The Great Debate

The Great Debate
By Michael Branin

Hi, Welcome back to The fitness blog for the people, by the people. Today we are going to talk about one of the highly debated topics in the fitness industry. The barbell vs the dumbbell. I’m going to start by highlighting what each option brings to the table.


  • Allows you to lift heavier weights: Using a barbell lets you lift one weight using both arms or legs doubling your pushing or pulling power. It also relieves some of the stress on your core, because the weights are already balanced by the bar.
  • Better for leg workouts: You can do squats with dumbbells but eventually, the weight will become to much; and you will have to use a barbell to better stabilize those heavier weights.
  • You need them for explosive exercises: When performing a snatch, power clean, or any Olympic exercise you wont be able to generate the same power with dumbbells


  • Evens out strength imbalances: This is a common problem, especially in beginning weight lifters. Where one arm or leg is stronger than the other.
  • Activates core and other muscle fibers: Trying to stabilize dumbbells actives your core more effectively, as well as other muscle fibers in your arms and legs.
  • Safer than a Barbell: If you can’t complete a rep you can just drop dumbbells, but you can get pinned under a barbell when you bench or squat

So there you have it Dumbbells are better for a beginning weight lifter equaling imbalances, improves core strength, and its a much safer option if you are still working on your form or don’t have the strength necessary for a barbell. But if you are serious about weightlifting you should consider graduating to a barbell eventually when you feel comfortable. But remember there is nothing wrong with starting with dumbbells. That’s where I began weightlifting is a marathon not a sprint.

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