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  1. #1
    You mirin? VTLifts's Avatar
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    Looking for input from hex / trap bar users. Likes / Dislikes, exercises performed

    I'm considering adding trap bar deadlifts to my routine as a low-back friendly deadlift alternative (I no longer conventional DL). I won't be pulling 500, so I think that makes all bars available to me. Would probably use them for other exercises like farmer carries, shrugs or whatever else works well.

    Would love to hear what you have and what you like and don't like.

    How's the "cage" spacing and handle width?

    Handle thickness and knurl?

    Is it worth spending the extra money on a rackable bar? I could probably get a low-end Titan / CAP for ~$120 shipped whereas rackable probably puts it closer to $300.

    If you have rackable, what's it like overhead pressing a trap bar?

    What about RDL / stiff-legged deadlift with a trap bar?

    I'm currently leaning toward the cheap titan model, non-rackable.
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  2. #2
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    I've got a Rogue TB-2 that I use for DL and shrugs. No issues with it. I like the long sleeves on it, as the trap bar at my last gym had me loading plates so close to the ends of the sleeves that the spring clips would fall off between sets. If I could do it over though, I would probably buy a different bar as the benefits of this particular Rogue bar over a cheaper alternative simply aren't enough to justify the price tag.
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  3. #3
    Registered User maansmit's Avatar
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    I have the Bells of Steel hex bar and have been quite happy with it. It has rotating sleeves and they are quite long so I haven't had any trouble running out of room on te bar with bumper plates. Knurling isn't super aggressive but is more so than both of my American Barbell bars.

    I have use the cheap Titan hex bar. Sleeves are really short and you can run out of room pretty quick if using bumpers. Knurling was very aggressive, too much so in my opinion.
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  4. #4
    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of trap bars, I've had a few different ones....

    I had a York bar with the kickstands. I really liked it, but it was big and clunky--weighed about 80 lbs if I recall correctly. The kickstands were great. The handles were just a little too wide for me, which is why I eventually sold it to a guy who was 6'5". It was about perfect for him.

    I also had a Sorinex Diamond Bar. Handles were the right width, and I loved the fact that it was rackable. I never used it for bench press, because I already had a Swiss bar--but that would be a good secondary use for it. I ended up getting rid of it because I wanted raised handles. If my bar had raised handles it would have been perfect. Once the weight started getting heavy on DL, I really had trouble with the bar twisting out of my hands.

    I now have the cheap CAP combo bar. I'm pretty much only using the raised handles these days due to a back issue. I use it for DL's, RDL's, and Farm Carries. It is great for all of those movements. The only complaint that I have is that the sleeves are just a hair too short. CAP does make a slightly bigger bar with longer sleeves--I want to say that it has a 700 lb capacity. If you are just looking for a basic bar that isn't rackable, I might consider that bigger CAP bar.
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  5. #5
    Registered User grumpytude's Avatar
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    I have the cap mega hex bar. got it a few year back for under $100 on Amazon- so for the price its worked well for me. Painted it to jazz it up a bit.
    yes it fits in the rack- but still kinda useless in that regard- since the first portion of the sleeves cannot hold any weight plates since that section sits on the j-hooks in the rack.

    I still prefer straight bar deadlifts but I like to mix it up now and then. Sometimes I use it on leg days too-concentrating on the quads.
    Good for shrugs too- but the bar is so big and bulky I am usually to lazy to take it out to use it for that. It does fit nicely on my wall rack.

    Since I bought mine there have been tons of new hex bars in the market. with so many options now- rotating handles, built in jack stands etc. I guess it comes down to how much you are going to use it and how important these add ons are to you.

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  6. #6
    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    I know that a lot of guys like rotating sleeves on specialty bars....FWIW, I personally have not found a movement that would be improved by a trap bar with rotating sleeves. If anyone has found otherwise, I'd be interested to learn more. My sense is that this is really a matter of personal preference--to each his own!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Greybird2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    I have the cap mega hex bar. got it a few year back for under $100 on Amazon- so for the price its worked well for me. Painted it to jazz it up a bit.
    yes it fits in the rack- but still kinda useless in that regard- since the first portion of the sleeves cannot hold any weight plates since that section sits on the j-hooks in the rack.

    I still prefer straight bar deadlifts but I like to mix it up now and then. Sometimes I use it on leg days too-concentrating on the quads.
    Good for shrugs too- but the bar is so big and bulky I am usually to lazy to take it out to use it for that. It does fit nicely on my wall rack.

