Thick Handle Barbell

Im in the market for a thick handle barbell and was looking at the ones that Brutestrength sells. $50 to $60 seems pretty cheap for a barbell, but I know that some of their stuff is good quality, just no frills. I dont like the fact that they dont post a picture of it though.

I was wondering if anybody has one of the thick handle barbells from brute strength and what they think of it.

Of course, I could always go with Apollon’s Axel from Ironmind, but that one is pretty expensive.

I have Apollon’s Axle? and I bought that one because I would rather pay a little more for quality than skimp and be sorry later.

JD430, I know people who swear by Brute Strength. However, I couldn’t get the guy to answer my emails or pick up the phone. I decided to make my own.

I copied this off of the 'Net somewhere. Be sure to specify cold-rolled steel which is stronger.

The hardest aspect of thick bar training can be, for many people, obtaining a thick bar. I personally would not be willing to pay the price of the commercial versions. The Apollon’s Axle, from Ironmind, will run you about $170 including shipping. This is not too bad, but you can probably make your own that is as high quality as this one for $70. If you want to spend the money, I believe that Hammer Strength makes thick-handled barbells that have revolving ends like a regular bar. This would be a nice feature, but it is not necessary.

What I did, and what you can do, is make your own by obtaining a piece of stock steel that is 6 or 7 feet long and 2 inches in diameter. You can call around to machine shops or steel supply places and see if they have any scrap or pieces already cut to this length. If you have to pay for an entire 12-foot length of new steel, you will probably have to pay $60. Like I said, hopefully you will be able to find a pre-cut piece that might be ‘scrap’ for half that.

Anyway, after you have this 6 or 7 foot piece of steel, buy a pair of those cheap chromed collars that have the bolts that screw in at an angle on them. Hopefully these will only cost you about $9. Look around, and you might possibly find some at a used sporting goods store. Take the bolts out of the collars, and take the collars and the bar to a machine shop or welding place somewhere. Have them weld the collars onto the bar a foot in from each end. You might want to call around first to see how much you will be charged; some places a have a minimum charge for labor, but I got mine done for $14.

After you have the collars welded onto the bar, take some emery cloth to the whole thing and clean it off so that there is no rust. Tape off the ends with newspaper and prime and paint the inner section of the bar and the collars. You now have a thick bar that will outlast you. As an aside, you might find that you need to take some coarse, and then fine, emery cloth to the end of the bar for a while on some afternoon to make sure that all plates will easily slide onto the bar. A light coat of silicone spray or other such agent after you have done this will help prevent rusting. Any time there is some rust on the bar ends, however, just take your emery cloth and sand it off.

You can make a slightly cheaper bar out of pipe or PVC, but I would recommend taking the extra time and little bit of money to get a really good bar.

If you were 18 i would propose to you in a heartbeat.

(laughing) It’s always nice to know you have another fan. Thanks, hoosierdaddy!

Thank you for the very creative solution. I’m in good with some welders too…maybe I’ll go this route as a stock steel bar is about as indestructible as you can get.

Since I brought this topic up, here is another question for the trainers who have used thick handle barbells. What diameter bar should I use? Standard sizes are 2", 2.5" and 3", and I’m not sure which one to start with or which one should constitute the bulk of my training. I’m a fair sized guy…6-1 and 220-230 but my hands are only average sized. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Terry, not to hijack the thread, but any suggestions on pulling blocks? The only place I have found to sell them is Ironmind, and they are pretty expensive - well over $500 with shipping. Any suggestions? Thanks


i use 2.5 inch handled dumbells, and if anything, my hands are smaller than average, just grab some pvc neext time you’re at home depot and decide which size is comfortable. bigger is bettter if you can hold on to the three inch.