Top 5 Best Olympic Barbells – 2017 Reviews And Top Picks

How difficult is it to pick out a good Olympic Barbell? It’s a little more difficult than you would think. Depending on the Olympic Barbell, it can bend or warp, things can pop off and you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful.

If you are serious about strength training, you need a good, solid barbell to be the base of that training. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are searching for a good Olympic Barbell.

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An Olympic Barbell is a long bar that you can attach weights to on the ends. It is a central piece of exercise equipment that is used in weight training, weight lifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit and power lifting.

Barbells can range in lengths from 4 feet to over 8 feet. Disc weights are placed on the ends of the bar and secured with collars to increase the total weight of the workout.

To help you understand the concept better, here are the 5 best Olympic Barbells we think will work the best for you.

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

The CAP Barbell Olympic Bar 7’ Olympic Bar is a great barbell for heavy workouts and is popular among professional weightlifters. The barbell has great balance and lasting performance plus a medium knurled surface and sleeves that will swivel easily to keep the bar from warping.

The Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar is also constructed for heavy workouts and comes with a triple-coated chrome finish to protect it from scarring, rusting, chipping and peeling. It’s intended for substantial workouts and has a 1000 pound capacity.

Similar to the Body Solid Olympic Bar, the Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar has a 1500 pound rating so you will not have to worry about the bar bending.

It’s great for weightlifting, cross fit workouts, power lifting and bodybuilding workouts. The five needle bearings per sleeve create a smooth spin and a clean turn-over plus it comes with a five year warranty.

In comparison, the Champion Barbell Olympic Style Bar is a great Olympic Barbell for beginners. It has a capacity of 700 pounds and should not be used with a competition bench. It’s a little shorter than a typical bar but this helps provide more stability for beginners.

If you are interested in upper body exercise, the Yaheetech Olympic 7′ foot Weight Bar is great choice. It’s durable with great balance and a secure grip. The Yaheetech Olympic Bar has sleeves designed for smooth swiveling to prevents the bar from becoming warped or misshapen.

Reviews Of The Best Barbells

CAP Barbell Olympic Bar 7’ Olympic Bar was intended for heavy workouts and is a popular choice for professional weightlifters. It is precision engineered and has great balance and lasting performance.

The Cap Barbell Olympic Bar has a medium knurled surface and sleeves that will swivel with a light touch. This helps to keep the bar from warping and will keep the pressure on your wrists down.

The barbell can hold two inch Olympic plates and it has a weight capacity of 1000 pounds. It comes with nice polished steel sleeves and a black oxide finish.


Things We Liked:

  • Very durable and withstand heavy use and heavy drops
  • Ends of the bar are sealed and grooved which helps with the grip for barbell collars
  • Knurling is great
  • Great for CrossFit workouts
  • Great for rubber bumper plates

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • The bar bent with 625 pounds of weight
  • Gets damaged in shipping
  • Knurling can be painful
  • Ends are slightly narrower than the average bar so the weight rattle and spring collars fall off
  • Doesn’t spin the way it was advertised
  • Sleeve groves make it difficult to add and remove weights

The Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar is constructed to give you really heavy workouts. It’s made of the highest quality components that are precision engineered. The Body Solid Olympic Bar has a triple-coat chrome finish that will protect the bar from scarring, rusting, chipping and peeling.

Intended for substantial workouts and serious weights, the Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar will be a central part of your workout routine. The Body Solid Olympic Bar comes in several different finishes plus knurled hand grips and capped ends. It has a 1000 pound capacity with a 30 mm diameter.


Things We Liked:

  • Great quality product for the price
  • Great for home use especially for bench pressing, squats and deadlifts
  • Bar spins with ease
  • Great build quality
  • Strong Customer Service Support

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Shipping has lots issues including missing parts and bent bars
  • -Sleeves are held in place by Allen bolts which is not the way it is advertised and the bolts come loose
  • Larger than regulation bars, it’s 32mm instead of 28mm
  • Knurling is not medium and more sharp than expected

The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar is the perfect Olympic bar with a 28mm diameter that gives you an easy grip. It has tensile strength of 230k and has a 1500 pound rating so you will not have to worry about the bar bending.

The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar has a hard chrome coating that is rust resistant and requires the least amount of maintenance. It has plenty of knurl for medium depth knurling and heavy lifts.

The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bat is great for weightlifting, cross fit workouts, powerlifting and bodybuilding workouts.There are five needle bearings per sleeve on the Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar so you have a smooth spin and a clean turn-over. The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar also has a five year warranty.


Things We Liked:

  • Comes with a warranty
  • Chrome coasting is rust resistant
  • Bearings in the sleeves help the sleeves spin which is great for certainexercises
  • Bar will not bend, has a high rating on tensile strength
  • Bar looks cool and the collar band give it a unique look
  • Great value
  • Spin is smooth and easy
  • Whip is better than most bars
  • Knurling reaches out to the sleeves so you can use a wider grip
  • Sleeves have grooves so plates stay on well

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • No center knurl which can be a problem for some people
  • Knurl is a little soft which can bother some people

The Champion Barbell Olympic Style Bar is a 60 inch long bag made of chrome plating. It has a capacity of 700 pounds and it shouldn’t be used with a competition bench. It’s a little shorter than a typical bar but this helps provide more stability for beginners.


