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Old 11-01-2004, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: California
Conversion?

Hey guys, I was wondering if anybody could tell me a conversion from dumbell press to barbell press (benchpress). I have only been able to use dumbells lately to really work my chest, which i feel has been doing a good job too. Proves you dont need a bar. How much weight will these dumbells give me when i go back to the bar? Any ideas? How much would pressin 50's be on the bar? 60s? Any way to determine?
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know if there is an official conversion. I do both barbell and dumbell presses and I've found that my reps with dumbells are about 75% to 80% of my barbell benchpress. By this ratio, 50s would be 125~135 and 60s would be 150~160
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i don't think there is a straight conversion but i do know what you mean. I have noticed though that when I did only dumbells for 2 months, my bench pressed significantly increased versus only training with a barbell.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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in general, you should be able to do more with the bar than with dumbbells (when you're adding the total weight). the reason for this (imo), is because with the dumbbells you end up using and exercising a lot of the smaller stabalizing muscles in the area. because of the bar, much less stabilization is needed, so you're able to put more focus and weight onto the bar.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Poland, Ohio // Clarion University of PA.
For most exercises, I've found that when going from dumbbell to barbell, it's at least double
your dumbbell weight. ie, I can curl 40 pounds in each hand, with a bar, I can do about 90.
I bench 40 in each hand, and do about 125 with a bar. So there I guess it's triple. Just
find a bar, a bench, and keep loading weights till you can't do more than 8.
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Yeah, there is definitely a difference when going from dumbbell to barbell and vice versa, and I do believe that it is because of the stabilizing factor. And it appears to depend on what kind of muscles you're working as to the amount of weight increase/decrease when changing from dumbbells to barbells. For instance, when doing bicep curls it stays nearly the same because you don't have to stabilize the dumbbells anymore for the curl than you would the barbell. However, when doing the bench press it requires more stabilizing muscles to hold the dumbbell above you than to hold a barbell that is also being supported by the other arm. And so a barbell bench press will usually use higher poundage than the dumbbell bench press.
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