10 Best Barbells For Your Home Gym (2024) From a Trainer

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 12, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

If you're serious about building up some muscle mass, you will have to work with free weights, and in my experience coaching fitness clients, I learned that you can get a lot more out of your workouts with Olympic barbells like squat bars or deadlift bars.

The problem is that you’ll find a lot of barbells online that look great but just aren’t suitable for any serious kind of lifting. That doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune on your home gym.

After several months of research, interviewing other fitness experts, and hands-on experience, we were able to find some great products that shouldn't break the bank.

The Best Barbells For Your Home Gym

Editor's Choice
Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bars
Rogue Olympic
Rated 5.0/5
Click For Best Price
2nd Best Choice
Rogue Ohio Bar
Rogue Ohio
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price
3rd Best Choice
Rogue Bella Bar
Rogue Bella
Rated 4.9/5
Click For Best Price

Our Top Barbells For Home Gyms (May 2024)

1 - Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bars (Best Overall & Most Durable)

Rated 5.0/5
5.0
Durability
5.0
Weight
4.9
Price
Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bars
  • 20 kg weight
  • 28 mm diameter
  • 16.25-inch sleeve
  • 88.6 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 215K PSI tensile strength for better whip
  • Positive comments about the durability of the needle bearings
  • The 88.6-inch total length makes it a standard Olympic dimension
  • Zinc coating to make it more oxidation resistant

Cons

  • It’s not the cheapest option

This is a higher-end Olympic barbell from Rogue Fitness, and I’ll highlight the zinc-coated stainless steel first.

Stainless steel gives it a nice finish that should avoid signs of rusting.

In my months of using it, the smooth sleeve rotation has made every lift seamless, a testament to the high-quality bearings that have stood up to my rigorous daily training.

This isn’t one of the cheapest barbells, but if you want a model that will last for years, then you could save in the long term.

2 - Rogue Ohio Bar

Rated 4.9/5
4.8
Durability
4.9
Weight
5.0
Price
Rogue Ohio Bar
  • 20 kg weight
  • 28.5 mm diameter
  • 16.4-inch sleeve
  • 88.75 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 190K PSI tensile strength for good flex during your lift
  • Stainless steel and Black zinc coating should make Rogue Ohio bar less likely to oxidize
  • Dual knurl marks may make this suitable for power lifts

Cons

  • Uses a bushing sleeve rather than needle bearings

The Rogue Ohio Power Bar might be a good choice if your budget doesn't stretch to the Olympic one above.

It’s also made of stainless steel and coated in black zinc, which according to an article on Science Direct, shows higher resistance to corrosion [1].

One feature that immediately caught my attention was its dual knurling, which gave me more flexibility for different types of Olympic lifts.

One of the reasons that The Rogue Ohio Bar is a bit cheaper is that it has bushings instead of bearings on the sleeve, which may not last as long.

3 - Rogue Bella Bar (Best for Women)

Rated 4.9/5
4.8
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.9
Price
Rogue Bella Bar
  • 15 kg weight
  • 25 mm diameter
  • 13-inch sleeve
  • 79.13 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 200K PSI tensile strength should give a good whip during lifting
  • Specifically designed for women with a smaller diameter
  • The chrome sleeves seem to move smoothly on this power bar

Cons

  • Doesn’t have any shaft coating so will require some maintenance

This power bar might be a great home gym option for women as it has been designed to suit smaller hands and not for extreme loads.

Our tests found the bear weight on this power bar is also a bit lighter at 15 kg, which makes this one of the lightest power bars we were able to find.

At the same time, it still provides dual knurling marks for better hand placement during Olympic lifting.

We also liked that the sleeves seemed to move nice and smoothly for less strain on your wrists.

The main downside is that it doesn’t have a coating, which will mean that you’ll need to do some occasional cleaning of the power bar.

4 - XMark Lumberjack 7' Olympic Barbell (Best Olympic)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.8
Price
XMark Lumberjack 7_ Olympic Barbell
  • 19.5 kg weight
  • 28 mm diameter
  • 16.5-inch sleeve
  • 84 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Two 25 pound weight plates are included
  • Black manganese phosphate coating should help reduce oxidation
  • Reasonable price for a bar with a 700 lbs limit

Cons

  • Collars are not included in the box so make sure you order those extra

The XMark Olympic barbell has become a very popular and cost-effective option as it comes with two plates included.

