 and the pair can take up to 2,400lbs, more than enough to protect you.
Yes, barbell pressing might not be natural, but neither is hoisting two heavy objects independent of one another (considering that one arm is usually stronger than the other).
There are risks with any exercise, but it isn’t fucking quadratic equations either.
So considering that the human body was built to lift heavy shit in unison as opposed to isolated limbs, I’m looking forward to see a valid explanation of why a dumbbell press is more natural than a barbell press.