Dumbells Vs Barbells Vs Machine Poll

Discussion in 'General Training' started by Garratt, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Garratt

    Garratt New Member

    Dumbells because of range of motion?
    Barbells because of more weight ability?
    Or Machines Because of more weight isolation?
     
  2. lifter

    lifter New Member

    Barbells 100%
     
  3. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    Barbells. But some machines are also very good. Leg press, Hammer strength and similar machines that allow compound movements are also useful.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  4. Jon Stark

    Jon Stark New Member

    This might sound heretical, but for some movements I really think dumbbells are preferrable.  I don't have any EMG evidence or anything... ;)

    For example, bench press.  With the barbell your hands are equidistant throughout the movement, whereas with dumbbells you can move through a more "natural" range of motion -- wide grip at the bottom, narrow at the top.

    Or you can even keep your hands equidistant using the dumbbells, and at the top of the motion the tension on the pecs is pretty intense (since you need to resist the dumbbells' tendency to fall to the side).  I never feel much at the top of a barbell press.  It feels more like a triceps exercise once the bar is like 8" off my chest.

    The only problem is that when you start dealing with heavy dumbbells, getting in position to perform lifts can be a little awkward.  And spotters are no help.  That's really the only reason I do barbell presses now.
     
  5. Lars

    Lars New Member

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Jon Stark @ April 04 2002,12:33)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">This might sound heretical, but for some movements I really think dumbbells are preferrable.  I don't have any EMG evidence or anything... ;)

    For example, bench press.  With the barbell your hands are equidistant throughout the movement, whereas with dumbbells you can move through a more &quot;natural&quot; range of motion -- wide grip at the bottom, narrow at the top.

    Or you can even keep your hands equidistant using the dumbbells, and at the top of the motion the tension on the pecs is pretty intense (since you need to resist the dumbbells' tendency to fall to the side).  I never feel much at the top of a barbell press.  It feels more like a triceps exercise once the bar is like 8&quot; off my chest.

    The only problem is that when you start dealing with heavy dumbbells, getting in position to perform lifts can be a little awkward.  And spotters are no help.  That's really the only reason I do barbell presses now.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">The only problem is that when you start dealing with heavy dumbbells, getting in position to perform lifts can be a little awkward. And spotters are no help. That's really the only reason I do barbell presses now.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Same reason I favor DB exercises - I don't have a spotter, but my ego seems to want me to be trapped under the bar ;o)
     
  6. Garratt

    Garratt New Member

    I find when I get to the negative cycles.. theres no possible way dumbells are easy to work with.. unless I have 2 spoters to hand em to me... From the top position
     
  7. Steve McDermott

    Steve McDermott New Member

    Unfortunately due to limited equipment and space, I can only use DBs for now.  Although I do have 18&quot; spinlock adjustables that can hold at least 130lbs.  It is a pain to get them into position sometimes though.  Those combined with my shrug bar have proven to be enough to stimulate some real growth up to this point.

    I don't do negs cause i have no spotter    [​IMG]
     
  8. jmchldogg

    jmchldogg New Member

    I prefer to switch exercises on a regular basis and in doing so use both barbells and dumbbells quite a bit.  However, my preference is dumbells as they create less shoulder pain  :)
     
  9. Firminator

    Firminator New Member

    I prefer barbells. But I am dealing with a shoulder problem right now and need the flexibility of dumbbells for certain movements. All things being equal - give me a barbell!
     
  10. ndogg

    ndogg New Member

    i like barbells way more. i sometimes switch it up for variaty. the weird thing is that when i do DUMbells is when i get shoulder pain so i try to stay away from them.
     
  11. I prefer dumbells.  I don't get pain as long as I use them like dumbells, instead of like barbells.

    The down side is that they don't come big enough where I work out. . . I'm going to have to get creative next cycle.

    And I'm doing unassisted negatives very easily with dumbells!  Two hands up, one hand down.  I was worried at first about balance on the bench, but everything has been hunky-dory.

    FWIW, I use a barbell for squats and deads, dumbells for pressing and pulling (excpet chins and dips), and I use machines for biceps/triceps/leg curl to get the best isolation. To my way of thinking, isolation is great, but only on single-joint movements.

    E
     
  12. Jon Stark

    Jon Stark New Member

    Bumping an ancient thread...

    I've been very impressed with the BodyMaster Biceps Curl machine. I've been training on it with my right arm (my left is out of commission for a while), and it seems to have increased in size for the first time in a long while.
     
  13. Vince Basile

    Vince Basile New Member

    Just when we thought the direction of bodybuilding was to be more scientific along comes the old beliefs that will never die. It is amazing how beliefs continue to survive when evidence exists that should make us abandon those false beliefs.

    If we are talking about effectiveness then this is something that should be able to be established through experiments and not through canvassing opinions. That practices are common is not sufficient to establish that they are the best.

    I dream of the day when I can establish a gym without dumbbells or barbells. What a super gym that will be. Gone will be the old muscleheads and all of their near-religious beliefs and practices.

    When a muscle can tell what provides the tension that is when I will listen to arguments about free weights. What a totally silly argument it really is. Bah to free weights and all those who use them. I almost never use barbells except occasionally to squat.

    I prefer machines and have designed many good ones. A good Smith Machine should replace a barbell, anyway. That machine should be sloped to duplicate the path of a barbell. I have made such a machine.