    Since I bought mine there have been tons of new hex bars in the market. with so many options now- rotating handles, built in jack stands etc. I guess it comes down to how much you are going to use it and how important these add ons are to you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU2xZ7s4jus





    That does look nice painted.
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  8. #8
    Registered User JustTheDad's Avatar
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    I bought my son the MoveStrong Bar for Christmas. He couldn't do regular squats due to FAI, so was doing front squats and DL, and I thought the open hex bar would be a nice option for a DL somewhere between a regular DL and a back squat in muscle activation. He uses it for RDL, DL, and various weighted lunges (back leg on floor, back leg elevated ...). I use if for DL when I don't do squats.
    I'd recommend an open bar for versatility on floor lifts, but I don't know about rackable. Ours isn't. The plate stops on the "sleeves" barely fit between the uprights. Movestrong should have put those 3 or 4 inches narrower, or a lot wider like Intek did. I suppose we could put it on the bar safeties and use collars to keep the plates spaced for rack use on some lifts, but I doubt we ever will.

    Prices seem silly high for these things. They're just tubing, not high strength steel with bearings, but if I win the lottery, I might get the Intek version. Probably not though. Ours works fine.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Deep-Voiced-One's Avatar
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    Trap bars rule!!!

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  10. #10
    Registered User RGrizzzz's Avatar
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    I have the Sorinex Diamond Bar too. It came out of Penn State's FB weight room, and was like new. I like it a lot, and mainly use it for DLs. I've used it from shrugs too, but never bench press. It's rackable. If my shoulder wasn't crab meat, I'd probably try shoulder press too. Knurl is nice and the width is right. Only possible negative is that it only has one set of handles vs some that have too.
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  11. #11
    Registered User jdboyd78's Avatar
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    I think a trap bar is one of the best purchases to make after getting the basics.

    I have a BWTG trap bar, spacing is good, no knurling, sturdy, and the price is right. I do wish it had knurling, which he may do that now, IDK, I've had it for a long time. It's rackable, but only time I rack it is for OHP, which I don't do often.

    Reason why it's so high on my list is for 2 movements, deadlifts and farmers walks. Two of the best bang for you buck movements IMO. Farmers walks are so versatile, can build strength and cardio.
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  12. #12
    Let's slot floppies keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    I don't get the need for these huge rackable trap bars. I tried mine for pressing and didn't like it at all.
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  13. #13
    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    I don't get the need for these huge rackable trap bars. I tried mine for pressing and didn't like it at all.
    Agree, mentioned it in another thread but I'd only consider getting the Edge Rickshaw if I wanted something to deadlift with. He'll do custom width so that you can get the handles just outside of your shoulders for comfortable pulling, the CAP Mega handles seemed a little wide for me and made deadlift/shrugs uncomfortable.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Deep-Voiced-One's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by keyboardworkout View Post
    I don't get the need for these huge rackable trap bars. I tried mine for pressing and didn't like it at all.
    They usually have more sleeve space and can be used to load the plates on and off the bar easier (although a DL jack will do the same thing too), aside from bench press and OHPs with it, also can set the safeties higher for deficit deadlifts, rows and OHPs if desired...but yes the drawback is that it takes up more space.
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    Registered User rlundregan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    They usually have more sleeve space and can be used to load the plates on and off the bar easier (although a DL jack will do the same thing too), aside from bench press and OHPs with it, also can set the safeties higher for deficit deadlifts, rows and OHPs if desired...but yes the drawback is that it takes up more space.
    Yep--ease of loading/unloading is really the thing that makes rackable worth considering. Pressing movements are OK, but a lot of us end up getting Swiss bars anyway.
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    Registered User Deep-Voiced-One's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rlundregan View Post
    Yep--ease of loading/unloading is really the thing that makes rackable worth considering. Pressing movements are OK, but a lot of us end up getting Swiss bars anyway.
    It feels more like pressing a cumbersome frame, not bad (seems to hit the tris more) but I definitely agree that I get more out of pressing with my angled FBB and it's more comfortable.
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    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    It feels more like pressing a cumbersome frame, not bad (seems to hit the tris more) but I definitely agree that I get more out of pressing with my angled FBB and it's more comfortable.
    Speaking of, I'm debating on making a SUPER indulgent purchase with some of my recent flipping proceeds and getting that expensive $450 AB Football bar with knurling and rotating sleeves. Is that the one you have or do you have another brand?
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    Registered User urbanlifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deep-Voiced-One View Post
    It feels more like pressing a cumbersome frame, not bad (seems to hit the tris more) but I definitely agree that I get more out of pressing with my angled FBB and it's more comfortable.
    Speaking of, I'm debating on making a SUPER indulgent purchase with some of my recent flipping proceeds and getting that expensive $450 AB Football bar with knurling and rotating sleeves. Is that the one you have or do you have another brand? I guess they call it the 'T-grip', EliteFTS has a similar one but you have another handle and not as much room in the middle.

