Best Barbells - Best Barbell for Home Gym

Top 3 Best Barbells for Home Gyms

When choosing the best barbell for your home gym, there’s no need to overcomplicate your decision.

I believe the best barbells are ones that accommodate multiple training styles. And aren’t ridiculously expensive!

So, do you plan on doing olympic lifts like snatches or clean and jerks?

Perhaps powerlifting movements like the deadlift, squat and bench press?

Maybe both? Or maybe you don’t care about training style but just want to improve your health and fitness?

In this post, we’ll look at the best barbells for your home gym.

1. XMark Lumberjack Olympic Barbell
2. CAP Olympic Barbell
3. Synergee Olympic Barbell

Barbell Buying Guide: How to Pick The Best Barbell For Your Home Gym

Unless you have truckloads of money, the best barbells are ones that allow multiple training styles. So let’s begin this guide by explaining the different types of barbells and the type of training they are suited for.

Types of Barbells

All Purpose Barbell

An all purpose barbell is my weapon of choice. All purpose barbells have specific attributes that allow them to be used for all training types. They can be used for olympic lifts and powerlifting. And just about everything else.

If you just want to improve your health and fitness, then an all purpose barbell is an excellent choice.

More often than not, the best barbells for a range of exercises are actually ‘olympic barbells’. This is why you will see them in my top picks.

Olympic Barbell

Olympic barbells are made for movements like the clean and jerk and the snatch. You know the ones you see when watching the olympics on TV? Of course they are also suited to a lot of other exercises including: back squats, front squats, overhead squats, push press and cleans to name a few. Olympic barbells are also the main type of barbell used in Crossfit.

Their shaft is usually more flexible (aka whip), allow the plates to spin and have slightly less knurling (aka grip) than other barbells. They are essentially designed to put less stress on your wrists due to the way olympic lifts are performed.

Powerlifting Barbell

Powerlifting barbells are usually stiffer than olympic barbells. And they normally have aggressive knurling (nice textured surface for a strong grip and minimal spin).

They are specifically designed for deadlifting, squatting and benching. However, you can easily do these movements with an olympic bar as well.

Unless you are lifting crazy amounts of weight and competing at a high level, I wouldn’t recommend buying a powerlifting barbell. I prefer one that can be used for both powerlifting and olympic lifting.

Trap Bar (aka Hex Bar)

The Trap Bar aka Hexagonal Bar (Hex Bar) is not like other barbells. It’s designed to perform one major movement. The deadlift. This movement is arguably the most important. If you had to choose one exercise, it would probably be the deadlift.

Hex bars are made in such a way that the load on your body is much more natural. There are many benefits of the trap bar deadlift. By standing inside the hex bar with grips to your side instead of front, you can perform the deadlift in a much safer way. Allowing you to focus more on lifting heavy.

That’s not to say a normal deadlift can’t be performed safely. But it’s always a good idea to minimise risks as much as possible. After all, we want to live a long and healthy life. Not be crippled with lifting injuries.

For those of you thinking about it, I recommend the CAP Hex Bar.

Barbell Parts

When browsing equipment, it’s a good idea to understand the different attributes and parts of a barbell.

There’s a lot of weightlifting and even engineering terms used when reading barbell specs. So to ensure you pick the best barbell for your needs, let’s clarify some of the most common terms used.

Barbell Strength

If you plan on lifting big, then you’ll definitely need to take barbell strength into account. There’s a few different specs you will need to determine before making your purchase.

Tensile Strength

Tensile strength indicates the maximum amount of stress (i.e. weight) a barbell can withstand before it breaks. The strength rating of a barbell is usually in pounds per square inch aka PSI.

Yield Strength

When a barbell yields, it is essentially bending or flexing. The yield strength of a barbell is the amount of stress a barbell can withstand before it starts to permanently deform. A high yield strength indicates a stiffer bar as used in powerlifting. While a low yield strength indicates a more flexible bar as used in olympic lifting.

Whip

The whip of a barbell is related to the yield strength mentioned above. It’s actually the difference between the yield strength and tensile strength. The bigger the difference, the more whip your barbell will have.

