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Thoughts on thickbar pressing


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Tommy J.

Like the title says. Chime in with your thoughts on thickbar pressing please.

 

personally, I’ve done my share of bench workouts with a thickbar. And I find it to be highly over hyped.

I notice zero added difficulty from the thick bar during any part of the press when comparing to a standard barbell.

1. it’s not like bar flex is some kind of aid to a bench. So pressing a rigid axle changes nothing with regards to bar English. (Unless of course you’re a bencher that depends on bounce! 😜)

2. It’s not like you have to fight to keep a bar in your hand on a press... it pretty much just sits there. And if balanced well enough (elbows staying directly below the hands, etc.), you don’t even have to close your hands around the bar to complete the press. 🤷🏼‍♂️

On a side note, I have debated in the past weather regular barbell benching was, or wasn’t a grip feat. ...which was an odd debate imo.. and I believe it’s a foregone conclusion that your grip strength bears little to no significance with regards your bench press. No more than it does on a squat actually.

 

that said, what has me thinking about this is the thought of bench pressing 2 full size Inch DB’s maybe for rep or two  sometime in the near future. Yes, I just said that.
obviously I’ve never done a double lift from the floor, and would have to skip that part of the feat and just do the press. But hey.. just pressing them seems appropriate for now. 🤷🏼‍♂️

but thinking about it, I don’t really see what makes the pressing portion of the feat notable... I understand that dbs in general do add to the difficulty of a bench press when compared to a barbell. Given that there are some balance/stabilizer factors that aren’t nearly as emphasized with a plain ol barbell.

but imo, the only cool factor with that feat is the lifting from the floor and getting set up on the bench with the DBs before the press. That is the portion of the feat that is going to make it mega rare to see.

also imo, having a half decent press pretty much deletes any shock value with regards to actually pressing a couple of 174lb DBs. Regardless of the handle particulars.

I think a lot of folks who just don’t bench those kind of numbers may be impressed with the pressing portion of the feat... but I simply am not.

to me, benching a couple of regular grip 200lb+ DBs is incredible. I’m gonna go out in a limb and assume only about a 500lb barbell bencher is going to rep a couple of 200lb’ers.

 

that said though, I do still think it would be kind of fun to give it (the pressing part of the feat) a go. And if successful, I guess it would be cool to say I’ve done it?.. also would be cool to say something nerdy, and along the lines of “smallest man to ever press 2 inch DBs” or something sassy like that. 😜

So to cover all my bases with intent to avoid needless debate, and also to emphasize that I’m not a hater of the feat, I’d like to point out a couple factors with Shaws Inch press feat.

1. He lifted from the floor!

2. He got set up in the press position with no assistance (which looked extremely difficult!)

3. He actually repped them in the incline position! (Also super difficult compared to a flat db bench!)

that pretty much makes it a badass feat overall!


again, I firmly believe that what makes the feat most special is 2 factors. The first being able to lift them from the floor. And the second being wrestling them into the press position and getting set before the press. 
that said, is the pressing portion even a big deal for a decent bencher?

 

is it something I should bother with attempting when I haven’t even done a true double lift from the floor?

what say you? 
 

baddass to do just the pressing portion of the feat? Or no?

regardless, now that my bench is up, I am intrigued to try it.

Edited by Tommy J.
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Lennix

I think pressing two dumbbells of 78kg is very strong and impressive. Them being an inch is like meh in the press. The only part which is impressive regarding them being inch dumbbells is the pickup and getting them into position! You should go for it!

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Tommy J.

Agreed! And thank you sir.

only own 1 inch DB at the moment, but do intend to try the press next time I hook up with the Tx crew.

I have no idea if I’ll even get close to a successful press due to the unruly nature of heavy db’s across the board, regardless of handle size. But I’m thinking the press shouldn’t give me a terrible amount of grief so long as I can keep them balanced. To add another note, with dbs you can actually press from a more natural shoulder position than is possible with a barbell.


I will update this thread at some point with video if I get it. Hell, I’ll upload a fail vid if that happens as well! 😁

 

would actually be pretty funny if the dbs ate my lunch after all the jaw jacking I’m doing about it! 😜

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Lennix
4 minutes ago, Tommy J. said:

Agreed! And thank you sir.

only own 1 inch DB at the moment, but do intend to try the press next time I hook up with the Tx crew.

