Men's 20KG Barbells

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Why barbells are better than machines.


When we focus on natural human movement patterns instead of individual muscles, joints, or muscle groups, an entire new perspective on training opens up to us. We no longer have to wonder whether we're training the correct muscles in the correct way to the correct, balanced level of strength, because instead of training the muscles, we're training the movement that uses the muscles, and all the other tissues and systems that support the movement. Each muscle, bone, joint, tendon, ligament, and nerve will contribute its natural and correct share of work or support to the movement,
because we are using all of these components to do what nature designed them to do.

The advantages of focusing on movements instead of muscles goes much deeper. There are about 640 muscles in the human body. But just a few basic movement patterns capture input from the vast majority of this muscle mass. If we take the basic patterns of squatting down and standing up, pushing something away, lifting something overhead, and lifting something heavy off the floor, we will strengthen and condition the entire musculoskeletal system, and make all of those movements stronger throughout the natural range of motion, increasing both strength and mobility. Loading the movement will also demand improvements in proprioception and balance, something that sitting down in the leg press machine can never do.

In short, when we focus our resistance training on movement patterns instead of muscles, we open up the opportunity to train the entire musculoskeletal system with just a few exercises in a way that improves strength, mobility, and balance, while exploiting the potential of resistance training to drive adaptation across the entire energy spectrum, enhance insulin sensitivity, reverse the atrophy of muscle and bone.

Only one form of strength training allows us to do this: Barbells.

Unlike machines, barbells are not designed to train isolated muscles or muscle groups. The primitive, humble, venerable barbell is the best technology yet developed for the safe, ergonomic loading of natural human movement patterns. With a barbell, we can apply a load to any of the major movement patterns, and thereby train those movements. Exercises with barbells call for athletes to perform each exercise according to his own anatomical dimensions, rather than forcing athletes to conform to the geometry of a machine. Barbell exercises demand balance and the contribution of all the muscles of the trunk and back, not just the extremities, to stabilize and support the load.

Finally, barbells can be loaded with as little or as much weight as we like. Very weak athletes can start out performing the movements with bars weighing as little as a few pounds, or even a broomstick :)

 Here are 4 basic barbell exercises:

The barbell squat is the cornerstone exercise. In this exercise, you simply squat down and stand up again. Loading this normal human movement pattern recruits a vast volume of muscle tissue over a complete range of motion, forcing major improvements in overall strength, muscle mass, joint integrity, back strength, conditioning, and overall athleticism.

The barbell deadlift is nothing more than lifting a heavy barbell off the floor - another fundamental movement pattern. It is complementary to the squat and allows athletes to lift more weight than any other exercise, more weight than they ever thought possible. It strengthens the back, legs, trunk, hips, shoulders, and grip. It is particularly accessible to older athletes with limitations in their range of motion, and it produces transformative changes in confidence, self-image, and outlook. Something about knowing you can bend over and pick up something damn heavy just makes us feel more alive.

The barbell press trains the fundamental movement pattern of lifting something overhead. But it’s far more than an arm and shoulder exercise. Because it is performed standing, it demands balance, and recruits muscle mass from the entire body, including the legs, thighs, hips, back, abdomen, and chest.

The barbell bench press trains the basic human movement pattern of pushing something away from you. It is complementary to the overhead press and promotes massive increases in upper body strength.