The barbell has no peer for building strength. If weight lifting isn’t a part of your home fitness routine, I would strongly encourage it. The power, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance that this single piece of equipment will develop and enhance your fitness more than you can imagine.
There are, however, a lot of different barbells on the market. Here are a few pointers before you make the purchase.
The Value of Barbells
A true weightlifting barbell can be used for just about any functional movement. Outside of the traditional squatting, pulling, and pressing movements, you can also use it in metcons in a number of creative ways.
Box step ups, walking lunges, farmer and yoke carries, etc. Your options include many of the traditional bodyweight movements, and then perform them weighted.
But attempting to enumerate the different movements you can perform with a barbell overshadows the effectiveness of five primary lifts: back squat, deadlift, press, snatch, and clean & jerk. These five movements alone can produce elite levels of fitness, and therefore, health.
If you aren’t doing these five movements at least weekly, you need to reevaluate your training program.
What Type of Barbell?
You should consider two things when buying a barbell: the circumference of the bar and the brand.
Generally speaking, you have a barbell for women and a barbell for men. The women’s barbell is 35-lbs and 25mm in circumference. This allows a smaller hand to more easily wrap around the barbell. A men’s barbell is traditionally 45-lbs and 28.5mm in circumference.
As far as the brand goes, buy your barbell from Rogue–this is their golden goose. That being said, they sell a lot of different barbells. My recommendation is to buy The Bella Bar if you are a female and The Ohio Bar if you are a male. There are a few reasons I recommend these two barbells over the others.
- They both have a lifetime warranty. If they ever bend, which they won’t, Rogue will send you another one for free.
- The knurling is standard (diamond-shape). “Knurling” is the part of the barbell etched in to provide grip. There are dozens of different types of knurling, all designed to give you more or less grip. Both of these barbells have standard knurling, which is what the vast majority of athletes want (too much tears up your hands on olympic lifts; not enough doesn’t help you on the deadlift).
- There is no center knurling. If you plan to perform front squats, thrusters, or clean & jerks, you don’t want center knurling because it will tear up your neck/throat.
- They have “dual knurl marks” which gives you additional options in consistently gripping the bar for snatches, cleans, and deadlifts.
- For advanced lifters, these barbells provide the perfect amount of “whip”, or bend in the bar, when picking up maximum loads.
If you’re a girl, buy The Bella Bar. If you’re a guy, buy The Ohio Bar.
I’m challenging you right now to workout 50 days in-a-row. Here is your workout for today.
Day 15 (of 50)
20 Alternating Leg V-ups (Total)
20 Single Dumbbell Alternating Step Back Lunges
Other Articles in this Series
The Home Gym Series
The Home Gym: Dumbbells
The Home Gym: Gymnastic Rings
The Home Gym: Rower
The Home Gym: Bumper Plates