Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dumbbells vs. Barbells - Which is Better?


There’s no question that dumbbells allow for some great workouts. But any experienced trainer also knows they are much harder to lift than barbells. If you can just press a hundred pound barbell ten times, trust me, you won’t be able to lift two fifty pound dumbbells ten times. You’d be lucky to get eight reps but more likely, you’d conk out at five or six. It takes greater effort to control the independent movement of dumbbells. By the same token, if you can press two fifty pounders ten times lifting a hundred pound barbell would be a breeze. You could probably handle a hundred and twenty for the same reps. And this brings me to my point: for a raw beginner, dumbbell lifting is just too hard. Yet most beginners, especially women, head right for the dumbbell rack when it comes to free weight exercises. The net result is they have to choose weights that are pathetically light in order to get them up at all. And the result of that is frustration and slow gains. Beginners should train exclusively with barbells. Save the dumbbell exercises for a challenging change of pace a few months down the road. Put your effort into building a solid foundation of strength and mass rather than trying to corral wayward dumbbells.