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Barbell Buying Guide

The Olympic Barbell is arguably the most important piece of equipment for strength training. Our extensive range can be overwhelming, which is why we have made this guide to help you find the right bar for your needs. Below you will find recommendations based on the type of lifter you are and then a table containing the specification for our full range of standard barbells.


Please see our Terms and Conditions page for full warranty information and important information regarding looking after your barbell.

All Strength Shop barbells have 2" (50mm) sleeves for olympic plates.

Beginners

New to strength training? Consider our Original 2028 Bar . It is the most cost effective option for learning compound lifts and rated to lifts upto 250kg - but note its straight steel shaft is not suitable for Olympic Weightlifting (Clean & Jerk and Snatch). A standard 20kg bar weight, 28mm shaft and 2.2m length means this is a great bar to learn the basics on. For Women we offer the Original 1525 Women's Bar , featuring a thinner 25mm shaft and rated to 150kg for static lifts and 90kg for Olympic lifts.

Powerlifters

Our Original 2029 bar is the most cost effective option for entry level powerlifters. Rated to powerlifts upto 260kg, the 29mm shaft will be similar to the thickness of bars found in competition. If you have the extra budget or plan on lifting upto 340kg Deadlift or 300kg Squat, we highly recommend upgrading to the Bastard Power Bar - featuring brass bushings in the sleeves, sprung steel shaft and 3 year performance warranty - this high quality bar is built to last heavy lift after heavy lift, and tested by high level powerlifters. If you plan on going heavier, we also offer the official UK seller of the renowned Texas Power Bar by Buddy Capps - this will take any weight on a powerlift, and it's quality precedes it.

We also sell specialist bars for Deadlift and Squat. If the federation you compete in uses specialist squat and deadlift bars, you should add them to your collection to train on the bar you will be competing on (or as similar to it as possible). The Bastard Deadlift Bar has a 27mm sprung steel shaft, and is 10cm than our other power bars. The thinner shaft means the bar flexes much more before breaking off the ground. Rated to an awesome 400kg - if you need more than this then choose the Texas Deadlift Bar . For a specialist squat bar we have the 25kg Bastard Squat Bar featuring a very rigid 32mm shaft with very little flex - it is the longest barbell at 2.47mm to allow extra space for hand spacing and loading more plates! It is rated to 450kg, if you are in the exclusive club that requires a higher rating, choose the Texas Squat Bar .

Be sure to also check out our Extra Thin Competition Steel Plates , the perfect compliment for your power bar.

Olympic Weightlifters

For Clean & Jerk and Snatch upto 120kg, we highly recommend our famous Bastard Bar . It is our flagship bar which can also be used for upto 250kg on Squat and Deadlift, so is also a great all rounder. The Bastard Bar with coloured shaft offers exactly the same but with an eye catching coloured shaft. For olympic lifts over 120kg, we recommend our Riot Weightlifting Bar - featuring a high quality alloy sprung steel 28mm shaft and 4 needle bearings each sleeve - making it a great choice for the intermediate to high level weightlifter. For female lifters we highly recommend the Women's Bastard Weightlifting Bar , which features a thinner 25mm shaft and shorter 2.03m length.

Strongman

Although this guide is only for standard olympic barbells, for strongmen we have a large range of speciality bars , ranging from Steel Logs, Thick Bar Axles, Hex/Trap Bars, Cambered Bars, Spider Bars, Bow Bars and Safety Squat Bars. Check out the full range by clicking here . For heavy Squats and Deadlifts please see the Powerlifting section above.

Functional Training

For cross training and circuit style training which involves both power and olympic movements, no bar is better than the Bastard Bar (and it's coloured shaft alternative the Bastard Bar with coloured shaft ). The ultimate hybrid bar with dual ring markings - it's suitable upto 120kg on Clean & Jerk and Snatch, and 250kg for Squat and Deadlift.

Gym Owners

We have kitted out hundreds of gyms. For a commercial environment we do not recommend any of our straight steel bars (The Original Range). The Bastard, Riot and Texas ranges are what you are looking for. The standard Bastard Bars are great all round bars for general stations, and for power areas we recommend the Bastard Power Bar range or Texas Bar Range. For Powerlifting clubs and gyms, consider the specialist Bastard Deadlift and Bastard Squat Bars or their Texas counterparts. If you specialise in Olympic Weightlifting consider the Riot Weightlifting Bar for a truly high quality bar that will last.

If you need further help choosing your barbell, please contact us by clicking here! We'll be happy to help.


