Weightlifting remains one of the greatest inventions in sports and fitness. Not only does it help you burn lots of calories, but it also tones your abs, builds your muscles, and corrects your posture if you do it right.
Dumbbells and barbells are two handy weightlifting pieces of equipment that strengthen your arm muscles. They’re a great way to build your biceps cement.
While barbells are longer and offer a wide range of weight training activities, dumbbells are much shorter but offer great workout opportunities. They are small enough to move from one place to another and can quickly come in handy if you need to squeeze in a quick workout session.
A dumbbell is also an excellent tool for beginners to get weightlifting. It’s always advisable to start small and proceed to the more giant, more intimidating barbells.
If you prefer to work out with dumbbells alone, you might think you’re not putting in as much work, perhaps because of the size.
But on the contrary, you may be putting in the equivalent amount of work, if not more. All you need to do is learn how to convert the weight used.
There are many ways to achieve this, and we will explore them all.
If you trust your accuracy, you can use a weight calculator, a weight converter, or calculate it yourself.
So, let’s proceed!
Dumbbell to Barbell Bench Press Conversion
Converting dumbbells to barbells may seem difficult if it’s your first time training with weight. Therefore, it’s best to start with lighter weights because a dumbbell doesn’t have comfortable weight ranges.
You can settle for a light dumbbell for a start, as it is vital to use a lower weight than you can handle.
You also need to take specific steps to convert a dumbbell to a barbell. First, you have to figure out the type of dumbbell you want to use. Even though you can use a barbell for bench press exercises, a dumbbell doesn’t have the same capacity as a barbell bench weight.
There are various ways to convert the weight of a dumbbell and a barbell, but the most straightforward mode is to compare the weight of both equipment.
For some reason, you should use a barbell instead of a dumbbell. With a barbell, you have more control. It enables you to stand firm in your position, provides various exercises, and adds heavier weights to your workouts.
Barbells vs. Dumbbells
There are several differences between barbells and dumbbells, but one difference stands out, and that has to do with the amount of weight you can lift.
Dumbbells have less weight than dumbbells, suitable for muscle building. However, there are many tendencies to lift more weight than with dumbbells if you engage in bench presses with barbells.
Another thing that must be considered when using barbells is that you have to increase your strength and double it to increase the intensity. A barbell is easier to use and hold than a dumbbell, making it the best option for your bench presses. It is safe and more comfortable to utilize.
Notwithstanding, if you decide to switch from a barbell to a dumbbell, starting with a 30% reduction and increase is advisable.
This enables you to escape muscle imbalances that are bound to happen when using the wrong weight. Also, you should be able to change from a barbell to a dumbbell with a ratio of 30:70.
Pros and Cons of Using a Dumbbell Press
- Suitable for your joints
- Enhances natural movements
- Helps you lift heavier weights
Pros and Cons of Using a Barbell for Bench Press
- Let you gain muscle mass
- Prevents strength plateaus
- More strenuous
- Weight needs to be stabilized with both hands
If you are at a crossroads regarding which workout equipment to use, consider a barbell-only exercise to determine if you can step up your weight.
Barbell Vs. Dumbbell: Bench Press Weight Conversion Calculator
The barbell and dumbbell bench press weight conversion calculator helps you calculate the estimated weight difference between the barbell and dumbbell bench press.
A barbell is said to convert to a dumbbell bench press when the barbell bench weight is multiplied by 0.78 for men and 0.72 for women. Meanwhile, a dumbbell is converted to a barbell bench press when the importance of both dumbbells is multiplied by 1.28 for women and 1.22 for men.
The calculation of male dumbbell to barbell bench press weight conversion is as follows;
1. Dumbbell presses and bench presses combined multiplied by 1.22 equal barbell bench press weight including a bar.
The calculation of male barbell to dumbbell bench press weight is also as follows;
2. Barbell bench press weight, including bar, multiplied by 0.78 equals bench press weight for both dumbbells combined.
The calculation for female dumbbell to barbell bench press weight conversion is as follows;
- Bench press weight for both dumbbells combined times 1.28 equals barbell bench press weight, including a bar.
