Dumbbell Press to Bench Press Ratio- All You Need To Know

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Written By Philethia Thomas

Before the late 1950s, dumbbells were the benchmark of strength. Then, the bench press gained popularity and the comparison between both started. Nowadays, people want to learn all about dumbbells and bench presses. 

That’s why they inquire about the ideal dumbbell press to bench press ratio. For every individual, the dumbbell to bench press ratio may vary. Still, there is a standard number that works for almost everyone. 

For an average lifter, the ideal bench press on the barbell is 22 percent more than the dumbbell press. So, the ratio for the dumbbell bench press is 80 percent of the barbell. For a female lifter, the ratio for barbell bench press to dumbbell press is 28 percent more. 

Still not clear and want some more information? Then, stay till the end to read. 

Dumbbell To Bench Press Ratio- Know The Details

Well, the ratio of bench press to dumbbell press will vary for many of us. Despite the fact that they both ostensibly use the same muscles, the two movements aren’t comparable. 

There is a universal benchmark when contrasting the barbell bench press and the dumbbell chest press. And this can assist you in identifying any potential weaknesses or muscular imbalances you may have.

Bench press to dumbbell press ratios for average lifters is around 1:0.8. So, you might argue that your dumbbell pressing should be about 80% of your bench pressing. That means you should be able to execute the same amount of repetitions with two dumbbells. These dumbbells carry 80 pounds or 160 pounds altogether.

Let us look at the dumbbell vs barbell bench press weight comparison. The weight of a dumbbell you use is roughly equal to the weight of the barbell. Some weightlifters believe that both of these pieces of equipment have the same effect on your body. By deducting the weight of the barbell and dividing it by two, you’ll have the ratio. So, if we look at the 200-pound bench press again, after subtracting the 45-pound barbell, our weight would be 155 pounds.

When we divide that result by two, we arrive at 77.5 pounds, which is quite close to the 80 pounds I mentioned earlier. 

How To Convert Dumbbell Press To Bench Press?

We often get questions like, how much can I bench press based on dumbbell press? You shouldn’t push it too hard too soon as a beginner. Compared to the dumbbell press, you ought to be able to perform more. 

You must know that there is no perfect conversion of the dumbbell to bench press. But you can begin with barbells and dumbbells at about 60% of your maximum. 

Start with about 100 lbs. The 45 lbs bar with a 25 lb weight on each side of your maximum weight is 80 lb dumbbells. That is 80X2=160 lb total. Scale up in increments of 10 to 20 pounds after this, which should be quite simple.

The conversion of a dumbbell press to a bench press is tough. You can only get a rough estimate to get started. 

Many weightlifters discover that they can calculate the dumbbell to bench press ratio. It is simply done by deducting the barbell’s weight and dividing it by two.

Bench Press

Dumbbell and barbell bench presses are two different kinds of exercises. You can nearly always lift more weight with a bench press using a barbell, though. Your body can work more efficiently as a unit to stabilize only one weight. This is because you aren’t trying to balance two separate weights.

But eventually, you’ll want to switch things up and find what works best for you. It can be done by attempting dumbbell flat presses, barbell incline presses, and decline presses. Start with your maximum weight with dumbbells if you have practiced barbell presses and are comfortable.

When your pectoral muscles are working together, they have more force to move weights. Get a spotter or utilize the smith machine if you’re feeling uneasy. That won’t be as effective as a barbell press, though.

Dumbbell Press Vs. Bench Press: Which Is Better?

Here’s a thing. Both exercises primarily target not only pecs but also shoulders and triceps. But in reality, there are more distinctions than similarities between the dumbbells and the bench press.

You will lift the same amount of weight whether you use a bench press or dumbbells. But dumbbells are much more difficult to use as compared to bench presses. So, I’m gonna say dumbbells are better for exercise.

Why Are Dumbbells Better?

The dumbbells are better than the bench press as they have many good qualities. A good substitute that won’t put as much strain on the shoulders is the dumbbell bench press

Easy To Use

Dumbbells are easy to use as compared to bench presses. You don’t have to put much effort into using them.

