Both barbells and dumbbells have their benefits in the gym.
However, there’s one clear choice when building your home gym.
When it comes to assembling equipment for your home gym space dumbbells are the frontrunner over barbells for us.
We love barbells. Don’t get us wrong. When it comes to heavy lifts there’s no better choice. However, when it comes to your home gym, they often fall short.
Here’s why we prefer dumbbells in the home:
Dumbbells save space
Most olympic bars are 7 feet long. That’s a huge amount of space both horizontally (when in use) and vertically (often to store) required. On top of the bar itself, a number of plates are required, in various sizes. It’s a lot to store, especially when you consider that one set of adjustable dumbbells take up virtually no space.
Barbells often require additional equipment to use. Set up for a heavy squat or bench press is impossible without a squat rack. Likewise, a bench is necessary for exercises like a chest press or hip thrust. So when thinking about space for a barbell, it’s important to consider all of the accessories that need to accompany it for effective use.
Dumbbells are more versatile
While barbells are better for heavier lifts, we would argue that dumbbells are able to hit big muscles just asshoulders from different angles with a barbell, especially for those of us who can’t bicep curl at least 45lbs.
effectively while also being able to tackle accessory muscles. It’s a lot harder to hit muscles like biceps triceps and
Additionally, dumbbells allow you more flexibility when it comes to weaker muscle groups. As we said above, thelightest weight you can start with on an olympic bar/barbell is 45lbs, the weight of the bar itself. There are fixed weight barbells that are lighter, but then you are stuck storing multiple sets of barbells that can’t be adjusted in anyway.
Stick with dumbbells and you have a range of weights for all kinds of exercises for every conceivable muscle group, as well as a greater range of motion for most movements.
Dumbbells are quieter
Because barbells are often used for heavier lifts, they tend to be louder. Unloading a heavy barbell, whether onto a squat rack or the floor can rattle the house. If you live in an apartment that’s a whole other ball game. Your neighbours will not be happy.
Unless your home gym is in the basement or in your garage, odds are you’re going to make some noise.
Dumbbells are less expensive
Largely because dumbbells don’t require as much fanfare, they are less expensive than barbells. Bar, plates, rack, bench. It adds up.
It’s your space, your budget and your preference that should dictate what you put in your home gym. Your goals should also be a factor. If your goal is aggressive strength and muscle gain, then a barbell with a rack are likely the right call, provided you have the space and budget for them. For most of us though, a set of adjustable dumbbells and a bench are enough, given that the average person doesn’t have the space for anything more complex.
At the end of the day, think about what you’ll use. It doesn’t matter what you buy if it sits in the corner gathering dust.
If you want help deciding what equipment is right for your space don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help.