Reviews

Best Barbells in 2020 – Reviewed

Anyone who wants those big gains that are only possible with the right fitness equipment knows they need decent barbells to use at home. With the right nutrition and workout plan, these products can help anyone achieve new PB’s, especially when there are no excuses. For Olympic lifts, bench presses, and another heavy lifts, a barbell is a must-have.

The issue with these products is that quality is essential and anything but the best is not going to be good enough. For the safety of the user, and for the desired results, we have created the following list of the best barbells. Each one is fine for multiple types of uses and lifts, is made from quality materials and the right size for those heavy plates.

Quick Summary of Best Barbells

 Editor’s Choice 
CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar for Weightlifting and Power Lifting  (review)
 Best Value 
Yaheetech Olympic 7 feet Weight Bar with Two Collars  (review)
 Best Curl Bar 
Cap Barbell 47-Inch Standard Threaded Solid Easy Curl Bar  (review)
 Best Affordable 
CAP Barbell RB-48T2B Super Curl Bar  (review)
 Best Trap Bar 
CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar  (review)
 Best Womens WOD 
CFF 15KG Women’s WOD BAR 25mm Grip Black Zinc Finish  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar for Weightlifting and Power Lifting

CAP sells a range of the best barbells for power liting including this 7 ft product. Each of their range is capable of holding different amounts so it is easy to find the right one for your needs. It features a 15-inch sleeve to fit plenty of heavyweights on and is constructed from high-quality Japanese cold rolled steel to ensure it is strong. The barbell weighs 20 kgs and is designed to accommodate snap clips.

It is made for 2-inch Olympic plates and has both a black oxide finish as well as polished steel sleeves. Its PSI tensile strength is 11,000 and measures 2185 mm. A quality product that is suitable for both home and gyms use although anyone looking for a center knurl should consider another barbell.

PROS:

  • Made for 2-inch Olympic plates
  • 7 ft long
  • 15-inch sleeves
  • Weighs 20 kg
  • 11,000 PSI tensile
CONS:

(none)

Best Value: Yaheetech Olympic 7 feet Weight Bar with Two Collars

A good option for anyone looking to add to their home gym on a budget, this comes at a reasonable price but is strong enough to hold 300 lbs maximum. At 7 ft long, it has the size to match the gym ready models and comes with two spring collars that are easy to get on and off. It weighs around 18 kgs and the sleeve diameter is 2 inches making it compatible with Olympic plates.

With a knurl in the middle and plenty of grips, it is perfect for deadlifts, bench pressing, overhead press, and more. Made from sturdy iron, it takes a lot of strain off of wrists and remains a good value option.

PROS:

  • 300 lb maximum capacity
  • 7 ft long
  • Weighs 18 kgs
  • Made from iron
CONS:

  • Not made to be dropped

Best Curl Bar: Cap Barbell 47-Inch Standard Threaded Solid Easy Curl Bar

At 47 inches long, this is the ideal size for most users and is perfect for preacher curls or other ways of getting a swell on those biceps. The barbell itself weighs 10.5 lbs and is crafted from solid chromed steel. This adds to its strength which explains why it can hold up to a big 200 lbs as a maximum. The collars are included and both have internal washers to help keep them tight when in place.

They are compatible with all 1-inch plates and many people comment on the fact that it offers the right amount of bend whilst staying sturdy even when close to the maximum capacity. It is available in different finishes and anyone one of them makes an excellent addition to a home gym.

PROS:

  • Weighs 10.5 lbs
  • Max capacity of 200 lbs
  • Includes collars
  • Compatible with 1-inch plates
CONS:

  • Screwing on the collars can be slow

Best Affordable: CAP Barbell RB-48T2B Super Curl Bar

A super curl bar that can be used for other lifts and builds the back, chest, as well as biceps. The strength is what sets this product apart as it has a max capacity of 200 lbs, The 1-inch center holes suit most people looking to curl their way to bigger biceps and its black oxide finish not only looks great but lasts a long time.

The handling areas are protected with rubber to make them gripper but also kinder on hands lifting heavy weights and there are star lock collars to keep the plates secure. At 48 inches long, there is plenty of space for plates and a comfortable curl. Made from solid steel, it is ideal for back press exercises and is one of the more dependable products for anyone looking to build biceps at home.

PROS:

  • Max capacity 200 lbs
  • 1-inch center holes
  • Solid steel construction
  • Star lock collars
CONS:

  • Two piece bar

Best Trap Bar: CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar

Another excellent product from CAP, this trap bar is high quality and opens up the possibility to work different muscles in new positions. The grips are in a convenient place and have plenty of grip to make difficult lifts that little easier. The tubular steel construction is strong but conveniently sized, meaning it takes up less room in the home gym where space is at a premium.

The feet have been reinforced and protect the floor from the weight and even the bolts are strong since they have a PSI tensile strength of 74,000. Its max weight capacity is a big 500 lbs and the sleeves are 9.5 inches long. This is the ideal barbell for farmers walks, shrugs, deadlifts, and more.

