Finding the best barbell for your needs can be a little challenging, especially as on the surface they don’t look too different from each other.
However, the devil is certainly in the details, and there are some barbells that we think really stand out from the crowd.
We put together this list, based on specs, price, and reviews, highlighting some of the small differences that make each one unique and suitable for different purposes.
So whether you’re a keen powerlifter and want something ultra-heavy duty, like the Synergee Regional Olympic Bar, or you’re a beginner looking for a lighter bar to start with, like Rage Fitness‘s entry, then we should be able to point you in the right direction here.
Best Barbell – ‘The Beast’ CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar
Brand: CAP | Material: Black Odude | Weight: 44lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: 1000lbs
‘The Beast’ is a solid Olympic-sized barbell made by CAP who have been manufacturing weightlifting equipment for more than 30 years.
CAP boasts the bar has the capacity to hold 1000lbs which is a huge amount of weight that even professional strongmen and women struggle to lift.
The bars should also have a nice, frictionless spin to them according to reviews, helping to reduce the tension on your wrists and therefore the chance of injury.
One of the main upsides to ‘The Beast’ however is that it is relatively inexpensive as far as 7ft Olympic bars go but the bar does not compromise in quality.
Best Multipurpose Barbell – Sporzon! Olympic Barbell
Brand: Sporzon! | Material: Alloy Steel | Weight: 45lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: 700lbs
Sporzon! produce a range of barbells, but the 7ft Olympic bar may be the best option the company produces.
What makes this bar great is it has multiple knurling positions for convenience and safety when attempting different types of lifts.
Sporzon! also claims the bar has a weight capacity of 700lbs meaning it should be able to handle even the heaviest lifts from more experienced athletes.
Being made from steel also makes this bar strong and durable which is handy as barbells often get a lot of use due to their versatility.
Best Barbell for Powerlifting – Synergee Rhino Power Bar
Brand: Synergee | Material: Alloy Steel | Weight: 45lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: 1500lbs
The Rhino Power Bar is a serious bit of kit definitely more suited to more experienced lifters, especially those who do powerlifting due to Synergee’s claim the bar can hold 1500lbs.
Synergee also claims this bar is stiffer and less flexible than its other products and is made without bearings, again suiting the powerlifting style.
Another defining feature of this bar is its aggressive knurling which is designed to increase grip – ideal for longer deadlifting sessions for instance.
It also provides a great option for powerlifting for a reasonable price and we think it looks fantastic with its black and red design.
Best Training Barbell – Rage Fitness Olympic Training Barbell
Brand: Rage Fitness | Material: Aluminum | Weight: 15lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: 300lbs
The Rage Fitness Olympic Training Barbell has been designed to be a sturdy yet comfortable bar thanks to its medium knurling, suitable primarily for beginners.
The reason for this is sometimes beginners struggle to lift a 45lbs bar by itself, so this Training Barbell might be the perfect alternative as it weighs just 15lbs.
Also, the bar is just 6ft long rather than the standard 7ft meaning it saves space and will likely be slightly easier to move around as it isn’t as wide.
If you are worried about the bar fitting on a power rack then fear not as the space between the collars is 52-inches meaning the bar should fit perfectly.
Best Standard Barbell – BodyRip Weight Lifting Barbell
Brand: BodyRip | Material: Alloy Steel | Weight: 44lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: 1000lbs
This BodyRip Weight Lifting Barbell is a great option for someone looking for a very standard barbell suitable for a number of different lifts.
The knurling is not too harsh but has been designed to offer enough grip to help you keep a hold of the bar, and reviews suggest the bar spins without friction.
Being made of steel means this bar should withstand a fair amount of wear and tear which is often typical when training in a home gym for example.
Ultimately, this bar provides a great option for everyday use as it caters to a number of different lifts without being designed to prioritise just one.
Best Olympic Barbell – Rogue Ohio Bar
Brand: Rogue | Material: Stainless Steel | Weight: 44lbs | Fits: 2″ Olympic Plates | Weight Capacity: Undetermined
Rogue is one of the leading brands in weightlifting equipment and this barbell is one of the best Olympic bars going.
Although Rogue doesn’t confirm the bar’s capacity, it will likely remain as straight as an arrow when loaded with weight thanks to its 200K PSI tensile strength shaft.
Rogue also boasts a 100% original knurl pattern formed via a machine with grip in mind as its main priority.
This is definitely a premium barbell but Rogue is a popular brand among athletes so has a reputation for producing high-quality products.
Frequently Asked Questions About Barbells
There are a lot of questions and things to look out for when purchasing a barbell, but we’re here to clear up some of the more frequently asked queries.
Are All Barbells The Same?
Simply put, no. Barbells differ drastically in terms of length, weight, width, etc. as highlighted in this list.
A standard Olympic barbell is 7ft long, weighs 44/45lbs, and holds plates with a 2-inch hole.
Some barbells however are shorter, lighter, and hold smaller plates like the Rage Fitness Olympic Training Barbell to accommodate less experienced lifters.
Why Does The Barbell Spin?
The weights spinning on your barbell is completely normal as it helps with Olympic-style lifts by reducing the amount of torque created by the plates.
How they spin often varies as it depends on whether they have been designed using bushings or bearings.
Bushings are placed between the shaft and the sleeve and offer low friction.
Alternatively, bearings offer a faster, smoother, and quieter spin.
What Is Knurling?
Knurling is the grooved marks on a barbell that offer a guide for hand positioning.
The knurling on a barbell differs between powerlifting bars and Olympic bars as powerlifting knurls are 32-inches apart and closer to the middle of the bar than Olympic knurls.
So when purchasing a barbell, make sure you notice the knurling as you will want to purchase a bar that suits your lifting style.
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