How heavy should dumbbell bench press be?

dumbbell dumbbell bench press dumbbell bench press weight

As we know, dumbbell bench press is a comprehensive workout that enhances the strength of your upper body muscles, focusing mainly on your triceps, anterior deltoids, and pectoralis major.

Prior to engaging in dumbbell bench press, it is crucial to carefully consider the weight standards associated with this exercise, despite the numerous benefits it offers.

There isn't a definitive answer to the question of the ideal weight you should aim to barbell bench press, due to various factors. Your capacity is influenced by personal aspects such as your objectives, fitness level, training experience, and unique physical structure rather than a one-size-fits-all benchmark.

While there are certain achievements you may strive for, such as lifting 225 pounds like a pro athlete, pressing your own body weight, or adding more plates, these goals are contingent on your individual capabilities.

There are countless online calculators and charts available that provide guidance on the ideal weight you should aim for when performing a barbell bench press. While these resources can be beneficial in certain situations, particularly when aligned with a specific training program, their usefulness is limited if you are not following such a program.

Additionally, it is important to note that these calculators and charts are not always precise, as they may suggest weights that are impractical to load onto your gym's barbell, such as 194 pounds.

Arent recommends setting more realistic expectations: "If you can lift your own body weight while bench pressing, you're doing quite well," he explains. "Powerlifters, on the other hand, can lift much heavier weights. However, for most individuals, achieving this level of strength is quite impressive."

However, if you're new to weightlifting, don't expect to walk in on your first day and be able to lift a barbell that weighs the same as you. And within the first year, you shouldn't anticipate being able to lift that much weight either, according to Ellis. "Generally speaking, for beginners who have zero to twelve months of training, a good goal is to be able to bench press at least half of your body weight," he advises.

Ellis proposes a tiered goal system based on your training experience:

  • Beginners (0 to 12 months of experience): Half your bodyweight
  • Lifters with 1 to 3 years of experience: 1 to 1.25 times your bodyweight
  • Lifters with 3-plus years of experience: 1.5 times to double your bodyweight

According to Ellis, these particular numbers do not possess any inherent uniqueness. However, they serve as beneficial benchmarks for individuals aiming to increase their bench press performance due to two reasons. Firstly, they provide tangible objectives, giving you something to work towards. Secondly, they are attainable goals, preventing you from becoming disheartened as you gradually enhance your strength foundation.


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