Barbells vs. Dumbbells for Building Muscle Mass

Due to the fact that there are multiple types of equipment found in gyms and fitness stores, one can easily get confused on which one should be used during their training. Manufacturers compete against each other to claim that the equipment that they produce can yield better results when used. Dumbbells and barbells are also included in this confusion especially since they are both used in weight training. One must understand that both are effective in building muscle mass yet the method in which one builds muscle differs. Barbells use the muscles that are directly involved during the lifting process. On the other hand, dumbbells also builds and strengthens the other muscles that are used to stabilize lifting.

To achieve better muscle strength, one must understand the various effects of both barbells and dumbbells. Furthermore, if you can get the opportunity to use both of these, it will be advantageous for your body’s muscles.

#1 Barbells

Barbells have heavily weighted plates on both ends of a long bar. The length of the bar provides a balanced approach during weight lifting since the lifter is commonly lifting barbells in a linear manner. This means lifting or pushing the barbell upwards and putting it straight back down. Since both hands are also used when lifting this equipment, the lifting procedure is also more stable.

One of the advantages in using a barbell is that there are multiple plates that have various weights available. This means that you can either add or remove plates depending on your body’s capacity. A you build more muscle mass through workouts, you can add more weights to build stronger muscles. Unlike barbells, dumbbells come in a set weight and therefore its weight cannot be adjusted.

#2 Dumbbells

Dumbbells are smaller versions of barbells that also have weighted plates on the opposite ends of a bar. However, unlike barbells, the iron bars on the dumbbells are shorter and can be gripped with just one hand. Dumbbells provide a better balanced workout for the muscles since you can do sideways movements in addition to the linear ones. This means that the secondary muscles used for stabilization are also worked out, in addition to the muscles that are directly involved with lifting.

Also, there are certain exercises that you can do with dumbbells like fly, triceps extensions and lateral raises. These exercises cannot employ the use of a barbell due to its weight and size. It should be noted that even though dumbbells can be used individually, you should ensure that both arms are given the equal amount of repetitions during your workouts and trainings. This will guarantee you a balanced size and weight of muscles in both sides of your arms and body. Having unequal focus on both sides of the arms and body can even lead to injuries that may prevent you from working out for weeks. This is in addition to the unsightly image of having one arm larger than the other.


With this, it doesn’t matter whichever equipment you use. Still, it is preferable that you use both of them if you have the opportunity to do so. Try to use them in alternate routines and exercises to build better and stronger muscles. Both of these equipment can yield various results for your body’s muscles.

Keep in mind that you should at least devote 30 minutes of moderate exercise for five days every week while exercising both sides of your body equally. If this schedule is too tight for you, you can also do the 20 minute vigorous exercise for three days a week. It will even be better if you can alternately use the 30-minute and 20-minute workout routine for every week so your body will be exposed to varying degrees of intensity. Letting your body stagnate with the same workout intensity will not produce bigger muscles, so try to increase it as you go through your training.

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