T Nation

Barbell Brands?


Hey JIm. I really enjoyed your specialty bar article so I'm wondering if there's a particular brand of Olympic bars you recommend? Not necessarily for the olympic lifts themselves but more or less for regular training; dead's, presses, curls, etc.

I have a rogue bar and I've been considering buying a Pendlay bushing Nexgen bar. Wondering your thoughts on that brand as well.

Thanks man. BTW purchased the new 5/3/1 and got a lot of good training ideas out of it.


He says in the Second Edition that the Texas Power Bar is where it's at. I'd have to agree. The knurling is savage and there is zero whip to the bar. The bushings spin smooth, too. I don't know if I'd do many squat cleans with it though. My throat gets a little chewed just from front squats with mine and I can only imagine what catching it at speed would feel like.


I hear good things about some of Rogue's bars. We have a couple of Ivanko PL bars at my gym and they hold up pretty well - little whip, not too sharp knurling, and they spin almost as well as some of our weightlifting bars.


Texas Power Bar is all I recommend.


Jim made this recommendation to me and I bought the TX Power, Squat and DL bars. I love them!


The ones from Rogue are the Westside as well as the B&R bar.

B&R is an interesting hybrid, has the westside steel but different, less aggressive but nice sticky York knurling that's more for olympic lifts. The power rings are two fold as well, for both olympic and powerlifting standards. The cons of this bar is that it's trying to be an all in one, which are also the pro's of the bar. It's stiff as a powerlifting bar should be, so it wont have whip for olympic lifts. It's got sticky but less aggressive knurling than the Texas. I think everyone likes the York knurling, but powerlifters are going to prefer the more aggressive knurling on the Texas, and from what I year the Westside bar.

Some other things you folks should think about are coatings or finishing of the bars. Personally, I hate getting metal slivers from god damned zinc coating. I tend to hate Zinc coated stuff.

If you go there try to avoid whippy bars, as well as those without center knurling. Be sure to get center knurling on your bars, important for squatting.


I know a lot of guys that disagree as they have had the center knurling contact their shins on deads or their face on OHP. Some prefer no center knurl even for squatting.

Personally, I have one York power bar with a center knurl and several vintage York Oly bars without. I really don't care one way or another with the center knurl - it's my in the rack bar for squats and benches, but that's because it is 29mm and stiffer.