T Nation

Why Barbells?

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?)

LOL.

“New PR-Wrestled -3- fully grown male lions today. Feeling stronger.”

I agree with you, but barbells allow for a greater load.

and positioning.

picking up, walking around with, and setting up with 120lb dumbells sucks the big one.

[quote]BSrunner wrote:
they don’t allow rocks or lions into my gym[/quote]

I think you need to find a new gym bro.

I have a power rack, so it’s easier for me to rest the bar on the safety rails. Even putting down the dumbbells is awkward.

for fuck sake

[quote]BSrunner wrote:
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]

This is why I only do incline nowadays. Mainly using the smith machine (omg, omg did he say smith machine?) and hammer strength machines. Yeah I’ll probably catch some shit for not hitting my “stabilizer muscles” geee wilickers.

I’m fucking training to look like a bodybuilder not an athlete or doing strength training like a powerlifter. I think some people do great with barbell work in bench. Yet I think I’ve given up the flat barbell bench. It just doesn’t do much for me, cause I know and feel what works best.

Like I hear a lot of experienced people say. If it doesn’t work/do shit for you toss it out. If someone says so and so does this for a big chest and you should do it, fuck em learn through training what works best for you.

wrestle lions…
ye lll put him in my guard
whilst he bites right through my neck

[quote]BSrunner wrote:
because they don’t allow rocks or lions into my gym[/quote]

thats the main reason why i like to train at home

Tweaked my shoulder placing the 85s down lightly so the fatass worker at the gym wouldn’t give me a hard time about “making noise”.

Went immediately back to barbells

I only use the barbell on the decline bench press and rarely due to my new love of using the decline Hammer strength press machine. I don’t flat bench with it and heaven forbid I do incline work with it. I fucking hate the feel to both exercises. Whatchu talkin’ bout Mac? I’m not there yet on the incline bench but for flat bench it ain’t no thing. 130 and up it becomes a hassle. I don’t like the feel and I dont like the possibility of being pinned underneath it. If I feel like my bad arm is going to give way I just merely pull a Ronnie on one dumbbell and reset. Maybe its just me. Plus down the road if I ever get to the “Supah Freak” size dumbbells (I don’t know I’m 6’2) throwing up 180-200lb DBs kicks alot more ass in my book!

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
for fuck sake[/quote]

LoL

Not everyone has the luxury of training at metroflex with 150+lb DBs

The real question is

Why lift weights at all? Just go live in a cave and rub sticks together…

[quote]BSrunner wrote:
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]

i hope its all sarcasm, hurt shoulders? i would say DB use would lead to greater shoulder problems as you can stretch further than with a BB. the reason for extensive BB use is because you can lifter greater amounts of weight. heavy weight + progression = bigger muscles.

if you could progress doing flat BB bench from 200 to 250 or flat DB press from 150 to 250, which one do you think would make you bigger?? (assuming your body hasnt fully adapted to the rep range/excercise)

try reading something/or actually working out

Flat DB press, naturally. 10 or 20 pounds on a BB flat bench is nothing. Usually nothing but a difference of a couple reps, if anything at all. DBs? 20 pounds is the difference between “Gee, this is kinda heavy” to “FUCK I CAN’T LIFT THIS”.

I think you should do both, naturally. But I like dumbbells, and I look forward to maxing out the ones at my gym before I go back to barbell benching.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
and positioning.

picking up, walking around with, and setting up with 120lb dumbells sucks the big one.[/quote]

I don’t mind flat dumbbell pressing as much, but inclining ~90 lb DB’s is really irritating. Swinging them up will injure my shoulders one day, I fear :S.

Let’s not perpetuate or create some kinda myth that Barbells are not safe. DBs may be safer, but that doesnt mean BB’s are at the other end of the spectrum. Many people cannot bench with decent technique. Just like people try and deadlift with horrible technique, hurt themselves, and end up blaming the exercise.

BUT I would say people do use the BB somewhat out of tradition and the ability for a greater load(more muscle damage).

I will admit I’m trying to switch to DBs for bench cuz I feel it hits my pecs better than BB, for that reason only. BB Bench is a great all-around builder IMO and it’ll always be in my toolbox.

[quote]BSrunner wrote:
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.

[quote]elnyka wrote:
There are risks with any exercise, but it isn’t fucking quadratic equations either.
[/quote]
I have to lol at this, simply because the quadratic equation is like grade 9 or 10 stuff.