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Photo: Dusan Petkovic (Shutterstock) So you survived your first day at the gym and you’re ready for the next step—or maybe you’ve mastered the dumbbells and machines but never quite figured out what to do with barbells. Either way, here are all the basic things you’ll need to know on your first day working with barbells. What’s the difference between a barbell and a dumbbell, anyway? The barbell is the one where the handle is a long bar. The word “dumbbell” probably comes from the idea of using a weight that looks like a bell, but is silent. Other weights that have “bell” in the name are named after their shape. Kettlebells are shaped kind of like a teakettle, with a handle on top; barbells are a long bar with weights on both ends. What lifts do people do with barbells? There are tons, but the most common are the following and their variations: Presses, usually from a rack Rows, from the floor Olympic lifts, like snatches Are there different kinds of barbells? Olympic style barbells, about seven feet long, weighing around 45 pounds. You load whatever plates you want onto the ends. These are great for squats and deadlifts. You’ll probably find them on or near a squat rack or deadlift platform. Smaller “fixed” barbells where the weights are permanently attached to the ends. These are convenient for curls and other exercises that require lighter weights. You’ll probably find them near the dumbbells. The total weight of the […]