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Old 01-07-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
Jeremy Schultz
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What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

I apologize because this has probably been answered many times, but I failed in my search, I guess.

Just a quick question: Is there any real advantage - for a regular, Joe-Blow, average slob like me, who works-out in his garage - to buy an expensive Powerlifting barbell like a Texas Power Bar or an Eleiko or something like that?

Basically, I would only use it for Deadlifts and Squats, and only to save my good Olympic bars (Pendlay and a couple others) just for O-lifts. So, in that sense with these slow lifts, spin isn't important, is it? All that really matters is that it will take the load, right?

Therefore, I was thinking about a cheap-o bar such as this Cap Barbell:

http://www.amazon.com/Cap-Barbell-Po...d_sim_sbs_sg_1 (WFS)

I realize that it isn't high-quality by any means, but it there any real disadvantage to something this cheap?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
John Donovan
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Get a rogue beater bar. If I remember right it's $170 and works great for lifts not requiring spin or whip. The bar is a bit thicker(31mm) but I think most powerlifting bars are too.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
Drew Cloutier
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Just a couple thoughts:

if you didn't mind spending 300-700$ on your pendlay bar why don't you want to put 300-500 down for a good power bar?

Texas power bar here in canada is 400-450$ so I guarantee you can find one cheaper then that. I personally wouldn't buy an eleiko unless I had the money for it.

A couple points that come to mind is how strong are you, how much are you planning on lifting?

At the gym I go to, we've got 3-4 Ivanko OBX-20KG bars and some other bars I don't know where from with snap rings on the end, guess which bars are bent, and I've never seen or heard of anyone doing more then 500-525 at that gym (base gym) whereas I have personally loaded a Texas Power Bar with 825 and it did not bend or barely did if I couldnt spot it.

Another point is knurling, most cheapo bars you buy will have crap knurling which will impede your lifting, not allowing you to lift max weights which is a huge NO NO.

Furthermore there is the point bar thickness, when I train at the other gym I train at there are all kinds of varieties, they've got werksan oly 28mm bars, Ivanko PL 29mm bars, and a few others oddly enough some of these bars are probably 30-33mm and these are just general purpose bars.

Finally it comes down to quality, which is one of the main reasons why I imagine you bought a pendlay bar, if you get a cheapo bar odds are you will bent it or break it and then have to replace it, and it will be a cycle, so long run you will spend just as much if not more on cheapos then if you got a good bar right away.

I am not advocating getting a top of the line super pricey bar but just something of quality.

If you plan on competing in PL I would say get whatever equipment the fed you lift in or want to lift in uses so that you are familiar with it, but if you're not planning to compete just get a decent power bar.

List of Power bars:
Eleiko Comp bar 20kg - 1200$
Texas Power bar - 350$
Westside power bar - 450$
Rogue Power bar - 400$
Ivanko OBX-20KG - 500-600$
Uesaka PL bar
Leoko PL bar
Pallini PL bar

Personal vote, go with the Texas Power Bar, great bar that here in Canada is used in competition, and you can get at a reasonable price. First hand experience its a great bar to lift with.

PS IPF powerlifting bars are 29mm (they use one bar for every lift unlike other feds that have thicker 8ft bars for squatting for example)
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:37 PM   #4
George Chkhartishvili
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

the advantage of Texas power bar is you can get a better grip because it has a super prominent knurl. some may find it too painful.

i would not buy an Eleiko power bar if you're just a regular guy, because it is a raw steel bushing bar not much different from TPB but for 3 times the price. for Olympic stuff the Eleiko WL bar ( which is a different bar ) may be worth it because of the combination of strength, spin, whip, knurl and durable finish that you will not be able to get on a cheap bar.

for deadlifts in a garage etc just make sure the bar is strong, has a good grip, and will not rust. if you really want an expensive power bar you can consider getting one from stainless steel. there is one made by GP Industries for about $500 that uses high strength steel just like Eleiko and Ivanko but is more reasonably priced. GP is a big company that makes equipment for Globo gyms. i'm a little worried about GP's nylon lubricant free bushings - i don't know if they are as long lasting as the more traditional metal bushings.

i would say get the TPB or the Rogue Westside or if stuff tends to rust in your garage you can get a stainless bar. York also makes some stainless ones i believe.

most bars ( except ones from raw steel ) have a coating to protect against rust, but this coating can either wear through or chip off. stainless steel is all the way through, and is a good choice. the reason top shelf bars like eleiko are not made with stainless steel ( aside from price ) is because mechanically stainless may not always be ideal, and in a competition mechanical performance of steel is more important than a possibility of getting rust 10 years down the line. for a garage gym though, it may be different.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
Jeremy Schultz
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Thanks a lot for the feedback, guys.

