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  1. #1
    Registered User hanzosbm's Avatar
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    Looking for help in search for barbell

    About 3 months ago I started building a home gym and actually lifting with purpose (more than a half-assed attempt with a set of dumbbells). At the time, I knew even less than I know now and jumped at a FB Marketplace add selling an "Olympic" barbell for $35. Truth be told, it has, and still does, serve me pretty well, but it's a Gold's Gym 3 piece barbell that has a few drawbacks; primarily that it's only 25lbs (which keeps screwing me up in terms comparing my lifts to others), has roll-pins which dig into my hands in certain positions, and can only hold around 280lbs depending on which online specification you go by.
    The good news (well, good or bad depending on how you look at it) is that I'm nowhere near 280lbs yet on any of my lifts, and the fact that it's only a 25lbs bar doesn't REALLY matter when it comes to building muscle. But the day will come when I'll be lifting that much (hopefully) and the roll pins are a bit uncomfortable.
    For those reasons, I'm starting to look into buying a nicer barbell. In reading the stickies here and information on the interwebs, it seems like a lot of differences between different barbells are things which, frankly, don't concern me. Quality of spin on the sleeves? I'm not doing snatches or anything like that. Massive weight capacities? I'd be shocked if, even on deadlift, I ever got to 360lbs. Knurling? I've got the skin of a 12 year old rich girl and anything's gotta be better than what I'm using now. Surface finish? This is for a basement home gym and a little surface rust doesn't bother me.
    Part of me feels like I should go for just about the cheapest option I can find because almost anything will meet my needs and be an improvement. Another part of me feels like there's a reason people are spending huge money on nicer bars and I might be missing out on something I'll regret later.
    I'm definitely more on the side of "if it's heavy and I keep lifting it, I'll grow. I don't need it to be pretty"
    I know REP and Titan both have barbells under $150 and was thinking of going that direction, but wanted some input.
    Oh, and if possible, the smaller diameter bar, the better. Besides having embarrassingly soft skin, I also have freakishly small hands. Fantastic for sending those sexy pics to my wife, not so great for gripping a larger bar.
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  2. #2
    Rojo Gato 1651Naismith's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Registered User DutchB1's Avatar
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    Look at the Garage Gym Reviews on Youtube. Good info on bars and plates.
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  4. #4
    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    I would not lift with a multi-piece barbell. I would be afraid that with ~100 lbs or more on it that it would break.

    A few years ago, the bar to buy for beginners was the Cap barbell. That is the bar discussed in many old threads here. I bought one. It was a good general purpose bar.

    Unfortunately, CAP no longer sells that particular bar. They have one called "The Beast" that costs a few dollars more ($170 on Amazon currently, was as low as $130 last year). If I wanted a new bar and did not want to spend at least $300, I would buy this bar. One downside is that it is a 30 mm bar. It sounds like you would prefer a bar with a 28 mm shaft. CAP sells one, but it is $20 more.

    Another option often used to get an inexpensive bar a few years ago was to buy a weight set from a big box store like Dicks and then sell the weights because they suck. Pre-COVID that worked well and the weights could often be sold for about as much as was paid for the set. Unfortunately, the price and availability of such sets has gotten worse.
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  5. #5
    Multi-Platinum User radrd's Avatar
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    Bang for buck, I'd probably go with this one:

    https://www.bellsofsteel.us/all-prod...ympic-barbell/

    Haven't used it but BoS is a reputable company that makes decent to good gear.
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  6. #6
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    I would suggest looking into Rogue's Boneyard bars. If you really want to go cheap though:

    Titan $80
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Titan-Fit...mpaign_id=9383

    Better bar. True Grit for $115
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tru-Grit-...mpaign_id=9383
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  7. #7
    Registered User hanzosbm's Avatar
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    hanzosbm is offline
    Thank you all for the suggestions. I'll take a little time to look into all the bars suggested here and hopefully pull the trigger soon.
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  8. #8
    Registered User hanzosbm's Avatar
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    hanzosbm is offline
    So, looks like I'll be going with the Titan for the time being.
    Ultimately, I plan to step up to the Rogue Boneyard (I really don't care about blemishes) but coming out of the holiday spending, $80 was an easier sell to the wife than $200.
    Plus, it's an improvement on all fronts compared to what I have now, and when the time comes to upgrade, I'll probably be able to come close to getting my money back on the secondary market.
    I really appreciate all the input on this.
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  9. #9
    Registered User hanzosbm's Avatar
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    hanzosbm is offline
    Got the bar today. The packaging was almost non-existent thanks to FedEx, but the bar appears none the worse for wear.
    I immediately started my workout which started with deadlifts.
    I don't know if it was the oil on the bar, or the slightly larger diameter, (probably both) but my grip strength gave out long before anything else, which was pretty disappointing.
    Considering that the next exercise was pull ups, those were crap too.

    The bar seems fine, although a smaller diameter would've been preferred, and better knurling wouldn't be bad. In hindsight, the boneyard bar would've been better, but I figure I'll set a goal (maybe a certain increase on all my lifts) to upgrade. In the meantime, hopefully my grip will get stronger.

    As a plus, the chrome, as compared to the black oxide on my old bar, was a lot gentler on my shins.
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  10. #10
    Registered User C123C's Avatar
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    Good luck with it. Not a bad choice and the price gap that drove the decision was substantial so for what it's worth that's reasonable decision making. Plus having a spare bar around that's at least decent is a huge bonus - for convenience or friends over etc... I think all of us that have been doing the home gym long enough probably have 1-2 spare barbells around.
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