Dumbbells VS Barbells

2 Min Read

Any type of equipment in the gym have their pros and cons. But when it comes to free-weights, what do you normally choose more of between dumbbells and barbells?


  • Can be used for compound and isolation exercises
  • Allow for uni-lateral exercises (train one side at a time, great for imbalances/form)
  • Different shapes and sizes (some allow plates to be loaded, some are rubber so safer on flooring)
  • Come in lots of different weight sizes from 1kg upwards
  • Engages MORE stabilizer muscles
  • More movement freedom which can help to ‘squeeze’ exercises better


  • Allows you to lift MORE weight than dumbbells
  • Hits more muscle groups at once, so great for compound size & strength exercises
  • Can be loaded with plates or on a rack as a fixed barbell
  • Different bars can weigh different weights
  • Barbell can be easier to use on certain exercises, especially as you add weight
  • Great for improving athletic performance with compound & olympic style exercises

Overall Verdict

Variety really is the key here, so there’s no real need to always choose one over the other. Dumbbells are great for imbalances, easier on the joints/tendons and can help train all the little important muscle groups too. Barbells are the go to for when you’re trying to gain strength and size as they’ll allow you to load more weight. That’s why it’s important to keep your muscles guessing by constantly changing workout variables, such as the number of reps and sets, loading devices, weight or intensity.

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