That should give you a 90 lbs bar straight out of the box.

I also liked the black finish. I used this barbell for months, and the finish didn't scratch. It also required less work to keep it clean compared to other models.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to add some collars to be able to use it once it arrives.

5 - Yaheetech Olympic 7 Feet Bar (Best With Wider Diameter)

Rated 4.8/5
4.8
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
Yaheetech Olympic 7 Feet Bar
  • 19.5 kg weight
  • 30 mm diameter
  • 13.6-inch sleeve
  • 86 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wider than standard diameter may make it more suitable for large hands
  • The grip seems to be comfortable and not too harsh on the skin
  • Collars are included, so you just need some plates

Cons

  • The sleeve length might be a bit short for some powerlifters

This is another affordable option for a home gym, and it seems to be favored by people with big hands, thanks to the 30 mm diameter. That is at the top end of Olympic specifications.

While testing this bar, I found that the knurling and grip are comfortable enough to use for heavier weight and to use it as a power bar as well.

Just take note of the sleeve length if you plan to load it with multiple smaller plates.

6 - CAP Barbell 6-Foot Solid Olympic Bar (Best for Powerlifting)

Rated 4.8/5
4.7
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
CAP Barbell 6-Foot Solid Olympic Bar
  • 12.7 kg weight
  • 28 mm diameter
  • 11.5-inch sleeve
  • 72 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Smaller length may make it more suitable for a garage or home gym
  • Sleeves seem to rotate easily even under full load
  • Affordable solution for anyone who doesn’t need huge weight loads

Cons

  • 63K tensile strength PSI might be too low if you plan to build more mass

If you don’t have a huge amount of space for your home gym, then this Olympic bar might be a good option if you’re not weightlifting at the heavy end of the scales.

It’s a shorter and lighter design, but it should still work pretty well for a standard deadlift, squats, and powerlifting.

Our tests found that the sleeves seem to move smoothly to give you less strain on your hands and wrists.

Just keep in mind that this might not be a long term weight training solution if you plan to build up muscle mass.

7 - GYMAX Olympic Bar (Best Bar With Bearings)

Rated 4.7/5
4.6
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
GYMAX Olympic Bar
  • 20 kg weight
  • 28 mm diameter
  • 15.5-inch sleeve
  • 86.5 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Uses bearings that should provide a smooth movement
  • Between 700 and 1,000 pounds max weight limit on this Olympic bar
  • Positive reviews about the comfortable knurls even at higher loads

Cons

  • Collars are not included so make sure you add some to your order

This is another full-size Olympic bar, and the first thing to highlight is that it uses bearings instead of bushings. This gave me a longer-lasting and smoother experience.

Depending on your fitness and strength levels, you may choose from a 700 or 1,000 lbs limit model that should give enough flexibility for serious powerlifting.

But I had to order the collars, as they are not included in the package with the Olympic bar.

8 - Okie Power Bar (Best for Beginners)

Rated 4.7/5
4.5
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
Okie Power Bar
  • 20 kg weight
  • 30 mm diameter
  • 15.6-inch sleeve
  • 84 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Many positive comments about the comfortable grip on this power bar
  • Zinc plating should reduce the need for regular maintenance
  • Good sleeve length should provide enough room for plenty of plates on this power bar

Cons

  • This power bar is quite expensive compared to other power bars

A good powerlifting option for people with large hands is this Okie.

Our tests indicate that it feels comfortable to grip even with a heavy load.

The sleeves might also be long enough to fit a good few heavy plates with the bushings moving smoothly to avoid unnecessary strain.

We also like the zinc coating on the steel as it should reduce the amount of oxidation.

I would say that this one is at the higher end of the price scale, and you might be better off with the Roque Olympic for this price.

