How to Convert Your Dumbbell Bench Press Numbers to the Equivalent Barbell Bench

You'll often want to know if your progress will carry over from one session to the next. Have you modified your gym to include Olympic weights, a power rack, and an Olympic barbell? 

That's fantastic. You've come to the perfect place if you've been going to the gym and are ready to step up your game from the dumbbell bench press to barbell conversion.

The average male can bench press 1.22 times (or 22 percent) more weight with a barbell than with a dumbbell, and the reverse is also true. A typical guy can bench press 1.2 times (28 percent) more weight than a female.

Regardless of your motivation, it's a good idea to estimate how much weight you should be bench pressing when switching from barbells to dumbbells. Reduce the risk of injury and boost the efficiency of your training by using this method. Let's get right down to business and not waste any time!

Solely on Your Dumbbell Press, How much can you Bench?


You shouldn't try to do too much too soon if you're a newbie. When using a barbell instead of a dumbbell, you should be able to do more. With the barbell, you should begin at about 60% of your maximum weight on dumbbells. 

So, for example, if your maximum dumbbell weight is 80lb, you should start with a 45-pound Olympic bar and add a 25-pound weight to either end. It should be a breeze, and from here, you should be able to increase your weight by 10 to 20 pounds.

Conversion of Dumbbell Bench Press to Barbell Bench Press

dumbbell bench press
dumbbell bench press

Dumbbell bench press to barbell conversion isn't the same, but you can get a ballpark number to start with, and it might be interesting to try and estimate your maximum start light.

Bench press with Dumbbell and Barbell are two distinct types of exercises. However, a bench press with a barbell will almost always allow you to lift greater weight. Because you're not trying to balance two different weights, your body can operate better as a unit to stabilize just one.

As a starting point for bench press with barbell training, many people will use pyramids or perform five sets of 10 reps. Once they've completed the incline press, dumbbell flys, and weighted dips, they'll move on to dumbbell chest workouts like dumbbell flys and dumbbell pullovers. 

However, at some point, you'll want to alter things up and try dumbbell flat presses, barbell incline presses, and decline presses to see what works best for you. If you've done barbell presses and are comfortable, start with your maximum on dumbbells. 

Your pectoral muscles, when employed collectively, can push more than when they are moving weights alone. If you're nervous, get a spotter or use the smith machine instead. However, that won't work as well as a barbell press.

Weight Comparison of Barbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell press is between 20% and 30% more complex than the barbell press for the average person. Gender, training level, and weight all affect how tough a task is judged. 

Dumbbell presses are frequently more accessible for advanced males to move from barbell presses. Based on your fitness level and sex, here's how much weight you should barbell press compared to a dumbbell press:

Training LevelComparison of Weight Difference (Men)Comparison of Weight Difference (Female)
Novice 24-26%26-30%

Are There any Factors that Affect Conversion Accuracy?

Several variables indeed influence the dumbbell bench press to barbell conversion rate. They include:

  • The precision of the training has a positive effect on pushing ability.
  • Your performance will suffer if you use poor form and technique.
  • It is beneficial for bench-pressing to have a history of training.

The quality of your training has a positive effect on your conversion rate. 

However, the information presented here should be regarded as nothing more than a best guess based on actual user input. To put it another way, don't be shocked if your actual weight differs by up to 10 pounds (5 kilograms).