How often do you mix up your routines when you are in the gym? Do you tend to stick with one form of gym equipment like dumbbells? Well if you are thinking of mixing up your routines, and do stick to just using dumbbells, here are some great tips on why I think you should include the Olympic Barbell every so often.
The Olympic Barbell
Some gyms will have Olympic Barbell's and they will also have smaller, plastic ended bars which aren't quite the same. So make sure you are using the correct bar, they are long and weigh 20kg. You will know the difference between an Olympic barbell and the smaller types which are put in because they are cheap. You want to avoid using the smaller bars like this because they do not test your limits like an Olympic Bar will do. The Olympic Bar is longer and heavier which makes it more of a challenge for your body depending on which exercise you are performing...
Opt For Strength and Size
An Olympic Barbell is superb for building strength and size to your physique. If you have been using dumbbells for a while then it might be time to switch it up and use an Olympic Barbell for increased size and strength. If you are still eating a lot of calories per day and want to see more significant changes, then I suggest you opt for the Olympic Bar yet again. What exercises can you do with an Olympic Bar which replicate similar exercises with a set of dumbbells? Lots of them, here is how....
Exercises With An Olympic Barbell
So good news is that you can replicate most exercises with the Olympic Bar at no sacrifice to your actual workouts. It doesn't matter if you press, pull, shrug, squat or curl, you can perform these moves with the bar. Here are some great exercises you can still do that are going to help increase size and strength to your physique...
Shoulder Press - You can perform this standing or seated the same way you would use dumbbells.
Chest Press - Use the Olympic Bar to work you upper and middle/lower chest through benching at different angles. Most people would say that the best way to build muscle on your chest is through benching... give it a try and see for yourself.
Squat - Hopefully you already squat with an Olympic Bar and not the smith machine or a set of dumbbells. However, if you haven't been, it is time to make the change and get in the squat rack ;)
Bent Over Row - Working your back muscles can be tricky but with an Olympic Bar you can still hit them effectively. Performing wide grip, narrow grip bent over rows really helps thicken your back and widen it. A great compound exercise for you to include in your back workouts.
Bicep Curl - Ever performed a bicep curl using an Olympic Bar before? Well now is your chance to REALLY feel your biceps working. Forget the dumbbells on this one and pick that bar up!
There are many exercises you can perform using an Olympic Bar, these are just some easy alternatives from what you have already been doing with dumbbells. Remember, this is for those that want to see an increase in size and strength, use a bar and lift some heavy weight :)