A Perfect Guide: What To Consider When Buying A Barbell

Barbell Buying Guide

Barbells are extremely handy, versatile, and convenient gym equipment for any professional gymming clubs and home gyms. From novice to advanced lifters, there are many different types of bars out there! 

Before you make a purchase, you should be sure of the quality. A barbell that gives you safety and performance is ideal – a barbell that you can trust while lifting weights on your chest, and back, and performing numerous other exercises. In this blog, we have provided all the crucial details about what to look for when selecting a barbell. 

What To Consider When Buying A Barbell

Know about the design, strength, material and finish of the barbells


The parts of a barbell can be confusing at first, but with a little effort, you’ll quickly understand how they work. 

Shaft: The shaft (also known as the handle) is the main length of the barbell.

Sleeves: It’s the part of the bar that holds plates and spins when you lift it. 

Bearings & Bushings: There are bearings on both ends of the bar as well as inside it, which allow it to spin quickly. 

Collars: The collar sits on top of the shaft and prevents plates from sliding down onto it.

Knurling: The knurling is made up of smooth, parallel lines that give you a better grip when you’re lifting weights. This is why people like using barbells with these markings: they help you find your best grip width by feeling for the small bumps on each line.


Tensile Strength

The tensile strength of a barbell is an indication of its resistance to breaking and fracturing. A high tensile strength equals more durability. Most decent barbells, regardless of the type of barbell, tend to range between 165k –180k PSI tensile strength. Weightlifting bars with a 190,000 or 215,000 PSI grade are often produced by higher-end manufacturers. The newest Olympic Bars have a tensile strength of 216,200 PSI, exceeding the industry standard for many years now and making them one of our most durable models in the market.

Yield Strength

The yield strength of a barbell is the amount of stress it can withstand before it bends. A barbell’s yield strength is tested by adding a weight to each end of the bar and measuring how far it bends. High tensile strength will often indirectly relate to the high yield strength because both are related to how well the metal and overall construction work together.

Material & Finish

The coating on a barbell serves several purposes. It adds to the feel of the tool in your hands and the grip, and it can protect against rusting. Most bars are made with steel; higher-end ones use stainless steel. Black oxide, Cerakote, and zinc (black zinc, and bright zinc) are all good options for coating your barbell. Chrome is commonly used in sleeves because it’s durable and easier to use when sliding plates on or off.  The below comparative chart might help you.

Material + FinishQuality & FeelMaintenance
Bare SteelFeels natural
Easily gets rusted,
hence, needs maintenance
Black OxideBetter knurling, natural grip
Better oxidation leads to
less maintenance than bare steel
ZincBetter in terms of oxidation than
both bare steel and black oxide
Needs maintenance,
as its shine fades away fast
ChromeHigher oxidation leads to
the best protection from rusting.
These are expensive
and have the best knurling
Low maintenance
Stainless SteelNatural grip, expensive barbells with
higher oxidation (protection against rust)

Low maintenance

What types of barbells are available?

Now that you are familiar with the features to look for when purchasing a weight lifting bar, let’s take a closer look at the different types of bars. The type of lifting and the exercises you will be doing ultimately determine which type of barbell is right for your needs.

Olympic Weightlifting Bars

Olympic barbells are designed for the two main Olympic lifts—the snatch and the clean. Olympic bars are a good choice if you want to work with heavy weights and have a lot of flexibility in your routine. They’re not for lifters who prefer lighter weights or for beginners, though. MuscleMad 1000LB Commercial, General Training Olympic Weightlifting barbell 28*2200MM 20KG, Chrome Finish Barbell is ideal for beginners and intermediate lifters. This bar is stylish and durable for heavy use.

Powerlifting Bars

If you’re serious about powerlifting, you’ll want to get a powerlifting barbell. For the big three lifts (squat, bench press, and deadlift), these bars are designed to withstand heavy loads. They won’t deform like Olympic bars do when you apply force. This means that if you plan on competing in Olympic weightlifting competitions, you shouldn’t use them for your lifts. On powerlifting bars, knurling is much more aggressive to help the lifter grip during heavier deadlifts. MuscleMad 700lb 20kg Men’s Powerlifting Bar – can be used for squats, deadlifts, and semi-heavy load bench presses. It is a great budget-friendly option that will ensure that your workout is always fulfilling.

Multipurpose Weightlifting Bars

The MuscleMad Women’s Olympic Barbell 15kg 1000lb is a great weightlifting bar for beginners and intermediate lifters. It can be used for Olympic lifting or powerlifting in gyms, CrossFit boxes and facilities that offer both Olympic weight lifting and powerlifting.

Technique Bars

The MuscleMad 1.8m Aluminium Technique Bar 7.5kg is a great bar to use for technique work, especially for those just starting on their fitness journey. It’s lightweight and easy to hold, so you can focus on perfecting your jerk with ease. The IWF knurl marks will help you get into the correct position, too – and the durability of this bar makes it great value for money.

EZ Curl Bar

The MuscleMad EZ Curl Bar is a shorter, lighter-weight variation of the classic straight barbell that offers more versatility and comfort than other curling bars. The jagged design of this bar reduces wrist stress when you are using it for curls, so you can perform multiple exercises with less wrist pain. Chrome-plated steel construction ensures that this bar lasts for years to come, while non-slip knurling provides a firm grip even when you sweat during intense workouts.

Voila! you are all set to buy the right Barbell, hope this blog helped you in making an informed decision.

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