It’s All About The Bulk: The Best Olympic Barbell Review Guide of 2018
Strong is the new sexy. This is the new fitness slogan nowadays and can be the very reason why more and more people are in the search of the best Olympic barbell available.
This refreshing concept puts strength training in the spotlight and encourages more and more people to add load-bearing exercises to their fitness routines. It’s a great thing, especially since strength training is one of the most important types of exercise.
If you’re thinking of creating a weights gym at home, then getting the best Olympic bar is a must. This is especially true if you intend to get serious in your weight training. This equipment can offer safety and durability.
Top 5 Olympic Barbells
1.1” Grip Diameter, 2” Sleeve Diameter, 60” Length
1.1” Grip Diameter, 2” Sleeve Diameter, 60” Length
Black Manganese Phosphate Shaft, Chrome Sleeves
1.1” Grip Diameter, 2” Sleeve Diameter, 7’ Length
Black Oxide or Accu-Armour Shaft, Chrome Sleeves
1.1” Grip Diameter, 2” Sleeve Diameter, 7’/86” Length
1.1” Grip Diameter, 2” Sleeve Diameter, 7’ Length
Reviews of The Best Olympic Barbells
Don’t know where to start looking for the best Olympic bars? These Olympic barbell reviews might just be able to help you out.
The great thing about choosing an Olympic bar for home use is that you have two options to make it work. If you have the space, you can go all out. Apartment-dwellers, however, tend to find the Titan 60" Barbell Solid 2" Olympic Plates Weight Bar suitable to their requirements.
Its 60” length makes it perfect for relatively small spaces. The grip suits most men and women at 1.1” but will also accommodate Olympic-grade weights plate with a sleeve diameter of 2”.
While it has women’s Olympic bar measurements, it doesn’t mean that it won’t provide you the challenge you need. It can hold up to 500 lbs so it can be a great partner to your bodybuilding journey.
Combined with the following, you might just get convinced that it’s the right pick for you:
- The chrome finish makes it easy to maintain and resistant to rusting and corrosion.
- It’s very affordable.
- The diamond-shaped knurling provides a good grip without being too rough or hurting your hands.
- The no-center knurling design can also suit those who like to lift weights while shirtless or exposed backs.
There are just a few things that we’re not big fans of:
- Collars are not included in the package.
- The length can be too short for some benches, so if you already have one at home, make sure to take measurements first before ordering.
If you’re getting serious with weightlifting and you want something that won’t deform on you as you get stronger, we suggest you check out the XMark LUMBERJACK 7' Olympic Bar. One look and you’ll know that it’s not your run-of-the-mill load-bearing bar.
This bar is specially engineered to provide versatility and great performance. Made of heated alloy steel, it’s finished with black manganese phosphate. This allows it to offer rust resistance and a striking appearance.
The details of this Olympic bar is worth noting as well. The pro-grip knurl marking is comfortable and meets the specifications of IPF and IWF for spacing. It also features rotating chrome sleeves that are self-lubricating, easy to secure, and built to last.
The promising features of this item don’t stop there, though. Here are a few more points that might interest you:
- It’s a versatile bar as it’s designed with a mild whip that allows it to be used for cross training, powerlifting, and Olympic training.
- It’s very easy to maintain, thanks to its choice of materials.
- This model has a 700-lb weight capacity.
- The knurling design is comfortable and easy to grip.
If we’re going to nitpick this item, however, this is one thing that bugs us a bit:
- The actual weight of the bar is only 43 lbs.
CAP has always been a popular go-to brand for those who want to build their own home gyms on a tight budget. The CAP Barbell Olympic Bar is one of their most popular offerings, thanks to its special features.
For a lower-end model, this weight-bearing bar has a lot to offer. Its black e-coat finish makes it look more expensive than it really is. There’s also an option to have it finished with the special Accu-Armour coating, letting you have a say in how to keep protect your equipment from rust and corrosion.
This product also promises a lot in terms of performance. The comfortable knurling has IPF marks. It’s also very heavy duty as it can carry up to 1000 lbs.
What else should you know about this product? Here are a few more extras:
- This model offers a very snug fit for weight plates offering a secure way to use this equipment.
- Colored options are also available which can enhance the appearance of your weights room.
- The quality is well worth the price.
On the downside, it still has a few issues that are noteworthy:
- The packaging can be improved as there are several cases of the end caps falling off in transit.
- The knurls don’t extend all the way to the sleeves so it can be uncomfortable to hold for taller people who are more comfortable with shorter bar lengths.
Those who want to take the most practical path to getting in better shape might want to take a look at the Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar. Popular for its very affordable price tag, this weight bearing equipment can be a nice starter bar for those who want to ease their way into weight training.
While this product doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, it still offers everything you need in the best Olympic barbell. It’s most notable points, however, include:
- A solid build for heavy plates.
- The nicely spaced knurling is good for various lifting techniques.
- The presence of a center knurl makes it a popular choice for lots of users.
With its low price, there will be some concessions that you might need to make. These will include considerations for the following points:
- This item will require some cleaning after you receive it. Wipe it down nicely before use as it will have a good coating of petroleum.