9 - Buddy Capps Texas Deadlift Bar (Best for Deadlifts)

Rated 4.7/5
4.4
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
Buddy Capps Texas Deadlift Bar
  • 20 kg weight
  • 27 mm diameter
  • 17.25-inch sleeve
  • 91 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Aggressive knurling
  • Chip-resistant zinc plating
  • You can choose from different shaft and sleeve material options

Cons

  • It’s not knurled all the way

Users say the Texas Deadlift Bar (TDB) is comparable to the Rogue Ohio, and I see the similarities between the two.

I like that the TDB has zinc plating so the material is almost chip resistant.

In my experience using it, the knurling isn’t as sharp as Ohio, but it's still aggressive and effective, which I find very impressive.

The only thing that may affect your snatch-grip deadlifts is that this one from Buddy Caps is not knurled all the way to the sleeves.

10 - Topeakmart Olympic Barbell Bar (Cheapest & Low Maintenance)

Rated 4.6/5
4.3
Durability
4.9
Weight
4.7
Price
Topeakmart Olympic Barbell Bar
  • 19.5 kg weight
  • 30 mm diameter
  • 13.6-inch sleeve
  • 86 inches long

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Sleeves seem to rotate smoothly to avoid strain on wrists
  • Collars are included, so you only need some plates
  • Seems to use a good coating that may limit the amount of maintenance

Cons

  • Limited to 330 lbs, which might not be enough for serious bodybuilding

The final one of our best Olympic bars is this Topeakmart model. It also has a wider diameter for larger hands compared to other Olympic bars, and it comes with the collars in the box for a bit of a cost-saving benefit.

I found the bushings seem to be good quality and the rotation wasn't sluggish while testing this product.

The only thing is that it may only be suitable for moderate weightlifting up to 330 pounds, which may limit your squats and deadlift.

How We Tested Best Barbells for Home Gym

Here's how we chose the best barbells for home gyms:

Construction and Durability

To assess the construction and durability of each barbell, we meticulously examined the materials used in their manufacturing. We looked for high-grade steel with a considerable tensile strength, capable of withstanding heavy loads without bending.

The finish of each barbell was also scrutinized, considering its resistance to oxidation and corrosion. We tested the barbells' resilience by loading them to their maximum capacity and performing a series of drops from overhead positions, simulating the wear and tear of regular use.

Knurling and Grip

We tested the sharpness and pattern of the knurling by performing various lifts, both with and without lifting gloves, to evaluate comfort and grip security. We included a mix of lifters with different hand sizes and grip preferences to ensure a well-rounded analysis.

The barbells were also subjected to a 'sweat test' to simulate use during intense workouts and to see how well the grip held up under slippery conditions.

Whip and Flexibility

A barbell's performance is partly determined by its whip or flexibility under load. We tested this by performing dynamic lifts, such as Olympic cleans and snatches, that benefit from a responsive bar. We measured the bar's oscillation and rebound when loaded with weights approaching its stated maximum capacity.

This helped us to understand how each barbell would behave under the explosive force of a lift and how it would contribute to the lifter's performance.

Sleeve Rotation and Spin

We evaluated the spin of each barbell's sleeves by loading the bar with weight plates and performing a series of rotations, noting any friction or sticking points. We also tested the barbells with high-rep, high-speed movements to assess the consistency and smoothness of the rotation over time.

Weight Capacity

We tested each barbell's load-bearing capacity by incrementally adding weight, closely monitoring the bar's reaction to each increase. We pushed each barbell to its advertised maximum weight limit to verify the manufacturer's claims, observing any permanent deformation or failure.

Additionally, we conducted static stress tests, leaving the barbells loaded with heavy weights for extended periods, to simulate long-term usage and to check for any signs of bending or warping.

This rigorous testing ensures that we recommend barbells that not only meet but exceed the expected weight capacities for home gym enthusiasts.

Price Evaluation

We analyzed the price points across the market, from budget-friendly options to high-end models, to determine the value offered by each barbell. We took into account the barbell's material quality, construction, warranty, and the reputation of the manufacturer.

By comparing the price against the test results of performance and durability, we aimed to recommend barbells that are not only cost-effective but also meet the demands of a serious home gym setup.

