I wanted to know how I should grip a barbell or a dumbbell. Should I grip it as tightly as I can or have a firm grip. Does your grip affect your performance or it s a personal choice. What is the correct practice? Answered by Flt. Lieutenant and fitness trainer Akshay Chopra Firstly for gripping a barbell or a dumbbell you should take a full round grip with thumbs around the bar. False grip is not a good idea especially in bench presses where there is danger of the rod slipping ahead because of the lack of thumb grip.