Barbell Reviews: Understanding Barbell Types and The Best Barbell Brands

Barbell Reviews: Understanding Barbell Types and The Best Barbell Brands


Barbells are a staple of strength training and bodybuilding, offering versatility and effectiveness for a wide range of exercises.Barbells serve as the backbone for a comprehensive strength and conditioning program, facilitating a range of exercises that can be adjusted for difficulty through weight modifications. They are not only pivotal for developing muscular strength and endurance but also play a crucial role in improving bone density, joint stability, and overall physical health.

Incorporating barbell exercises into a workout routine promotes functional strength, enhancing performance in sports and daily activities.This article explores the different types of barbells, their uses, and reviews some of the best barbell brands on the market.

Types of Barbells

1. Olympic Barbells

Olympic barbells are the gold standard for weightlifting and are used in competitions. They are 7 feet long and weigh 20 kilograms (44 lbs). The sleeves (the ends where weights are loaded) rotate, reducing the torque generated by the weight, which is particularly beneficial for dynamic lifts like the snatch and clean and jerk.

Beyond their standard specifications, Olympic barbells also feature a grip pattern known as knurling, which provides athletes with a secure hold during lifts. The precision in the manufacturing of these bars ensures they can withstand the high stresses of Olympic weightlifting, making them a staple in training facilities dedicated to this sport.

2. Powerlifting Barbells

These barbells are designed for powerlifting, comprising the squat, bench press, and deadlift. They are similar in length to Olympic barbells but have less whip (flexibility) and do not typically have rotating sleeves, as powerlifting involves more controlled and less explosive movements compared to Olympic lifting.

Powerlifting barbells are designed to handle extremely heavy weights, and as such, they are built with a focus on rigidity and minimal whip. This design ensures that the barbell remains as stable as possible during the execution of the three main powerlifting exercises. The knurling on these bars is often more aggressive to provide a better grip.

3. Standard Barbells

Standard barbells are lighter and shorter than Olympic and powerlifting barbells, usually weighing around 15 kilograms (33 lbs) and lacking the sleeve rotation feature. They are suited for home gyms and general fitness routines but are not used in competitive weightlifting.

Standard barbells cater to casual fitness enthusiasts and are an excellent choice for those new to weightlifting or with limited space. While not suited for competitive lifting, they offer great versatility for a wide array of exercises and can be a cost-effective way to build a home gym.

4. Specialty Barbells

These include a range of barbells designed for specific exercises or to reduce injury risk. Examples include the EZ curl bar, which has a zig-zag shape for more comfortable grip during bicep curls and tricep workouts, and the safety squat bar, which is designed to reduce strain on the shoulders and back during squats.

The variety of specialty barbells on the market allows lifters to tailor their training to specific goals, such as improving technique, addressing weak points, or rehabilitating injuries. For instance, trap bars, with their hexagonal design, allow for a more neutral grip during deadlifts, reducing strain on the lumbar spine.

rack of barbells

Best Barbell Brands

1. Rogue Fitness

Rogue Fitness barbells are the epitome of innovation and quality. The company constantly collaborates with athletes to refine and introduce new technologies, such as advanced coatings for rust resistance and enhanced durability.

The Rogue Ohio Bar, for example, comes in various finishes, including stainless steel and Cerakote, offering options for different preferences and environments.

2. Eleiko

Eleiko is a Swedish company renowned for its premium Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting equipment.

Eleiko’s commitment to quality extends beyond their barbells to a dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Their products are crafted to meet the rigorous standards of international weightlifting federations, making them a preferred choice for competition and training by elite athletes worldwide.

The Eleiko Olympic WL Bar is a top choice for professional athletes and Olympic competitors.

3. CAP Barbell

CAP Barbell offers a range of affordable yet high-quality barbells suitable for beginners and intermediate lifters. Their products are known for good balance and solid construction, making them a great option for those setting up a home gym on a budget. Their commitment to durability and safety makes their barbells an excellent investment for individuals looking to start their fitness journey without compromising on quality.

4. Ivanko

Ivanko Barbell Company is renowned for its precision-engineered barbells, which are a staple in many commercial gyms. Their barbells are known for their balance, durability, and superb finish, catering to serious lifters and professional athletes alike. Their products are a testament to the company’s dedication to excellence, with a focus on creating barbells that offer superior performance and longevity.


In conclusion, the choice of barbell depends on your specific training needs, preferences, and budget. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a fitness enthusiast, there’s a barbell out there that’s perfect for your workout routine. Investing in a high-quality barbell from a reputable brand can significantly enhance your strength training, ensuring safety, effectiveness, and longevity in your fitness journey.