Dumbells Vs Barbells


White Belt
Apr 29, 2008
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What is more effective to work with?
I try to use dumbells where possibly due to the greater amount of stabilizing muscles needed to control them.
I can shift more weight with a barbell though so if I am aiming for maximal power is this not more effective?
I also dont like the fact if I am doing 1 arm dumbell lifts such as a snatch, or clean and press and I am doing 3-4 reps then my body actually has to perform 6-8 reps in total as you need to do work both sides of the body equally. This means that my body/nervous system fatigues as it is working for a longer period of time.

What do you prefer and why? what excercises are best performed with barbells? and which with dumbells?
I use barbells more often just because the max load is usually greater. I'll change up with dumbells every once in a while for upper body pressing though.
Both are good

You can also perform almost every lift 1 handed with a barbell even snatches and clean and press
I use dumbbells because it is the only thing I have to work with.
i guess if i had to pick one or the other i would pick the barbell
I use both, but if I could ONLY use one or the other I would pick dumbbells.
I really like to use dumbells for lunges, rows, weighted pull ups and incline bench press. I use a barbell for flat benching, squats, deadlift, etc.

I could use a barbell for the exercises I use the dumbells, except for weighted pull ups, and get the same results.

That being said, I like to mix it up and use both.

EDIT: What Urban said.

but if the dumbbell is lighter than 60lbs or so it is useless to you, oh and no kickbacks, curls, etc.

Well I usually start with DB's heavier than 60lbs., but after the first 12-15 sets of curls my gunz are so wasted I can barely curl those little 2lb. pink dumbbells. That's ok if I prefatigued with heavy weights first right?

I mainly train with dumbells. And your point about having to do double the reps isn't that big of a deal. You're using less weight. If I'm doing one arm clean and press with say, 120 pound dumbell for 6-8 reps, that's not as taxing as cleaning and pressing two 100 pounders at the same time. It takes longer to do it but it's rarely a problem of my muscles giving out due to the extra sets. Cardio wise, if you want to call it that, may have a little more because of the added sets. Not enough to deter me.

EDIT: What Urban said.

but if the dumbbell is lighter than 60lbs or so it is useless to you, oh and no kickbacks, curls, etc.

DB doesn't have to be over 60lbs to be effective. That's not even close to accurate.
Use dumbells most of the time and I do dumbells for like 2 mothns and then barbell for a couple of weeks and then go back to dumbells. Dumbells are better for overall functional strength and they will make your overall stronger