Barbells vs. Dumbbells: Which Is Best for Strength Training?

Do you have some lofty fitness goals? Are you trying to burn fat and build muscle?

If so, you’re not alone. Did you know that 36.3% of Canadians are overweight and 26.8% are obese?

Whether or not you fall into these categories, the journey to reach your fitness goals won’t be easy. Becoming fit requires determination, consistency, and hard work.

If you’re willing to put in the effort, however, there’s no reason you won’t succeed. But there’s one question we need to ask. What’s better between barbells vs dumbbells?

Which types of workout equipment are safer? Which ones are better for building muscle? Which ones are better for mobility?

We’re here to answer all of your questions. Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of barbells and dumbbells.

The Benefits of Barbells

In the debate of barbells vs dumbbells, nothing can beat the load-bearing potential of barbells. You will never be able to lift as much weight with dumbbells as you can with barbells. They are the go-to choice for powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters.

Barbells are ideal for classic compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench press. These are considered the best exercises for building size and strength. Olympic exercises, like the barbell snatch and the clean-and-jerk, cannot be accomplished without barbells.

The Downsides of Using Barbells

Unfortunately, what barbells bring to the table in terms of strength and power, they lack in terms of versatility and mobility. A barbell gives you a straight bar to grip, hold, and move with. This isn’t always conducive to the mechanics of the human body.

Far more people injure themselves with barbells than with dumbbells. For example, shoulder pain and rotator cuff tears are common bench press injuries. However, most injuries can be avoided with proper lifting techniques and body awareness.

The Benefits of Dumbbell Exercises

Now let’s talk about the benefits of using dumbbells in the barbells vs dumbbells debate. Almost anything you can do with a barbell, you can do with dumbbells. Although, as noted earlier, you might be limited on how much weight you can use with dumbbell exercises.

More significantly, dumbbells allow you to perform unilateral movements. In other words, you alternate between sides. For example, during curls, you can go one-for-one or complete an entire set on your right side before switching over to your left.

Unilateral movements are ideal for creating balance and symmetry. They don’t allow your body to compensate on one side or the other.

 The Downsides of Using Dumbbells

While dumbbell workouts can encompass almost anything barbell workouts can, there is a problem. Aside from not being able to use as much weight, dumbbell equipment isn’t as adaptable as barbell equipment.

You’ll need multiple dumbbells to complete a full workout. For example, you might only be able to curl 30lb. dumbbells, but you’ll need a lot more than that for dumbbell bench press.

In this way, barbells are much easier to use because you have the option of working with just the bar or hundreds of extra pounds of weight.

Trying to Decide Between Barbells Vs Dumbbells?

What’s your opinion about barbells vs dumbbells? We think that you need both to have a complete muscle-building routine. Each type of weightlifting equipment comes with its own unique benefits.

If you’ve made up your mind and you’re ready to outfit your home gym, we are here for you. Take a look at our available strength equipment. We have a wide range of dumbbells, barbells, and more.

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