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September 19, 2018 Dan Raimondi

A few pro’s of using barbells in your training:

  • Adjustable- You can buy light technique barbells to start out if you’re not as strong. The tool scales to the individual’s ability with small weight jumps permitted.
  • Cheap- No, don’t buy a cheap barbell. A good barbell will cost between $250-$300 and will last a long time. Relative to the cost of machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc… a one time investment in a tool that can be loaded very heavy is cost effective.
  • Space- Barbells won’t occupy much space in a garage or basement gym. They can be stored vertically or horizontally (i.e. on a wall), and can easily be moved if needed.
  • Measurable– if we’re training for strength, over time the weight on the bar should be going up. With a barbell this is pretty easy to measure.
  • Versatile- One tool can train the body quite effectively. Squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows can cover the body from head to toe. If you’re in a time crunch and can only do a couple of exercises, it’s hard to beat 2-3 barbell exercises 2-3 days per week.

A few cons of using barbells in your training:

  • Technique- There is a small learning curve. You’ll need to find someone to teach you, or you can try and learn on your own
  • Intimidating- If you’ve never trained with a barbell before, they can look intimidating. If you have the right equipment you’ll soon realize it’s okay. A good coach can make this process less stressful.
  • It doesn’t cover everything. Some people might need a different piece of equipment given their history, goals, etc…

Overall, I highly recommend investing some time to learn the barbell lifts. It doesn’t have to be the only thing you do with your training, but knowing how to perform 3-4 exercises properly can go a long way in developing your strength.