Barbell vs Dumbbell Training: A Comparison

Free weights are an excellent training tool that have been used by bodybuilders and other athletes for over a century. There’s a reason they’ve stood the test of time, and despite all the features of many exercise machines, serious lifters swear by their free weights.

When it comes to free weights, you have two basic options with barbells and dumbbells. Although you can perform the same types of exercises with both pieces of equipment, the experience when you use them is much different. Here are the differences of barbell training and dumbbell training, although with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Barbell Training Allows You to Lift More Weight

Barbell Training Allows You to Lift More Weight

On any exercise that you perform, you’re going to be able to lift more when you’re using a barbell than with dumbbells. How much of a difference is there? This varies depending on the exercise and the lifter, but it’s typically a difference of about 20 percent. If you can bench press two 100-pound dumbbells, you’ll probably be able to bench press 240 pounds with a barbell.

There are two reasons why you can lift more with a barbell

Because of the design of the barbell and the way the weight is spread out, it doesn’t tax your stabilizer muscles as much as two dumbbells would. It’s more difficult to keep dumbbells stable since the entire weight is in a smaller area.

Since both your hands are gripping the same barbell, it allows your dominant side to do more of the work. With dumbbells, your dominant side can’t pick up the slack for your weak side.

Dumbbell Training Prevents Asymmetry in Your Muscles

Being able to lift more with barbells has its pros and cons. One of the issues it can create is asymmetrical muscles because your dominant side is getting more of a workout than your weak side. This usually won’t be a significant difference, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you’re interested in bodybuilding.

Barbell Training Gives You More Options

The barbell is the more versatile tool than the dumbbell for a few key reasons.

With barbells, you can use as much or as little weight as you want, and weights are available in small increments. You’re only limited by what your gym has. That’s also true with dumbbells, but it’s rare to find gyms with very heavy dumbbells past the 100 to 150-pound mark. That means if you want to squat or deadlift 400 pounds, you’re probably going to need to use a barbell, because
finding a set of 200-pound dumbbells is unlikely.

Certain exercises are awkward to perform with dumbbells. This includes the aforementioned squat and deadlift. Even if you had dumbbells heavy enough for these exercises, they feel much more natural when you’re using a barbell.

It’s easier to progress in weight when you’re using a barbell because of the smaller weight plates. Barbell weight plates usually come as small as 2.5 pounds, and with one on each side, you’re adding just 5 pounds to your lift. Dumbbells tend to come in 10-pound increments. Those extra 5 pounds matter quite a bit when you’re trying to improve on your one-rep max.

Dumbbell Training Allows for Greater Range of Motion

Dumbbell Training Allows for Greater Range of Motion

The size and shape of a barbell results in a limited range of motion. This isn’t a problem for most exercises, but you can get a greater range of motion when you use dumbbells, and this will stimulate your muscles more. Bicep curls, the bench press and the shoulder press are three examples of exercises where you can get more range of motion by grabbing a pair of dumbbells instead of a barbell.

Both Types of Training Have Advantages in Terms of Safety

Your training habits have the most significant effect on how safe you are while you lift. By asking for a spot when necessary, warming up properly and learning the correct form for each exercise, you can prevent injuries.

But there are also safety advantages with both types of training.

With dumbbells, there’s little risk of getting trapped under a weight like there is with a barbell. If you get to the bottom of a rep when squatting or bench pressing using a barbell and you can’t press the weight up, you’re in a difficult position. Without a spotter, you’ll need to tilt the weight plates off one side at a time. You can guide a dumbbell down to the floor at any time if you feel like you can’t complete the rep.

Barbells allow you to start the lift in a natural position. The same isn’t true of dumbbells, as you may need to hoist the weights into the correct position, which is an unnatural movement that could easily cause injury.

Grab and Go with Dumbbell Training

Although there are adjustable dumbbells that use weight plates similarly to barbells, most are a set weight. You can just go up and grab the weights you want. With a barbell, you always need to load the weight plates you want, which means it will take a little bit longer.

Both Options Can Deliver Excellent Results

The good news is that you don’t need to choose between barbell and dumbbell training. Both have their benefits and you could see results no matter which type you choose.

Since barbells allow for smaller weight progressions and let you lift more overall weight, you’ll find that most serious lifters work with the barbell more. The dumbbell is a good choice for supplementary exercises, such as isolation work. It’s also helpful for beginners who are more focused on form than on lifting heavy.


If you can only do one, you’re better off with the barbell. But the best choice is to use both, see what kind of results you get and adjust your routine as necessary.

The Complex Reality of Stretching

Weightlifting is the activity of working out by lifting weights. There are two standard movements involved with this type of training – the snatch and the clean-and- jerk. The snatch is a single- movement lift from the floor, as if snatching something up. The clean-and-jerk is a two-movement lift from the floor to the shoulders to above the head.

