It's a good idea to estimate how much weight you should be bench pressing when switching from barbells to dumbbells or vice versa.
Reduce the risk of injury and boost the efficiency of your training by using our calculator.
Dumbbell Bench -> Barbell Bench Calculator
Enter your current dumbbell bench press weight in lbs
For example if you db bench with 40lb dumbbells in each hand you would input “80”
Barbell Bench -> Dumbbell Bench Calculator
Enter your current barbell bench press weight in lbs
For example if you can barbell bench 200lbs you would input “200”
How We Came Up With the Dumbbell to Barbell Bench Press Conversion Formula
We used the fantastic ratios developed by a Reddit user in an informal survey he ran online here.
We also compiled data from various sources to further drill into things in the table below.
💡 Quick Tip: Looking to get your Dumbbell Bench on? We highly recommend these amazing adjustable dumbbells from Core Fitness
Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
More Detailed Data Around How the Dumbbell and Barbell Bench Press Compare
The dumbbell press is between 20% and 30% more difficult than the barbell press on average.
Gender, training level, and weight all affect how difficult that is.
Based on your training level and sex, here is how much more difficult the dumbbell bench should be compared to the barbell bench press.
|Training Level||Comparison of Weight Difference (Men)||Comparison of Weight Difference (Female)|
💡 Quick Tip: You definitely need a barbell in order to do the barbell bench press and this is one that we highly recommend
CAP Barbell The Beast 7ft Olympic Barbell
Why is the dumbbell bench press more difficult?
New gym goers often wonder why the dumbbell bench press is harder to do the barbell bench press. After all you use both arms for both exercises.
The additional difficulty of the dumbbell press lies in the fact that your arms are not connected by a barbell. That non-connection means that your hands are more independent to move in multiple directions.
This means that you have to constantly recruit additional stabilizer muscles that you simply do not have to do with the barbell version of the exercise.
Further, another huge difficulty of the dumbbell press is the fact that you have to pull the weights from the floor instead of being able to simply unrack them like you can with a barbell. This means that it's much more difficult to dumbbell press with extremely heavy weight.
Which is better to do?
This is certainly a very controversial subject. In general though it's accepted in most circles that the barbell bench press is fantastic for increasing overall raw strength and size because it allows you to load the body body with extremely heavy weights.
Now on the flipside the dumbbell press because it allows you to train your arms more independently can be better for overall fitness and athleticism. That's because it allows you to ensure that one arm is not doing more of the work compared to the other.