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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by grumpytude View Post
    I have the cap mega hex bar. got it a few year back for under $100 on Amazon- so for the price its worked well for me. Painted it to jazz it up a bit.
    yes it fits in the rack- but still kinda useless in that regard- since the first portion of the sleeves cannot hold any weight plates since that section sits on the j-hooks in the rack.

    I still prefer straight bar deadlifts but I like to mix it up now and then. Sometimes I use it on leg days too-concentrating on the quads.
    Good for shrugs too- but the bar is so big and bulky I am usually to lazy to take it out to use it for that. It does fit nicely on my wall rack.

    Since I bought mine there have been tons of new hex bars in the market. with so many options now- rotating handles, built in jack stands etc. I guess it comes down to how much you are going to use it and how important these add ons are to you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU2xZ7s4jus




    I have this one too, from the days when I'd pull 600+ on it lol

    I just do light RDL and shrugs with mine now, the heavy weight is a bit of a pain tbh

    Originally Posted by JustTheDad View Post
    I bought my son the MoveStrong Bar for Christmas. He couldn't do regular squats due to FAI
    As someone who did get my FAI treated until I was nearly 40, I hope he's looking at surgery asap - I lost my entire labrum from leaving mine untreated for 20 years lifting and have needed revision surgery + will need a possible replacement in a decade. Don't try to train around it!
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  20. #20
    Registered User radrd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Speaking of, I'm debating on making a SUPER indulgent purchase with some of my recent flipping proceeds and getting that expensive $450 AB Football bar with knurling and rotating sleeves. Is that the one you have or do you have another brand? I guess they call it the 'T-grip', EliteFTS has a similar one but you have another handle and not as much room in the middle.

    https://americanbarbell.com/collecti...olympic-sleeve
    I have this bar. The angles, thickness, and knurl feel amazing for pressing, but I found inherent instability that I could never quite get comfortable with when I used it regularly. I don't know if it's the angled design, the sleeve spin, me (probably), or all of the above that make it feel unstable. Now that my shoulders are doing better, I've gone back to straight bar exclusively, but it's about time to give the T-Grip another spin, as it were.

    It's too bad I live so far away in Seattle or I would gladly let you borrow it for a while to see how you like it. I've thought about selling it, but I don't think I'd get anywhere close to what I paid since it's a niche product and in stock. Better to keep it and work it back into my routine for variety.
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    Thanks man! My guess is that it's the length of the handles, the Slim series of the squared football bars are much easier to stabilize during pressing movements. My main use would be curls, tricep extensions, lying barbell pullovers, bent over rows, possibly front squatting, shrugs, then the occasional bench or military press. Debating on whether to get a bar for more variability or buy another set of Powerblocks when they are back in stock.
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Thanks man! My guess is that it's the length of the handles, the Slim series of the squared football bars are much easier to stabilize during pressing movements. My main use would be curls, tricep extensions, lying barbell pullovers, bent over rows, possibly front squatting, shrugs, then the occasional bench or military press. Debating on whether to get a bar for more variability or buy another set of Powerblocks when they are back in stock.
    I should really try it for some pulls. Maybe I'll do an all T-Grip workout one of these days. I didn't buy it to hang on the wall, but it's done that for a while.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I have this bar. The angles, thickness, and knurl feel amazing for pressing, but I found inherent instability that I could never quite get comfortable with when I used it regularly. I don't know if it's the angled design, the sleeve spin, me (probably), or all of the above that make it feel unstable.
    +1 on the length of the handles, but I think the sleeve spin is a factor also. The slimness of the Reps Direct (sold by EliteFTS) version - along with the spinning sleeves - had me leaning towards that one. However, I recently came across a Watson Ultimate Bar on the used market and was ready to buy. However, a quick Google lead to a lot of complaints about the sleeve spin being so good that it made the bar feel unstable for benching. I came across a personal trainer in the UK that has the bar in his studio and loves it. However, when I asked him what he thought of it for pressing, he repeated the same thing about the sleeve spin and said it made the bar feel unstable for benching. So, after all the back and forth, I think I'll eventually get the American Barbell T-Grip or the Watson Ultimate Bar w/ the fixed sleeves. The Watson is my preference at this point as it's slim, has the notch for shoulder presses and comes in a fixed sleeve version. That price though ...
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    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Speaking of, I'm debating on making a SUPER indulgent purchase with some of my recent flipping proceeds and getting that expensive $450 AB Football bar with knurling and rotating sleeves. Is that the one you have or do you have another brand? I guess they call it the 'T-grip', EliteFTS has a similar one but you have another handle and not as much room in the middle.

    https://americanbarbell.com/collecti...olympic-sleeve
    I have the Reps Direct FBB (also sold by Elitefts for a bit cheaper)...

    https://www.elitefts.com/football-bar.html

    The AB T-Grip bar looks very nice too and has knurling on the frame portion for I assume curls and to make use of that portion along with the extra hand grip space.

