7 Best Barbells in 2020

Best Barbells
Image by Li Sun / Pexels

Are you putting together a home gym? Perhaps you’re training for an upcoming competition, and need new equipment to get in shape? Whatever the case may be, the best barbells provide a huge upgrade to your fitness regimen and enable you to perform all the core lifts.

A strength training routine is essential for a great physique. Studies show that lifting weights can speed your metabolism up 15%, offering a one-two punch when trying to gain muscle and lose weight. The best part? Just 60 minutes of weekly weight training with top-tier equipment like the CAP Barbell will have you seeing results in weeks. Plus, barbell lifting is future-proof: no matter how far you progress, you can load up your new barbell with more weight.

In this article, we check out the best barbells on the market. From beginner to advanced, we’ve got you covered.

Our Top Picks: Best Barbells

You’ll be hard-pressed to find barbells that beat these top picks in terms of quality for the dollar.

  • Best Overall: CAP Barbell “The Beast” Olympic BarEnter beast mode with this heavyweight 1000-pound-capacity barbell from CAP, one of the top manufacturers around. Our pick for the best barbell this year.
  • Best Budget: Yaheetech Olympic Bar. If you’re a beginner or casual lifter seeking an affordable option, the Yaheetech Olympic Bar is an excellent choice.
  • Best Set: Step Fitness Barbell Set. Don’t want the hassle of purchasing bars, weights, and accessories? Snag the Step Fitness All-in-One Barbell Set, perfect for lightweight workouts.
  • Best Powerlifting: XMark Crowbar. With a 1,500-pound weight capacity and Olympic-standard specifications, the XMark Crowbar all but guarantees your weightlifting success.
  • Best CrossFit: BalanceFrom Olympic Bar. The BalanceFrom Olympic Bar isn’t just the ideal size for CrossFit, it’s a top-tier bar for all your workouts โ€” at an affordable price.
  • Best Home Gym: Reebok Olympic Weight Bar. Reebok is renowned for creating excellent athletic and workout gear, and the Reebok Olympic Weight Bar for home gyms is no exception.
  • Best Weightlifting: XMark Lumberjack. If you’re seeking a balance of flex and durability, the XMark Lumberjack has all your weightlifting needs covered.

1. CAP Barbell “The Beast” Olympic Bar

The best barbell overall

CAP Beast Barbell

Manufacturer: CAP Barbell / Weight Capacity: 1000 pounds / Length: 84 inches / Weight: 44 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

The CAP Barbell is one of the best Olympic barbells on the market, and it holds up to 1,000 pounds, no problem. The bar itself is 7 feet long, weighs 44 pounds, and can hold several 2-inch plates on either side. This barbell provides excellent spin and is ideal for Olympic style lifts and bodybuilders.

The one caveat is that “The Beast” tends to shed metal shavings after roughly six months. This can cause splinters, and it’s recommended you use a pair of gloves while working out.

Still. for the price, it has a lot of value, especially for someone who is moderately experienced. Our favorite bar overall.

  • Great for deadlifts
  • Exceptional knurling and spin
  • Suitable for pros and beginners alike

  • Chrome nicks easily
  • Sheds metal shavings, which can cause splinters

2. Yaheetech Olympic Bar

The best cheap barbell on a budget

Yaheetech Barbell

Manufacturer: Yaheetech / Weight Capacity: 330 pounds / Length: 84 inches / Weight: 40 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

If you’re looking for a reliable lightweight or beginner’s barbell at an exceptional price, look no further than the Yaheetech.

This Olympic bar weighs in at 40 pounds and measures just over 7 feet in length. Although it’s the size and weight of a powerlifting bar, the Yaheetech can only hold 300 pounds before it starts to warp out of shape. This is mainly due to the iron โ€” as opposed to steel โ€” construction. But, you get what you pay for in that department.

We still highly recommend this bar for less intensive workouts. And, it comes with complimentary spring collars to hold your weights. Can’t beat it.

  • Unbeatable price
  • Comes with complementary spring collars
  • Reliable performance for all your workouts

  • Maxes out at 330 pounds
  • Bearings require regular oiling

3. Step Fitness Barbell Set

The best barbell set for home

Step Fitness Barbell

Manufacturer: Step Fitness / Weight Capacity: 50 pounds / Length: 54 inches / Weight: 10 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Need a barbell for your home gym, but don’t want the hassle of purchasing a bunch of equipment? No problem! Just snag the Step Fitness Barbell Set.

This set comes with everything you need to get started, including the bar itself and 50 pounds of weights. While this is by no means suited for serious lifters, it’s perfect for beginners and casual athletes seeking something easy. Add and remove weights to your heart’s content and create your ideal workout without breaking it.

