View Full Version : Dumb bell chest presses to replace benching
07-07-2011, 11:26 PM
Coach Rippletoe, on some days i have a spotter so i can bench. Most of the time however i dont. Is it alright to replace the bench press with the db chest press on some weight training days?
Im on novice ss program
07-08-2011, 12:08 AM
No, it's not alright.
07-08-2011, 02:05 AM
try doing close grip benches when you don't have a spotter. it'll be light enough for the meantime that you don't need a spotter.
07-08-2011, 02:23 AM
If you can bench on a power rack, use the safeties. If you don't have a power rack, don't collar the weights, so that you can unload one side and than the other in case you are stuck. There's a variety of reasons why you can't replace the barbell with dumbbells especially on LP (use search function).
07-09-2011, 03:50 AM
Yeah, a search clearly shows that Rip thinks it's a TERRIBLE idea:
apparently it will bring on the zombie apocalypse. (and since afaict people don't tend to click on links in this forum, here's the 2007 post in question.
1.) Sure. But you have to approach it as a "lift", not an assistance exercise.
2.) Programming would be the same. The main limitation in training with dumbbells is that you are usually at the mercy of the dumbbell rack in the gym, in that you have little control over your incremental increases -- you have to use what's there, and the next jump up may be too big. This can be addressed with magnets in the appropriate weights.
3.) Take the dumbbells out of the rack, and learn to get in position on the bench from a standing position, NOT by laying down and getting the dumbbells off the floor or from spotters. Likewise, at the end of the set, finish the last rep and learn to stand back up with the dumbbells without lowering them to the floor. This will prevent lots of shoulder injuries. Don't slam the dumbbells together at the top, at least not MY dumbbells. Keep them in line like they are a bar and touch the inside edge of the plates to your chest right over your armpit to ensure a full range of motion. The bottom rebounds to the same extent a bench press does, which is to say you "bounce" off of your pec/shoulder tightness, not off of contact with your shoulders.
edit: there's a demo of #3 in the Dumbell Rack platform video (near the end... after a fair amount of talk about bar stock) easily available in the Resources section.
edit2: though apparently he says some bad things about the idea in 'mean ol mr gravity' which i haven't read. Personally i go w/ the don't collar the weights on the bar option that the Spartan mentions above though i suspect dumping the weights that way would cause some injury / damage when the weights fall off one side and the bar flips to the other. still likely much better than death though.
07-09-2011, 09:43 AM
I remember reading in Starting Strength, Rippetoe's thoughts (the gist of it) that dumbbell bench press was a great exercise due to the 'extra' effort needed to properly handle the individual weights, the stabilizer muscles working more so than with a barbell, etc. I also remember the text saying that you're pretty much going to learn barbell bench press in the book because of historic precedence. (When people ask "how much do you bench?" they are usually referring to a barbell, so there ya go).
Personally, I bench press with dumbbells. The gym I attend has a large selection, and they go up to 140lb. Right now, I'm doing 5x5 with the 110lb (220lb total, but it seems like it is harder than a 225lb barbell bench). I suppose that when I get to the 140lb, I might switch to the barbell but I'm not sure. I guess I would have to...
I remember lifting with a barbell for bench a while back, and when I did that, I felt like my grip strength wasn't as good overall. When I use dumbbells for most things (except squat and deadlift; I use a barbell for those...) I feel like it makes me stronger than using a barbell.
So.... I would say disadvantage to dumbbell bench is lack of weight options if you start to go heavier, and awkward response when someone asks you "how much do you bench?"
oh, and the obvious disadvantage is if you are training for the barbell bench press, you should probably train with a barbell. if you train with something else, you'll probably just get good at "something else."
07-09-2011, 01:26 PM
If you want to sub the DB bench completely for the BB bench, it would be fine, especially if you could find some wrist weights to help you microload. But you can't mix the two versions in a linear progression program since you can lift a lot more with the BB bench than the DB bench.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.