The calculation of female barbell to dumbbell bench press weight is also as follows;
- Barbell bench press weight, including bar times 0.72, equals bench press weight for both dumbbells combined.
However, the above calculations are average calculations for beginners to advanced lifters.
Factors Affecting Barbell vs. Dumbbell Bench Press Conversion Accuracy
Various factors affect barbell and dumbbell bench press conversion accuracy, and some of them are as follows;
Poor Form and Technique
Engaging in dumbbell or barbell presses in the wrong manner negatively impacts your performance and distorts your number.
Specificity of the Training
Training in one specific bench press variation will conveniently enable you to lift more weight on that particular pressing variation. In other words, the specificity of the activity has a positive effect on the ability to press.
Your barbell and dumbbell ratio tends to be closely dependent on the duration of practice of the bench press.
Training level has a positive effect on your conversion rate, and when you’ve been practicing the bench press for a long time, your dumbbell pressing weight will be closer to your barbell pressing weight.
Your barbell and dumbbell ratio will undoubtedly be more relative if you have practiced both bench press variations. The last training has had a positive effect on the bench press.
The above points are somewhat personal as they are drawn from user-generated data. Your actual values can vary by as much as ten pounds or more.
Why Do Some People Bench Press More With Dumbbells?
There are two significant reasons why some people bench press more with dumbbells than a barbell. The reasons are enumerated below;
Long History Of Training And Pressing The Dumbbell In A Poor Manner
Many beginners only apply a partial range of motion on the dumbbell chest press, hindering the dumbbell from reaching the chest level on the downward phase. This makes them think they are somewhat energetic as this practice enables them to lift more weight.
Barbell To Dumbbell Bench Press Weight Conversion
Below is the barbell to dumbbell bench conversion, which will expose you to the accurate number of weights required for both types of equipment.
Male Barbell Bench Press Weight (lb/kg) Male Dumbbell Weight Conversion (lb/kg)
|10b/ 5kg||8lb/ 4kg|
|20lb/ 10kg||16lb/ 8kg|
|30lb/ 15kg||23lb/ 12kg|
|40lb/ 20kg||31lb/ 16kg|
|50lb/ 25kg||39lb/ 20kg|
|60lb/ 30kg||47lb/ 23kg|
|70lb/ 35kg||55lb/ 27kg|
|80lb/ 40kg||62lb/ 31kg|
|90lb/ 45kg||70lb/ 35kg|
|100lb/ 50kg||78lb/ 39kg|
|110lb/ 55kg||86lb/ 45kg|
|120lb/ 60kg||94lb/ 47kg|
|130lb/ 65kg||101lb/ 51kg|
|140lb/ 70kg||109lb/ 55kg|
|150lb/ 75kg||117lb/ 59kg|
|160lb/ 80kg||125lb/ 62kg|
|180lb/ 90kg||140lb/ 70kg|
|190lb/ 95kg||148lb/ 74kg|
|210lb/ 105kg||164lb/ 82kg|
|220lb/ 110kg||172lb/ 86kg|
|230lb/ 115kg||179lb/ 90kg|
|240lb/ 120kg||187lb/ 94kg|
|250lb/ 125kg||195lb/ 98kg|
|260lb/ 130kg||203lb/ 101kg|
|270lb/ 135kg||211lb/ 105kg|
|280lb/ 140kg||218lb/ 109kg|
|290lb/ 145kg||226lb/ 113kg|
|300lb/ 150kg||234lb/ 117kg|
