T Nation

On the Topic of Bars

I was deadlifting the other day and was told that I might need to buy a new bar to handle the poundage I’m working up to. Problem is, I have no idea what the difference is in the strength of various bars. I looked into different bars at elitefts.com but have no idea what makes one different than the other when it comes to bar strength. Anybody have pointers on this? How do I tell that I need a new (stronger) bar, and which one fits my needs?
-B

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=211&pid=529

[quote]superhero#1 wrote:
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=211&pid=529[/quote]

Thanks. I saw that one, and I’m guessing it’s the best, right? Or is the general “Power bar” a better idea? Forgive my ignorance, but I have no idea what difference is in the various barbells.
-B

[quote]superhero#1 wrote:
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=211&pid=529[/quote]

Great for deadlifting, probably crap for benching or squatting.

OP, what are you deadlifting???

A general Texas Power Bar would probably suit your needs the best.

In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good.

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 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 so stiff 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.

Most of the bars found in sporting goods stores are all around bars, rated somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 pounds. They’re fine for beginners but using anything more than say 500 pounds on it would be pushing it. they tend to bend very quickly and in some cases sever at the collars for the stress of too much weight.

For serious lifting you want a bar rated to at least 1,500 pounds which is what all the elite bars are at if not higher I believe. A good all around bar for squatting, deadlifting, benching and cleans is the texas power bar or an ivanko training bar. Either 1 will be more than enough to handle what you’re working with and each will last for years. NY barbells also sells a good all around bar.

Once you get to certain level in your training though you are really going to have to bite the bullet and buy a set of bars. I have four. A buffalo bar from iron mind for squatting, an ivanko competition rated stiff bar for benching and squatting. A pendlay bar for olympic lifts, overhead pressing and light deadlifting and a werksan competition bar for deadlifting heavy.

As far as which to buy, that’s up to you. The elite deadlift bar is designed to bend or whip a bit more which makes the lift a bit easier off the floor. This also makes it a horrible squat bar for the same reason as the weight tends to bounce when you get to the top of the squat. Texas power bar is somewhere in between.

Stiff enough to squat and bench with enough give to deadlift easy on it. all the other bars they sell really only vary by weight capacity, stiffness and the type of knurling.

Oh. And great post by the way W.E.C.

[quote]W.E.C wrote:
In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good.

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 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 so stiff 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.[/quote]

[quote]W.E.C wrote:
In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good.

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 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 so stiff 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.[/quote]

Best post in the history of T-Nation.

Texas Power Bar is the best all around bar.

Damn. I always thought a Texas Power Bar was a place near the border where you could get the “special” mescale.

[quote]Pinto wrote:
Texas Power Bar is the best all around bar. [/quote]

I agree with Pinto

[quote]W.E.C wrote:
In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good.

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 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 so stiff 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.[/quote]

This story needs its own thread.

[quote]Pinto wrote:
Texas Power Bar is the best all around bar. [/quote]

The best all purpose bar I’ve used is the jesup (1500 lbs test) bar.

http://www.jesupgym.com/products.htm?cid=12

OPB86M 7’ Olympic Power Bar (B)

Easily more durable that a texas power bar.

There is one slight problem. Nobody has ever officially benched, squatted, or deadlifted past 1100lb?

[quote]SeanT wrote:
There is one slight problem. Nobody has ever officially benched, squatted, or deadlifted past 1100lb?[/quote]

You’re wrong.

[quote]vandalay15 wrote:
SeanT wrote:
There is one slight problem. Nobody has ever officially benched, squatted, or deadlifted past 1100lb?

You’re wrong.[/quote]

Indeed. As recently as last week, at the Arnold Classic, Andy Bolton squatted 1214, Chad Aichs squatted 1174 and Paul Childress 1147.

[quote]W.E.C wrote:
In the beginning there was the Cheap Bar. And the Cheap Bar was good.

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 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 so stiff 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.[/quote]

Great post!!

[quote]sharetrader wrote:
vandalay15 wrote:
SeanT wrote:
There is one slight problem. Nobody has ever officially benched, squatted, or deadlifted past 1100lb?

You’re wrong.

Indeed. As recently as last week, at the Arnold Classic, Andy Bolton squatted 1214, Chad Aichs squatted 1174 and Paul Childress 1147.[/quote]

Wow, I am certainly out of date. Ohwell.

[quote]unearth wrote:
Pinto wrote:
Texas Power Bar is the best all around bar.

The best all purpose bar I’ve used is the jesup (1500 lbs test) bar.

http://www.jesupgym.com/products.htm?cid=12

OPB86M 7’ Olympic Power Bar (B)

Easily more durable that a texas power bar.
[/quote]

There’s a reason why it’s so cheap. I really doubt it’s more durable than a TPB, they’re a great reputation.

I remember a post by Shawn Lattimer on another board where he out-lined the difference between the static loading cababilities of a bar versus dynamic. Basically the conclusion draw was that a bar which can statically hold 1500lbs doesn’t mean jack shit when it’s in a dynamic position. I’ll try and find it but I’m having trouble getting on to FI at the moment.

I have several bars such as the cheap bar that comes in a 300 pound set, the 1,500 pound test bard from Jesup, The Texas Power Bar and an Eleiko Training Bar.

If I had to pick one bar I would go with the Texas Power bar assuming your primary goal wasn’t the Olympic lifts. The Jesup bar is really thick because they use cheap steal and have to make it thicker to get it that strong. The Texas power bar is great all around bar plus you can get them for a real reasonable price. You should be able find them for a little over $200.