Drew, thanks so much for all the info and the perspective. I honestly haven't really considered the knurl - maybe because the bars I have are made with just the right amount of knurl (I assume the knurl is probably something that you usually only notice if it's bad).

As to the bent bars, I guess I don't understand. The Cap barbell that I referenced is supposedly rated at 1500#. I realize that's a fairly inaccurate rating that the higher-end manufacturers don't use, but there is no way I will be lifting anywhere close to 1500#. Unless their 1500# rating is off by 120% or more (i.e. it will bend at less than 600#), then that's something I shouldn't have to worry about.

I guess the main reason I ask is because I'm slightly OCD, and I want a cheap bar to use for slow lifting because I spent so much on the Olympic bars.

Thanks again, though. You've given me something to think about. And the idea to research the TPB some more.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #6
Robert Fabsik
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Typically the bar rating of #1500 is static load. When the bar is in motion the forces can multiple hence big loads 500+ could bend them especially if dropped in a bad spot etc.

The knurl is key, cheapo bars will fall out of your hands when deadlifting. I was at a globo for vacation and the knurl did nothing and my sweaty hands struggled with pulls I normally have no issue with.

I really like pressing and squatting with the Texas Power Bar and Rouge Westside Bar. They are solid and the knurl helps lock the bar in your hands and on your back for squats.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
Austin Jones
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Benching and squatting with a Texas Power Bar is like getting a high five from God. The day I got my TPB was the day my 4 year old Rogue Bar moved into it's current home.....the post landmine.

Spend the money. Help buy Buddy Capps a case of beer.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:28 PM   #8
Drew Cloutier
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Not trying to high jack but Robert if you dont mind me asking which do you prefer the TPB or the Rogue Westside bar??

Differences?

I've used the Ivanko OBX-20kg, Werksan Oly bars, Iron monkey bars, Rogue silver/black bar, and TPB. By far my favourite is the TPB so much so that I will buy one for myself.

When you do deadlifts you just feel locked in and when you're squatting, benching, rowing, OHP'ing it just feels so solid, my buddy also has the Texas deadlift bar which is just as good quality, id say my next favourite is the werksan bar, but I only use that one to oly lift and squat sometimes.

Like Robert mentioned 1500lbs is the static load, i've personally seen 2 bars with that rating with 30+ mm shaft BENT, and not just a little bit.

just beware what you buy is the moral of the story!
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
Rishi Joshi
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Schultz View Post
I apologize because this has probably been answered many times, but I failed in my search, I guess.

Just a quick question: Is there any real advantage - for a regular, Joe-Blow, average slob like me, who works-out in his garage - to buy an expensive Powerlifting barbell like a Texas Power Bar or an Eleiko or something like that?

Basically, I would only use it for Deadlifts and Squats, and only to save my good Olympic bars (Pendlay and a couple others) just for O-lifts. So, in that sense with these slow lifts, spin isn't important, is it? All that really matters is that it will take the load, right?

Therefore, I was thinking about a cheap-o bar such as this Cap Barbell:

http://www.amazon.com/Cap-Barbell-Po...d_sim_sbs_sg_1 (WFS)

I realize that it isn't high-quality by any means, but it there any real disadvantage to something this cheap?

Thanks for the help.
In your case I would recommend the CAP OB86 instead of the OB86B actually. It doesn't have a center knurl, but has their cheap version of black oxide knurling that sticks well on the back. The knurl is pretty aggressive and machined very nicely. It's around $130 which is a great deal.

If you are willing to spend about $300, you have some good options for power bars. They will be a little more bend resistant (higher tensile strength) and will have even more aggressive knurl. They'll last forever, but aren't made out of a tougher steel than your Pendlay. The Capps TPB, Troy TPB, and Rogue's Westside Power bar are your best options here.

As an owner of the Ivanko OBX-20kg, I would not recommend it for the OP.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:36 PM   #10
Dylan Farr
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Re: What's the Advantage of an expensive Powerlifting barbell?

You guys are powerlifting it sounds like, but I do like the info and American made notion with Rogue i.e. Ohio bar. Price seems reasonable. Im not keen on spending much more than that. The design and build seem robust. Dont want to be redundant but I wont be powerlifting I do twice a week at my Gym. This gonna be used mostly in my apt garage and in home sessions with my clients. My buddy inferred I get a cheap one, not interested
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