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Barbell vs dumbells???????


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Has anyone in their experience found one to be more effective than the other?

 

In the early 90s I concentrated on barbell work....but in the last ten years it has been mostly dumbell. The reason for this is because I find it easier to grab some dumbells than having to load up a bar for something like bench press. It gets tough for decline bench press though. I am afraid I will limit myself by sticking to dumbells.

 

I have been lifting for years but have been primarily lifting alone in recent years so it is easier to do dumbells without a spotter. One problem I see is getting into position with heavy weights. Sitting at a bench with 85 lb or higher dumbells and then getting into bench press position adds momentum to the weights coming down toward your body. With a barbell....the you have more control over the start of the movement.

 

Curious other's findings.....

 

-Rich

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Has anyone in their experience found one to be more effective than the other?

 

My dad had a friend whos fathers cousin claimed his chest grew a lot more using dumbbells. Not only the volume increased but the shape of his chest improved a lot too.

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i googled both Barbells dumbells and they look the same?

 

 

Dumbells are the smaller ones that are just one set weight. Barbells consist of a bar and whatever size plates you want to put on the ends.

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Well, I never heard about something with "set weights". I have a normal, long barbell and two short ones, each around 17" long, and you can add plates to the long one as well as to the short ones.

I found that using the two small, separated bars makes it by far harder to lift the same weight because you have more problems balancing two objects and you can not just use force on one side to move the other end as well.

I would use the long bar for the real, nice exercises like deadlifting, benching and squatting. The short ones are for fancy isolation exercises and obscure movements with an increased range of motion unachievable with a longer bar.

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I will vary use of both. I like to use dumbells in conjunction on my chest and arms due to the fact that I have a tendency to over push/press/pull with my right arm. With dumbells I can even the weight out and get a distributed lift with both my arms. I would never just use one or the other unless I had no other choice.

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Sometimes I think the balance required in using dumbelss for something like bench press recruits more muscle fibers...as it is more difficult than barbell presses for example.

 

I'm not sure if it necessarily recruits more muscle fiber, but there's no question, it brings stabilizers into play considerably more, which makes using DBs a good idea from time to time.

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Has anyone in their experience found one to be more effective than the other?

 

My dad had a friend whos fathers cousin claimed his chest grew a lot more using dumbbells. Not only the volume increased but the shape of his chest improved a lot too.

 

To add to this: My chest feels far more bombed after rest-pausing on DB bench than BB bench. The DOMS in my chest is greater from DBs, and leaves me with less shoulder DOMS (unless, of course, in the BB workout, I do some heavy overhead pressing). I think this is mostly because I find it easier to get a deeper arch in my back and put my chest further out with DBs than BBs.

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Not always having a spotter available makes it easier for me to do DB presses so that is typically where I stay. Unfortunately due to issues with my shoulder and elbow joint in my left arm I have done neither for 6 months and I used to be a monster bench presser. Oh well.

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I prefer barbells, but only because they're more fun to work with...However with dumbells, you have a greater range of motion, you're not limited to one plane and you can target more muscles with a variation of exercises (particularly upper body). Barbells are overall great if you want to increase your strength because you can add a lot more weight. When doing squats or a deadlift, I'll use a barbell over dumb bells any day because it makes me work so much harder.

 

And loading the bar's the best part (but perhaps being a girl, I don't nearly have to load up as heavy as you do...)! I'll say that using barbells has been so effective for increasing my strength and pushing me to work harder, dumbells may be more convenient in that you can just pick them up and work and when I want to hit specific muscles or if I want to do a move that a barbell won't allow...

 

I don't know, it's tough, it really depends on what you're focusing on and what your goals are....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use kettlebells (which are awesome!) and dumbells. They're all I can fit in my apartment. I have a door pull up bar too. Also do body weight exercises - push ups, ab work, legs too. There are others you can google. So sometimes it's just a matter of making do with what you have and finding a way to work outside the box.

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