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Barbell Two questions about axle bars/presses

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Axel presses seem intriguing to me. Pressing a thicker implement sounds like it might be nice compared to a standard barbell's diameter. I just have two questions:

1) has anyone done pressing with an axle bar? If so, what are your thoughts and experiences?

2) I've seen a number of DIY videos and articles to make an axle bar out of 2" diamter pipe and fittings. Thoughts there? I like the idea of a cheap implement.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor

FWIW, I got mine to use for deadlifts. I'm particularly fond of the straddle ("Jefferson") version. (Never have pressed it.)

I own what's likely the most expensive one, the Apollon's Axle from IronMind. You can buy less expensive versions, and you certainly can DIY - lots of instructions on the Internet.

-S-
 

Philippe Geoffrion

Level 7 Valued Member
Axel presses seem intriguing to me. Pressing a thicker implement sounds like it might be nice compared to a standard barbell's diameter. I just have two questions:

1) has anyone done pressing with an axle bar? If so, what are your thoughts and experiences?

2) I've seen a number of DIY videos and articles to make an axle bar out of 2" diamter pipe and fittings. Thoughts there? I like the idea of a cheap implement.
To answer point 1)

I’ve found a thicker bar diameter much more agreeable with my wrists and wonky shoulder. I’ve only used it for incline and horizontal presses, however. It may be different with overhead work which requires more rotation at the shoulder.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
I have an axle - I like pressing with it though I don't do so often. I think mine is an older Rogue version and (when I bought it) it was cheap - I'm guessing it's a lot more now.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
I like them. Actually working on them a bit for a meet in January.

The press portion doesn’t feel all that different to me vs a barbell. The clean is a lot different though. You will probably want to continental clean it. Which takes some getting used to.

It doesn’t look pretty but they are fun to do.

As far as DIY, the Home Depot special will work fine for anything you are pressing. Max axle deadlifts may require an upgrade at some point.

If you do want something really different from a barbell press, I’d look into a log or Swiss bar.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks everyone.

It doesn’t look pretty but they are fun to do.

As far as DIY, the Home Depot special will work fine for anything you are pressing. Max axle deadlifts may require an upgrade at some point.

If you do want something really different from a barbell press, I’d look into a log or Swiss bar.
The continental clean and press looks interesting, but will definitely have to wait until I have a floor/setup where I can drop the bar if things go awry.

As far as a DIY, I haven’t yet seen super specific recommendations on what type of piping to use. I may just need to look a bit more…. I just want to make sure I get something that will support decent weight, should I choose to go for it.

The Swiss bar looks awesome, but the cost makes it hard to go for at the moment.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
Thanks everyone.


The continental clean and press looks interesting, but will definitely have to wait until I have a floor/setup where I can drop the bar if things go awry.

As far as a DIY, I haven’t yet seen super specific recommendations on what type of piping to use. I may just need to look a bit more…. I just want to make sure I get something that will support decent weight, should I choose to go for it.

The Swiss bar looks awesome, but the cost makes it hard to go for at the moment.
Just go grab some 2” steel conduit (the rouge is literally a sch 80 steel pipe), have them cut it to 84”(or however long you want it). Put two clamps 54” apart (27” from center). Optional upgrade, add athletic tape wrap for grip. If you weld the clamps on and powder coat it, it is the same thing as rouge


Thralls is just sch 40. So plenty strong even with the slightly thinner walls.

It’s a quick fun project if you don’t care about mad max aesthetics.

While you are there you might want to save a short piece of pipe and make a loading pin for your pinch block you can make from a couple spare pieces of wood.
 
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John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
As far as a DIY, I haven’t yet seen super specific recommendations on what type of piping to use. I may just need to look a bit more…. I just want to make sure I get something that will support decent weight, should I choose to go for it.
If you look at the Kabuki plans they call for 1.5" schedule 80 pipe without finish/paint.
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
A scaffolding pole will take Olympic plates. That was my axle bar when I had my back yard gym. A blacksmith welded some stoppers on it and I bought 2 cheap spare tires as bumper plates because dropping it was destroying my plates. If you are handy you can weld small plates onto the spare wheels. My go to lift was the continental clean and push press. I’d also bottom position bench press with it and obviously deadlifts for the grip but the most fun I had with it was the continental clean and push press. That move is an utter bear from start to finish.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member

Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
What about just using fat gripz? Not sure how well they work with cleans though but seem an easy way to get the axle diameter
I've only ever used Fat Gripz (or knockoffs?) once or twice a long time ago so take my comments with a grain of salt. The grips can rotate on the bar when pulling and that is annoying. I think Fat Gripz are actually a little bigger than 2" diameter which is fine but there is a sweet spot for most people on grip stuff and I'd rather err on the smaller side. That said, yeah, I think they're cool, a lot less $$, AND you can take them to any gym with you.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
What about just using fat gripz? Not sure how well they work with cleans though but seem an easy way to get the axle diameter
They get really hairy on cleans and tend to move around.

They are great if you are going to a commercial gym that isn’t well equipped as a stop gap for rack cleans, dumbbell, deadlift, and bench. But if you can get an axle it is much easier and nicer to work with.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
What about just using fat gripz? Not sure how well they work with cleans though but seem an easy way to get the axle diameter
In addition to Boris and Silveraw's comments, they're also kinda squishy. I use them still tho.
 
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