The Best Barbell for Powerlifting You Can Get Right Now

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Powerlifting requires a strong barbell that can handle a lot of weight with ease. While there are many barbells out there that can handle a variety of tasks, powerlifting is one of those categories where you simply can’t afford a crappy piece of equipment.

That’s why we’ve made the research and found the best barbells for powerlifting that are available to you right now. You’ll find what the best one is overall, and we’ve also gone through dozens of barbells to find winners in a variety of categories.

Don’t Want to Wait? Here’s Our Favorite

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With 110.000 Psi tensile strength, the CAP Olympic Bar for Powerlifting meets all the requirements that any powerlifter would have when choosing the bar. It’s made of steel and has all the knurling marks that powerlifting demands in order to make things easier.

CAP Olympic Bar for Powerlifting – Best Overall

The CAP Olympic Bar for Powerlifting is widely considered as the best barbell for powerlifting overall, and for good reasons. We picked it as our overall best barbell for powerlifting because of its ratio between quality and price you’re getting. It will hold up to 230.000 Psi of tensile strength, which should be more than enough for a typical powerlifter.

Review

The Beast, as the barbell is also called, is designed to handle even the cruelest workouts out there. It will take on super heavy workloads and has been the go-to choice for many professional powerlifters for many years now.

It’s made of cold-rolled Japanese steel, featuring between 110.000 Psi and 230.000 Psi of tensile strength. It also has medium-depth diamond knurls that are designed for a comfortable grip even when you’re lifting heavy weights, something that’s crucial for powerlifters.

And the 15-inch loadable sleeve allows you to add a lot of weight to the bar, which is something powerlifters look for in a barbell. Even though The Beast doesn’t have a center knurl, it’s still a very good barbell for powerlifting.

If you’re after even more tensile strength, then you can also consider The Rebel (190.000 Psi) or The Boss (132.000 Psi), while The Beast (110.000 Psi) represents a fantastic option for beginners. The Warrior (230.000 Psi) is the ultimate barbell for powerlifting.

Pros

  • Made of high-quality rolled Japanese steel
  • Extremely smooth spin thanks to impregnated bushings and pin needle bearings
  • Very durable with little to no whip
  • Up to 230.000 Psi of tensile strength
  • VERY affordable for the quality you’re getting
  • Nice and reliable knurls that help you hold the bar

Cons

  • The Beast might be slightly too weak for some at just 110.000 Psi
  • Be careful about metal shards on the sleeve – many users report that

Yaheetech Olympic Weight Bar – Best Low-Cost Option

If you thought that the CAP barbell was affordable, then you must take a look at the Yaheetech Olympic Weight Bar. It’s by far the best low-budget powerlifting barbell that you can find right now. While this bar is not for advanced powerlifters, it’s definitely a great entry point for beginners and those who are looking for an affordable barbell.

Review

Admittedly, the Yaheetech barbell will not inspire any “wows” amongst the more experienced powerlifting crowd. With its 300lb capacity, it will handle relatively high weights, but nowhere near as much as some premium barbells for powerlifting.

But, here’s the deal: you’re getting a lot of bar for a relatively small investment. It is definitely one of those underrated products that you fall in love with after a few weeks of using it, and you become glad that you didn’t decide to buy a higher-priced barbell.

And that’s especially true for beginners, who this bar is the most appropriate for. It has 13.6” of sleeve length, which is genuinely impressive. It’s a little bit lighter than your usual Olympic bars at around 40lbs, but that should not be a massive issue here.

Arguably the most impressive part of this barbell is its build quality. For this price range, it will blow you away. The medium-depth knurls are fantastic and they allow you a strong grip, and sleeve rotation is smooth and it prevents deformation of the bar. Overall, a great bar that’s definitely worth the asking price.

Pros

  • Incredible value for money
  • 13.6” of sleeve length
  • Impressive build quality
  • It’s made of iron, meaning that it’s quite durable
  • Fairly versatile

Cons

  • It will only handle about 300lbs of weight
  • Metal shavings might be a thing
  • Not for advanced lifters

CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar – Best Trap Bar

If you’re after a trap bar for powerlifting, then you must consider the CAP Olympic Trap Bar. It’s one of the most high-quality bars you can get that will help you rack up those deadlift numbers quickly. With 9” of loading space on the sleeves and 25” grip handles, this bar has more than enough comfort for the average lifter.

