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Old 02-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
Seth Spritz
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Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

I’m just arriving to the point where I can fully snatch about 45lbs (getting under the bar is my problem area with higher weight). So, I’m deciding if it’s better to use an aluminum 15lb bar with 15lb bumpers or a 10kg junior bar and use 10lb bumpers or technique plates.

The Aluminum bar and a nice budget-conscious version of the junior bar are available for $125 & $165 respectively from Rogue while Pendlay’s NexGen 10kg bearing junior bar is currently on sale at MuscleDriver for $299 which is less than the bushing version of the NexGen junior bar.

There are not a lot of posts on this subject so I was hoping for suggestions so I can firm up my decision. My primary concern with the aluminum bar does not have to do with weight capacity (I will be using it strictly for snatches in the 45-85lb weight range) but is whether or not it can hold up to overhead dropping with 15lb bumpers.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Last edited by Seth Spritz; 02-02-2011 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
Jeremy Galo
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

Keep in mind that aluminum bars are meant for technique only and probably won't be the best thing for repeated dropping. A junior bar will hold up a lot better to the repeated dropping as they are a much stronger bar. However, keep in mind that 10lb bumpers aren't generally designed to be dropped. One thing you could do though is get a pair of 5kg (or 10lb) MD Technique plates (like the Hitech's but cheaper) and those will hold up to the abuse a lot better than normal 10lb bumpers (just keep in mind these will be very loud).

You also have option C. Buy a really crappy men's bar on craigslist for like $30, don't use bumpers at all, and just keep snatching with that till you break the thing. Since it's a piece of crap, you can just drop it

To be honest, unless you're gonna be training people, option C is probably the easiest. I'm sure if you keep lifting, you'll get to 95lb snatches in no time and spending $400+ for your snatches now just doesn't seem worth it to me in my opinion.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

I agree with Jeremy that you'll outgrow an aluminum bar pretty quickly. I have, in less than two weeks of oly work, and you're probably stronger than I am. So the junior bar is probably a better investment.

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Old 02-02-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
Craig Takahiro Descoteaux
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

If you are planning on snatching 45- 85 lbs, why not get a women's bar? It will be cheaper than the 10kg kids bar you mentioned.
It may handle the abuse and you can work on technique.

We have one aluminum kids bar and it holds up fine with our crossfit workouts. But it is used primarly for ladies and kids. So the weight doesn't exceed 100 lbs.

We also have women's bars, and they hold up great under the abuse.

Just my take.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

The aluminum will hold up to 15lb bumpers and dropping, but I'm not sure for how long. They do tend to bend if leaned on. Honestly I'd only buy it for kids or very novice women. You'll outgrow it very quickly.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
Seth Spritz
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

Thanks for the advice to all. Jeremy, as always your ideas are to be commended for being clever and frugal. I do have a spare junk bar but don't think I can get myself to drop it on my platform without some kind of bumper on the bar. I'm more worried about the platform and the noise than the bar.

I was very close to buying an aluminum bar this morning when I posted this message but now favor the junior bar for durability; the woman's bar is a little too heavy for my starting needs. I'm leaning towards the Rogue Junior 10kg bar for both price and Rogue's quality service.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #7
Fern Webb
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

pile up some pillows or junk carpet where the bare collars on your junk bar will hit. Definitely the budget solution.

Something else to consider is how a new bar will work with whatever plates/bumpers you have to be able to set up a 2nd or 3rd bar for workouts like Linda or FGB. In the sense of building an efficient equipment "system". Maybe 15# will be best, maybe 22# will ... depends on your available plates.

Just on the topic of aluminum bar durability. In my experience the Powermax aluminum bars (I got mine from Garage Gym Store) hold up a d*#& long time for a bar not designed to be dropped or hold much more than 100#. Only other experience was with York which bent/broke fairly quickly.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #8
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

I use a 15# aluminum bar for warmups quite often, without plates. A PVC pipe is too light and I don't always feel like starting with my 30# bars. So I'll grab the Alumalite, do a few reps, and then grab the 20kg bar. I've had the aluminum bar for quite a while and there's been no damage, but they don't get dropped much either.

Frankly I would prefer the 10kg bar if it had been available when I was buying gear because I run a metric gym. I tell folks the aluminum bars are 7 kilos each, which is not exactly a nice round number. The steel shaft vs. aluminum is also a bonus for durability. The only downside is that the most cost effective and durable solution to a lightweight O-lifting setup is lighter bars rather than lighter bumpers. Lightweight bumpers that are also durable get expensive.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:48 AM   #9
Chad Cross
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Re: Debating getting aluminum vs junior technique bar

We drop our aluminum bars quite a bit but never with anything more than 10-15# plates. I was told not to exceed that weight. No bending or breaking in the last year and a half.

We also have the rogue junior bars and I believe they have the same shaft as the women's Bella bar. They weigh 22# and there is limited space on the collars but you should be safe loading them up with as much as you want as you get better.
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