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New Barbell Recommendations?

Hey everybody, I was wondering if I could get some recommendations on a new barbell for my home gym. The two I have now are pretty cheap and I’d like to get an at least decent barbell to work with.

Right now I have two basically identical 86", 44lb, 30mm bars. The knurling on one is not that great, so I use it for ohp, squat and bench. The other has halfway decent knurling (I think?) So I use it solely for deadlifts, and i have to tighten one of the pins on it multiple times a session (no snap ring bushing). They both have center knurling as well.

I’m looking for a standard bar that I can use for all of the lifts, but I just don’t know what to look for since I haven’t really had the opportunity to try anything other than the ones I own.

There’s the rogue Ohio powerbar, rogue 2.0, and a few elite fts bars I’ve looked at. I don’t know if I want/need whip/no whip, center knurling, 28mm/28.5mm/30mm etc etc. I’d like to spend anywhere from 200-300 USD… Any suggestions?

My favorite all around bar is the Rogue Ohio Powerbar. It is an awesome bar. I would go with the black zinc if you have even a moderate amount of humidity. Bare steel feels good, but it rusts very quickly.

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Definitely humid in the summer where I’m at, and I’m in an unconditioned space as well. My only concern is no center knurl for squats but again, I have no idea if that even has much of an effect especially for the amount of weight I’m lifting at the moment.

I know anything will be an upgrade at this point though haha. I will definitely keep that in mind- and thanks for the suggestion on the coating.

The Rogue Ohio Power bar does have a center knurl. I will also warn you that the knurl is likely going to be much sharper than you are used to (unless you have used a powerlifting bar before). Once you get used to it, you will most likely love the knurl.

My mistake! I was looking at the Ohio bar, which seems to be more geared towards weightlifting.

Found the powerbar, and I must say it looks pretty spot on to what I think I’m looking for.

No whip, yes center knurling, and whatever diameter a standard power bar is (can’t remember off the top of my head but I think it’s 28mm). The only time you want whip and no center knurling is on a deadlift bar.

I advise not buying the bare steel one, i got a bare steel deadlift bar and the knurling is sharp as hell. It tears your skin easily and squatting with a bar like that will scrape the shit out of your back. The last meet I did we used a brand new Rogue DL bar and I was worried about the knurling but it wasn’t even bad at all. Just get any finish, it’s worth a few extra dollars, otherwise it will be sharp as fuck until it gets a bit of corrosion.

I don’t believe there is a standard diameter for a power bar. Rogue Ohio and Westside power bars are both 29 mm. The Texas power bar is 28.5 mm.

Whatever the Rogue Ohio bar diameter is the standard diameter, the KG one is IPF-approved. Buy the 45 pound one because it’s the same thing and cheaper, unless you plan to run an IPF meet.

I think there is about a 1-2mm range of what diameter is allowed in competition, you just don’t want something that is totally different. I bought a CAP barbell power bar online not knowing any of this, I think it’s 30mm which makes it harder to grip on deadlifts plus the rings are about a cm further out. It’s a decent bar and not a major difference, but I could have got something else for about the same price.

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The meet I am doing on Saturday (USPA) allows for as little as 27mm for deadlifts, and up to I think 32mm for squats.

Buddy Caps Texas Power Bar are great bars. 28.5 mm thickness, center knurl, zinc coating. Knurling is sharp, but like Ben mentioned, it’s awesome. They’re also priced under $300 now, which seems like a deal.

I guess Rogue stuff is probably just as cool, only I look down on them as a less cool, johnny come lately brand.

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Good recommendation. Both the Texas and the Ohio are very good. Many prefer deadlifts with the Texas power bar.

For a DL bar, IMO the Texas bar is the best. I have tried that and the Okie, haven’t tried the Rogue DL bar, but I have heard others pretty consistently say the Texas DL bar is the best DL bar.

Awesome, thanks everyone. Not really planning on competing at any point, so having the bar be within a ruleset isn’t necessary I guess. Although I’m thinking that having a smaller diameter will probably help a tiny bit on deadlifts for grip.

Seems like a pretty even toss up between the Ohio and Texas powerbars. They come out almost identically in price even with the coating applied.

I’ll probably end up flipping a coin to choose haha. Like I said before, anything is going to be an upgrade for me.

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USPA uses squat bars and deadlift bars, a different bar for each lift.

They have a lot of whip compared to other power bars, and the DL bar bends more than any other. I was at a meet where they had Texas power bars in the warmup room and even with 4 plates you can feel the whip. They wouldn’t be my first choice, but some meets use those.

If you get used to pulling on a Texas DL bar and use a different bar at a meet I could see it throwing you off.


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I second the Ohio Power Bar! I have one in my home gym and it’s awesome. I did get the bare steel and it’s sharp as hell, but you get used to it. Most of my buddies at work that have home gyms have the OPB as well and they really like it.

Texas power bar.
Stiff and center knurling is great for squats.
DL bars have some whip, and no center knurling.
I like the EliteFTS products and service.
If I was buying bars, I would get

  1. Good power bar , Texas or the EliteFTS bar, I don’t have any rogue bars, nothing against them.
  2. Safety squat bar.
  3. A multi grip bar
  4. Texas squat bar
  5. Deadlift bar
  6. Fat bar
  7. Trap bar
  8. EZ curl bar
    Save your old bars, they will be worth very little if you sell them. They are great for rack pulls or anything where a bar might bend or be treated harshly. You can also remove the ends where the plates are loaded , and use that piece as a plate loader for weighted exercises. Instead of holding plates , you slide the plates on and your ready to go.
    Enjoy your purchase. Money well spent.
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They also went to a lot of trouble to make it feel like an Eleiko. I’d definitely go with it.


If anybody has recommended to Texas power bar here’s an anti recommendation lol

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Sounds like the Ohio power bar it is then. I guess getting as close to “regulation” as possible would be a good thing in case at some point I change my mind about doing a meet. To add- I’m not used to any kind of whip on a barbell, I haven’t gotten that strong yet and with the thickness of the bars I use now so the less whip at this point, the better. It seems like just another thing I’d have to learn and deal with.

After the barbell purchase my next course of action is to figure out what to do about flooring. Lifting on hardwoods that will be replaced some day in the near future, but I’m honestly scared about falling through haha. At least it’s ground level so there’s not a long way to go.

For the flooring, you can’t go wrong with 2 layers of 5/8" MDF in alternating directions for a base, then 1 piece of finished 3/4" plywood down the middle. Use 3/4" horse stall matting on the sides and it’s indestructible. I’ve dropped 500 from knee height and no damage to my floor.

If you Google art of manliness deadlift platform you should find a full bill of materials and directions.