T Nation

Buying Bars

I am going to get some new equipment and my first choice for now is a safety squat bar. I have seen these for as little as $219, and the exact same one going for $499 on another site. Anyway, my second shoice would be a cambered bar for goodmornings. My third choice would be a new set of bands (5 sizes). I’ve used my set for a year, but a couple of the bands have very tiny tears-a millimeter-in a spot.

Anyway, I also considered a manta ray or there’s some kind of front squat attachement out there. I’ve never squatted anything but a straight bar and I think the SS bar will help me in building my upper back for squatting.

Any suggestions such as where can I get any of these affordably? I’m in the Denver area and could save shipping if I picked them up myself. What are good prices? How would you rate each of these items for bringing up the squat?

I can’t really tell if you’re asking, but there is such a front squat device. It’s called the Stingray. It’s made by the same company that produces the Manta Ray.

http://www.adfit.com/mantaray/index.asp

I haven’t done very much price-comparision since I don’t yet have space for a home set-up (one day, though…), but if I were to buy right now, I’d buy from Elite Fitness
http://www.elitefts.com/
and Ironmind
http://www.ironmind.com/ironcms/opencms/ironmind/

I’ve never heard anything good about the Manta Ray. Everyone I know who’s used one says it’s a painful and awkward experience.

[quote]Rex30 wrote:
I’ve never heard anything good about the Manta Ray. Everyone I know who’s used one says it’s a painful and awkward experience.[/quote]

I don’t use either one (Manta Ray or Sting Ray), myself. I prefer not to carry the bar that high in the back squat, and I don’t use the bodybuilding form of the front squat (with arms crossed).
But, the Manta Ray is available from Elite Fitness (a reliable source of information), and it is mentioned on their squat/deadlift index DVD for people who might have trouble holding the bar lower on their traps.

[quote]Rex30 wrote:
I’ve never heard anything good about the Manta Ray. Everyone I know who’s used one says it’s a painful and awkward experience.[/quote]

Painful and awkward you say? That’s good right? My main purpose for considering the Manta Ray is to put the bar higher up to help build the upper back muscles for squatting.

As far as the bars go, I would stay away from the $219 safety squat bars. We had a cheap one at a gym I used to work out at it and bent really bad with anything over about 315. They are the rough equivalent of the $49 olympic bar as far as quality goes. I would definately save up and get one from Elite FTS if you are getting for your own set up. That way you should only have to buy one. That new safety squat yoke bar with the longer handles looks pretty tough. I am getting ready to get a rackable cambered bar from them myself. For me, the manta ray is a good variation from regular power squats. We do them as ME work.

Good luck.

[quote]nosebone wrote:
As far as the bars go, I would stay away from the $219 safety squat bars. We had a cheap one at a gym I used to work out at it and bent really bad with anything over about 315. [/quote]

The add says it is 1000 pound test, and I found the same one on another site for $499. I was more concerned that the site was a fraud.

I will post the site just to evaluate for fraud here, but you make the call.

www.newyorkbarbells.com/im-0210.html

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
help me in building my upper back for squatting.
[/quote]

there is no bar in the world that will build muscle on your upper back…

if you want to build muscle on your upper back do heavy deadlifts, shrugs, bent rows, seated rows, dumbell rows, etc…

DHP-

i think you’re taking his post too literally. different bars place different stresses on the upper back, because of the need to balance the weight etc. I don’t imagine this guy is looking for greater hypertrophy from this bar, but you have to admit changing the bar will change the stress on the back which supports the weight. Change the angle, change the stress.

As for the original poster- I’d stick with EFS if you’re going to buy a bar. It’s quality, like someone else said. Tate and the Crew test their products out with 1000lbs before selling it, so i’d put my faith in their product over someone who loaded up 1000 on the bar until it bent. How does that translate into the real world? Cuz i bet if you have 500 on the bar, the bitch will bend and shake as you squat.

CSR

I haven’t ever bought anything from NY Barbell. They do have a ton of stuff and it it is cheap. The bar looks similar to the one we used to have at the old gym. They are pretty much the same construction as the “700 lb” test olympic bar but with safety squat attachment. So I would give them about 500 lbs. before they are permenently bent. It’s all up to you though.

I buy cheap bars for pin pulls, rack presses and stuff like that cause you tear the hell out of a bar that away. Eventually they look like a buffalo bar. Speaking of which, if you are in Colorado, I saw a guy selling a used Buffalo Bar (Iron Mind Brand) on Ebay last night. Pretty cheap, since you are close it might something that you might be interested in. Those are good for good mornings as well. Just get something that will help you become strong as hell!!

Nosebone

I bought the 1500lb test Safety Squat bar from NY Barbells and it has been fine. The most we have had on it is somewhere around 500lbs, but there was no real bend to it at that weight. And considering it came with a lifetime guarantee, I’m not too worried about it bending anytime soon.

I know Big Martin (Ross) has one also and I believe he has had upwards of 800 on his.

My .02

Hey matt,

Thanks for jumping in. I didn’t know they had a guarantee on that 1500 lb. one. That might not be too bad. Do you know how wide is it between the cambers?

I had looked on that NY Barbell website for a cambered squat bar, but they dont sell a rackable one.

BTW, did you ever get some more lifters for your crew? If I was in the greater Houston area, I would look you up… I am kinda in the same postion here, it’s down to just the wife and me here. Everyone keeps quiting on us.

Nosebone

[quote]nosebone wrote:
Hey matt,

Thanks for jumping in. I didn’t know they had a guarantee on that 1500 lb. one. That might not be too bad. Do you know how wide is it between the cambers?

I had looked on that NY Barbell website for a cambered squat bar, but they dont sell a rackable one.

BTW, did you ever get some more lifters for your crew? If I was in the greater Houston area, I would look you up… I am kinda in the same postion here, it’s down to just the wife and me here. Everyone keeps quiting on us.

Nosebone [/quote]

I don’t know the exact distance between the camber, but I know it fits EXACTLY on the J-hooks, so I would guess at 48" give or take. I will measure tonight when I get home.

We are still hurting for lifters. We have 4 of us right now, but only myself and one other are there everyday.

I am working on building a monolift attachment for the rack, so hopefully that will draw us another guy or 2.

Take care!

[quote]mattwray wrote:

I don’t know the exact distance between the camber, but I know it fits EXACTLY on the J-hooks, so I would guess at 48" give or take. I will measure tonight when I get home.

We are still hurting for lifters. We have 4 of us right now, but only myself and one other are there everyday.

I am working on building a monolift attachment for the rack, so hopefully that will draw us another guy or 2.

Take care!

[/quote]

Hey thanks for the info Matt. When you get it done, if you get a chance, I would like to how you went about building the Monolift attachment as well. I have been kicking that idea around myself. I think that would be sweet to have.

Nosebone

50 1/2 in between the cambers.

When I get my monolift attachment made, I will post up how I did it…