Female Barbell Bench Press Weight (lb/kg) Female Dumbbell Weight Conversion (lb/kg)
|10lb/ 5kg||7lb/ 4kg|
|20lb/ 10kg||14lb/ 7kg|
|30lb/ 15kg||22lb/ 11kg|
|40lb/ 20kg||29lb/ 14kg|
|50lb/ 25kg||36lb/ 18kg|
|60lb/ 30kg||43lb/ 22kg|
|70lb/ 35kg||50lb/ 25kg|
|80lb/ 40kg||58lb/ 29kg|
|90lb/ 45kg||65lb/ 32kg|
|100lb/ 50kg||72lb/ 36kg|
|110lb/ 55kg||79lb/ 40kg|
|120lb/ 60kg||86lb/ 43kg|
|130lb/ 65kg||94lb/ 47kg|
|140lb/ 70kg||101lb/ 50kg|
|150lb/ 75kg||108lb/ 54kg|
|160lb/ 80kg||115lb/ 58kg|
|170lb/ 85kg||122lb/ 61kg|
|180lb/ 90kg||130lb/ 65kg|
|190lb/ 95kg||137lb/ 68kg|
|200lb/ 100kg||144lb/ 72kg|
|210lb/ 105kg||151lb/ 76kg|
|220lb/ 110kg||158lb/ 79kg|
|230lb/ 115kg||166lb/ 83kg|
|240lb/ 120kg||173lb/ 86kg|
|250lb/ 125kg||180lb/ 90kg|
|260lb/ 130kg||187lb/ 94 kg|
|270lb/ 135kg||194lb/ 97kg|
|280lb/ 140kg||202lb/ 101kg|
|290lb/ 145kg||209lb/ 104kg|
|300lb/ 150kg||216/ 108kg|
Dumbbell To Barbell Bench Press Conversion
The dumbbell to barbell bench press weight conversion which will expose you to the amount of weight needed for a barbell bench is as follows;
Male Dumbbell Bench Press Weight (lb/kg) Male Barbell Weight Conversion (lb/kg)
|10lb/ 5kg||12kg/ 6kg|
|20lb/ 10kg||24lb/ 12kg|
|30lb/ 15kg||37lb/ 18kg|
|40lb/ 20kg||49lb/ 24kg|
|50lb/ 25kg||61lb/ 31kg|
|60lb/ 30kg||73lb/ 37kg|
|70lb/ 35kg||85lb/ 43kg|
|80lb/ 40kg||98lb/ 49kg|
|90lb/ 45kg||110lb/ 55kg|
|100lb/ 50kg||122lb/ 61kg|
|110lb/ 55kg||134lb/ 67kg|
|120lb/ 60kg||146lb/ 73kg|
|130lb/ 65kg||159lb/ 79kg|
|140lb/ 70kg||171lb/ 85kg|
|150lb/ 75kg||183lb/ 92kg|
|160lb/ 80kg||195lb/ 98kg|
|170lb/ 85kg||207lb/ 104kg|
|180lb/ 90kg||220lb/ 110kg|
|190lb/ 95kg||232lb/ 116kg|
|200lb/ 100kg||244lb/ 122kg|
|210lb/ 105kg||256lb/ 128kg|
|220lb/ 110kg||268lb/ 134kg|
|230lb/ 155kg||281lb/ 140kg|
|240lb/ 120kg||293lb/ 146kg|
|250lb/ 125kg||305lb/ 153kg|
|260lb/ 130kg||317lb/ 159kg|
|270lb/ 135kg||329lb/ 165kg|
|280lb/ 140kg||342lb/ 171kg|
|290lb/ 145kg||354lb/ 177kg|
|300lb/ 150kg||366lb/ 183kg|
Female Dumbbell Bench Press Weight (lb/kg) Female Barbell Weight Conversion (lb/kg)
|10lb/ 5kg||13lb/ 6kg|
|20lb/ 10kg||26lb/ 13kg|
|30lb/ 15kg||38lb/ 19kg|
|40lb/ 20kg||51lb/ 26kg|
|50lb/ 25kg||64lb/ 32kg|
|60lb/ 30kg||77lb/ 38kg|
|70lb/ 35kg||90lb/ 45kg|
|80lb/ 40kg||102lb/ 51kg|
|90lb/ 45kg||115lb/ 58kg|
|100lb/ 50kg||128lb/ 64kg|
|110lb/ 55kg||141lb/ 70kg|
|120lb/ 60kg||154lb/ 77kg|
|130lb/ 65kg||166lb/ 83kg|
|140lb/ 70kg||179lb/ 90kg|
|150lb/ 75kg||192lb/ 96kg|
|160lb/ 80kg||205lb/ 102kg|
|170lb/ 85kg||218lb/ 109kg|
|180lb/ 90kg||230lb/ 115kg|
|190lb/ 95kg||243lb/ 122kg|
|200lb/ 100kg||256lb/ 128kg|
|210lb/ 105kg||269lb/ 134kg|
|220lb/ 110kg||282lb/ 141kg|
|230lb/ 115kg||294lb/ 147kg|
|240lb/ 120kg||307lb/ 154kg|
|250lb/ 125kg||320lb/ 160kg|
|260lb/ 130kg||333lb/ 166kg|
|270lb/ 135kg||346lb/ 173kg|
|280lb/ 140kg||358lb/ 179kg|
|290lb/ 145kg||371lb/ 186kg|
|300lb/ 150kg||384lb/ 192kg|
Dumbbell To Barbell Converter
Some manufactured equipment helps to convert a dumbbell to a barbell. One of them is a dumbbell-to-barbell converter. A very popular one is the one produced by Denaro Enterprises Inc.
