Cord, lifting with dumbbells scares me more. When working out alone lifting that much weight, if one hand were to slip that would smash your face if you couldn't get out of the way or direct it elsewhere. Nothing like a 110+ lbs coming down on you because one hand gave out.
Well, its taken years, but we finally disagree on something re. training
I agree that safety bars/power rack bench makes one man barbell work a viable option, but for those without such equipment, dumbells are a safer bet.
1. The level of control needed to get in position, and the independant nature of them, means that you will never be lifting as much weight as a bar press anyway, whilst still getting full benefit.
2. If you 'fail' on a dumbell press, the chances are it will be at the 'sticking point' meaning the 'bell has little distance to travel inwards, will glance off your chest and fall to the floor. If its a controlled failed rep, ie. you dont think you will get it, but want to try, then you just drop the 'bells to your side. With a bar, you are left with it crushing your chest, and usually end up having to 'roll' it down your body to your waist, so you can sit up and ditch it.
Having walked in to an otherwise empty gym, to find a guy rasping for help having pinned himself under his bench press for 10 minutes
, I would take the option to be able to drop a weight easily anyday - he was in a bad way.
I myself ended up with a marvellous horizontal 'hicky' on my stomach as a youngster, as I got caught out, rolled the bar down, and it 'pinched' the skin between it and my lifting belt, breaking all the blood vessels in the process.
It was the last time I bar-benched alone.
Aside from this, I would point out that the suicide-grip is a major player here anyway, and was demonstrated in Joel's last link as well. For goodness sake, evolution spent millions of years giving us opposable thumbs - please use them when articulating large amounts of weight