A few years ago, owning a barbell bar was considered an over-the-top decision. However, this isn’t the case anymore. This gym accessory is a vital fitness tool of every home gym and serves as a piece of versatile equipment in many ways.
Barbell bars can effectively build your muscle and improve your body strength. In addition, you can use one to enjoy a full-body workout without spending much money on other fitness machines.
There’s a lot more to a barbell bar than meets the eye, and we don’t want to cover everything in this section only. So if you are ready, let’s explore this tool in detail and also review some fantastic recommendations for you.
Table of Contents
What Is a Barbell Bar?
For those unaware, a barbell bar is a piece of equipment that looks like a long bar with weights attached to both ends. This tool is used for exercises like powerlifting, bodybuilding and weight training.
Barbell bars have many different types. Read below to find a little about five major ones.
Olympic Barbell Bar
Olympic bars are usually used for complex lifts and are relatively more significant than other types. They typically have a maximum of 20kg weight and are almost six to seven feet in length. Moreover, with a 28mm diameter, Olympic barbell bars are flexible enough to move weight plates pretty quickly.
Powerlifting Barbell Bar
Powerlifting barbell bars work amazingly with movements such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses. They are usually five to six feet tall and weigh around 20kg. Their diameter varies between 28.5mm and 29mm.
Trap Barbell Bar
Trap bars are ideal for deadlifts. Moreover, they can help tone your shoulder shrugs as well.
A trap bar has a unique hexagonal frame that you can hold by placing your grip facing towards your side. This position reduces the pressure on your hands and back while you perform a deadlift.
All-purpose Barbell Bar
This bar works for anyone who wants to enjoy building their muscles and improving their form. An All-purpose bar is also great for beginners with no previous experience with lifting.
EZ Curl Bar
An EZ Curl bar is a lightweight version of a standard barbell and has a unique jagged shape. This bar is ideal for people who experience wrist pain while lifting straight bars to perform curls.
So looking at the types above, it is safe to say that there is a barbell bar for everyone. However, you should follow a specific technique to use one to reap all the benefits and enjoy safe training.
Best Barbell Bars Available Right Now
So, finally, it’s about time we present you with our top six barbell bar recommendations. Each bar has impressive features and specifications.
Choose the one that ticks all the right boxes and deserves a place in your fitness arsenal.
The BodyRip barbell bar is a piece of excellent fitness equipment in many ways. Finished with durable chrome, the bar doesn’t corrode easily and provides an anti-slip knurled hand for a firm grip.
This fitness equipment is both lightweight and compact and works perfectly for beginners. Moreover, it is available in a wide variety of options. For example, you can choose from EZ Curls bars, Straight bars and Olympic bars.
All made from alloy steel, each option offers excellent durability and strength. However, while selecting a suitable one, always choose the weight and length of the bar. It is imperative for an effective workout.
The BodyRip barbell bar comes with a pair of collar screws that help retain the bar’s shape. Besides, this equipment has threaded heavy-duty bar ends to give you a smooth experience of lifting.
Despite the above positives, many customers have complained about this bar in their reviews. For example, according to a buyer, the barbell bar didn’t have markings on its ends, and it weighed less than what was mentioned.
So, before you buy this item, make sure to clear everything with the manufacturer and discuss the brand’s return and exchange policies.
CAP Barbell is a well-known brand in the sport’s industry and always manufactures products of high quality. The CAP Barbell bar follows the same standards.
This barbell bar has a compact tubular structure made of steel. Moreover, it has ergonomically placed grips to make lifting comfortable.
Besides, this fantastic barbell bar features elevated sleeves that prevent hurting your back while you lift loads.
Another unique feature that deserves mention is the stable feet. The CAP Barbell bar has incorporated feet that prevent the floor from any damage and keep this equipment balanced while unloading and loading.
The CAP Barbell bar has 74,000PSI tensile strength and 37,000 sheer strength. These numbers are pretty low when compared to standard ones and may be a let down for many.
This fitness tool uses carbon bolts that keep the bar and its feet intact with each other.
Overall, this barbell bar is a budget-friendly tool for many different users. However, according to some clients, the handles are placed very close to the weight plates.
This design flaw may provide little room for your hands. But you can fix this error by asking the manufacturer to provide you with more rubber rings to make more space.
If you are looking for the best Olympic barbell bar, the BIG Jim bar will provide you with unique specifications and complete your workouts. This affordable Olympic barbell bar is seven feet long and has a design to support all your high-class standard lifts.
This barbell bar weighs 30kg and has a standard diameter of 28mm. Moreover, it comes with a black oxidised finish that requires low maintenance and saves the bar from rusting.
When it comes to tensile strength rating, this recommendation does disappoint a bit. It has just 145,000 PSI tensile strength, which is relatively lower than what may suit a beginner. However, with a weight capacity of 320kg, it makes up for the above design flaw.