Denaro Enterprises Dumbbell to Barbell Converter is an eight-inch internally threaded unit that connects two dumbbells and converts them into a single barbell.
The converter is easily screwed on, and within seconds your dumbbell set has become a barbell. You are now open to a vast amount of new exercises!
When using a single barbell, exercises such as deadlifts and squats become much more efficient. This is for the dumbbell to barbell converter only, and dumbbell bars are sold separately.
Included within are also two screws with an Allen key as an added safety feature to protect against slippage and when heavyweight is used.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you turn dumbbells into a barbell?
It is quite possible to turn a dumbbell into a barbell. A hybrid weight system can help achieve this, as does a dumbbell to barbell converter. The Denaro Enterprises Inc dumbbells to barbells converter is a good example.
How do you calculate dumbbell weights?
You can calculate your dumbbell weight by multiplying your 1RM weight by 80percent and 60percent.
For instance, if your 1RM is 20 pounds, the standard weight amount for your arm curl exercise routine is 2 to 6 pounds.
In choosing the accurate weight, focus on your strength level, start with low weight, engage in repetitions, and gradually increase the weight.
When should I switch from a dumbbell to a barbell?
You can use dumbbells for workouts that would otherwise need a barbell, but both the dumbbell and barbell allow one to explore a wide range of exercises.
A barbell is the best option for heavy compound lifts, but dumbbells only enable you to isolate specific muscles.
However, training in a full range of motion makes it easier to build strength and mass, making dumbbells the best equipment to use instead of barbells.
This does not mean a barbell cannot serve other purposes as it is reputed to be capable of so many things, making its frequent use worth a while.
This article sheds light on dumbbell to barbell conversion and how to convert the Barbell Vs. weight.
The dumbbell bench press weight conversion calculator is accurately outlined without leaving any detail, and other factors related to the dumbbell to barbell conversion were also enumerated.
It is then necessary to note that conversion machines have different conversion formulas, with resistance changing based upon the accurate weight of each plate, the length of arms, the number of pulleys, and any hooks or straps on the machine.
However, the weight conversion depends on your training history, gender, body weight, and training level.
If you found this article quite resourceful, check out our other fitness-related articles on ExpertFitness.org.
Nathan Lloyd, MSc
LICENSED PERSONAL TRAINER
I’m a personal trainer, based in Boulder, Colorado.
I service clients physically in the Boulder area, mainly in the ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, but am also available for online consulting and coaching.
If you’re interested in my personal coaching programs, please contact me via the contact page.