Thick Bar Training – What Is It and What Are The Benefits?

If you’ve been weight lifting for a while, you may have seen a lack of improvement over time even though you work hard to improve. What you may not realize is that for weight lifting to be effective, the correct muscles need to be worked out. The more specific muscles you target that aid in building muscle, the better your results.

The Problem with Many Dumbbells in Gyms Todayman with barbell

There are many types of dumbbells in the market today.  Lifting weight needs to work out the appropriate hand muscles for the body to have the proportional muscle build. The fact is, the dumbbells today will not strengthen the hand grip but only focuses on the rest of the body. There is a simple principle that proves that if the hand muscles are tightened, they will strain the rest of the muscles creating a much bigger impact. It is also a proven fact that weak arms and fingers no matter how strong you are will not hold the weight. This is the reason why some of the champion weight lifters will have problems. The issues will not be lifting the weight but having a grip firm enough to hold the weight in position.

Thick bar training also known as fat bar training involves the use of thicker axles and bars as compared to the 1″ axles and bars. The use of thick bar training declined in the past with the bars getting smaller with time. The axles and the bars in the past were in actual fact much thicker than the ones seen in many gyms today. This soon changed with slimmer bars coming into the market.  The 1″ axles on many of the dumbbells today come about because they are much cheaper to produce than ones with 2″ or more.

Why Thicker Axles on Weights Are Better

The reason for thicker bars is that they were designed for the purpose of holding the dumbbells more steadily. They had the function of working the grip too.  Thicker axles are slowly making a comeback in gyms after the realization that they were the right addition to dumbbells in the first place. These thicker bars are great workouts by themselves. Thick bars that come in 2″ and above workout the fingers and thumb grip, the wrists and the forearms more than thinner bars. A lot of strength is derived from the grip alone. Normal axles will not workout the forearms, wrists and fingers properly for one simple reason: the axle is too small and the fingers go right around it. Thick bars have a thicker axle meaning one would have to have a tight grip just to hold on to the bar. This grip is what translates to working out the forearms and the fingers. A grip that is stronger translates into a better hold when it comes to weight lifting.

Translating to the Thicker Grip

Lifting weights with thicker axles is not an easy task for anyone who is used to the smaller 1″ axle. The strain is what makes he work out worth your while. Stronger forearms and grip improve your weight lifting ability tremendously.  If you are looking to get back into thick bar training, it is probably the best decision you have ever made but it is best to ease into it to avoid injuring yourself.

One of the first steps will be getting the right thickness for your bar. Athletes in the past would come up with thicker bars to beat their opponents who were not be able to match up to the grip and hence the strains that would come with the weight. With these bars now becoming more prevalent today, buying or investing in one is a big plus for you. Getting into a gym that has these options is also a plus for you as you can get to work out muscles many have not thought about.

Determine the Right Size Thickness for Your Hands

The first thing you need to do is measure your hands. You will need to do the measurement your palm while flat. This is the easy part. The measurement should run from the longest tip of the finger meaning the middle finger to the thumb.  A normal hand will be about 7 to 7.5 inches long. There are people with smaller or longer hands but these are rare. You need to find out whether you fit in the average category or the smaller/larger category. You could be in the rare group meaning that you will need to work out with something different. The 7 to 7.5 inch palm will comfortably handle the 2″ bar. This will have the fingers run around the bar giving you a gorilla-like grip with the middle finger almost touching the thumb. This is the correct size for this type of hand. The 2″ bar indicates the diameter of the bar which makes the circumference of the bar about the length of your palm.

Hands that are bigger say in the range of 8 to 8.5 inches are much bigger and will need something a little different. Though these hand sizes are rare, they are not uncommon. You will need to get 2.5″ bars for the best results. The 3″ bars will also work but will be a bit hard for the 8″ hand. There are few companies that fabricate that size which means that you may need to customize your own axle. There are many ways of doing this. You can add a grip of that size to the holding area to make it work for you among many other preferable styles.

Smaller hands are very rare but will also work with the 2′ axle comfortably to improve this strength. Whether you are doing lifts, pull ups or carrying shoulder presses, you will need to get used to using bigger bars for your exercises. These are bound to give you more strength in your forearm and grip. The reason why many people cannot lift their weight when it comes to pull ups is because their grip and the forearms are weak. These will have you pulling your weight up in no time. A better grip will ensure that you are more resilient in holding onto the bar while stronger forearms will ensure that you are more capable of dealing with the weight of your body.

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