Whenever you go to the gym and are using free weights what do you pick up? dumbbells or barbell. Why is it that you get comfortable using dumbbells or barbells for the same old exercise. I will look at both the benefits of both dumbbells and barbells.
Dumbbells require you to lift the same amount of weight in each arm and therefore unlike using the barbell you can not use your dominant arm to lift the weight. This allows you to get equal strength gains or to make your weaker arm catch up in strength with your dominant arm. They require you to have more core stability and balance, as you have a certain amount of weight being control by one hand not two. People feel more comfortable using dumbbells on their own because it is easy to let go of two dumbbells quickly if you are in trouble then a heavy barbell above your head. Finally you have more range of movement using dumbbells and can adapt exercises to incorporate the movability of the dumbbells.
You have more control and stability when using a barbell because you have two hands controlling the weight. You can lift more overall weight with a barbell because you have two hands working together to lift the weight. This is why you maybe able to bench press 100kg on the bar but can not lift 50kg dumbbells. This is important for those who want to increase muscle mass. Barbells will require your muscles to lift more weight and there before put your muscles under more stress, which will in return lead to larger gains.
Through years of experience those that stick to just using either dumbbells or barbells for the same exercise do get gains but they are specific what they use for that exercise. When they do carryout the same exercise but use their non-preferred choice they are not able to do as well and they then refer back to the old way. Those who do weight training should always ensure that their training is varied and do not stick to the same routine over and over. Not only do you get bored your body does to. So next time you go to the gym and you pick up the usual choice put them down and go for the other.