When you’re ready to challenge yourself even more and move up to a much heavier weight, you’ll need a bar that can withstand the increased weight and, most importantly, be safe to lift with.
This is where an Olympic weightlifting bar is an essential purchase. Designed to hold a lot more weight than a regular barbell, an Olympic weightlifting bar will really help you get to that next level and start making those sought-after gains.
However, when it comes to finding the perfect Olympic weightlifting bar, things can become a little confusing. There are so many different brands to choose from, and each of them offers you something unique. Before you know it, you’re spending hours sorting through them all, and, in a busy world, nobody has the time to do that!
So, to make things easier, we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best Olympic weightlifting bars on the market.
You’ll also find a buyer’s guide that’s packed with information and advice on what to look out for when you’re making your decision.
OUR TOP PICK
Let’s get things started by taking a look at our top pick. The CAP 7ft Olympic Weightlifting Bar is made from solid Japanese steel with a 132,000 PSI tensile strength for a super-durable performance. It also has a black phosphate finish that prevents rusting.
Weighing in at 20kg, this Olympic weightlifting bar features medium-depth, 7.75-inch diamond knurling on each side. These offer you a secure, non-slip grip at all times, regardless of how heavy you’re lifting. There is also 4.75-inch center knurling which is perfect for when you’re attempting those one-handed lifts.
The rotating sleeves with bushings provide a smooth spin as you lift while reducing the amount of pressure placed on your wrists and forearms. And, if you’re really looking to test your limits, this Olympic weightlifting bar’s huge 1000lb weight capacity gives you the opportunity to do it safely.
As if that wasn’t enough, to prove just how durable this Olympic weightlifting bar is, it comes with a 5-year warranty. This also gives you extra value for money and lets you rest assured that, in the unlikely event of something going wrong, you’ll be covered for a replacement.
- Super-tough construction - made from solid Japanese steel with a 132,000 PSI tensile strength
- Side & center knurling - features 7.75-inch knurling on each side and 4.75-inch center knurling for a secure, non-slip grip at all times
- Rotating sleeves with bushings - spins smoothly while you lift and reduce strain on the wrists and forearms
- 1000lb weight capacity - ideal for anybody really looking to push themselves
- 5-year warranty - acts as a testament to the quality and performance of this Olympic weightlifting bar
- Needs to be cleaned before use - this Olympic weightlifting bar is covered with a light coating of oil to prevent it from rusting while in storage and during shipping which will need to be wiped off before you use it
The Sporzon Olympic Barbell is available in a range of different lengths and end-diameters to best suit your individual needs.
You can choose from 5ft, 6ft, and 7ft lengths, with 1”-2” diameters. This choice of diameters also gives you the ability to use dumbbell plates with this bar.
The solid steel, chrome-plated construction offers a highly durable performance that is perfect for frequent use. The bar and the ends are made from a single piece of steel too, meaning that there are no joints or weak spots to worry about.
It also has a 700lb weight capacity, so it’s ideal for anybody looking to lift a lot of weight. Meanwhile, the multiple knurling positions offer a safe, secure grip and better handling no matter across a range of different moves.
You’ll also receive a 2-year warranty with the Sporzon Olympic Barbell, giving you peace of mind over its quality.
- Multiple options - available in 5ft, 6ft, and 7ft lengths, with 1”-2” diameters to better suit your individual training needs
- Highly durable - made from solid, chrome-plated steel for increased durability
- No joints - since this barbell is made from a single piece of steel, there are no joints or weak spots as the ends aren’t separated from the bar
- Multiple knurling positions - offer you a secure grip no matter what lift you’re attempting
- 700lb weight capacity - perfect for increasing your weight load to a larger amount over time
- No grip on sleeves - this means that your weight plates could slide around a little if not secured correctly
Weighing 20KG and measuring 7ft long, this Olympic Weightlifting Bar from Body-Solid is made from aluminum and features a black oxide finish. This helps to protect it against rusting, peeling, chipping, and scarring, so it will continue to look great even if you’re using it every day.
