Why We Love the Barbell

by Coach Matt

One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that using the barbell can be intimidating and often misunderstood. I get it! There’s so much fitness information and mistruth floating around that it can be overwhelming.

Furthermore, a barbell takes up a lot of space and requires coaching. Many gym models just can’t operate effectively with a barbell as a primary piece of equipment, so they probably don’t have great things to say about it!

In my gym, we embrace the barbell (we also make sure not to overuse it) and we feel that it’s unique in a number of ways. Here are a few reasons why we love the barbell:

  • As a long, fixed object it can give beginners valuable feedback whereas moving and stabilizing a dumbbell or kettlebell often requires more control and coordination.
  • We can load (and deload) a variety functional movement patterns easily and effectively.
  • We can be very detailed with our measurements when using a barbell which allows us to keep measurable, repeatable, and observable data.
  • We can assess and train range of motion and positioning.
  • We can gradually introduce movements such as Olympic lifts that require more coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy (neurological adaptations).

If you want to dig a little deeper into these points and also touch on why you could be overusing a barbell, check out my podcast (10 min listen):