Wide Range Of Motion

Exercising with dumbbells is still because it actually aids in building up your muscles. It is because the dumbbell press provides a wider range of motion. During bench presses, the palm of the hands or joints might start to hurt. You can use a 45ib or 55ib barbell for bench pressing. 

You Can Switch Hand Positions

When you perform a barbell bench press, your chest prevents you from lowering the bar anymore. The dumbbell press, however, has none of these problems. 

Dumbbells allow you to switch up your hand positions, which is another thing to consider. And for anyone who has joint problems working out with dumbbells can be effective. In reality, if you bench press, your range of motion is restricted, or your shoulders hurt.

You could really move your hands slightly inward when holding the dumbbells. The Dumbbell bench press form is very easy to maintain. It is better than using the normal barbell grip (palms facing forward). I considerably enjoy performing dumbbell presses with a 45-degree angle in my grip. 

Dumbbell Press Vs. Bench Press: Which Is Better?

However, you might also adopt a neutral grip in which your palms face one another. You can keep your elbows close to your sides and release some pressure off your shoulders. It can be easily done by using either the 45-degree angle or neutral grip. 

Finally, you can go heavy without a spotter by using the dumbbell press. If you don’t succeed, you just drop the dumbbells and try after some time.

But the bench press has one edge over dumbbells. 

Stability is the major factor that makes barbell bench presses more effective than dumbbell chest presses. In order to perform the lift, you need far less stability because the barbell is fixed. So you don’t need to move them as you do with dumbbells. This implies that you can do the movement with additional force as a result. 

Contrarily, you’ll need much more stability when you exercise with dumbbells. That’s because you have to grip a dumbbell strongly with the correct angle in each hand.

Can I Do A Dumbbell Press Instead Of A Bench Press?

If you want to focus on your chest muscles, the use of one or two dumbbells is preferable. But, using a barbell will increase the activation of your triceps. If your aim is to increase muscle, go for a bench press using a dumbbell. The reason is that the bench press offers a wider range of motion. It’s not necessary to use only barbells or only dumbbells during the exercise.

You can give one piece of equipment more attention than the other across many training cycles. Equipment should be based on your individual goals. Integrating both pieces of equipment into your workout can be good if you know how to maximize their benefits.

What matters is your fitness objective. Prioritize your equipment according to your needs. If you want to compete as a powerlifter, use the dumbbells as they will build up muscles. Similarly, if you play a sport, go for the bench press. Dumbbells are possibly a more secure solution if you want to bulk up your pecs.

Instead of pressing exercises, NFL players recovering from shoulder surgery use a Swiss bar. It is a particular type of bench press. So to sum up, it’s your choice, select according to your goals. Make sure you don’t wear out your muscles with overload. 

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FAQs

Is dumbbell press harder than bench press?

Bench presses with barbells make lifters much stronger than bench presses with dumbbells. That means the dumbbells are a much easier exercise than the bench press. However, research shows that dumbbell pushes utilize substantially less triceps muscle. This is probably because using dumbbells causes the movement to be more arc-like.

Is benching a 100 pounds dumbbell good?

There is no difference in the benefits of 100-pound dumbbells or any other dumbbell. Dumbbell presses train your delt stabilizer muscles much more than a traditional barbell bench press does. They also help discover and fix imbalances, strengthen your core muscles, and build lean muscle.

Can I replace the bench press with a dumbbell press?

For a beginner, it may be simpler to find and wield dumbbells than a barbell. You can easily replace the bench press with dumbbells as the dumbbells are easier to use. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Start with slow exercise while using dumbbells. That’s how you will easily replace them.

Wrap up

I hope you are clear about the ideal bench press to dumbbell press ratio. 

Using dumbbells gives you the option to switch up your grip. This can significantly reduce stress on the shoulder joint. You can use any equipment, such as dumbbells or bench presses, according to your desired goal. That’s it!

See you next time!

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