The Big Jim barbell bar features four needle bearings and two copper bushings. Moreover, the bar has knurling in five different segments to give you a solid and reliable grip.
This six-foot bar by DTX Fitness is pretty impressive workout equipment for home gym owners. The Olympic barbell bar features chrome ends with spring collars for a quick and easy release.
Besides, the bar has a weight capacity of 300kg and is quite suitable for beginners. Furthermore, the bar has the ideal width to accommodate Olympic plates with two inches of diameter.
The DTX Fitness bar is a piece of affordable fitness equipment. However, despite its cheap price tag, the barbell offers good spin, fine knurling and a comfortable grip for all kinds of users. This lifting bar gives you a great feel and has a significant impact on your workout.
But according to some customers, the bar isn’t very durable and long-lasting like its competitors. Besides, it has a low tensile strength which may not suit many professional lifters.
To enjoy a consistent and effective lifting workout, we all look for solid Olympic bars. While we come across many, very few meet our requirements and provide us with a performance that we have all been craving.
One such barbell bar is the well-constructed and ergonomically designed Bonnlo Olympic bar. This fitness equipment is five feet long and has a standard diameter of 28mm. Moreover, it can perfectly hold any two-inch weight plates made from excellent quality carbon steel.
The Bonnlo barbell bar is made of chrome steel and has a brass bearing to provide you with fantastic whip and rotation. Besides, the bar offers a good spin for all kinds of lifts.
This barbell bar has knurling with medium depth to accommodate your heavy lifts. Moreover, there is no centre knurling that could have caused cleaning issues.
The Bonnlo barbell bar has a weight capacity of 272 kg, which may be pretty low for many. However, you can always choose a barbell with a high load capacity from this list. Moreover, the barbell comes with a light coat covering machine oil that might have to wipe off before using this equipment.
If you are looking for a small barbell bar, the DTX Fitness four foot bar is quite an affordable option to consider. This equipment is made from solid steel and features spinlock collars to keep the weights safe in one place. However, according to some customers, the spinlocks get loose very quickly. They do not provide a proper fit and don’t serve the purpose.
Besides, this bar offers a non-slip hand grip to make your workouts effortless. Furthermore, the DTX Fitness barbell bar can easily accommodate weight discs with a diameter of one inch, and it can also carry a maximum weight of 150kg at a time.
While the DTX Fitness barbell bar has a good design and reliable construction, it may not become your choice for many reasons. Firstly, it has a low weight capacity which may only suit some beginners. Besides, it lacks sufficient coating to prevent early rusting.
Moreover, some clients also believe that the rubber seals are of poor quality. The seals have ripped edges which may interfere with your lifting.
Benefits of Using a Barbell Bar
Now that you know a lot about a barbell bar, including its types and safe use, let’s dig into some benefits of using this equipment for your home workouts.
This section is an important part of this guide because you will be spending your money, and we don’t want you to buy a tool that you do not need.
Barbell workouts have many advantages. Here are a few:
Using a barbell won’t only help build your muscles but is also efficient for cardio training. Barbell bars used for cardio are lightweight and can be loaded with small weights to maintain a healthy heart rate and an even distribution of oxygen in your body.
Build Athletic Performance
A barbell workout helps you to focus on your form and build. Barbell bars allow you to learn balancing techniques and also use your muscles efficiently.
Working out with a barbell also improves your coordination and enables you to excel in your favourite lifting movements.
Enhance Muscle Endurance
Using barbell bars for powerlifting or weight training can enhance your muscle endurance by a great deal. Such workouts also help build your body’s strength and increase the potential of your muscles to lift more.
Have you ever skipped the idea of setting up a gym after looking at the prices of fitness machines available? We understand your concern, but if you want to enjoy a full-body workout, buying only some weights and a bar will do the job. You don’t have to spend money on any other equipment to gain the muscles and strength that you always desired.
Would you believe us when we tell you how workouts with barbell bars can save your time without compromising on results? Well, you would have to because this is a fact.
A barbell bar workout involves multiple muscles, and you can do many exercises in a limited time. Barbell bar exercises such as deadlifts, squats and bench presses can give you an excellent full-body workout without you shifting from one machine to another.
How to Pick the Best Barbell Bar for Your Workouts?
Have the above options left you confused? We understand your dilemma and are here to help.
Before selecting the best barbell bar for yourself, consider the factors below. This exercise will help you make a correct decision pretty quickly.
This term is used for the amount of weight a barbell bar can hold before it breaks into pieces. Tensile is represented by pounds for every square inch or PSI.
Most high-end bars have a tensile strength of either 190,000PSI or 215,000PSI. Moreover, some barbells are extra durable and have a tensile rating of 216,200 PSI and above.
If you are a beginner, look for tensile strength of 165,000PSI. It is the best rating to make a start.
However, if you are an experienced lifter, choosing a tensile rating of above 180,000 PSI will do the job for you.