I have no idea if I’ll even get close to a successful press due to the unruly nature of heavy db’s across the board, regardless of handle size. But I’m thinking the press shouldn’t give me a terrible amount of grief so long as I can keep them balanced. To add another note, with dbs you can actually press from a more natural shoulder position than is possible with a barbell.


I will update this thread at some point with video if I get it. Hell, I’ll upload a fail vid if that happens as well! 😁

 

would actually be pretty funny if the dbs ate my lunch after all the jaw jacking I’m doing about it! 😜

Haha well, I can only refer to myself I am a terrible presser. Best bench is 157.5kg but my max with a dumbbell is around 50kg xD

Can't wait for the video! :D

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
JasonD

I don’t think a 2” bar adds any more difficulty, but a 3” adds a little. I would think a 2.5” dumbbell handle would be more difficult than a 1”. At any rate, I think it would be a cool visual to bench press two Inch dumbbells. I have a second Inch dumbbell on order. I’ll have a chance to try it in a month or two.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jason, that was just siick power! Pretty much a close grip, with 3" axle, from a dead stop, no wrist wraps, and destroyed 405 lbs for a double!!!!!!! Crazytown!

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Joe Sullivan

Awesome display of power. Total other level. 

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Joe Sullivan

Shall I say ... “Vulgar display of power”??

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6 hours ago, Kluv#0 said:

Jason, that was just siick power! Pretty much a close grip, with 3" axle, from a dead stop, no wrist wraps, and destroyed 405 lbs for a double!!!!!!! Crazytown!

Thanks Michael! 

1 hour ago, Joe Sullivan said:

Shall I say ... “Vulgar display of power”??

Thanks Joe! Ha ha, I was listening to that album as I did this!

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Tommy J.

as promised, here is my fugly attempt at benching 2 inch DBs.
 

 

Isaac and Adam told me they weren’t assisting, but I AM glad they stayed with me for the whole rep. We decided on going for the press from the top, as opposed to from the chest. It was certainly easier on me this way, but was more than likely awkward for Adam and Isaac to have to lift the bells up that high by hoisting them up by the globes.

Gonna aim to do this again when I get a little stronger.

Edited by Tommy J.
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Joe Sullivan
1 hour ago, Tommy J. said:

as promised, here is my fugly attempt at benching 2 inch DBs.
 

 

Isaac and Adam told me they weren’t assisting, but I AM glad they stayed with me for the whole rep. We decided on going for the press from the top, as opposed to from the chest. It was certainly easier on me this way, but was more than likely awkward for Adam and Isaac to have to lift the bells up that high by hoisting them up by the globes.

Gonna aim to do this again when I get a little stronger.

Didn’t I see this very clip from an original walker Texas ranger prison scene back in the late 90s? Haha that was awesome brother! Looking strong! 

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Tommy J.

Thanks man.

real quick I do want to mention a big factor with pressing the bells that I didn’t foresee before feeling them. They literally try to roll off your thumb towards you. You have to basically almost force your hand to flop backwards to create a big enough shelf to keep them balanced. Or it IS mainly still a grip feat on the press portion.

if you listen closely, you can hear me ask Isaac to roll his bell outward. I could feel that one trying to overpower my thumb. Being that my right hand and wrist is quite a bit stronger than my left, I didn’t need to request the same to Adam on my right hand. On that hand I was able to turn it the direction it needed to go on my own.

Once they are balanced it’s sort of not a big deal to keep them that way if you go slow.

 

I will add that being able to lift a pair from the floor, sit down with them, and kick them up into the press position, then press them, all while keeping the bell movement in check is 100% a MONSTER of a feat. I’m confident in coming to that conclusion after only feeling the press portion of the feat. Hats off to the 2-3 guys who’ve done the whole feat under their own power.

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11 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Dayuum! Strong AF Jason!

Thanks!

11 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

as promised, here is my fugly attempt at benching 2 inch DBs.
 

 

Isaac and Adam told me they weren’t assisting, but I AM glad they stayed with me for the whole rep. We decided on going for the press from the top, as opposed to from the chest. It was certainly easier on me this way, but was more than likely awkward for Adam and Isaac to have to lift the bells up that high by hoisting them up by the globes.

Gonna aim to do this again when I get a little stronger.

That is cool! Great work!

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AdamTGlass

Beyound the 78 kg per bell as a tall order- you’re getting a rotation on the hand- and the open hand grip is crushing on the thumb- that’s a monster feat 🦍🇱🇷💪

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