When You Should Use Barbells Instead of Dumbbells (and Vice Versa)

Dumbbells and barbells, the two workhorses of free weight training, each have subtly different advantages

Dumbbells are small; you hold one in each hand. A barbell is the longer, typically two-handed implement.

First, let’s look at a barbell’s biggest advantage: their size. Some exercises can be done just as well with either type of implement, but when you want to lift something really heavy

Let’s use deadlifts for an example. Beginners might be able to use heavy dumbbells for their deadlifts

But even a well-stocked gym won’t usually have dumbbells that go much above 100 pounds each

That’s 200 pounds total, which is only a beginner-level deadlift

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