How Do I Choose A Weightlifting Bar?

crossfit girl rogue bella barAs a gym owner we get questions every day asking about how to choose a barbell for a garage gym.

It is important that you take a little time to research barbells.

If you pick the right one it will last for a very long time and all of the athletes in your gym will love it.

Pick the wrong one and you will be bummed out.

Check out this list of good bars and you make the choice which is best for your home gym.

roguebarsPictured below from left to right: B&R Barbell, Rogue Barbell, York North American Barbell,  Pendlay Men’s Econ Barbell, PowerMax barbell (700LB) & PowerMax barbell (28MM Bar).

1.0 Barbell Collar Design
From this picture alone you can tell what kind of quality you are looking at:
1) The Rogue Bar along with all Pendlay bars are made with snap ring construction.  This means that a snap ring hold the collar to the 7 foot piece of steel that runs down the center

The two York barbells have two pieces to the collar, the cap on the end has hole that is pinned to the 7 foot bar that runs through it.

The PowerMax barbells have a bolt that goes into the end to hold the collar to the 7′ steel shaft, most of them then have a cotter pin to hold the bolt in place


Check out the Texas Power Barbell @ Amazon.com

crossfit girl white top squatIn short the York and Pendlay versions are solid and I have yet to replace any of the bars for the collar construction.  Some complain of the end cap on the York barbell wobbling a bit but it has yet to turn into an issue.

Any barbell that is built with a bolt in the end is a filler bar, I hope they are not insulted.  This means that it is not a great barbell but it will do in a pinch.  Some refer to them as beater bars.  An American barbell weighs 45 lbs. Anything with a 700LB test or 1000LB test is a filler bar, this rating means jack.  It is a static load test but you are going to put a dynamic load on the bar so that goes out the window.

2.0 Barbell Steel Specs
We have had a few of these bars destructive tested to see what the strength was and the B&R bar comes in at 205K PSI. The Rogue bar is at 155K PSI and the Pendlay Econ is down in the 125 range. What does this mean?

Video – The Rogue Fitness Ohio Barbell – How it is made

Check out the 20kg Pendlay HD Olympic 45lb Barbell Here

The Rogue bar that is guaranteed for life is not as strong as the B&R bar. Both are wicked strong bars as is the Sorinex All Terrain bar that is around 150K psi tensile strength. The best test is which of these bars are bent? The only two that are not bent are the Rogue and B&R bars. The PowerMax 700LB bar is a banana and the Men’s Econ bar is bent pretty badly. The 28MM bar and the York NA bar are bent but not that bad. We use and abuse the bars in our gym 3-4 times/day, we are not kind to bars.

When we build quotes to outfit facilities we never quote anything except for bars that will endure the punishment in the pipeline.

If it doen’t hold up in our gym then it won’t hold up in yours. As you can see we have purchased these bars in our facility for the same reasons you are considering a $125 bar, we were on a budget. Now that I look back on it I would have rather purchased bars that don’t bend. We have the ability to sell bars for $90 but they bend and they may weigh 37lbs. The bar with the yellow band on it comes in at 37lbs, who knew.

3.0 Knurling Specs & 4.0 Bar Diameter to follow…….stay tuned

Check out these questions from athletes in our gym.

Question: “Coach, what is a good Rogue Fitness Oly bar?”. The B&R bar is a great choice.

Question: Where can I find a Rogue barbell comparisons?
Check out the article and videos above.

Question: Do you have any reviews for quality troy vs york barbells? Yes; we are working on that now.

Question: How much weight can a York barbell hold? The standard York barbell can hold 125kg in weight.

Question: What are the best barbells? Eleiko, Pendlay and Rogue are very high quality barbells.

Question: Where can I find powermax hybrid bar reviews?
Check out reviews for the PowerMax Hybrid Weight Bars here

Question: I want to purchase my own barbell – what is a good starter barbell? I would go with the Rogue beater bar as a first barbell. You can’t go wrong with it.

Question: Coach, which would you pick between a Troy or CAP bar? Both are good barbells but we own a Troy barbell in our gym.

Question: Coach, what are the Texas power bar specs? The specifications for the Texas power bar are:
7′ Length
1 1/8″ Diameter
1500lb Static Test
Deep Diamond Knurling
4″ Center Knurling
IPF Legal

Check out this video on the Texas Power Bar.

Question: Coach, do you have any quest power barbell reviews or Quest vs Texas power barbell?
Check out the info above. We are always getting asked about the differences with the Troy vs Rogue bar.

Question: What is the length of the Rogue 2.0 bar? 16.40 loadable sleeve length with 28.55 mm diameter and weight of 20kg.

Question: Do you have any info or reviews on the Troy hybrid cf bar? Yes; check out the info above

Question: What about the CAP 0b86b bar vs rogue beater?

Question: Where can I find out more info about CrossFit? Check out the CF main website here:

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