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Bar bench press vs. Dumbell bench press


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Excerpt: My lifting partner is moving...so I need some spot-less chest exercises. As far as I can tell, chest+tri day is the only day I will really be affected by lack of spots...since shoulders I already use dumbells for all my exercises. There are not enough people in the weight room when I go work out, to ask for spots for every exercise. So, here is a typical chest+tri day: 3x6 Flat Bench 3x6 Inclined Bench 3x6 Decline Bench 3x8-10 Pec Deck machine 3x8-10 tricep pulldowns 3x8-10

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  1. #1
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    My lifting partner is moving...so I need some spot-less chest exercises. As far as I can tell, chest+tri day is the only day I will really be affected by lack of spots...since shoulders I already use dumbells for all my exercises. There are not enough people in the weight room when I go work out, to ask for spots for every exercise.

    So, here is a typical chest+tri day:

    3x6 Flat Bench
    3x6 Inclined Bench
    3x6 Decline Bench
    3x8-10 Pec Deck machine
    3x8-10 tricep pulldowns
    3x8-10 assisted dips (by now I can't even do one non-assisted dip)

    Today I used a self-spotting machine for my bench pressing, but I was quite unhappy. It has some resistance and the negative phase suffers. Also, my shoulders were hurting, and not in a good way, since the range of motion was narrowed (it's a self spotting machine where the bar slides up and down on steel rods and you rotate the bar to engage/disengage the lock)

    So, I want to try dumbell pressing. Will this work me out as well as I have been getting worked out? Can I do inclines, declines and flats all using dumbells?

    Whenever I do dumbell presses, it seems like my arms+shoulders tire out really fast and my chest doesn't get worked so great.

    Also, can someone tell me a proper, safe method of getting the dumbells up, and putting them donw?

    Thanks!




  2. #2
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    It may take your body a little time to get used to the motion, but eventually you will definitely feel it in your chest. I would suggest starting off lighter than you want to so you can train your muscles to focus on the chest muscles. As for a safe way to lift them: place them on your legs and lean back and push them up (another reason to use lighter weights to start because you will have to learn that motion also). As for putting them down: well there are different ways. First you can put them back on your legs and in the same motion lift your body off the bench (you get used to it). Or you can just place them down to your side (be careful so as to not overstretch when doing that because you can pull a muscle very easily) Try watching some of the other guys doing it and you will get the picture. But starting off light is the way to go.

  3. #3
    Freak Exodus's Avatar
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    do this with the dumbells and i promise your arms and shoulders wont give first

    take the dumbells down very wide..... same as you would on your bench press...... half way down.... let them travel off balance to the outsides.... almost like doing a fly........ then at the bottom of the movement, push them back up at the same time you have to pull them back into the start position....

    you might have to drop weight...... but it feels like the stretching of flyes with the pump and power of presses
    weight - 280/ goal - 305
    squat - 455/ goal - 600
    Bench - 315/ goal - 405
    Deadlift - 425/ goal - 585
    strick OHP - 205/ goal 250
    log - 215/ goal - 300

    In the land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is king.....

    -Max Payne

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