Jun 8, 2011

Barbell or dumbbells?

Well, I use them both, in most workouts. There are some exercises that are superior with barbells and there are some exercises that are best with dumbbells. In short you get the range of motion with the dumbbells and the ability to twist and turn your arms during the movement. With barbells you get the stability to move higher loads. Here are my favorites to compare.

Benchpress: I usually start out with the barbells and the heavy loads, and when my pecs are fatigued from the barbell, I use dumbbells for increased Range of Motion and stretch.

Shoulders: Here I actually prefer to start out with dumbbells because I can use a true lateral movement with the weights on each side of my head during the shoulderpress. Later on in the workout I add the barbell overhead press for my front and lateral delts.

Rows: In my mind the barbell row is superior to the one arm dumbbell row. I get a better contraction and higher load. Barbell row is, together with the deadlift, my absolute favorite exercises for back thickness. One arm dumbbell row is an exercise I use for from time to time to get a better ROM for the rows.

Biceps: I often start out with the dumbbell curls. It's an more intens exercise then the barbells, and I feel a better effect from the eccentric phase of the barbell curls if I do them later in the workout. So a good routine for me is to start with the alternating dumbbell curls and finish off with some superintense EZ-curls.

What do you all think, agree or not agree?


  1. I do the exact same thing. Barbell for back and chest first, and dumbbells for shoulders and biceps.

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