The 5 Types of Barbells Everyone Should Know

Over time, some equipment becomes synonymous with the activity with which it is associated. it’s impossible to think about baseball gloves and not remember your last league game or the afternoon playing ball. Isn’t that the best example? Try to picture a pipe wrench, and then try not to see it surrounded by grease monkeys working on your next project car.

Fitness also has those iconic pieces of equipment, and the barbell is a great example. Whether loaded up with a new PR at your favorite commercial gym or lounging idly at the corner of your garage Before your next training session, the barbell is an essential and versatile training tool that can give you plenty of opportunities to build muscle. And just like the aforementioned baseball mitts and pipe wrenches, dumbbells have become specialized over the years to help you get the most out of your specific lifts.

A quick breakdown of barbell anatomy

While each type of bar is specialized within its specifications to best suit specific lifts and workouts, the anatomy of each bar is the same. Starting at the ends, where the weight plates sit, each bar consists of two sleeves and two collars.

The sleeves accommodate the weight, while the collars help keep the plates from slipping on the shaft, the metal bar you hold in your hands. The shaft also features knurling, which is the crosshatch pattern that provides grip, along with knurl markings for easier and more consistent hand placement. Bushings, fasteners and end caps complete the bar’s profile, giving it a rugged silhouette ready for the training task at hand.

While this may seem like a lot of moving parts, and as you’ll see, some components make, In fact, Get Moving: You won’t have to worry about repairs or building the barbell of your dreams, as they come pre-assembled with all the right components.

The standard/hybrid bar

saber bar

Physical state of the representative


If you’re thinking of a barbell from your previous workout or a trip to the gym, this is probably what you’re envisioning. Typically 7 feet long, approximately 29 millimeters in diameter, and weighing 20 kilograms or 45 pounds, standard dumbbells are popular for their versatility and use.

The knurling found on standard dumbbells is less aggressive than other types of dumbbells, giving you a grippy feel without hitting your hands. Some standard dumbbells also feature a knurled patch in the center to help with control and placement of the barbell during squats, but not all brands include this specification.

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Standard weights also have two knurl marks per International Weightlifting Federation (32 inches away) and the International Weightlifting Federation (36 inches apart), making them suitable picks for powerlifting, Olympic lifting, cross training, and more. If you’re new to weightlifting or just want to add a barbell to your home gym, this is a great swiss army knife of a fitness tool.

    the power bar

    ohio power bar

    rogue aptitude


    If the standard bar is a fitness swiss army knife, the power bar is closer to a chef’s knife: It is a bit more specialized but still more than capable of performing a multitude of tasks.

    Power bars are designed for weightlifting movements, namely bench presses, squats, and deadlifts, but can also be used in other training regimens. The dimensions are similar to a standard bar: 7 feet long, approximately 29mm in diameter, and weighing 20 kilograms or 45 pounds, but the real difference lies in two features: knurling and tensile strength.

    The knurling on electric dumbbells is more aggressive than other dumbbells, giving you a little more grip for heavier weights. Center knurling is also featured on the power bars for added security in the squat. You won’t find weightlifting-focused knurling marks on power bars, either; just the weightlifting rings. The rings on a power bar provide a good visual cue for hand placement, but they also function as a marker of where you can legally grab the bar in powerlifting competitions.

    Finally, the power bars are rigid. Because weightlifting is all about controlling weight from A to B, and because of the intense amount of weight being moved, Power bars offer higher tensile strength than other bars, meaning they don’t flex as much when under load. If you want a higher quality bar that is capable of handling considerable weight, power bars are a great option.

    The deadlift bar

    Texas deadlift bar

    friends caps


    Now we’re getting into the super Specialists Deadlift bars are for deadlifts, naturally.

    To give you more space between the plates, deadlift bars are usually longer than other bars.up to 92 inches, and also feature a smaller diameter for easier gripping. More aggressive knurling also adds to its grip, although it can be a bit aggressive for some. While the deadlift bars feature power rings to help position your hands, the center knurling patches are not featured because they are not needed in the deadlift movement.

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    What really sets deadlift bars apart is their lower tensile strength, which allows the bar to bend more easily, giving you that “whiplash” feeling when getting the PRs off the ground. To be clear, the lower tensile strength is by design, and not just to show how much weight you’ve loaded on the bar; As the bar bends, this helps create a higher starting position for the lift before the plates start to leave the floor, reducing the range of motion and giving you a little more power to complete the lift. lifting. Physical.

    While deadlifts aren’t for everyone, their usefulness really comes into play when total weights exceed 500lbs, they can be great for more advanced lifters or those training for competition.

    The squat bar

    The squat bar

    kabuki force


    Another big hitter in the world of specialty bars, squat bars are used for, well, squats.

    To identify a squat bar, simply look at the center rib patch. The squat bars feature a wider knurled patch for added grip and stability at the shoulder blades when squatting. Some squat bars have such a wide center knurl that they are, in fact, fully knurled all the way through the shaft.

    Squat bars are also longer than power bars and deadlift bars, with some as long as 95 inches. This gives larger or less flexible lifters more room to grip the bar as they complete the lift.

    Squat bars not only suit heavy lifters, but heavy weight totals as well. Thanks to a larger diameter (up to 32mm) and higher tensile strength, these weights are capable of holding some serious weight as you work your way through new milestones. The increased tensile strength also makes it easier to “pull the bar” off the rack, giving you more weight control without having to deal with a jiggly, moving profile.

    Squat bars are generally heavier than other bars, weighing in at 25 kilograms or 55 pounds. As with deadlift bars, squat bars aren’t for everyone, but those looking to take squatting seriously could benefit from training with this great piece of equipment.

    the olympic bar

    IWF Weightlifting competition bar



    The last type of bar you should know about is the Olympic or weightlifting bar. Designed for Olympic-style lifts like the clean and jerk or snatch, these weights are typically 7 feet long, 28mm in diameter, and feature less aggressive knurling only with lifting rings.

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    Center knurled patches are not common with Olympic weights, although some brands include a finer patch that adds grip when cleaning without turning the chest into a cheese grater. Olympic bars also feature a lower tensile strength than other bars, which is intended to help the bars perform starting or cleaning movements with as little friction as possible.

    Speaking of friction, Olympic dumbbells are best known for how much their sleeves rotate, which helps keep the weight in a constant plane during Olympic lifts for greater control and stability. Friction isn’t a big concern in more static movements like squats or deadlifts, but if you’re lifting a few hundred pounds and pressing them overhead, you’ll want to work with that mass rather than against it. .

    Lastly, due to their competition standards and specialized use, Olympic weights are some of the most expensive weights you can buy. To protect your investment, it’s best to save these weights for Olympic-style lifts only. You don’t want to bend the shaft or damage the knurling on this bar by setting it on a bench or dropping it after a full deadlift. There are other more sustainable bars for those purposes.

    A final note on “specialty” weights

    While these types of weights are a good fundamental understanding of the different pieces of equipment available to you, there are many other weights that are specifically tailored to certain movements or exercises.

    For example, the EZ Curl Bars are shorter and feature a zig-zag contour on the shaft to make barbell curls easier. Safety squat bars add padding around the neck and shoulders, almost like a pair of shoulder pads to help with control of the bar throughout the lift.

    There are other “special bars” that are easily classified by their shape and profile, but the five types of bars above are more difficult to distinguish by appearance alone. Now choose your bar and go to the gym. There is better public relations, and with the right tool at your side, no number is unattainable.

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