Properties of Competition Bars for Different Power Lifts

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I'm interested in learning about the properties of competition bars for different powerlifts.

I know, e.g., that a deadlift bar will have

- deep knurling to help you hang on

- slightly thinner diameter, again to help grip

- will flex a little to allow the center of the bar to move up before the plates come off the ground.

If anyone has been involved in bar selection for meets, bar design, or otherwise just knows, I'd like to know more about SQ and BP competition bars.  While I'm interested to know about specific brands and models, I'm more interested in the properties the designers are trying to achieve.

I own an Okie Bar, which is for deadlifting. This bar was the official AAU DL bar at the last few national and world meets I attended.  It's  affordable - $370 now, was less when I bought mine around 7-8 years ago -  which is why I can own it.  I love it, BTW.
 My guess is that a squat bar will not flex much, if at all, since the bar flapping around requires extra work to stabilize, and likewise the same for the bench press.  I'm also guessing that knurling isn't an issue for a squat bar, but that it might be for a bench press bar.
Thanks in advance for your replies.

Steve Freides, StrongFirst Team Leader
http://www.kbnj.com
http://RideChickens.blogspot.com
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Steve B.

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve i have an Ivanko PL squat bar.Its a 25kg bar ,thicker and a little longer than a standard oly bar.It does not bend easily and has a wider knurling pattern in the center.

Ditto on the DL bar per your comment.I have one made from the same people that make the okie bar but was made for elite fitness and not called the okie DL bar but i was assured from Dave Tate himself it was.

The bar i use for BP is a Texas power bar and im not really sure what bar is used at meets around here.I bet if you e-mailed Martin Drake AAU,and Steve Denison USPA they would tell you.I believe USPA uses Ivanko bars.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Steve, aren't all the competition bars 20 kg?  Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

-S-
 

Steve B.

Level 6 Valued Member
Well i know at least with the USPA the heavier flights use or have used a 25 kg when i competed.
 

Jason Marshall

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
I have a Texas Deadlift Bar.  It's 45lb, with thinner diameter, no knurling in the middle, but VERY deep knurling...only one ring, which I use to measure shin placement.  The bar is 6" longer between the collars, which adds to the flex and whip.  It's rated to 1,500.

I have a Texas Power Bar I use for squat, bench, and rack pulls.  Thicker bar, at 7'.  Middle knurling is there which I like for suitcase DL and farmer carry.  It's also a 1,500 test.

I think the big squat bars, like the Mastodon, are thicker and around 7'6" or 8' so grip placement can be very wide if your using a mono lift (and if your shoulder mobility is that bad).  ;-)

I haven't seen or messed with any big competition bench bars, so I can't really comment on those.  Some of the bigger bars or closer to 50-55lb.
 
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