Things We Liked:

  • Well-made and well-packaged
  • Easy to disassemble and reassemble
  • Great value for the price
  • Rotating sleeves make some exercises smoother
  • Great for home use and for the gym
  • Higher weight limit that’s higher than alumalite bars
  • Great for women and for beginners

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Little too narrow for a regular power rack
  • Little too wide to sit on supports which mean you can’t do squats, bench press or overhead press

The Yaheetech Olympic 7′ foot Weight Bar is great for upper body exercise, especially improving snatch and jerk skills. The Yaheetech Olympic Bar fits 2 inch weight plates and has a diameter of 1.2 inches. It’s durable and has great balance with medium depth knurled section that provides a more secure grip.

The Yaheetech Olympic Bar has sleeves with smooth swiveling that prevents the bar from getting warped or misshapen and helps to reduce unnecessary pressure on your wrists. It has a capacity of 300 pounds and it’s constructed of high grade metal coated with an anti-rust silver finish, great all around barbell for home use.


Things We Liked:

  • Durable, great quality
  • Good bar for the price
  • Attractive finish with good balance
  • Grips are placed just right

Things We Didn’t Like:

  • Only weigh s 37 pounds, typical Olympic bag weighs around 44 pounds

What To Look For In An Olympic Barbell?

01

Basics of Barbells

Olympic Barbells have a lot of different variations. Which one is right for you will depend on the types of exercises you do, how much you lift and certain preferences.

Standard Olympic Barbell Dimensions and Finishes

Diameter:

  • Approx. 28 or 29mm for men
  • Approx. 25 mm for women

Lengths:

  • 7.2 feet for men
  • 6.5 feet for women

Finishes:

  • Black oxide
  • Zinc
  • Chrome
  • Unfinished
  • Stainless Steel

Weight:

  • 44 pounds for men
  • 33 pounds for women

What Is knurling?

The bar itself is often referred to as the shaft and on it is the knurling which is a pattern on the bar to help you grip the bar firmly. The knurling is machine-pressed and depending on the manufacturer, it can be rougher or smoother than others.

Knurling can run the length of the bar to the sleeves and sometimes it will be in the center. It’s a preference so you just need to figure which you prefer. If you enjoy Olympic lifting than you will probably prefer knurling that runs out to the sleeves.

Do you need center knurling?

02

If you are more interested in Cross

Fit training or don’t wear a shirt when training, no center knurling will be better for you. If you do squats with heavy weights and use the bar to grip the back, you will prefer center knurling.

Also, the knurl marking will tell you what type of bar it is. A dual marked bar is great for general training but if you prefer Olympic lifting you will want a bar with outermost markings and inner markings signal a powerlifting bar.

Sleeves

Sleeves indicate where the weights are placed and are made of drawn-overmandrel (DOM) tubing. This is a process on a machine that creates straight and strong sleeves. Rotation is what you are looking for in sleeves and they come with either bushings or bearings.

Bushings are a low friction material located between the shaft and sleeve and are more affordable and most common. You will find that needle bearings spin smoothly and are placed between the shaft and sleeve and they are found on the more expensive bars.

Bushings work just as well and are cheaper the only person that would notice the difference between the two would be a professional or someone at the elite level. Sleeves are connected by either bolts or snap rings. Bolts break easily so stick with snap rings.

Barbell Strength

03

The strength of a barbell is measure one of three ways either tensile strength, test or yield strength.

  • Tensile strength measures how much weight your bar can support without breaking so the higher the tensile strength the better the bar.
  • Yield strength tells how much weight before the handle is deformed or is no longer straight.
  • Test means the point where the bar has been loaded with weight and tested and there was no bending or breaking. The higher the test number the better.

Your average person is looking for a high-quality bar for generic training and there are several on the market that would work well. If you are planning on becoming an Olympian, then go for the more expensive barbells but you for general training, you can get a good quality bar for much less.For more information on the basics of Olympic Barbells, follow this link.

Conclusion

The winner of the Best Olympic Barbell Roundup is the Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar – 1500 lb Rated – Barbell for CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, and Power Lifting. The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar is the perfect diameter at 28mm, has a tensile strength of 230k and has a 1500 pound rating so it will not bend.It has a hard chrome coating to stop rust so it requires very little maintenance. It’s great for Olympic weight lifting as well as CrossFit, Bodybuilding and Power Lifting. It has medium depth knurling and has five needle bearings per sleeve which gives you a smooth spin and clean turn-over.

It’s a great value for the quality and comes with a five year warranty. The Rep Gladiator Olympic Bar is the definite winner of the Olympic Barbell Roundup.

Luke Cafferty
 

Luke Cafferty is a fitness junkie, personal trainer and blogger. He's passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a strong and well rounded physique, while inspiring you to do the same.

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