In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good, well, it was at least adequate.
And then the weights got bigger, and around 300 lbs, the Cheap Bar got saggy and bouncy and smooth. It slipped from the Lifters’ hands, bent easily and wobbled around maddeningly.
And the Lifters let their voices rise, declaiming that this Cheap Bar verily suckethed.
And from on High in Texas, The Iron Gods forged the One Bar to Rule Them All. And so came the Power Bar, and the Power Bar was Very Good. It was deeply checkered, so it held closely to their callused hands.
It was strong so that it could handle the great weights the Lifters so loved to put on them, and it was stiff so that the beloved Lifters could walk out a squat without being bounced all over the Promised Rack. The Power Bar became the Rule of the land. For Squats, and Benches and Deadlifts, all others must measure themselves against This.
The Lifters raised their voices in praise, and verily they sang, “If you get but one bar, the Power Bar is the one you should get!!”
But then some lifters said to the Iron Gods, “We thank you for the Bounty that is the Power Bar, but we want to deadlift more!” And the Iron Gods, looked down on their favoured children, the Lifters and said, "Forsooth, We will make you a bar, and it will be thnner, with Gin-Su checkering, for to be easier to grip, and the very thinness that makes it easy to grip will allow it to flex more to set up even higher our children.
Yes, beloved Lifters, so shall we make you the Deadlift Bar." And so the Deadlift Bar was created, and the deadlift bar was Good, but only for deadlifts. It is too bouncy for squats and benches.
And the Iron Gods watched their favoured Lifters Squat with seven foot bars, and saw that the largest of the Lifters struggled to fit in between the collars. And the Iron Gods had mercy on their largest children, and said "We will make a bar that is six inches wider between the collars, Favoured Ones, and your shoulders will not hurt so after you have squatted, for Squatting is one of the blessings.
This Bar will be thicker than a normal bar, so to make it as stiff as possible, and because gripping it is not so important. This will be the Squat Bar, and it is Good, but thou shalt not bench or dead with it."
Finally the Iron Gods, looked at their Olympic Lifters, and smiled, for a well performed Olympic lift is a joyful thing. To these children they said, “Yes, you need a strong bar, but your path is one of elasticity and technique. You need a bar with life and spring, which can stand being dropped from overhead all the day long. And so we give you the Olympic Bar. It is most assuredly not a Power Bar, but indeed it is Good.”
And each of the Lifters bought the right bar for the right task, and rejoiced.