Classic Training Camp

Muscular Development|June 2020

Classic Training Camp
Dumbbells Best for Aesthetic Physique
By Chris Bumstead, Classic Physique Olympia Champion

Dumbbells Best for Aesthetic Physique

If you had to make a choice and give up one thing forever, choosing barbells or dumbbells, which one would you pick and why?

I’d probably give up barbells. Especially because I compete in Classic Physique, a division where aesthetics and symmetry are so important, having symmetrical development is critical. The true definition of symmetry has been confused with having nice shape and flow, but what it really means (look it up in the dictionary), is being equal on both sides. That means your left and right arms, left and right quads, calves, etc., are all supposed to look the same. Dumbbells not only allow you to give each side the same resistance, they force you to do that. You can do unilateral movements, meaning one side at a time, which will prevent one limb or side of your chest or back from lagging behind the other and creating an unbalanced physique. Dumbbells are even more useful when you have any type of injury. Let’s say your left shoulder is hurt. When you do a military press with a barbell, your right shoulder would overcompensate and pick up the slack to move the weight. Keep doing those, and over time what will happen is that right shoulder will keep growing, and the left shoulder will atrophy. Eventually, you would have a right shoulder that was twice the size of the left one! I also feel I get much better mind-muscle connection and contractions with dumbbells. So luckily, I don’t have to choose, but I would pick dumbbells over the bar.

Music to My Ears

What type of music do you listen to when you train?

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June 2020