    Imagine a gym without any machines. No lat machines or rowing machines. No calf machines, etc. It wouldn't be much of a gym to train in. No thanks. I prefer to control the resistances and quickly add resistances between sets with no fuss, noise or mess. A gym owner's dream.

    I doubt that anything I can say will change the core beliefs of the thousands of addicted free weight enthusiasts. So be it. Continue as before and remain unenlightened.
     
  14. willie838

    willie838 New Member

    vince, you are so enlightened. tell ronnie coleman that he need only do cable deadlifts as opposed to rippin 800 lbs off the floor.

    tell him he need not do 200lb dumbell bench, because he can just use the smith machine, since it's vastly superior

    i'm not saying machines have no value, but i find them MUCH less valuable thanf ree weights, why? cause free weights are so diverse.

    you want science? what about the reverse barbell or was it dumbell curl proving to be the most effective bicep stimulator....not a padded foam machine.

    not to argue, well actually yes i guess it is to argue, but i swear by free weights, and yes i use machines for

    leg extensions, leg curls, seated cable row, cable flys, smith shoulder press,

    and thats it, the rest are freeweight- they include- squat, dead, wide grip pullups, flat and incline db/bb press, tbar row in a corner, db shoulder press, db/bb shrugs, dips, various curl excercises.


    my main gripe is that you jump back and forth across the fence so much. you want to know what made the classic non doped bodybuilders so huge. it was freeweights, and it ALWAYS will be freeweights, at least for our lifetime as far as i can see.

    anyone else want to tackle the VARIOUS points i missed?
     
  15. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    I think this is interesting and might throw in some light, at the end of the day there are a lot of variable, I just wish there was more of a list. :confused:

    I guess this is the type of thing one should use as guidance for effectivity [​IMG]

    By the way Vince, do you have such a list in your enlightened office? Just teasing!

    Fausto
     
  16. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    I tend towards free weight exercises not because of some silly ego thing, but rather because they allow smaller increments. I picked an overhead press machine for deltoids. Now I'm basically f---ed because my 15, 10, and 5 rep max are 8, 9, and 10 on the machine respectively. After the 15's, no matter what I do, only one workout will have a new weight. Also, I have body symmetry issues, and I feel dumbbells will help me correct it.

    Moving plates around IS a royal pain in the rump, however. I think next cycle I'll switch to dumbell work as much as possible.

    Fausto - That chart rocks! What exactly does EMG mean?

    -Calkid
     
  17. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Calkid

    It is called electromyogram, some kind of needle is inserted into the muscle and measures electrical response [​IMG]

    I also think the chart rocks just a pitty it does not have more info for the rest of the muscles, it simplifies things to the nTH degree, as for effectiveness it is all there plain to see [​IMG]

    Bryan, can you get us a better list, I mean, more complete?:confused:

    Cheers

    Fausto
     
  18. Well, i am certainly not enlightened, but
    i like the feel of machines best though.
    Because i can fully concentrate on just pushing,pulling and pressing the loads.
    I use mainly machines, i like the tension better:

    legpresses and legcurls for legs. and they grow.

    standing calfmachine for calves:they grow.

    parallel grip chins ( no machine, dumbbell attached)
    plus seated Hammerstrenght machine rowing:lats growing

    seated benchpressmachine for pecs.
    added dips with attached dumbbell :also pecs growing.

    hammer strenght shrugs.traps growing nicely.

    seated shouldermachinepresses parallelgrip
    side dumbbell laterals to horizontal level ( dont like the cables and dont like the machine here, give an awkward feeling)
    rear delt machine ( incredible feeling, cannot be matched by dumbbells IMO) all three deltheads developing very well.

    And another exception: i do one arm standing dumbbell curls as my only direct biceps exercise: i dont like barbells or machines because of the fixed wristposition involved in these movements or the pulleys directing me in ways i dont like. With the dumbbell i do an in-between version of a hammer curl and a slightly supinated dumbbel curl. I just cannot get that feeling with machines or cables.

    For triceps its the pulley pushdown (slightly bent small EZ bar) that feels best and i can use a great amount of weight there. After the dips and the pressing movements earlier done, thats enough tricepswork for me.

    Arms still grow fine on this mix.

    Abs: just a set of two crunches with bodyweight, don´t want a thickly muscled waist.

    Well, when having to choose exercises maybe its all a matter of personal preference, not only based on whether someone just likes the look of the machine, or the look or the feel of a loaded olympic barbell or whatever, but maybe also on how the muscles,tendons, bones or whatever feel when they are loaded during the movement. Or how they feel after the movement, in the hours of rest and recuperation.

    Personal opinion: if i dont need a barbell, i dont use one.

    bye
    andré
     
  19. anyone

    anyone New Member

    Barbells by far!!! [​IMG]

    It's the only piece of equipment that allows me to do heavy squats and deads! [​IMG]
     
  20. Sharivan

    Sharivan Guest

    Arthur Jones clearly stated that barbells are better than dumbells and that GOOD machines are better than barbells.

    I think the problem is : How do I know that machines (in my gyms) are good... ?

    It's not Nautilus machines nor Med-X... so... I work with barbells and dumbells for some specific exercices (lateral raises, pull over etc)
     

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