Barbell Vs Dumbbell causes a constant battle among gymers

Barbell Vs Dumbbell: The Endless Battle Of Muscle Training

Barbells and dumbbells, all are exercise equipment for resistance training. The point of this kind of workout is to increase endurance, enhance strength, and build up the muscle size. It is the favorite workout of numerous people.

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However, gymers are regularly getting confused about whether to choose barbells or dumbbells. So many opinions about the battle of these tools are expressed. Yet, the last verdict remains questionable.

In this article, Nogii will help you clear the mess and find out the winner.

Barbell Vs Dumbbell causes a constant battle among gymers
Barbell Vs Dumbbell causes a constant battle among gymers

How Resistance Training Grows Muscles?

A Simple Definition Of Free Weight Training

The principle of weight training or resistance training is clear. Your body will work against a resistance force consistently and repeatedly. Thereby, your muscles become stronger.

There are various forms. The most common, however, is free weight training. It is the type of exercise which involves the use of such tools as kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells.

Benefits Of Resistance Training And How To Achieve Them

Merits of resistance training are myriad.

It is easy to practice as there are a lot of exercising tools available in the market. Free weight training can promote the strength and tone up your muscles. Also, you stand good chances to keep a proper balance of the body thanks to resistance workout.

Another plus point of strength training is safety. It is certainly not the safest way to exercise. But the possibilities of accidents and injuries during free weight training is lower than other forms of workout variations.

To get the most beneficial outcomes, you need to put a few things into careful consideration.

The very first thing is the weights.

Is a fixed weight or a hand weight more appropriate? How heavy it should be to reach the goal? Which level of resistance can you stand? They all require you to make a decision.

Next, you should think about the exercise pattern. Calf raising is ideal for promoting the durability of the legs. If you want to boost the arm muscles, it is better to do weight-lifting. The number of “raise” and “lift” can exert a dramatic influence on the result as well.

Finally, the muscles can adapt to the kind of work-out. It means if you keep doing the same thing for so long, you will no longer see the improvement. That’s why you need to switch around other forms of exercise regularly.

Know What You Are Exercising With


You must know that a barbell is a very popular tool in work-out. Not only weight training, bodybuilding but weightlifting and powerlifting also make use of barbells.

They often consist of a long steel bar with two weights at each end. The weights are solidly attached, so there is little chance of accidents.

The length of a bar varies from 4 ft to more than 8 ft. Professional powerlifters usually exploit the 7.2 ft bars, which is not prevailing. The central portion diameter ranges from 0.98 inches to 1.96 inches.

The average size of the barbell
The average size of the barbell

The manufacturer often engraves a pattern of knurled crosshatches on the bars intending to facilitate firm grip.

Sliding the weight plates can modify the total weight of the barbell. You can intensify the heaviness by moving the plates closer to each other. To reduce weight, you expand the distance between them.

So simple and easy.

Sometimes the plates may be moving inconsistently when you lift a barbell. To avoid that, you can add a collar to each side of the bar.


A dumbbell has a lot in common with a barbell. It is also a piece of free weight training equipment. There are two weights attached to each end of a solid bar. However, the size of dumbbells is significantly different from that of barbells.

Barbells are designed to go with one hand only. Gymers usually raise a dumbbell one hand after another. Otherwise, you can also use both hands at the same time. Each lifts a dumbbell. However, the latter way of workout is for lightweight dumbbells only.

Nowadays, you can find as many as three popular kinds of dumbbells on the market. They are adjustable, fixed-weight, and selectorized dumbbells.

The first version has knurling in the center portion. Weight plates are situated on the outer ward. There are clips or collars to secure the plates.

Fixed-weight dumbbells are not dumbbell indeed. They are weights with a shape like dumbbells. The materials to make this kind is inexpensive. Cast iron is the most commonplace. Dumbbells from cast iron can have a layer of rubber or neoprene to be more comfortable.

Last but not least, the selectorized dumbbells can be regarded as a more improved version of the adjustable model. You can simply change the number of plates when placing the dumbbell stand. With the standard adjustable barbell, you need to add or remove the plates to adjust the weight manually. The selector pin of selectorized version will save you from all the hard work.

The Superiority Of Barbells

Selectorized Dumbbells are more flexible
Selectorized Dumbbells are more flexible

It is undeniable that you will be lifting more weight with barbells. The reason is both hands are involved in exercising.

Barbell bench pressing allows you to work out against more or less than 200 pounds. With dumbbell practice, however, you can hardly raise a 100-pound in each hand.

Some science research shows that gymers are likely to elevate approximately 20% more with barbells than with dumbbells. The exercise condition remains the same. Fewer muscles to stabilize enable an increase in weight lifting.

The second advantage of barbells is evident progress. The obvious improvement in your muscles results from the fact that you are boosting more heavily. The harder the exercise is, the quicker the outcome arrives.

It is the rule for every type of work-out.

Plus, it is much safer. With the military press and the bench press, you can maintain great control of the bar. It is not similar for dumbbells. To do the various workout with dumbbells, you raise the weight from starting position. Just a slip of your hand, you can badly hurt yourself.

A big bonus of barbells is it is easy to combine with other exercises. Squats are the most apparent example. Barbell squat is widely used in muscle building for not only the arm but also the calf. The combination of these two workouts promotes an ideal body in a shorter time.

The Supremacy Of Dumbbells

Numerous advantages of barbells never rule out the fact that dumbbells have their own strengths.

Dumbbell workout will activate the stabilizer muscles. Yes, you are able to work out more with barbells. But you tend to exercise comprehensively using dumbbells.

There is evidence that the dumbbell bench press helps to build up the chest muscles more the same exercise with barbells. The former utilizes most parts of the arm, facilitating a more wholesome result.

Also, a better range of motion is what you get from a dumbbell. Keeping a wide variety of movements during practice is important. In free weight training with dumbbells, you are performing a bit more adduction horizontally in comparison to get both hands on a bar. This will assist the muscle training and give you long-term benefits.

You can also move the dumbbells according to your preference. It creates a natural move. Therefore, your body will not have to suffer from muscle intensity. The slightly fixed pattern of barbell practice may make you get stuck in between. It can cause painful arms once in a while.

Although each of your hand exercises separately, it is more helpful in reducing the imbalance growth of muscles.

Do you know that when you lift a bar with both hands, one side is working harder than the other?

That’s why barbell lifting can make you asymmetrical. Dumbbells limit this issue because each side is exercised independently.

Just remember to keep the same weight plates and the same repetitions. Your body will stay well-proportioned.

Barbell Vs Dumbbell: The Final Conclusion

As the saying goes, every coin has two sides. Barbells and dumbbells have their own advantages and limitations. Now that you fully understand each tool for free weight training, it is much easier to decide which is more suitable for your exercising purpose.

As for me, Nogii opt for dumbbells, the selectorized model. It is small and super convenient for the workout at home.

What about you? Which do you prefer?

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