Review

We’re back to CAP for the trap bar, and this one is a quality bar. It’s a great bar for deadlifts and other lifts that you can do with the trap. This trap bar is a quality one for beginners, but it also has a lot to offer for more advanced lifters.

This thing has an incredible capacity of 750lb, which is really impressive for a trap bar. You’ll be able to add up to three larger weight plates to the side sleeves, allowing you to progress and overload your deadlifts very quickly.

Trap bars are popular for beginners, and this one certainly fits the bill. However, due to its high-quality build and impressive capacity, it’s a welcome addition to an advanced lifter’s arsenal of lifting accessories.

It’s made of solid alloy steel, giving its much-needed longevity and durability, which is crucial for powerlifters. The knurls on the grip handles are also comfortable and non-slippery, completing the already impressive package.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Premium build quality
  • Up to 750lbs of loading capacity
  • Made of solid alloy steel
  • A lot of space on the side sleeves
  • Comfortable knurls

Cons

  • Only three knurling marks for gripping instead of four
  • There is some evidence of discoloration for the bar

CAP Barbell Easy Curl Bar – Best Easy Curl Bar

If you’re after an easy curl bar, then you certainly can’t go wrong with the CAP easy curl bar. It arguably represents the best combination of affordability and quality. It’s made of solid chromed steel, ensuring the bar lasts for long. It also enables it to hold up to 200lbs of weight, which is perfect for heavy powerlifting.

Review

Easy curls might be less commonly used than barbells, but they are incredibly useful for a wide variety of exercises. They allow you to perform everything from rows to isolation movements such as bicep curls. And the CAP easy curl bar is one of the top ones you can opt for right now.

Firstly, there’s its correlation between quality and price. We believe that it will be hard for you to find a better easy curl bar for the same amount of money. It’s constructed of solid chrome steel, allowing it to withstand up to 200lbs of pressure at once, and that’s a lot for an easy bar.

It offers two different grip positions that maximize the versatility of the bar. You can do everything from bicep and tricep movements to compound exercises such as rows. Of course, you also get collars that will help you make sure the weights stay in place.

While it might seem relatively flat at first sight, the bar actually has more than enough bend for an easy curl bar. You might want to be mindful of the splinters you may get from the start, but once the bar is in use, you won’t have to worry about that anymore.

Pros

  • Impressive build quality – made from chromed steel
  • Versatile and allows you to perform a wide variety of exercises
  • Up to 200lbs of load capacity
  • Just the right amount of bend
  • Comfortable to hold and use

Cons

  • Be careful about the chrome flakes coming off the bar for the first few weeks
  • The collars might get loose from time to time, and you might want to consider investing in higher quality ones later on

Don’t Want To Use Amazon? Then Use American Barbell

If you don’t want to use Amazon for purchasing your powerlifting gear, then the best place we would recommend you buy from is American Barbell.

American Barbell is a fitness gear production company that has been around since 1978, and they’ve always had great products. We believe that their barbells are possibly the best barbells on the market, and they beat the quality of barbells from companies like Rogue.

The great news is that all of their powerlifting barbells have a very high tensile strength and a very wide sleeve, which is perfect for powerlifting. These barbells are stiff and will have at least 190.000 Psi of tensile strength, giving you an unparalleled level of stiffness and strength.

You have four choices when it comes to powerlifting bars from American Barbell, and it all depends on your skill and strength level.

American Barbell Grizzly Power Bar – For Beginners

The amazing thing is that this bar has the lowest tensile strength (190.000 Psi) out of all these barbells from American Barbell, but it’s still a damn good barbell.

It is made from alloy steel and has a chrome finish, ensuring the bar stays with you for quite a long time. While this bar is primarily for beginners and intermediate lifters, even more advanced lifters will find it an amazing addition to their arsenal.

Check out American Barbell. 

American Barbell Power Bar – For Intermediate – Advanced

This bar is slightly stiffer than the Grizzly bar, which means it’s even more specialized for powerlifting. This one can be used for training, but some even use it competitively.

It also has a 190.000 Psi of tensile strength, and it’s made of alloy steel. Intermediate lifters and even more advanced powerlifters will be able to use this bar for their everyday training.

Check out American Barbell. 

American Barbell Elite Power Bar – For Intermediate – Advanced

This one is similar to the previous bar – the key difference is that it’s made of stainless steel, allowing it to stay serviceable for years or even decades to come.