- The knurls can be a bit sharp.
- The sleeves don’t have grooves for rotation, so it can feel and operate differently if you’re used to bars with rotating sleeves.
Even if you don’t intend to lift very heavy weights, a sturdy and reliable Olympic bar will still come in handy for you. This is why the Yaheetech Olympic 7' foot Weight Bar is such a big hit as of late.
Despite its very low price, it’s constructed without joins or welds. This allows this bar to promise durability and deliver great results to users.
However, it should be noted that it’s not meant to hold extremely heavy weight plates. It’s limited to 300 lbs, so it’s best to stick with its recommendation.
Despite this restriction, it still offers a few good points:
- This model includes sturdy spring collars for the sleeves so you don’t have to buy them separately.
- It holds standard 2” plates snugly and securely.
- It doesn’t come with unnecessary features that only increase the price.
- It’s designed with a center knurl which is highly preferred by many.
It also has a few other limitations:
- It requires some maintenance to avoid rusting and corrosion.
How to Choose an Olympic Barbell
Now that you know a few of the best options on the market, the next thing you need to do is to determine how to choose one from them. To help you with that, here are a few crucial points that you should keep in mind while you shop for the finest Olympic bar for your home gym.
Olympic Barbell vs Standard Barbell
One of the first thing that you might be wondering about is the difference of the standard barbell with an Olympic barbell. You see, you can’t just use a regular steel pipe to hold the plates. These bars are specifically made to hold the weight plates for safety and efficiency.
The bars used to lift weights are specifically made with a knurled crosshatch pattern to provide a solid grip and rotating sleeves for plate mounting. They also come in specific measurements which is where the Olympic and standard bars differ.
Olympic bars come in two measurements for men and women. Men use 7.2 ft bars with 50 mm or 2.0” diameter that weigh 44 lbs. Women’s bars are shorter at 6.6 ft and with a smaller diameter at 0.98” or 25mm. It’s also lighter at 33 lbs.
Standard bars, on contrary to their name, aren’t exactly standardized at all. Most of these non-competition bars are about an inch in diameter. They’re also notorious for flexing out of shape at around 200 lbs.
Olympic Barbell vs Powerlifting Barbell
Unlike Olympic bars, powerlifting bars come in one size only. The IPF or International Powerlifting Association requires the standardized use of bars for all kinds of lifts. The only bar that can be used should measure 7.2 ft in length and about 1.1” in diameter. It should also be about 55 lbs heavy.
Powerlifting bars are also required to be stiffer so it can accommodate the heavier weights used in the sport. Olympic bars, however, need to have some “whip” so it can withstand being dropped from a good height.
What to Look for in the Best Olympic Barbell
After knowing the differences between the different types of weight-loading bars, you might also want to learn what are the specific things you need to look for in such products.
The Right Size
As mentioned above, Olympic barbells come in two different sizes. You should choose accordingly so you can actually comfortably and safely use the barbell you’re getting.
A Good Whip
There are several reasons why you’ll want a good whip or bounce in your bar when lifting weights. For most occasions, it’s handy when transitioning between clean and jerk. Others find it useful in conserving energy as it can help keep the barbell on the ground before fully lifting it.
Unfortunately, the whip of a bar is hard to measure. So to make sure that the item you’re eyeing has a good bounce, it’s best to read several Olympic barbell reviews.
A Suitable Knurl for Your Needs
A good knurl will help you grip the bar more firmly and comfortably. Like the other details in Olympic bars, this feature tends to vary from one product to another. Some can be rough while others are smooth. You can also find bars with gaps in their knurling as well as ones with knurling that extends to the sleeves.
Choosing one depends largely on your comfort, lifting style, and preferences. Most high-end and reputable manufacturers have good knurling, however. So if you intend to splurge on this equipment anyway, you’re in luck.
High Barbell Strength and Load Capacity
These are practically no-brainers since you will need an Olympic barbell that can actually take on a good amount of weight.
With steel as its material, the finish of the Olympic barbell you should get can play a huge role in its overall performance. It can affect the grip, feel of the bar, and its rustproofing.
Lots of weightlifters like bare metal for its natural feel and look. However, it’s prone to rust. Coated bars, on the other hand, will prevent corrosion but can prevent a good grip.
As a result, black oxide bars became popular. They can offer the benefits of a bare bar with rust protection and a rather rugged look. Olympic barbell maintenance is also easier for this material, so it’s fast becoming a well sought-after option for many weightlifters.
Top Olympic Barbell Recommendation
Making the newbie mistake of not investing in a quality bar may be common, but it doesn’t mean that you should commit this sin. These tips and recommended products should help you get a good idea which product to get.
If you’ll ask us, our choice of the top Olympic bar would be the CAP Barbell Olympic Bar. This model has everything you’ll need in a load-bearing bar with a few extras and a great price tag. Its weight capacity is very high, too, so it can easily be a good addition to most home gyms.
Of course, there are other great products that can be the best Olympic barbell for you. These five are great starter pieces, though. So if you’re not ready to shell out for the actual, professional-grade models, these might already do the trick for you.