Dumbbell Bench To Barbell Calculator

Written by Daniel Mesa
Last Updated On

Fit Dominium is independent and supported by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase through our links

dumbbell bench to barbell calculator

A common issue for gym goers is determining where their strength should be when they switch between the barbell and dumbbell bench.

To make things easier, we developed a dumbbell bench to barbell calculator that should have you covered. Using our calculators, you can convert back and forth between dumbbell and barbell bench press.

Dumbell Bench To Barbell Calculator

Barbell Bench To Dumbbell Bench Press Calculator

Barbell Bench To Dumbell Calculator

Barbell Bench To Dumbbell Bench Press Calculator

How Did We Determine Our Dumbell Bench To Barbell Calculator Conversion Formula?

dumbbell bench to barbell bench ratio

To determine our formula, we looked around for the average dumbbell bench to barbell bench ratio among gym users. We discovered that the average dumbbell bench-to-barbell ratio is around .363. Naturally, this is an average, so there will be some variance.

There were outliers as well, with some having a ratio as low as 0.24 and others as high as 0.45. Your ratio will be determined by your genetics and how much you train either lift.

How To Use The Dumbbell to Barbell Conversion Calculator

To use the Dumbell To Barbell conversion calculator, just type in your respective maxes for each of the lifts. If it is your dumbbell bench press, put in your max that you can do in terms of dumbbell per hand.

Why Is The Dumbbell Bench Press Harder?

A common mistake made by beginners in the gym is assuming that their dumbbell strength should equal their barbell strength. For example, you can see the logic behind assuming that a 200-pound barbell bench presser should be able to dumbbell bench press 100 pounds in each hand.

The issue without that line of thinking is that you are not taking into account instability. With dumbbells, your arms and the weight are not locked into position. This means that the stabilizer muscles in your chest and shoulders have to work harder to keep the weight stable. As a result, you simply cannot lift as much.

Another factor to consider is that heavy dumbbells can be difficult to get in the proper pressing position. Unlike a barbell, you cannot just simply unrack it. The process of pulling the weights off the floor and lowering yourself onto the bench can really drain your energy and strength causing you to lift less.

What Is A Good Dumbbell Bench Press?

There are denoted in terms of one-rep-max with the weight of one dumbbell used. These are general guidelines to give you an idea of where you stand.

Experience LevelMale (lbs)Female (lbs)

What Is A Good Barbell Bench Press?

There are denoted in terms of one-rep-max with the weight of the barbell included. These are general guidelines to give you an idea of where you stand.

Experience LevelMale (lbs)Female (lbs)

Which Is Better? Dumbell vs Barbell Bench Press

Both of these exercises are staples in any workout program, so it is natural to compare them. Each of them has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Overall, I would say that both exercises are found to be effective. If you are getting stronger on either lift, these are good signs that you are gaining muscle in your upper body. To see the best gains, I would recommend cycling back and forth between the two to avoid any stalls in progress.

Dumbbell Bench Pros and Cons


  • More control over weight path
  • Can bring arms together at top of for better contraction
  • Works each side independently to avoid imbalances
  • Greater range of motion
  • Builds strength in stabilizer muscles


  • Cannot use as much weight
  • Can be hard to set up with heavier weight

Barbell Bench Pros and Cons


  • Can use heavier weight for more overload
  • More stable
  • Easier to unrack and set up


  • Fixed hand position and bar path

Video Explanation

Other Calculators

Barbell Calculator: Check out this calculator to see a quick way for racking your barbell properly


Are barbells or dumbbells better for your shoulders?

Generally, dumbbells are considered to be easier on your shoulders since they allow you to better control the path of the weight. This way, you can adjust and control the range of motion to ensure that you are doing what feels best for your body type.

Should I dumbbell or barbell bench?

Both are great choices, I would pick whichever and then just switch to the other whenever I stall in my progress. Both target the same muscle groups but the change in stimulus will trigger new growth and help break through plateaus.

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Unavailable Coupons
      hollywoodflash Get 35% off