Here's How to Choose Your Next Olympic Barbell

Ready to smash your next workout? Here's the top picks for the best Olympic barbells.

rogue b&r olympic barbell
Best Overall

  • 29MM & Zero-Whip 20 KG Barbell
  • 205K Strength General Use Bar
  • Used for Weight & Powerlifting

york elite weightlifting barbell
Best Alternative

  • 28-MM Diameter & 89" Bar Lengt
  • 16" Loadable Sleeve for Plates
  • 190K PSI - Bar Has Some "Whip"

rogue ohio bar for weightlifting
Best Alternative

  • 28.5MM Diameter, 86.75" Length
  • 16.40" Loadable Plates Sleeve
  • 190K PSI - Bar Has Some "Whip"

Here Are Your Best Picks for Your Next Olympic Barbell

Best Overall

ROGUE B&R BAR 2.0

Designed by Mark Rippetoe & Mike Burgener for all Weightlifting & Powerlifting use.

rogue b&r bar

Why We Like ROGUE B&R BAR 2.0

The Rogue B&R Bar 2.0 is an improved version of the Rogue B&R Bar designed by Mark Rippetoe and Mike Burgener. This piece of machined steel weighs about 20KG and has 16.25” of loadable sleeve length. The ROGUE B&R BAR 2.0 specific edition comes with several added features compared to the initial Rogue B&R.

For instance, apart from the custom-tailored dual knurl of the Rogue B&R, the new design of the bar now comes with a 205,000 PSI shaft and an updated snap ring design. The bar also comes with quality bronze bushings that give it a reliable, smooth spin.

Best Alternative

YORK® Elite Training Bar

The YORK® Elite Bar is a great training barbell for weightlifters as a budget & specialized option.

york elite training bar review

Should You Buy YORK® Elite Training Bar?

The YORK® Elite Olympic Training Weight Bar is designed to meet international standards, making it suitable for a vast array of gym routines. The training bar is manufactured using North American Steel and has a tensile strength of about 190,000 PSI.

The bar also has Ferous Bushings that ensure smooth rotation during use. The bar is designed to meet Olympic standards; therefore, among other features, its sleeve is secured with spring and a bar end nut.

Best Alternative

Ohio Bar

The Ohio Bar is a great training barbell for weightlifters entirely manufactured in the USA!

rogue ohio bar

Why We Recommend Ohio Bar

A major perk of the Ohio Bar is the bushing sleeves on the bar. These sleeves ensure that users enjoy stability and a reliable spin when used, irrespective of your weightlifting regimen. The bar has a tensile strength of about 190,000 PSI and weighs about 20KG.

The Ohio Bar has a multi-knurl option, and users get to enjoy a lifetime warranty when on the bar. The bar has a bright zinc coating that gives it an appealing aesthetic feel.

How Thick Should My Weightlifting Bar Be?

The thickness of weightlifting bars has always been a significant point of conversation over the past few years. Barbells are generally thicker than dumbbells. However, some barbells are thicker than others. Most light barbells are usually between 1” to 1 1/16” thick, while thick barbells are generally at least 2” thick.

Barbell recommendations based on thickness depend majorly on your routine. Thick bars are more suited for tasks that involve improving strength levels and general muscle activation. However, thin bars are often recommended in pulling exercises because thicker bars make gripping more difficult in these instances.

However, considering that most weightlifting activities do not involve as much pulling, thicker bars are often recommended for most weightlifting activities to help facilitate muscle activation and boosting strength levels.

How Are Weightlifting Bars Different from Power Bars?

Power bars and weightlifting bars are the two major types of bars used in gym routines. Power bars are used mainly for powerlifting activities; bench press, back squat, and deadlift. These are the three major activities in powerlifting. Weightlifting bars, on the other hand, are more common in most routine gym activities. The significant difference between the bars used for both include:

  • Thickness: Weightlifting bars are relatively thinner compared to power bars.
  • Steel Flexibility: Weightlifting bars are more flexible than power bars.
  • Center Knurling: Unlike power bars, weightlifting bars do not have center knurls to ensure they do not scratch the neck during cleans. Weightlifting bars have soft to medium knurling so the bar can slide during the transition from the pull to the catch.