  • Everything you need to get started
  • Perfect for Body Pump and home workouts
  • Convenient steering-wheel shaped weights

  • Bar is under 5 feet long
  • Weighs 60 pounds total, nowhere near enough for serious lifters

4. XMark Crowbar

The best powerlifting barbell

XMark Crow Barbell

Manufacturer: XMark Fitness / Weight Capacity: 1500 pounds / Length: 84 inches / Weight: 45 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

X Marks the spot with this fantastic powerlifting barbell from top-tier manufacturer, XMark Fitness.

The Crowbar can handle up to 1500 pounds, making it an ideal bar for all your powerlifting needs. It’s also great for people working on their clean and presses. The handgrip on this bar makes for a very comfortable weightlifting experience, and the overall quality of the steel is second to none.

  • Excellent center knurling
  • Convenient snap-ring lock system
  • Steel alloy constructed with a strength rating of 185,000 PSI

  • Prone to rust
  • Fairly expensive

5. BalanceFrom Olympic Bar

The best CrossFit barbell

BalanceFrom Barbell

Manufacturer: BalanceFrom / Weight Capacity: 700 pounds / Length: 60 inches / Weight: 25 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Into CrossFit? You need a bar that can keep up with your workouts. That’s where the BalanceFrom Olympic Bar comes in.

This exceptional weightlifting bar weighs in at just 25 pounds, but it packs quite the punch. That is, it’s a full 5 feet long and can carry 700 pounds with ease. Not only that, but it features a variety of knurling positions for versatility and enhanced safety.

Users describe it as “perfect” and “the best barbell you’ll ever own.” The verdict’s in: you need to grab yourself an Olympic bar from BalanceFrom.

  • Unbeatable value
  • 2-inch diameter accommodates a variety of plates
  • Great for a range of exercises, including squats, presses, and curls

  • Not suited for powerlifting
  • Choosing a length greater than 5 feet significantly increases price

6. Reebok Olympic Weight Bar

The best barbell for home gyms

Reebok Barbell

Manufacturer: Reebok / Weight Capacity: 1200 pounds / Length: 84 inches / Weight: 44 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Though the Reebok Olympic Weight Bar doesn’t have the best spin, it’s certainly good enough if you consider the overall quality. In fact, it’s one of the more reliable options available. The finish on this bar is black oxide, which will keep it in good condition for a while. The Reebok Bar also boasts Olympic measurements and weight requirements, which is great if you plan to start training for competitions.

Overall, this bar is truly engineered for performance, and it’s guaranteed to take your home gym up a notch.

  • Black oxide with steel sleeves
  • Sky-high 1200 pound weight capacity
  • Boasts legendary Reebok craftsmanship

  • Lackluster spin
  • Can be challenging to find

7. XMark Lumberjack

The best weightlifting bar

XMark Lumberjack Barbell

Manufacturer: XMark / Weight Capacity: 700 pounds / Length: 84 inches / Weight: 44 pounds / Price: ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Another bar from XMark? You betcha! The XMark Lumberjack is everything you need from a beginner to an intermediate weightlifting bar, all at an affordable price.

You get a 700-pound weight capacity, Olympic-standard dimensions, and performance that’ll knock your socks off. It’s made from solid steel alloy, which provides unrivaled strength and durability. On top of that, the manganese phosphate overlay provides extra protection and that classic tacky feel.

This bar boasts moderate flex, which makes it ideal for bench presses, squats, cleans, and more. You’ve seriously gotta try it to believe it.

  • Reliable with top-notch knurling
  • Steel alloy construction supports 700 pounds
  • Unbeatable weightlifting performance for the money

  • Pungent sulfur smell
  • Bearings are a little rough

What to Look for in a Barbell

Best Barbells 2
Image by Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

What should you look for when purchasing a new barbell? We’ve outlined the three most important considerations below.

1. The Type

If you’re hoping to train for competitions, it’s crucial to get a bar with Olympic weight and length standards. A men’s bar is 7 feet long and weighs 44 pounds. Women’s bars are about 6.5 feet long and 33 pounds.

Even if you’re not training seriously, an Olympic barbell is still useful, as they are much more durable than standard barbells.

2. The Spin

The spin on a bar describes how the bar spins with momentum when the lifter’s hands stop moving. If there’s no spin on the bar, that means your hands and wrists control all the bar’s movement. If you’re doing explosive lifting, like clean and presses, you need a spin on your bar. Slower, controlled lifting doesn’t require a bar with spin.

3. The Finish

Buying a barbell can be a little pricey, so you want it to last a while. One way to ruin a bar is to put more weight on it than it should hold. Another factor that will destroy a bar is rust. If you have a robust and durable finish on your bar, rust won’t set in as fast. It will also prevent scratching, which keeps your bar looking new.

Our Process

For this guide on barbells, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each barbell. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 barbells on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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