Barbell Specification

Original 2028 Bar

Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftStraight Steel
Shaft Diameter28mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeSteel Bushings and Needle Bearings
Recommended Max Load/Rating250kg max suggested load. Not suitable for Olympic Weightlifting. 700lbs steel tensile rating
WarrantyStandard 6 month

Bastard Bar

Options:
With or Without Centre Knurling
Silver or Black shaft
Dual rings or single ring
Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter28mm
Distance Between Rings810mm and 910mm (Bastard Weightlifting Bar is 910mm rings only)
Centre Knurling?Available with or without
Knurling TypeMedium
Sleeve TypeNeedle Bearings, Brass Bushings & Ball Bearings
Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 205K PSI Tensile strength. Max suggested load - 120kg for Clean & Jerk / Snatch, 250kg for Squat/Deadlift
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Bastard Bar with coloured shaft

Options:
Red or Blue Shaft
Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter28mm
Distance Between Rings810mm and 910mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeMedium
Sleeve TypeNeedle Bearings, Brass Bushings & Ball Bearings
Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 205K PSI Tensile strength. Max suggested load - 120kg for Clean & Jerk / Snatch, 250kg for Squat/Deadlift
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Riot Weightlifting Bar

Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftHigh Quality Alloy Sprung Steel
Shaft Diameter28mm
Distance Between Rings810mm and 910mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeLightly Knurled
Sleeve Type4 Needle Bearings Each Side
Max Load/Rating205K PSI Tensile strength, 1500lbs static rating. Max suggested load - 280kg for Squat/Deadlift - for higher powerlifting use, please see our power bars
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Strength Shop Original 2029 Bar

Length2.2m
ShaftStraight Steel
Shaft Diameter29mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeNeedle Bearings
Recommended Max Load/Rating185K PSI Tensile Strength. 260kg max suggested load. Not suitable for Olympic Weightlifting.
WarrantyStandard 6 month

Strength Shop Original 2032 Bar

Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftStraight Steel
Shaft Diameter32mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeNeedle Bearings
Recommended Max Load/Rating280kg max suggested load. Not suitable for Olympic Weightlifting. 208000 PSI steel tensile rating
WarrantyStandard 6 month

Bastard Power Bar

Options:
Silver or Black Shaft
Weight20kg
Length2.2m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter29mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 205K PSI Tensile strength. Max suggested load - 340kg Deadlift, 300kg Squat
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Bastard Squat Bar

Weight25kg
Length2.47m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter32mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Distance Between Rings810mm
Knurling TypeCoarse & Wide
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 205K PSI Tensile strength. Max suggested load - 450kg Squat
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Bastard Deadlift Bar

Options:
Silver or Black shaft
Weight20kg
Length2.3m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter27mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?No
Knurling TypeMild
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 205K PSI Tensile strength. Max suggested load - 400kg
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty

Texas Power Bar

By Buddy Capps
Weight20kg
Length2.14m
ShaftSprung Tempered Steel
Shaft Diameter29mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating1500lbs static rating, 186K PSI Tensile strength. No maximum load for Powerlifts - any weight.
WarrantyManufacturers 10 years workmanship and materials warranty under normal use

Texas Deadlift Bar

By Buddy Capps
Weight20kg
Length2.3m
ShaftSprung Tempered Steel
Shaft Diameter27mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?No
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating2000lbs Static Rating, 186K PSI Tensile strength. No maximum load for Powerlifts - any weight.
WarrantyManufacturers 10 years workmanship and materials warranty under normal use

Texas Squat Bar

By Buddy Capps
Weight25kg
Length2.44m
ShaftSprung Tempered Steel
Shaft Diameter32mm
Distance Between Rings810mm
Centre Knurling?Yes, wide
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeBrass Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating2000lbs Static Rating, 186K PSI Tensile strength. No maximum load for Powerlifts - any weight.
WarrantyManufacturers 10 years workmanship and materials warranty under normal use

Original 1525 Women's Bar

Weight15kg
Length2m
ShaftStraight Steel
Shaft Diameter25mm
Distance Between Rings880mm
Centre Knurling?No
Knurling TypeCoarse
Sleeve TypeSteel Bushings
Recommended Max Load/Rating700lbs static rating. Max suggested load - 150kg for slow static lifts, 90kg for Olympic Lifts
WarrantyStandard 6 month

Women's Bastard Weightlifting Bar

Weight15kg
Length2.03m
ShaftSprung Steel
Shaft Diameter25mm
Distance Between Rings910mm
Centre Knurling?No
Knurling TypeMedium
Sleeve TypeNeedle Bearings, Brass Bushings & Ball Bearings
Recommended Max Load/Rating190K PSI Tensile Strength. 110kg max recommended load for Clean & Jerk / Snatch.
Warranty3 Year Performance Warranty


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