Weightlifting is used to build the skeletal muscles, using things such as weighted bars, weight stacks or dumbbells. Its exercises make gravity work to oppose the force generated by muscles through both concentric (meaning the muscle’s length shortens) and eccentric (meaning the muscle length lengthens) contraction.

In everyday movements, the muscles contract in a multifaceted way, producing changes in their length and tension in a time-varying manner. Sports that depend on weightlifting are bodybuilding, powerlifting, highland games, shot put, and

Sports that depend on weightlifting are bodybuilding, powerlifting, highland games, shot put, and many others. There are also sports were weightlifting is used as part of the athletes’ training regimen, such as soccer, football, and basketball. It’s become an increasingly popular activity because of its benefits. Weightlifting isn’t just proven to help with sports. It has also been used to help lose weight.

Weightlifting isn’t just proven to help with sports. It has also been used to help lose weight. Lean muscles burn calories at a faster rate than fat. They can also consume more energy at rest. Lifting weights can also help eliminate the visceral fat and fat that surrounds the organs. For women, it can even battle osteoporosis. Any athlete knows that stretching before any workout is mandatory.

There are three kinds of stretching: static, dynamic and ballistic stretches. Static stretches are held for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute. Dynamic stretches elongate the muscle in a body movement.

Any athlete knows that stretching before any workout is mandatory. There are three kinds of stretching: static, dynamic and ballistic stretches. Static stretches are held for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute. Dynamic stretches elongate the muscle in a body movement, such as torso twists and lunges. Ballistic stretches use a bouncing action, like toe touches.

Stretching has a few rules, too. Stretch slowly, making sure to create a controlled movement. No bouncing. Do not stretch until there is pain; there shouldn’t ever be ongoing pain. Relax and breathe slowly.

Pre-workout Stretching

Pre-workout Stretching

While it’s not necessary to do a pre-workout stretch, it can be beneficial. Pre-workout stretches shouldn’t be done with no warmup. It is recommended to do light cardio before stretching any muscles. This will decrease the risk of injury during the workout. Research has shown that static stretching before a workout can decrease your performance output

Research has shown that static stretching before a workout can decrease your performance output when it comes to power. Because of this, most people want to eliminate static stretching. However, static stretches help with flexibility. With this in mind, static stretches are actually beneficial.

Dynamic stretches are often the best pre-workout stretches.

Full body stretches offer the most benefits in a single stretch. These stretches engage multiplemuscle groups all at once.

First, start off in a pushup position, with back and hips relaxed while your core and abs are engaged. Then, put your left foot to your left hand in a lunging stretch. Do not raise your hips. This will stretch the groin area in particular. Let it stretch for a few seconds before proceeding to the next step.

Point your left arm to the sky to create a rotational movement that will open your body up. Then, it’s back to the original pushup position, followed by the downward dog pose.

Mid Workout Stretching

Ballistic stretching is best done during the workout routine. Ballistic stretches are more demanding than static stretches. It involves bouncing, rapid movements done in a repetitive motion. This stretches the joints and muscles beyond the normal range of motion.

Because ballistic stretching can be risky when not performed under proper supervision by a trained professional, it’s recommended to do these sparingly in the workout. Most people will confuse dynamic and ballistic stretching. However, ballistic stretching is supposed to be bouncy, jerky and erratic. Dynamic stretching is meant to be smooth and controlled. Ballistic stretching has benefits, such as helping basketball players jump higher.

An example of ballistic stretching during a workout routine is a simple hamstring stretch. While standing upright, put a leg on an elevated level to the front. Keeping your legs straight and your back straight, bend over. Repeatedly reach forward and relax.

Post Workout Stretching

Post Workout Stretching

When the workout is over, most people think it’s time to go home and begin to recover. However, it’s the most beneficial time to do static stretches. The reasoning behind this is that the workout is already over, and the muscles are flexible from the range of motion used in the regime.

Because of this, stretching to improve flexibility is best when don’t at the conclusion of the workout. They also serve as a great way to cool down and lower your heart rate. Post workout stretching is also a good way to prevent injuries. These stretches help relax and relieve the muscles worked during the exercise routine. They only take five to ten minutes, and the benefits far outweigh the consequences if not done.

An example of a post workout stretch is the glutes and IT-band stretch. For this one, lie on your back and bend the right leg while keeping the right foot on the ground. Cross your left leg over your right thigh and hold the back of your right thigh with both hands. Pull both legs towards your torso. Then you’ll repeat it for the other side.

The Stretching Life

No matter if it’s a workout day or not, stretching should be a vital part of anyone’s day. It can lead to being able to handle stress better and enables muscles to work better. Studies have produced mix results on the pros and cons of stretching for workouts. What is certain is that stretching can help prevent injuries, increase flexibility, improve posture, and decrease neck and back pain.

Strength Training Workout Routines For Women

Strength training workouts for women, as opposed to common perception, do not really lead to bulking up, and owing to the many benefits they offer, you can find more and more fitness oriented women looking their way. So, just what should you know about the different weight training routines for women?

Continue reading Strength Training Workout Routines For Women