What Bar is Best?



The Barbell is one of the most important pieces of equipment when it comes to strength training. There are different types of barbells and it depends on what lifts or movements you will do to determine what is best for you. They come in different lengths, diameters, strengths, and surfaces. You can choose one with very deep knurls (the rough surface on the bar) or a bar with knurls that are smoother. The most typical bars are Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting or Multipurpose Barbells. Finding the right bar for you can help with your strength training and success in producing PRs.


Olympic Weightlifting –
-Springier or what they call “whippy”- best for snatching and the clean and Jerk
-Smaller in diameter then powerlifting bars ( men- 28mm and women- 25mm)
-Better for hook gripping
-Bar weight- men 44lbs or 20kg and women 33lbs or 15kg
-Needs to be able to spin – smooth rotating sleeves
-Grip markers are 36 inches apart
-Good bars can be expensive

Powerlifting Bars-
-Stiffer – best for squatting, deadlifting or the bench press – heavy weight
-Some spin is good but not needed as much as Olympic weightlifting bars
-Grip markers are closer together at 32 inches apart
-Good Bars can be expensive

Multipurpose Bars-
-Used for generalized strength training- for both powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting
-Cheaper then buying separate powerlifting and Olympic bar.

All bars-
-Surface can be chrome, zinc, black oxide, unfinished or stainless steel
-Should have a tensile strength and yield strength- measured in psi or pounds of force per square inch
-Tensile strength is the amount of stress a material can take before breaking. When buying a bar you want the highest tensile strength – otherwise when load with heavy weight you could permanently bend the bar.

-Coach Ashlee