T Nation

Picking Out a Barbell


Hey guys. Trying to pick out another barbell soon. And I was wondering about the thickness of the bar and how that impacts the amount of weight that can be lifted.

This bar I'm getting is mainly going to be used for bench pressing and military press.

I know thicker bars can help work grip strength, however does thickness come into play if it's mainly used for benching?


Get a normal bar, thick bars are more a tool to use every once in a while, not to completely center you training around.

And you can always just make a normal bar thicker, but cant make a thick bar thinner.


I'm going to agree with RossDB.

If you're just replacing your main bar get a "power" bar. The load rating should be available from the manufacturer.

Thick bars are especially for training grip strength. Might be a nice addition but not for all lifts or all the time. Other muscles might not get enough work if your grip is the limiting factor all the time.

The thickness of the bar is always a factor. Just watch some strongman competitions to see.


Well the bar I'm looking at isn't a true "fat" bar. The circumference is about 1 and 1/4 inches. It's a power bar(Jesup) with a 1500lb static weight capacity. Not sure what most bars are, but the Texas power bar is 1 and 1/8 which isn't much smaller.

Is 1 and 1/4 inches too big? Granted, I have pretty small hands. What are avg bars circumferences?


I seriously doubt the bar has a CIRCUMFERENCE of 1.25 inches, I think you mean DIAMETER

My answer (if diameter IS what you meant) is get either it will mave V. little difference to you.


Ooops, yeah Diameter, sorry.


i do most of my training with a texas power bar. but one gym i train at has bars that are slightly thicker. its harder for me to grip when i do rows, dls, power cleans, etc. because my hands are not big.

if your hands are big, it might not matter. if not, it may make some lifts more challenging.