What Differences Have You Noticed With a "Good" Barbell?


First Timer
Last fall, I put my home gym together. Bought almost all of it from the same dude. Titan rack, Marcy bench. Neither fancy, but more than pleased with both. And a CAP barbell.

Now, I haven't noticed any issues from using the barbell, but that might just be because I don't know any better. I've read plenty of folks singing the praises of more expensive barbells. I still consider myself new a year into lifting (I sq
https://sarkariresult.onl/ Mobdro https://pnrstatus.vip/

uat two plates and almost pull three, and I've had to take a break for the past six weeks).

I don't really need anything else for my home gym, but does a better barbell make a difference in your lifting compared to a cheapo? I bench, squat, press, row and deadlift with my barbell, if that matters. No olympic lifting whatsoever.
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More than 2500 posts
If one doesn't compete, use heavy weights or mishandle the bar I don't think it makes a difference. You should do fine.

As to the headline: knurling, thickness and stiffness. I like the stiffness but the need for it is dependent on the weight used.

william bad butt

More than 300 posts
When doing heavy squats, a cheaper barbell can really bow. A stiff bar is preferred.

When deadlifting, a stiff bar can make the lift harder. A whippie bar can bow, reducing your ROM by an inch or so.

All of this becomes more of an issue when the weights start getting heavy.

Steve W.

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I had a cheap CAP barbell for awhile and it had two main problems that I have not experienced with higher quality (midrange bushing) bars even though one of them is over 30 years old.

First, the hex bolts that hold on the sleeves were continually coming loose and needed frequent tightening.

Second, the metal surface of the sleeves actually dented and eventually cracked, rendering the bar unusable, just from deadlifting and after only a couple of months of use.

Ryan Toshner

Senior Certified Instructor
Knurling on a good bar makes a HUGE difference with deadlifts, IMO. No whip is nice on squats, bench, & military press.

This bar in bare steel is pretty fantastic for a reasonable price: Rogue Ohio Power Bar. I have a number of them for my gym...

Bare steel requires a little bit of maintenance, but it's pretty simple & straightforward.


Still New to StrongFirst Forum
Aside from the issues already mentioned, a cheap bar might not even weigh 45 lbs (or 44lb/20kg). Might be closer to 40 or even 35.

The sleeves could rattle a lot. I had a CAP OB-86B for a while and the sleeves were a good snug fit, but still that's a low-end decent bar and not among the very cheapest.

It could bend permanently at a really low weight if you set it down hard enough on the rack.

It might not be perfectly straight if you do a spin test of the shaft (you'll see it wobble).

A badly done chrome coating might not last too long before it starts chipping away.

So yeah, there's lots of stuff. Ignorance is bliss. Sorry if I pointed anything out that's gonna make you check your bar more closely and ruin your day!


Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I've been working on the Olympic lifts for a little while now and I've noticed significant differences between the Eleiko and Zhangkong barbells they have at my WL gym and the cheap York bar I have at home.

My York bar is 30mm thick as opposed to the standard 28mm for Olympic bars and this extra 2mm makes a massive difference to how my hook grip feels (I have small hands) as well as the stiffness of the bar. It's marketed as a 'multipurpose' bar but it's definitely more of a power/general strength bar and works perfectly for presses and squats, while it's very uncomfortable for Oly lifting.

Also, the knurling on the York bar is quite light and doesn't give me as much purchase as the aggressive knurling on the Eleiko bars (which also butchers my shins if I pull with the bar too close). The Knurling on the Zhangkong bars is perfect and provides ample grip without being overly aggressive and almost makes the bar feel lighter. They're very whippy and quite expensive so not something you'd want to look into unless you're serious about Oly lifting.

As long as you get something made of decent steel and avoid anything with the sleeves secured by hex bolts you should be fine. You should never have to pay that much for a 'power' bar; they're essentially quite low-tech.

I've heard good things about the old York B&R bars and Rogue Ohio bars, which seem to do a good job of working well enough for pretty much anything without breaking the bank.


Quadruple-Digit Post Count
the hex bolts that hold on the sleeves were continually coming loose and needed frequent tightening.

Hex Bolt

This is the main issue with a cheap bar. At some point the Hex Bolt is going to become lose and eventually fall out.

Loctite Glue

What may take care of that is to use some Loctite and glue it in.

Replacing Hex Bolt

If for some reason, the Hex Bolt is damaged, lost, etc, that becomes another issue.

You can find a Hex Bolt for the bar on amazon. Unfortunately, it may not fit.

The best thing to do is to take the Hex Bolt down to True Value or Ace Hardware (not Lowes or Home Depot) and find a matching traditional bolt that to fit the bar.

Cap Barbell

It it one, if the biggest, free weight businesses in the country.

It is also one of the worst when it come to service.

Kenny Croxdale
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