    I personally never found any issues with space gripping any of the 3 handles on my FBB and I like the extra variety it offers.
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    I'll prolly get one soon at the same time I get a curl bar, so that I have a safe way to do upright rows. Saw a Cap one for 110 on amazon, brand I usually shun passionately but it's all I can afford right now. By the way, is it safe to cut one side off to mimic the profile of an open back? Would it bend or anything?
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    Originally Posted by TheShadowMan View Post
    I'll prolly get one soon at the same time I get a curl bar, so that I have a safe way to do upright rows. Saw a Cap one for 110 on amazon, brand I usually shun passionately but it's all I can afford right now. By the way, is it safe to cut one side off to mimic the profile of an open back? Would it bend or anything?
    It's not safe. Open back bars are engineered to work that way. DIY might work or it might cause injury. It's not worth taking the chance.

    Upright rows are overrated at best. I wouldn't even do them with a curl bar. Save your shoulders and do something else.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    Upright rows are overrated at best.
    Upright rows are excellent for shoulders / traps IMO, but you have to do them correctly to avoid injury. Think it may have been JL Holdsworth who did a video on upright rows a while back, you can't bring the bar all the way to your upper chest / chin, that's the issue most people have with causing injury. The ROM has to be limited to the low/mid portion of your chest and you should be fine. But then again everyone is different so if it still hurts then you're just not made for the movement.

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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I have this bar. The angles, thickness, and knurl feel amazing for pressing, but I found inherent instability that I could never quite get comfortable with when I used it regularly. I don't know if it's the angled design, the sleeve spin, me (probably), or all of the above that make it feel unstable. Now that my shoulders are doing better, I've gone back to straight bar exclusively, but it's about time to give the T-Grip another spin, as it were.

    It's too bad I live so far away in Seattle or I would gladly let you borrow it for a while to see how you like it. I've thought about selling it, but I don't think I'd get anywhere close to what I paid since it's a niche product and in stock. Better to keep it and work it back into my routine for variety.
    Originally Posted by urbanlifter View Post
    Thanks man! My guess is that it's the length of the handles, the Slim series of the squared football bars are much easier to stabilize during pressing movements. My main use would be curls, tricep extensions, lying barbell pullovers, bent over rows, possibly front squatting, shrugs, then the occasional bench or military press. Debating on whether to get a bar for more variability or buy another set of Powerblocks when they are back in stock.
    I have the T-Grip double angle bar from AB which is identical except it doesn't have the rotating olympic sleeves and I find it stable for everything I've used it for. One of my favorite bars. Plus, I got it on sale for $230 shipped.
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    Originally Posted by irongrandpa View Post
    I have the T-Grip double angle bar from AB which is identical except it doesn't have the rotating olympic sleeves and I find it stable for everything I've used it for. One of my favorite bars. Plus, I got it on sale for $230 shipped.
    That was a killer deal, I should have probably jumped on that when I posted about it in another thread. I've ALWAYS wanted the one with spinning sleeves though, ever since 'Dumb bell' posted up pictures of his beautiful bar years ago. $450 is a tough pill to swallow though, but I like all the grip options and the idea of doing all barbell work when my new rack comes. Having a set of Powerblocks around is nice, but I've had 15+ sets now and always end up flipping them.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    I have this bar. The angles, thickness, and knurl feel amazing for pressing, but I found inherent instability that I could never quite get comfortable with when I used it regularly. I don't know if it's the angled design, the sleeve spin, me (probably), or all of the above that make it feel unstable. Now that my shoulders are doing better, I've gone back to straight bar exclusively, but it's about time to give the T-Grip another spin, as it were.
    I'd bet it's the sleeve spin. I had REP's first stainless PB which had spin like an oly bar and it was absolutely awful for pressing. I don't know how much the sleeves spin on yours (I have the fixed sleeves one so idk), but it's probably also a matter of getting used to that grip.

    Overall, very happy with T-grip bar!
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