Idiots guide to buying a Barbell!

Idiots guide to buying a Barbell!

Home gyms are on the up and they’ve gained even more traction thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic.

One of the staples of any home gym is a Barbell (I am not going to go into why in this blog) but I feel that I am more than qualified to help people buy the right Barbell.

Not only have I used a ton of Barbells, but I have also bought, sold, and re-bought a stupid amount of Barbells over the years of training and owning a gym. Basically, I've made a shit tonne of mistakes when buying fitness equipment. So fingers crossed I can prevent you from making the same mistake.

Powerlifting

Right, first of all, you need to know how much money you can afford to spend on a bar.

That is ultimately going to be the biggest limiting factor on what bar you buy. When I was first starting Supreme Training gym I didn’t have an endless amount of resources to draw from, so the price was one of the biggest influences on what bar I bought. 

OK, so now we have a budget, we can move on to the next criteria, which is; What are you going to be using it for?

I know what you’re thinking… To lift weights! 

But believe it or not, the type of training you’re going to be doing should make a difference to the bar you buy.

Will you be, Powerlifting? Weightlifting? General Barbell compound movements? or a mixture of everything? 

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If your going to be specifically Squatting, Deadlifting, and Bench Pressing, and your aim is to improve your strength, you’re going to need a bar that’s relatively stiff, with not much whip, semi-aggressive to aggressive knurling, and centre knurling with specific powerlifting rings at other ends.

For Snatching, Clean & Jerk and explosive movements with a Barbell you’ll need a bar with a bit whip, non-aggressive knurling so it doesn’t rip your hands to pieces, like the powerlifting specific bar, the weightlifting bar also has rings on the outside, again these are regulated by the international weightlifting federation and powerlifting federations. These bars are gender-specific as well, so a men's bar is 20kg, and a woman’s bar is 15kg with a smaller diameter. 

Weightlifting

Hopefully, I haven’t lost you, and you’re still reading.

The above was just to show how truly complicated getting the right Barbell can be. Most gym-goers want a bar that can do it all, especially in your home gym, you’re probably only going to have space and the finances for one Barbell. 

These Barbells do exist, and you can get them for a reasonable price. In fact, these Barbells are usually cheaper than Barbells that are made specifically for a discipline i.e Powerlifting, Weighting, Squat Bar, Deadlift Bar, etc.

The only problem with these Barbells is that they're ok for everything but great for nothing. So as you advance in your training, depending on what route you decide to go down, you might find you need to upgrade your Barbell. Good news, if you get to that point, you've stuck at it long enough to see some huge gains!

Hopefully, at this point, you know how much money you can afford to spend on a Barbell and what it’s specific uses are going to be. 

Below I am going to give my pick from each category, I’ll give two options, one cheaper one and one more expensive one. I also want to point out that this blog isn’t sponsored by any of the companies that sell or make the bars, these are based from my experience of over 10 years lifting as well as owning and running a gym for nearly 10 years. (Although, I am up for being bribed if any companies want to send products my way…

Compound Lift

Also, I am not including barbells over a thousand pound. If you’re willing to spend that much on a bar, I am fairly confident you’ve put the time and research in to trying the bar personally and reading reviews about it, this blog probably isn’t aimed at you! 

Powerlifting Bars:

1) Texas Power Bar - £419.99.

Original Texas Power Bar

2) Wolverson Power Bar - £175.

Wolverson Power Bar– Wolverson Fitness

Weightlifting Bars:

1) Again Faster Team Barbell 2.0 - £230

Again Faster® Team Barbell 2.0

2) Rogue Fitness Olympic Barbell - £570 

Multipurpose Bars:

1) Wolverson Fitness Foundation Bar - £205

The Foundation Bar– Wolverson Fitness

2) Strength Shop Bastard Bar - £199

StrengthShop Bastard Bar - with centre knurling

I have had a lot more Barbells than these at Supreme. They were either over a thousand pound, or they were the last ones to be picked by our members, that’s as clear of an indication as ever that a bar isn’t very good. 

Another thing to note here is that these barbells, I have personally had at Supreme, they would be used multiple times a day, six to seven days per week for a few years, and they all lasted with no major damage, just general wear and tear you'd expect. That’s another indicator that they will last you, and stay in good condition for a long time, especially if you look after them.

The market is an absolutely minefield, so hopefully this guide has helped you. If you’ve not chosen one of these Barbells hopefully it has given you the info you need to select a Barbell for your needs. If you have any questions regarding these bars specifically, drop me a message on one of my social media accounts, and I'll try to help.

Happy Lifting! 

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