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Why We Love Training with Barbells (even though they're hard to find while traveling)

Say "barbell" 5 times fast...

Gym in Hamburg, Germany
Gym in Hamburg, Germany

Barbells are an amazing fitness tool that can offer a multitude of benefits for anyone looking to improve their overall fitness and health. Whether you're a seasoned weightlifter or just starting out, barbells provide a versatile and effective means of strength training and muscle building.

One of the primary benefits of barbells is their versatility. They can be used for a wide range of exercises, from squats and deadlifts to bench presses and bicep curls. This allows you to work out a variety of muscle groups, including your legs, back, chest, arms, and shoulders. Additionally, barbells come in different weights, making it easy to progressively increase the resistance as your strength improves. And when I really sit back and think about it, what CAN'T be done with a barbell? Maybe pull-ups? But you technically could do a pull-up with the bar racked in a squat rack. I digress...

Barbell and some sweet socks
Barbell and some sweet socks

Another advantage of barbells is their effectiveness. When compared to other forms of strength training equipment, barbells have been shown to offer greater results in terms of building muscle and increasing overall strength. This is because barbell exercises are compound movements that require multiple muscle groups to work together, which leads to greater muscle activation and growth. Keep in mind, barbells are awesome but you'll also need to intake the correct amount of protein for muscle growth.

Barbells are also incredibly efficient. With just a few key exercises, you can get a full-body workout in a short amount of time. This is particularly beneficial for people with busy schedules, who may not have hours to dedicate to working out every day. Crossfit has basically created a whole cult around barbells, body weight exercises, stopwatches, and skull patches on backpacks.

Furthermore, barbells offer a level of safety that other forms of strength training equipment may not provide. For example, with a barbell, you can maintain good form and stability throughout each movement, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, many barbell exercises can be performed with a spotter, which can help you safely complete heavier lifts and prevent injury. In my opinion, though, one of the drawbacks of barbells is that you can depend on one side of your body over the other. You have to be cognizant of staying balanced.

Another benefit of barbells is the ability to challenge yourself and make steady progress. As you build strength and muscle, you can increase the weight of the barbell, which will continually challenge your muscles and help you reach new fitness goals. This can be especially motivating and rewarding, as you see your strength and muscle mass increase over time.

Finally, barbells are also a cost-effective way to get a great workout. Unlike other forms of strength training equipment, barbells are relatively cheap and can be easily stored in a home gym. This means you don't have to pay a monthly membership fee or travel to a gym to use them. Unfortunately, while you're traveling you won't see many barbells in Air BNBs, and only good hotel gyms have them. This means you will likely have to visit a nearby gym to find one.

In conclusion, barbells are an amazing fitness tool that offer versatility, effectiveness, efficiency, safety, progress, and cost-effectiveness. Whether you're a seasoned weightlifter or just starting out, barbells are an excellent way to build strength, increase muscle mass, and improve your overall health and fitness. So why not give barbells a try and see the amazing benefits for yourself?

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