The selected steel grade allows it to stay stiff and it has very little flex, which is crucial for powerlifting. Consider this bar if you’re after a premium powerlifting bar with the potential to last you for decades.

Check out American Barbell. 

American Barbell Cerakote Mammoth Bar – For Advanced

This cerakote bar from American Barbell is the absolute top of the top. We consider this bar to be amongst the best powerlifting bars in the world. It’s made from stainless steel that enables the bar to stay super stiff.

It has a tensile strength of 210.000 Psi, and with the Cerakote finish, you can be sure this bar won’t go away for years and decades to come. It is there to stay in your gym, and you can be absolutely certain of that.

Check out American Barbell. 

Best Barbells for Powerlifting – Buying Guide

Here’s everything you need to consider when you’re choosing the best barbell for powerlifting to add to your collection.

Type of Bar

There are different types of bars, and they all have different features to enable you to perform your lifts easily.

There are three main types of barbells: standard barbells, weightlifting barbells, and powerlifting barbells.

Standard barbells are used for everyday training and for various lifts. They are the most versatile type of barbells out there with some whip and standard knurling.

Weightlifting bars are designed for Crossfit and functional training, so they need slightly different features. These bars should have a good whip and fast rotation, as well as the appropriate knurling.

Powerlifting bars are different. These barbells should allow you to perform heavy lifts, so they should have little to no whip, as well as aggressive knurling. Preferably, the knurling should be placed in the middle of the bar.

Knurling

When you’re buying a powerlifting bar, one of the first things you should look at is the knurling. This is the texture that appears on barbells that allows you to grip the bar easily and prevent the bar from slipping from your hands.

Powerlifting bars, as we’ve seen, should have aggressive knurling, which enables you to hold the bar easily. Since you’re lifting heavy weights, this feature is important.

Some advanced lifters also like to use chalk to make the knurling more reliable and sticky, although you might want to clean the knurling from time to time to prevent the chalk from collecting on the bar.

Tensile Strength

The tensile strength tells us how much weight the bar can handle before it breaks. And the higher the tensile strength is, the more weight the bar can handle.

For powerlifting bars, it’s important they have high tensile strength. This is measure in Psi, and a Psi of 150.000 is already a decent tensile strength for a powerlifting bar. However, more advanced lifters will need 190.000 Psi or even more. These bars are also likely to last longer and support you as you make more gains.

Whip

The whip is also another category to consider, and it’s also one that beginners tend to forget about.

It tells you how likely the bar is to bend after a longer period of time using it, especially if you use higher weights constantly on the bar. Barbells with the excess whip will bend, and these are good for functional training.

But for powerlifting, it is important that the bar has little or no whip, as you don’t want the bar to bend under pressure too much. Power bars should be stiff, which is something that official accreditation organizations also govern for competitions.

FAQs

What barbells do gyms use?

It massively depends on the size and quality of the gym. Larger gyms will have most of the types of barbells in their arsenal, including the powerlifting bars. You’ll find anything from standard bars to power bars in those gyms, as well as specialty bars made for specific purposes.

How much does a powerlifting bar weigh?

The standard powerlifting bar should weigh 20kg (44lb). This is the standard weight for most power bars, and the weights will sometimes vary from bar to bar. But this is the standard requirement for competition bars, and this is the weight of the power bars you’ll find in gyms.

What is the difference between a powerlifting bar and an Olympic bar?

There are several differences that might appear small, but they are quite significant. The power bar is thicker and has little to no whip, while the Olympic bar can bend. The knurling is also different – power bars have center knurling and it’s also more aggressive.

Do powerlifters count the weight of the bar?

Powerlifters will include everything that’s on the bar in the official weight, including the weight of the bar. So if the bar weighs 20kg (44lb), this is also added to the final total amount they lift.

Why are barbells curved?

Curved barbells are also called EZ bars, and they are used for a variety of exercises. The curving acts as a support that allows you to grip the bar easier and use it for different movements. These are great for isolation movements but also for some compound movements.

Final Thoughts

If you’re choosing your powerlifting bar, then there’s a lot of choice currently on the market.

We believe the best overall powerlifting bar you can get right now is the CAP Olympic bar for powerlifting. It represents the best correlation between quality and price, and it’s great for both beginners and advanced lifters.

If you don’t want to use Amazon, then we recommend American Barbell powerlifting bars – these are the best around, and you’ll do well to find higher quality barbells on the market right now.

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