Have you ever wondered which piece if dumbbells or barbells are going to be better for producing the results you want to see in the gym? You’ll find people who will say one is superior over the other, but it’s not so simple as saying one is better than the other. Continue reading to learn which is better and for what reasons.
On the surface, it may be tempting it say that barbells are superior. They can hold more weight, use more muscle groups at a time, and can be easier to maneuver. While all those things are true, there are certainly drawbacks. For example, it can be difficult to certain unilateral movements with a barbell, and it is very rare that outside of the gym, we pick up objects that are perfectly uniform. They are also large, and plates are expensive, so access to them at home is going to be limited as well.
Dumbbells have tons of benefits, such as being able to do both unilateral and bilateral work, being able to do a wide variety of movements, and they are cheaper and smaller than a barbell. While they are incredibly versatile, dumbbells can be awkward to hold and move, and are hard to find in weights that are as heavy as you can load a barbell.
So, which should you choose? The answer really depends on your goals, limiters, and structure of your training program. In short terms, you should use both. If you are looking to live a healthier lifestyle, part of that includes weight training. If you’re weight training, you’ll be best off using both.
Barbells are fantastic for building overall strength. Using both limbs will allow you to recruit more muscles and thus lift heavier weights, which in turn, make your stringer. However, if one side of your body is stronger than the other, it is easy to cheat yourself with a barbell and compensate for your stronger side. When this happens over a long period of time, you will begin to develop strength imbalances that may lead to injury if not corrected. The simple solution is to use dumbbells for accessory work. Single arm and single leg work with dumbbells will allow you to prevent these imbalances and continue training and progressing for life.
Dumbbells and barbells each serve a great function and can be used in conjunction with one another. Barbells are superior for getting you strong, but dumbbells will keep you healthy and injury free for the long term.
If you have any questions about when to us which, or if you need help setting up a training program, drop us a note or go ahead and book an intro!