Ok, maybe that was a slight exaggeration, but honestly, there is a lot more than first meets the eye when it comes to buying a barbell.
It's not just about choosing whatever bar is going to look sexiest in your gym. No sir, no mam', it's about choosing a bar that's going to meet your exercise demands, weight capacities, complement your other equipment and be most comfortable to use.
Seems like a lot to think about, right? Well, don't sweat it, because we've just made you're life a hell of a lot easier with our BARBELL BUYER'S BIBLE.
Giving you the complete run down on all things barbells, this buyer's manual will provide you with all the information necessary to confidently pick the perfect bar for you! So, lets get to it 🏋️♂️
You'll see this tab on all our barbell product pages and it's something you should be paying very close attention to! This information will pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the bar and whether it's the right match for your gym space.
The strength of our 7ft Olympic barbells is determined by their psi rating, which stands for 'pounds per square inch'. In simple terms, this is how much force the barbell can handle before it meets its breaking point. The higher the psi rating, the stronger the bar.
Our 20kg bars range from 175,000 psi to 235,000 psi. For those of you who aren't going to be working out with really heavy weights, then opting for a barbell with psi of 175,000 - 200,000 will be just fine. It's important to acknowledge that barbells sub 200,000 psi will flex (slightly bend) under heavy loads.
For our more advanced lifters, we recommend going for a bar with a psi rating of 200,000 +. These bars will have little to no flex (or as the pro's call it, whip).
This is slightly different from our rated strength, as it provides an indication of the physical amount of weight the bar can handle.
Our range of barbell's can take on anything from 317kg to 907kg!
Whilst some do exceed the capabilities of human strength, these huge rated capacities tell us that these bars were built to withstand frequent and heavy lifting.
Knurling is the coarse, grooved sections of the barbell shaft that prevent it from slipping out of our hands. Designed with different depths and widths, knurling controls our grip strength.
All our barbell's have a standard knurl, that isn't going to be uncomfortable for gym newbies but still offers a tough enough grip for our seasoned lifters.
None of our bars (besides the Slate) have centred knurling. This minimises any irritation that might occur during squats, lunges or any other exercise where the shaft rests on your body.
This dictates the type of weight plates that will fit your barbell. Again, following industry standard, all our Olympic barbells have 50mm sleeves that are compatible with Olympic sized weight plates.
Hot tip: for extra stability, we recommend securing your weight plates to the bar using snap locks or collars.
This is controlled by bushings and bearings, which are little mechanisms inside the sleeves that control how much they rotate.
Enabling sleeve rotation is extremely important, especially during your big lifts, as it allows for a more natural lifting movement, minimising the risk of injury and improving your technique.
To briefly cover the differences, bushings have less rotation and are suitable for lifts with less momentum, such as your bench press or squats. Bearings on the other hand, have more rotation and are better for your explosive movements, such as snatches or clean and jerks.
All our 7ft bars include needle bearings, which are considered the highest quality bearing on the market. As the number of bearing increases, the high-quality the bar is considered.
Whilst this may not seem all that important, a barbell's finish will help determine its longevity.
All our bars are completed with either a black zinc or hardened chrome finish, both of which are highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
Our sleek black zinc finishes are very aesthetically pleasing, however, they do require a bit more work. If
you're choosing this finish it's important to keep your bar clean and maintained.
The hardened chrome finish is the most rust-resistant and requires less maintenance. However, chrome can be quite slippery, which is why they've been built with solid knurl.
TYPES OF BARBELLS
The most common barbell you'll see in the World Fitness Showroom. These are your staple, 7ft straight bars, seen throughout every commercial gym. These barbells are designed for some powerful movements, and are pretty much the go to bar for most your lifts.
Home or Commercial Use ✓ Suitable For Big Lifts ✓ Beginner Friendly ✓
We stock a range of specialty bars that offer the optimal exercise experience. Sure, they might not offer as much exercise variety as your Olympic barbells, but they will help you train with the proper technique and ensure that you're getting most out of the exercise.
Lets be frank, sometimes working with a 7ft bar just aint' going to happen. These big boys weigh 20kg, and sometimes that's just too heavy.
If you're a beginner lifter or someone who suffers from mobility issues, then opting for one of our small bars, like the 5ft and 3.5ft bar is a great alternative. They are lighter in weight, easier to use and take up less space.
Ever tried to bicep curl with a big Olympic bar and just felt... awkward? We aren't surprised. Our solution, the Ez Curl Bar.
These bars are designed to minimise the tension we feel in our wrists, elbows, and shoulders during various upper body exercises, such as bicep curls, skull crushes and bent over rows. This is because the angled grip allows our wrists to sit in a more natural position, adapting to the demands of the exercise.
By allowing for a more comfortable and sturdier grip, Ez Curl Bars become the perfect tool for developing your bis, tris, pecs and back, as they enable us to lift heavier loads without compromising our form.
Build Upper Body Strength ✓ Neutral Grip ✓ Compact ✓ Promotes Technique ✓
We're sure you can guess what this bar's used for...that's right, SQUATS! Featuring forward facing handles, the Safety Squat Bar enables you to securely hold the barbell in a comfortable positioning, so that shoulder mobility issues and limited range of motion are eliminated whilst you squat.
Designed to be seated high on your traps, this barbell shifts the weight forward, mimicking a front squat movement. This encourages you to maintain an upright position, improving your posture and reducing the stress on your lower back.
Build Lower Body Strength ✓ Natural Grip ✓ Encourages Proper Technique ✓
This bar was made for another leg day fav, deadlifting. Designed so you stand inside the frame, the trap bar has neutral grip handles either side, allowing you to grab the bar laterally. This offers a more natural grip compared to your regular straight bar.
When performing deadlifts, the trap bar helps your body remain in an upright position, maintaining a neutral spine. This puts beginner lifters in a position that encourages a hip hinge, taking pressure off the spine and putting it into the right areas such as your abs, glutes and hips.
Suitable for Beginners ✓ Natural Grip ✓ Encourages Proper Technique ✓
CHOOSING YOUR BARBELL
The 700lbs & 1000lbs rated barbell's are great entry-level bars for beginner lifters. They can be used to perform most your standard barbell movements, including bench press and squats, however we do not recommend using them for deadlifting or Olympic lifts.
The Bronze barbell (1250lbs rated) is a step above entry level. It's fairly similar to the 1000lbs rated, however this tough nut can handle a little more weight. We recommend opting for this bar if you're starting to advance in your training, are upping your weights, or training more regularly. It can be used for deadlifting, however if you're going to be stacking on the plates or lifting reasonably heavy on most days, we suggest going for a barbell with a higher weight rating.
Our Titan barbell sits middle of the road. We suggest this bar to anyone who regularly incorporates deadlifts and/or Olympic lifts into their workouts. There is no knurling in the centre of the handle which makes it great option for cross-fit style training, where you are regularly adjusting or 'catching' the bar. This is also one of our bars that offers that sexy, black zinc finish.
The Obsidian and Slate barbells are our premium, competition-grade bars. These bad boys are made for our more advanced lifters who are ready to stack on the plates and lift some ridiculous weight! These barbells are made from some of the highest quality steel, forged with PSI to rival some of the worlds most expensive barbells. They can be used for all barbell movements, and were built to withstand regular and consistent heavy-weight training.
If you're struggling to choose between these two bars, we recommend the Slate bar for lifters who wish to focus more on squatting. This is because the standard, centre knurl will ensure the bar sticks to your back comfortably without causing any irritation.
Ready to buy? Shop our huge range of barbells here.