Whip = Tensile Strength – Yield Strength

I personally like it when a barbell has good whip. Not too much but not too little. Just right! This allows exercise versatility.

Spin

The spin of a barbell is referring to the shafts of the barbell. This is where you slide on the plates. Some barbells allow the plates to spin freely while others do not. Olympic barbells are made to allow spin using bushings or bearings. I recommend opting for barbells with some amount of spin to allow a greater range of exercise movements.

Knurling

The knurling on a barbell is the amount of grip you have. It is the rough texture that is kind of like sandpaper. A deeper knurling means rougher texture and a better grip.

Coatings

Barbells are made with a lot of different coatings and finishes. The coating used will have an impact on the durability of your barbell. The best coating is usually a high quality stainless steel.

Others include:

– Black Oxide

– Black Phosphate

– Chrome

– Zinc

– Manganese Phosphate

– Cerakote

Barbell Shaft

The barbell shaft is the part between the sleeves. Knowing this is important to ensure it fits between the hooks/j-cups of your power cage, squat rack or bench press. Note that the shaft length is the distance between the sleeves.

 

Don’t worry too much if the above terms have you feeling overwhelmed.

Remember, the best barbell is one that suits a range of different lifts. I recommend going for an olympic barbell, which can be used for pretty much everything.

Barbell Reviews

1. XMark Lumberjack Olympic Barbell
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The XMark Lumberjack Olympic Barbell has just the right specs to perform both powerlifting and olympic lifts. The best of both worlds in my opinion. It has a moderate amount of flex and uses bushings to allow some spin. XMark Fitness also packages this barbell with optional weight plates!

Weight Capacity = 700lbs

Barbell Weight = 43lbs

Barbell Length = 7ft

Shaft Length = 52 inches

Barbell Diameter = 28mm

Bearings or Bushings = Bushings

Knurling = Medium Depth Knurling

Shaft Coating = Black Manganese Phosphate

Plate Center Hole Requirements = 2 inches

PROS

Suitable for powerlifting AND olympic lifting

Option weight plates

Affordable

CONS

700lb weight capacity is enough for me but maybe not for those beasts out there..

2. CAP Olympic Barbell
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The CAP Olympic Barbell is one of the best value barbells on the market. It’s VERY affordable but still versatile. With a 1000lb weight capacity, it’s more than enough for all your big lifts.

Weight Capacity = 1000lbs

Barbell Weight = 44lbs

Barbell Length = 7ft

Shaft Length = 51.5 inches

Barbell Diameter = 28.5mm

Bearings or Bushings = Needle Bearings

Knurling = Medium Depth Diamond Knurling

Shaft Coating = Black Oxide

Plate Center Hole Requirements = 2 inches

PROS

VERY affordable

1000lb weight capacity

Can be used for both powerlifting AND olympic lifts

CONS

CAP has a reputation for cheaper equipment. But this doesn't mean it's not quality!

3. Synergee Olympic Barbell

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The Synergee Olympic Barbell is for those of you looking to spend a little more to get lot more quality and performance. This barbell boasts a 1500lb weight capacity! The performance you get from this barbell is an absolute steal compared to the price.

Weight Capacity = 1500lbs

Barbell Weight = 33lbs

Barbell Length = 86.75 inches

Shaft Length = 52 inches

Barbell Diameter = 28mm

Bearings or Bushings = Needle Bearings

Knurling = 1.2mm Medium Depth Knurling

Shaft Coating = Black Phosphate

Plate Center Hole Requirements = 2 inches

PROS

Optional Hard Chrome Finish

Weight capacity of 1500 pounds!

Suitable for both powerlifting and olympic lifts

CONS

Slightly more expensive (but still affordable IMO)

Final thoughts about the best barbells for home gyms on a budget

Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different barbells on the market. I’m feeling you. That’s why I wrote this article to help guide you to make a better decision.

Remember, the best barbells are versatile. Even if you aren’t performing cleans, snatches, push presses or front squats now, you might progress to them down the track. So I recommend investing in an barbell like the Lumberjack Olympic Bar. By investing in an olympic bar, you’ll be able to do all olympic lifts (duh!) as well as powerlifting. And everything in between!

Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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