Yield defines the maximum weight a bar can hold before bending permanently. You can check the yield strength of your chosen barbell bar by adding weights on each side.
A bar with a high yield is ideal for all kinds of lifts and can also stand through every test of time.
Whip is the intensity of the bar’s flexes during different lifts. A bar with a high whip is considered very flexible, while one with a lower whip is rock solid.
Barbell bars used for bench presses should have an extremely low whip.
The material of the bar material defines the whip of a bar. Moreover, the thickness of the weight plates used can also affect the behaviour of the whip. For instance, bumper plates will make the bar move differently as compared to calibrated plates.
Barbell sleeves determine the rotation of the shaft or spin while you hold the bar. In addition, bar’s made from either bushings or bearings help to make a spin possible.
Bushings provide very low friction and are made from brass that increases their longevity. These are often placed between the sleeves and the shaft.
On the other hand, bearings offer a smooth and quiet spin. They are made of metal balls or tiny needles that make them roll in the sleeves.
Most All-purpose and powerlifting bars usually have bushings within their sleeves. However, almost all high-end and expensive Olympic bars use bearings.
Finish on Sleeves
A barbell bar’s finish plays a significant role in the durability and performance of this equipment. A smooth finish aids good grip, adds to the overall feel of handling the bar and protects the material from rusting sooner than expected.
Bars made from bare steel offer excellent grip. However, such bars require maintenance because they can rust easily. A zinc finish prevents rusting but can lose its sheen quite easily.
You may also come across bars with chrome finishing. This one works wonderfully against rusting but may feel slippery for a solid grip. Stainless steel finishing is the number one choice of many high-end brands and offers excellent oxidation protection.
Knurling is a term that represents the markings for grip on the barbell bar. It is made of diagonal grooves that run in opposite directions. These grooves make tiny diamond shapes that assist with your grips and keep your skin intact with the bar.
The aggressiveness of the knurling is determined by the depth and width of the diamond-shaped grooves. For heavy deadlifts, bars with heavy knurling work best as it prevents any grip failure.
The type of knurling that you should consider depends on many factors. For instance, if you have small hands, you should choose a bar with aggressive knurling to enjoy a solid grip. However, for users with large hands, the choice depends on their comfort level, and they can select from both heavy and low knurling.
While considering the above factors, it is also imperative to choose a bar that meets your budget limitations. Not all bars are affordable, and you may find yourself spending a handsome amount on many high-end ones. However, whichever bar you go for, make sure it serves the purpose and is valuable for you.
How to Use It Safely
While every exercise may require you to use a barbell in a certain way, here are some general rules to follow to avoid any accidents.
- Don’t accelerate rapidly while holding a bar. It is essential to prevent unnecessary tension in some of your muscles.
- While reversing the barbell’s direction, move it slowly and don’t throw the equipment on your body. Keep a tight grip while lifting.
- Keep your motion range conservative. While many exercises may require you to stretch, keep your movement moderate.
- If possible, wear collars while handling a barbell bar.
- Use a rack for exercises where the barbell bar is over your body, and you can’t dump it without throwing it on yourself.
- Do not lift weights heavier than your capabilities.
- Avoid jerking or heaving a barbell bar. This act can lead to severe irrecoverable damage.
- Use a barbell bar while standing on stable surfaces only.
Here is a list of a few questions asked by users like you before choosing a barbell bar. If you also want to clear some doubts, take a read.
How to Clean a Barbell Bar With Rusting?
You might find your barbell rusting way before than expected. However, there is an easy way to keep it clean and use it safely.
- Start with cleaning the bar to brush off any loose rust and dirt. This step should take a maximum of two minutes.
- Once done, soak the bar in vinegar water for the night. You can do this by removing the sleeves first and submerging the disassembled bar and sleeves separately in a large tub with vinegar water.
- Leave the bar in the tub for a whole night.
- The following day, rinse off the vinegar and spray it with water and baking soda.
- This step will help remove the rust, and you can use oil and a brass brush to clean the bar.
- Air-dry the bag before using it again.
To avoid this cleaning process again, maintain your barbell bar after every workout. Use a wire brush over it regularly and clean it with a one-in-three oil solution at least once a week. These tips will prevent the bar from any future rusting.
How Should I Store My Barbell Bars?
Here are some tips to follow before you store your barbell bars in your home gym :
- Always store the bars horizontally.
- Don’t place them near the ground. Store them up high on a rack.
- If you plan to store your bar vertically, be very careful when placing it in its storage solution.
- Always remove all the weight plates before storing your barbell bar.
- Avoid leaving the bar on your gym surface. The bar may catch any dust present on the floor, which can lead to early corrosion.
The above storage tips can help maintain the shape of your bars and avoid any accidents. Moreover, these actions can also increase the life of your barbell bar so you can enjoy this tool for an extended period of time.