It also has a 600lb weight plate capacity and features 11.25” sleeves. This gives you loads of room to increase your weight whenever you want without having to purchase additional equipment.
Meanwhile, the shoulder bolt collar is designed to keep your weight plates securely in place while you lift.
This Olympic barbell also features center knurling, giving you a place to establish a firm grip while you lift. This helps to ensure your safety across a variety of different lifts and prevents the weight from accidentally slipping out of your grasp even when you’ve got sweaty hands.
You can choose between two colors (black or chrome) to better suit your personal taste, and the bar is covered by a 30-day warranty against defects.
- Aluminum construction with a black oxide finish - protects against rusting, chipping, and peeling while being super durable
- 600lb weight capacity and 11.5” sleeves - ideal for progressively adding more weight to your lifts
- Shoulder bolt collar - keeps your weight plates locked securely in place at all times
- Center knurling - offers you a secure, non-slip grip across a variety of different lifts
- Available in two colors - choose between black or chrome to better suit your personal taste
- Sleeves may need occasional oiling - some people that previously purchased this bar noted that the sleeves needed a little oil occasionally to help guide the weight plates on smoothly
If you’re new to Olympic lifting, this is the bar for you. The Rage Fitness Olympic Training Barbell features sleeves with a 2” diameter and has been specially designed for use with Olympic-style plates. The sleeves are also rotating and feature bushings that help to reduce wrist and forearm strain while you lift.
Constructed from aluminum, it’s highly durable and you won’t have to worry about it bending out of shape over time.
It also measures 6ft long and has a grip area length of 49-inches. Within this grip area, you’ll find medium diamond knurling which is designed to offer you a more secure grip on the bar.
The 300lb weight capacity is also ideal for beginners to Olympic lifting and gives you the ability to increase your weight load while mastering your lifting technique.
You’ll also receive a 1-year warranty with this weightlifting bar which covers you for a replacement if anything were to go wrong.
- Perfect for beginners - has a 300lb weight capacity that allows you to increase your weight while mastering your Olympic lifting techniques
- 2-inch diameter sleeves - designed specifically for use with Olympic weight plates
- Rotating sleeves with bushings - spins smoothly and reduces strain on the wrists and forearms while you lift
- Durable construction - made from aluminum that won’t bend out of shape under heavy weights
- Center medium-diamond knurling - offers you a secure grip at all times no matter what lift you’re executing
- Smaller weight capacity - while the 300lb weight capacity is ideal for beginners to Olympic weight lifting, it would be unsuitable for anybody looking to lift super heavy weights
It also allows you to place your arms in a more natural position. This doesn’t only ensure comfort but reduces the risk of injury while you lift too.
Constructed from steel and featuring a chrome finish, this weightlifting bar is both durable and stylish. It also features rotating sleeves with nylon bushings that offer long-lasting performance, and a maintenance-free snap ring lock system that will securely hold up to 400lbs of weight plates in place.
The shaft of this Olympic weightlifting bar has been coated with black manganese phosphate for even further durability, protecting it against corrosion and abrasion over time. You’ll also find medium knurling on the shaft, offering you the ability to establish a secure grip on the bar.
- EZ Curl design - allows you to change the intensity of your lift by moving your hands, and ensures safer arm placement
- Steel construction with a chrome finish - gives the bar a stylish look while remaining incredibly durable
- Rotating sleeves with nylon bushings - reduces wrist and forearm strain while lifting
- Maintenance-free snap-lock system - keeps up to 400lbs of weight plates held securely in place
- Medium knurling - helps you establish a firm, comfortable grip on the bar
- No grip on the sleeves - however, the snap-lock system does keep the weights steady in place when used correctly
Best Olympic Weightlifting Bars Buying Guide
However, despite its seemingly simple purpose, there are a few things you need to look out for if you want to make sure you’re getting the best Olympic weightlifting bar for your individual needs.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the key points you need to think about when you start looking for an Olympic weightlifting bar. Taking the time to do this will help you find the right choice the first time around and, ultimately, will save you time and money.
