June 11, 2019

Falsehoods of Fitness: Dumbbells are better than Barbells (Episode 9)

This episode of Falsehoods of Fitness features Chris Bell (the Director of Bigger, Stronger, Faster and other documentaries) and Dr. John Jaquish.

Full Transcript

  • I’m in here.

  • We’re talking about this. So Chris and I are talking about different like ways to protect yourself from heavy banding. So heavy bands have always been something like, I don’t know, every time you see like one of those pull up assist bands, you see somebody go, “Wow, I wonder if I can use this for a bicep curl?” And they go to curl it, and their wrist twists. Or they go to do a pushup with it, and as soon as they push themselves away, their wrists are being twisted like this and they’re damaging their joints.

  • It’s not comfortable–

  • No.

  • It’s hard on your hands.

  • Right, 100%, like you just if you go heavy you just can’t use them.

  • But with the X3 bar you can hold onto it.

  • Right.

  • The bar makes all the difference.

  • The bar is just a way to manage the power of the band. And then I probably get 10 emails a day, “Hey you need to come up with a dumbbell design!” You know? Just a single handle. But wait, where do you handle more weight? Barbells or dumbbells?

  • Barbell.

  • Right, of course, 20% more. Yeah, there’s plenty of research on this. Why?

  • I don’t know, ‘cause you’re balanced?

  • Ah, functionally, your body knows if you’re gonna deal with something heavy. You’re not gonna deal with it with one hand, so it actually causes neural inhibition. Like, if you got something heavy to pick up, would you pick up two heavy things? Does that functionally make sense?

  • No.

  • No, it doesn’t make sense. And also, part of that myth is the idea that when you curl, you have to get your pinky up to really build the peak of your bicep —total falsehood of fitness, that’s not true. There’s no research that shows that that’s true in any–

  • Either way is fine.

  • You could curl like this, you know, like a hammer. It doesn’t matter, you’re shortening the muscle, it’s good–

  • I always try to get my wrist out because I have heard that.

  • And you’re hurting your wrist when you do that.

  • No, it kills.

  • It kills, right? Right, there’s no good reason for that kinda dumbbell work, and coincidentally, the strongest people in the world pretty much don’t use dumbbells. They get their strength from the barbells, so that is why. And I told you, I developed X3 so that you can’t use it wrong.

  • Like that’s–

  • Can’t do a wide grip chest press, because a wide grip chest press is good for a contest, but not good for growing your chest. Everything was done in a way so that you’re gonna get strong, whether you pay attention or not.

  • That’s interesting, you said the strongest people in the world, I took a second to think, to sink in–

  • Think about it.

  • But you’re talking about like the worlds strongest man–

  • Right.

  • And all the power lifters and–

  • Right.

  • The Olympic–

  • Guys who are really like, I’m gonna be the strongest guy out there–

  • Yeah, they’re always doing–

  • Barbells.

  • Yeah always doing–

  • They’re not used to them, right, your whole body is going into a movement.

  • Yeah.

  • Right.

  • Interesting.

  • Right.

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