PROS:

  • Max load of 500 lbs
  • Convenient size
  • Comfortable handles
  • Tubular steel construction
CONS:

  • No knurling

Best Womens WOD: CFF 15KG Women’s WOD BAR 25mm Grip Black Zinc Finish

Weighing 15 kg and with a grippy center bar, this is an ideal barbell for women. The black zinc finish looks good on this 25mm bar and is has a strength of 165,000 PSI. For Olympic lifting, there is a smooth spin and has a static capacity of 700 lbs. Made with cross-training and specific lifts in mind, it comes with a 5-year warranty and there is a men’s bar weighing 20 kg that is similar.

The bar’s length totals 79.25 inches and many users comment. on how it is the perfect bar for a variety of exercises, with the knurling getting a lot of praise in particular.

PROS:

  • Weighs 15 kg
  • Black zinc finish
  • Includes a 5-year warranty
  • Ideal for CrossFit
CONS:

  • For specific uses

Barbell Buyers Guide

Although a home gym needs a variety of equipment to make it worth using, a barbell is often. considered among the most important. This is why we have put so much emphasis on finding a quality product. With so many sub-par brands flooding the market, it can be hard to find a barbell that is reliable. 

This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide. We go through all the important traits to help you find a product that will last and can take a serious amount of weight.  

What To Look For In A Barbell

Max Weight Capacity

The strength of a barbell will determine how it can be used and there is no point in purchasing a product that cannot hold a peak weight. Most brands display the maximum capacity in lbs or kgs but whichever you use, check the capacity for your safety and so the barbell isn’t ineffective.

Knurling

To ensure the bar is grippy in the right places, it is always good to have knurling. The grip of a barbell can be everything for the success and safety of a lift. Not every bar will offer this because it is not to every user’s taste, but it is certainly something to check on before purchasing. Look for knurling that has a ring either side of it making it easier to position hands in the right place and to have them in an even position. 

Material

The strength of the barbell is dependant on the quality of the materials used with most reputable brands using some form of reinforced steel. Otherwise, iron is strong although it doesn’t offer the same reliability or max capacity. Although some exercises benefit from a bit of bend, it is important to find a product that doesn’t take this to the extreme. 

Plate Compatability

The size of the sleeves is important as large barbells made for Olympic lifts need to be able to accommodate the 2-inch holes of Olympic plates. Smaller barbells such as those for curling are likely to have a 1-inch hole but anyone who already has plates ready to use should check their compatibility and order the correct kind if necessary.

Collar Locking

This can come in different forms with some requiring star collars. that spin their way into place and others adopting a pin sliding mechanism. Whichever is appropriate for the barbell, it is always better when they come included. That way there is no messing around trying to find compatible collars.

Weight

The weight of the barbell itself is important for the comfort of the user. Although the bigger the bar, the more you would expect it to weigh, it is important to know exactly what this is before loading the bar so you can ensure you lift the right amount each time. 

Type

Although some people immediately think of the 7ft plus barbells used for Olympic lifts, these aren’t the only type available. Before purchasing, make sure there isn’t a product that is better suited for what you need such as a super curl bar that is used for building biceps and other muscles.

Do You Need A Barbell?

This depends on what a person’s goals are. It is possible to build muscle and improve strength without them, but using a barbell and heavier weights can help get there faster. Anyone looking to compete should try and replicate a competition using the same equipment. This will require the use of a higher level of barbell with increased strength.

What Is The Standard Barbell Size?

Again this can be different depending on the type of barbell but some common sizes are 5 to 6 ft long with 7 ft barbells being used regularly for Olympic lifts. 

How Heavy Is A Barbell Bar?

Usually, this doesn’t vary much with full-sized barbells weighing 20 kgs. Some brands change this for different exercises and purposes. These are the barbells used for bench presses, overhead press, and squats among others.

How Heavy Is A 7ft Barbell?

As mentioned above, a full-size barbell usually weighs 20 kg. This can change depending on the brand and material used but expect most barbells of this size to weigh 20 kg.

Does The Bar Count As Weight?

Yes, it very much does. The total weight of any rep is inclusive of the weighted plates as well as the bar itself. This is why a lot of people wish to know how heavy the barbell is before they start to load the weights. 

Can A Barbell Snap?

Although unlikely unless pushed beyond the maximum weight limit specified by the brand, it is possible for cheap barbells to snap. The better, higher quality products are more likely to have enough give and bend but still not snap under the heavier weight. It is important to check on the materials used, and stick to the guidelines from the brand in terms of safety.

What Is The Best Barbell?

We found that after reviewing what the market has to offer, that the CAP 7-Foot Olympic Bar for Weightlifting and Power Lifting was the best. These come in a variety of strengths meaning no matter what the load you wish to add, there is a product that can handle the weight. At 7 ft long, we looked at a full-size barbell with a generous max capacity and a standard 20 kg weight. Its 11,000 PSI tensile strength and 15-inch sleeves ensured there was enough. quality to make it a worthy winner capable of being used in both gyms and at home.

How Much Does A Barbell Cost?

It is possible to pick up a budget product for around $150 although this should be done with caution. Ensure that the bar is made from quality materials and has a decent max weight capacity. Also, be sure that barbells in this range have 2-inch sleeves so they can take Olympic size weights. 

Upping the budget to $300 can get a higher spec with better materials used, knurling in the right places, and a higher PSI tensile strength to add to safety and performance. 

 

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