Buyer's Guide

Buyers guide image

According to a PubMed study, resistance training can greatly influence your health for the better [2].

Here's what to look for when choosing a barbell to get the most benefits.

1 - Materials

Close up of barbell

The one thing I would always say to clients is to avoid iron-based barbells as much as you can.

Yes, they tend to be cheaper.

But unless they are properly coated and regularly checked for any rust, they could end up causing problems.

Stainless steel is the only material I would use, and the next thing to look at is how strong the steel rating is.

This is usually indicated as 150K or 200K PSI, and the higher this rating is, the less likely it is to bend under pressure permanently.

If you only need to do some lightweight training, then 60k barbell PSI may be enough. But for serious weightlifting, you’d want at least 180K PSI.

2 - Type of Grip

The best Olympic bars we tried out were actually multi-purpose ones that had dual knurling marks on the grips.

“Powerlifting bars generally have more aggressive knurling to accommodate the needs of deadlifters pulling on much heavier weights.”

- Dresdin Archibald, Strength, & Fitness Coach

This would allow you to use the bar to deadlift some serious loads where you would actually need a lot more grip.

If you just plan on doing bench presses, then this might not be important, but I would advise having the flexibility if you need it in the future.

3 - Bar Diameter

You’ll see different barbells advertised with a range of 25 mm to 30 mm in diameter. This is an important factor to consider, especially if you have large hands or you need a high weight limit.

The thicker diameter should make it a lot more comfortable and safe to grip.

“I’d say pulling exercises are a completely different animal, and in that case, a thicker bar could be beneficial.”

- Helen Kollias, Ph.D.

A standard bar probably has about 28 mm, which may be a good option to aim for if you’re not sure what to buy.

4 - Length

There is no best length. This is mainly going to be a limiting factor if you’re stuck for space, or you won’t be lifting weights at the extremely high range.

What’s a lot more important is to focus on the length of the sleeves as this will dictate how many plates you might be able to attach.

More on this feature shortly.

A standard length would be about 80 to 84 inches, so if you have space to safely move one of these, then it might be better to avoid the short bars.

5 - Maximum Capacity

Maximum capacity of a barbell

Commercial Olympic barbells are designed with limits up to 1,000 lbs and more.

That does sound crazy as even powerlifters don’t get to that extreme.

But there’s a good reason to aim for a high range.

It’s not really an indication of how many plates you could pile on.

But more a feature that tells you how stable it might remain as you get to the higher limits.

This should also ensure it’s more likely to remain a straight bar over many years of use.

6 - The Finish

Some people like the look and feel of bare steel. Personally, it doesn’t bother me too much.

But you have to remember that bare steel might oxidize over time, which could leave a rusty residue.

This isn’t just ugly-looking, but could also be a safety issue as it might reduce the grip.

Black zinc seems to be a popular choice these days, but you may also want to consider manganese as a slightly cheaper option.

What it does is protect the steel and reduce the risk of rust build-up.

7 - Price

So, price is important, and not everyone can afford high-end barbells that would suit a commercial gym.

But I would also advise you not to set your budget too low.

Why’s that?

The lower your budget, the less suitable it will be to grow with your demands as you build up muscle strength.

The cheaper models will most likely either have a limited weight-range, or they’ll be made with metals like iron that won’t last a long time.

You could end up saving yourself a fortune in the long term by spending a little bit more for the right materials and coatings.

What Are the Components of a Barbell?

Components of a barbell

The components of a barbell are the sleeves, the knurl, the whip, and the tensile strength.

1 - The Sleeves

These are the slightly thicker parts at each end of the shaft. I can’t say this often enough, but you have to make sure that the sleeves are well-designed.

What does that mean?

During an Olympic lift, your hands will have to rotate around the shaft in order to get the bar from below your hips to over your shoulders. To do this, the sleeves need to be able to rotate.

Otherwise, you would end up with a huge amount of strain and pressure on your wrists and the skin on your hands.

If your budget stretches to a bearing sleeve design, that’s the best long-term solution you could invest in.

2 - The Knurl

barbell knurl

The knurl is the criss-cross marking where your hands will grip the shaft. It’s designed to give you more grip and avoid the bar slipping out of your hands.