The first thing you need to do is think about how much weight you’re looking to lift, and what target you’re working towards.
Different Olympic weightlifting bars come with different weight capacities, and choosing one that’s unable to hold the weight you want to lift is a potential recipe for disaster.
If you’re new to Olympic lifting, it would be a good idea to go for a bar with a lower weight capacity of 300lbs - 400lbs. This will give you the ability to increase your weight, but also master your technique before increasing it any further.
If you’ve been Olympic lifting for a while, a bar with a higher weight capacity would be fine. Some even go up to 1000lbs, giving you the opportunity to really push yourself!
The next thing you need to do is look at what material your Olympic weightlifting bar is made from. It goes without saying that it needs to be strong enough to hold your plates without bending or buckling under the weight.
Luckily, there are many materials that are ideal for this including steel and aluminum. Some bars even feature a chrome finish for extra durability, while others may have a black phosphate finish which prevents rusting and corrosion over time.
You might be wondering why an Olympic weightlifting bar would need to be protected from rust and corrosion. The reason for this is that sweat has a high chloride content, and chloride causes rust.
As you lift, your hands will become sweatier and, if sweat is left on the barbell, it will soon start to corrode the metal. This is why it’s a good idea to choose an Olympic barbell with a chrome or black phosphate finish.
When it comes to looking at the sleeves of your potential new Olympic weightlifting bar, you need to check whether it has bearings. If it does, you’ll be provided with a smoother spin as you lift and, as a result, the pressure placed on your wrists and forearms will be reduced.
Most Olympic weightlifting bars will be 2-inches in diameter, as well. The reason for this is because Olympic weight plates have a 2-inch diameter hole, and the two need to be able to fit together smoothly and securely.
However, some weightlifting bars are available with 1-inch diameter sleeves. This gives you the ability to use dumbbell plates instead of Olympic plates. So, while they would be unsuitable for competitive lifting, it could help save you some money if you’re lifting at home as you won’t have to buy separate plates specifically for the bar.
Some sleeves also feature bolt collars or snap-lock systems. These are designed to keep your weight plates fixed in place while you lift and, again, prevent the risk of injury. If the sleeves are textured, your weight plates will be given even more stability.
Also known as ‘knurl’, knurling is the crisscrossed patterned areas that are placed at intervals across a bar.
The purpose of this is to increase the grip you have on the bar while you lift. The more grip you have, the better you’ll be able to perform a snatch, and the less chance you’ll have of accidentally dropping the bar.
Knurling can be at the sides of the bar, the center of the bar, or both and it will be at different depths between brands. Generally speaking, however, the knurling on a regular weightlifting bar comes in further than an Olympic weightlifting bar to allow for narrower grips during deadlifts.
The type you choose will ultimately depend on the weightlifting moves you’re looking to execute. It’s also a matter of preference and many weightlifters prefer bars that have as little knurling as possible.
However, it’s important to note that both the International Weightlifting Ferdinand and the International Powerlifting Federation specify that a barbell should have center knurling.
So, if you’re looking for an Olympic bar to lift competitively with, you’ll need to make sure that it has center knurling at the very least.
Finally, it’s a good idea to look at the warranty included with your Olympic weightlifting bar. There are two reasons for this. First of all, the longer the warranty is, the longer you’ll be covered for if anything happens to the bar.
Secondly, the longer a warranty is, the more faith you can have in the performance and quality of the bar. For example, if the warranty lasts for five years, you’ll know that the brand has every faith that it’s been created using the highest quality materials possible.
A long warranty also gives you some extra value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Olympic weightlifting bar?
An Olympic weightlifting bar is stronger than a regular weight lifting bar and, therefore, can hold a lot more weight.
This can be anywhere from 300lbs - 800lbs, but some are so strong that they can comfortably hold up to 1000lbs of weight without bending out of shape.