Barbells Vs. Dumbbells: Which Are Best For Your Strength Training Routine?

For anyone beginning their fitness journey, it can be overwhelming to decipher the many terms that exist. Between the many options one has for fitness, from different types of workouts to the various equipment needed for them, knowing how to properly work out is challenging. With so many tools at your disposal, the key is picking only the resources that will work best with your fitness goals. One area that can be challenging is strength training. Between knowing the right weight to lift and what area to focus on, strength training can be more difficult than you imagine.


Strength training is an important aspect of any fitness journey. Adding this activity to your workout will help tone and shape your muscles and get you closer to your goals. According to Mayo Clinic, you should do strength training twice a week on each muscle group. The most essential equipment for your strength training is a pair of weights. Your options in weights will either be a barbell or a dumbbell. Knowing which one to pick will ultimately depend on how you want to strength train. Regardless of your choice, you need to ensure you are certain it will meet your needs.

When to pick barbells

One option when you have when strength training is to use a barbell. Barbells are iron bars with weights balancing on either side. According to Onnit, barbells allow you to lift heavier weights and exercise the muscles more heavily. Because you are lifting barbells with a stable position, you can lift a bigger set of weights. Barbells give you a bigger set of control over the weight and let you direct more strength to your muscles.


Garage Gym Reviews adds that the barbell is one of the best tools to use if you plan to work out at home. The reason behind this is that this focused strength training will let you practice heavy lift weighting. Doing exercises while strength training with a barbell will create toned muscle and get you stronger much quicker than with dumbbells. Furthermore, barbells will create a heavier weight against your body when doing exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

When to choose a pair of dumbbells

Another option for your strength training journey is a pair of dumbbells. These classic strength training tools can be found almost anywhere and serve many benefits in your fitness journey. Old School Labs explains that, unlike barbells, dumbbells let you target different muscle areas and give you much more flexibility in your movements. While dumbbells are still a great choice, they do limit the amount of weight you can use. Your ability to lift weights is significantly reduced when you lift weights individually rather than one weight.


Steel Supplements adds that while barbells are best for muscle gain, dumbbells let you train both sides of your body to best fit their needs. Since everyone has one side that is stronger than the other, dumbbells let your train your weaker side to get it more balanced. What's more, dumbbells let you exercise your stabilization muscles much more as you will need all of your body to help lift a weight with only one side of your body. This process is not as easily achieved with barbells. Whether you choose barbells or dumbbells, simply ensure you are using the best option for you, and practice them carefully.