The design of the knurl has to change depending on how much weight you’re lifting and for deadlifts that could be very heavy.

And that’s why you’d often see dual knurls that have a different design.

The knurl marks would indicate which section is for powerlifting vs. Olympic style lifting.

3 - The Whip

The best Olympic bars that you’d see used at professional events would generally have a lot of whip.

If a bar has a good whip, it means that it’s more flexible, which is an important factor for the sudden pressure that this lifting style puts on the bars.

For powerlifting, you’d want the opposite with a much more rigid design that doesn’t flex as much.

You wouldn’t want a lot of whip during a deadlift because you gradually increase the force and wouldn’t want to feel a slight bend in the bar.

4 - The Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is a physical measure of how strong a bar is, and that directly translates into how many weights you might pile on, so basically, tensile strength is the breaking point of the barbell.

A good range of tensile strength to look out for is over 150K PSI. That means that a bar has been tested to withstand pressure over 150,000 pounds per square inch.

That might sound excessive, but it’s an indication of how well a bar will stand up to constant exposure to high amounts of pressure.

Barbell Accessories

These are the accessories you should invest in to enhance your lifting experience:

  • Collars: Secure your plates with high-quality collars to prevent slippage during lifts. Lock-jaw collars or spring clips are popular choices for their ease of use and reliability.
  • Barbell pads: For exercises like hip thrusts, a barbell pad can provide the necessary comfort. Look for a pad with sufficient cushioning and a secure closure system to prevent it from sliding during your workout.
  • Floor protection mats: Dropping weights can damage both your equipment and flooring. Invest in thick, durable mats to absorb shocks and reduce noise.

FAQs

What Size Barbell Should a Woman Use?

A woman should use a barbell that has a 25 mm shaft and is about 6 feet long, assuming that you don't intend to power lift 500 pounds or more regularly. The thinner shaft should be more suitable for a smaller hand to make it feel more comfortable.

What Weight Barbell Should You Buy?

You should buy a 20 kg (40 lbs) barbell. This should be heavy enough for some light training with fewer plates while allowing for heavier workouts. Standard weights of bars would also be directly linked to the maximum capacity.

Can You Bench Press With a 5ft Bar?

Yes, you can bench press with a 5 ft bar. However, many bodybuilders prefer a longer bar that will allow them to spread their hands further apart when lifting cumbersome loads. You would generally have much more flexibility with a longer bar, which is why we recommend them.

How Much Does an Olympic Barbell Cost?

An Olympic barbell can cost anything from $150 to over $1,000. Commercial-grade ones are much more expensive because the type of steel they use is much harder and resistant to bending. It should last for years under constant use in a gym.

Our Verdict on the Best Barbell For Home Gyms

After testing various models, the Rogue Olympic barbell truly impressed me. Its grip is unparalleled, providing a level of comfort I haven't found in other barbells.

I've personally used it in my home gym and noticed a significant improvement in my control and confidence during lifts. It's not just me; this barbell is a favorite in CrossFit gyms for its versatility and smooth construction.

If you're looking for a barbell that can handle a wide range of workouts and grow with your fitness journey, the Rogue Olympic is the way to go.

Our #1 Recommendation

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bars (Best Overall & Most Durable)

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bars

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

5.0
Durability
5.0
Weight
4.9
Price
Pros
  • 215K PSI tensile strength for better whip
  • Positive comments about the durability of the needle bearings
  • The 88.6-inch total length makes it a standard Olympic dimension
  • Zinc coating to make it more oxidation resistant
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of May
Cons
  • It’s not the cheapest option
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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One thought on “10 Best Barbells For Your Home Gym (2024) From a Trainer

  1. Just upgraded my barbell last week – totally worth it for improving my squat game. Better grip matters, folks.

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Our durability score is based 3 factors including: material quality, maintenance, and warranty terms. The score is a measure of objective test results against set standards. For more information see our durability score explanation here.
Our weight score is based 2 factors including: portability and total weight. The score is a blended calculation of subjective measures and objective tests against product specifications. For more information see our weight score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.