What Everyone Needs To Know When Buying A Barbell

The first barbell I ever bought was from Play-It-Again sports. The collars were bolted on, barely spun, and the diameter of the shaft was probably well over 29mm. I bought it for $70 and left thinking I’d gotten a steal.

I brought it home to my garage, loaded it with some of my brand new bumpers, and proceeded to perform a snatch - well, the beginning of a snatch.

Without spin, the barbell flew behind me as I tried to whip it overhead. When the bar landed, one of the collars came completely off and the bolt that was holding it on rolled away, never to be found again.

The beauty of a Garage Gym is in the story of every piece of equipment. From homemade bumpers, to repurposed rubber flooring, a lot of the fun that comes with working out at home is in the effort and creativity as you perfect your sanctuary. At some point though, for those of us who are serious, eventually you figure out that no amount of welding or metallurgy can save a broken barbell.

Building a garage gym can be pricey, and if you are wanting to save money I would suggest finding different areas other than a barbell. If you still can't spend a lot I suggest waiting for a sale, such as the one we are currently having on our Bomba V2 Barbell.

If you are going to spend money on buying only one new piece of equipment, I suggest spending it on a quality barbell.

While shopping for your new bar there are a few things you’ll want to consider when purchasing your barbell.

Style: Are you a powerlifter, olympic lifter, or general mix of both (CrossFitters!). Depending on the lifts you’ll be performing, you’ll want a bar that will perform with you.

Knurl: The crisscross hash-marks in the bar that act as a grip rather than just the bare steel. Powerlifters prefer a deep “cheese grater” style knurl while Olympic lifters prefer something a bit softer and crossfitters or functional fitness enthusiasts even less.

Shaft Diameter: You’ll want a bar that fit’s in your hands and that you can hang on to. True Olympic lifting barbells have a 28mm diameter while multi-purpose bars are usually around 28.5mm and powerlifting bars are thicker still.  

Tensile Strength: The amount of force (load) a bar can take, resulting in bending, and return to straight again. Higher PSI’s, 190,000 and above, are necessary not only for those who will be using a lot of weight, but also for those looking to get good “whip” from the bar.

Figure out what you want out of barbell and then price match until you’ve got the bar your gym needs. Want to learn more specifics about the barbells we offer and who we make them for? Check out the video below!

Orion Hones
Orion Hones


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