How to Choose the Best Barbell in 2023

Are you looking for a way to choose the best barbell? We will help you narrow your search by sharing some of the important factors you should consider.

Choosing the best barbell can be daunting, especially if you’re new to weightlifting. There are various options available, each with its features and specifications.

What is a Barbell?

A barbell is a type of weightlifting equipment consisting of a long metal bar that is 4-7 feet long and weighs between 15-45 pounds. The bar has removable weights on either end that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the total weight of the barbell. The weights can be made of metal, rubber, or other materials and are typically referred to as “plates” or “discs”.

Barbells are used for various exercises, including bench presses, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and rowing. They are an essential tool for strength training and weightlifting and are used in various settings, from home gyms to commercial fitness centers to professional sports facilities.

Barbells come in different sizes, shapes, and designs to accommodate various exercises and lifting styles. Olympic barbells are the most common type and are used for competitive weightlifting. Powerlifting barbells are thicker and stiffer, designed for heavy lifting. Speciality barbells are designed for specific exercises, such as curling or squatting.

A barbell is a versatile tool that can help you build strength, power, and muscle mass. When used correctly and safely, it can be an effective way to reach your fitness goals.

What are The Different Types Of Barbells?

There are several different types of barbells available, each designed to suit a specific lifting style or activity. Here are some of the most common types of barbells:

Olympic barbell

The Olympic barbell is the most popular and widely used barbell. It is used for Olympic weightlifting, which includes snatch and clean and jerk exercises. The bar is 7 feet long, weighs 20kg (44 lbs), and has rotating sleeves to allow for efficient movement of the weight plates.

Powerlifting barbell

Powerlifting barbells are thicker, stiffer, and stronger than Olympic barbells. They are designed for heavy lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. The bar has less flex and whip than Olympic barbells, allowing for a more stable and controlled lift.

Women’s barbell

Women’s barbells are designed to accommodate a smaller grip and a lighter weight. They typically weigh 15kg (33 lbs) and have a diameter of 25mm.

Specialty barbells

Specialty barbells are designed for specific exercises or lifting styles. They include safety squat barbells, cambered barbells, trap barbells, and curl bars, among others. These barbells often have unique features that make them more effective for their intended use.

Technique barbell

Technique barbells are used for practising weightlifting techniques without using a heavy load. They are lighter than standard barbells, with a diameter of 25mm or less.

EZ curl bar

EZ curl bars are curved to allow for a more natural grip during exercises like bicep curls and skull crushers. They are typically shorter and weigh less than standard barbells.

Hex bar

A hex bar, also known as a trap bar, is shaped like a hexagon and is used for exercises like deadlifts and shrugs. It allows the user to stand inside the bar, which can help to reduce stress on the lower back.

Top Rated Barbells From Amazon

Here are the top-rated barbells: 

1) Sunny Health & Fitness 60 Inch Threaded Chrome Barbell Bar – Best Value


2) The Rogue Ohio Bar – Cerakote

Best Rogue Barbell


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3) The Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 – Cerakote

Best Rogue Barbell


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4) Olympic Barbell Curl Bar EZ Bar Strength Training Bar


5) French Fitness EZ Curl Urethane Barbell Bar Set – Best For Gyms

EZ curl bar set

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Barbell

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best barbell for your needs:

1) Type of Barbell

There are three main types of barbells – Olympic, powerlifting, and specialty. Olympic barbells are the most common and are used for the sport of Olympic weightlifting. Powerlifting barbells are thicker and stiffer and are designed for heavy lifting. Specialty barbells are designed for specific exercises, such as curling or squatting.

2) Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of a barbell is an important consideration. Make sure the barbell you choose can handle the weight you plan to lift. Most barbells have a weight capacity of 700-1500 pounds.

3) Bar Length

The standard Length for a barbell is 7 feet, but there are also shorter and longer barbells available. Shorter barbells are easier to handle and are great for home gyms, while longer barbells are ideal for Olympic weightlifting.

4) Knurling

Knurling refers to the pattern of grooves on the barbell. The knurling should provide a good grip without being too abrasive. The depth and spacing of the knurling can vary between barbells, so consider what feels comfortable for you.

5) Bar Flexibility

The flexibility of a barbell refers to its ability to bend or flex during lifts. A more flexible barbell is better for Olympic weightlifting, while a stiffer barbell is ideal for powerlifting. A bar with too much flex can affect your technique and performance.


The coating on the barbell affects its durability and grip. Bare steel bars have the best grip but require maintenance to prevent rust. Chrome and stainless steel bars are more durable but have a slicker grip. Cerakote and other specialty coatings offer a balance of grip and durability.


The cost of a barbell can vary depending on its quality and features. A basic barbell can cost as little as $100, while a high-quality barbell can cost several hundred dollars. Consider your budget and how often you plan to use the barbell when making your decision.

FAQs on How to Choose The Best Barbell

1) What should I consider when choosing a barbell?

When choosing a barbell, you should consider the type of lifting you’ll be doing, the weight you’ll be lifting, and the amount of space you have available. Other factors to consider include the diameter of the barbell, the grip, the quality of the knurling, and the bar’s maximum weight capacity.

2) What is the standard weight of a barbell?

The standard weight of a barbell is 20kg (44 lbs) for men’s barbells and 15kg (33 lbs) for women’s barbells. However, some barbells may be lighter or heavier depending on their intended use.

3) What is the diameter of a barbell?

The diameter of a barbell varies depending on the type of bar. Olympic barbells have a diameter of 28mm, while powerlifting barbells have a diameter of 29mm. Women’s barbells have a diameter of 25mm.

4) What is knurling?

Knurling is the texture on the barbell that provides grip. A good knurling pattern should be well-defined and evenly spaced without being aggressive or soft. The quality of the knurling will significantly impact your grip and lifting performance.

5) Can I use any weight plates with my barbell?

Most barbells have a standard 2-inch diameter sleeve that can accommodate most weight plates. However, some specialty barbells may require specific weight plates. Be sure to check the specifications of your barbell before purchasing weight plates.


Choosing the best barbell depends on your needs and goals. Consider the type of barbell, weight capacity, bar length, knurling, bar flexibility, coating, and cost when making your decision.

Remember that a quality barbell can last for years and improve your lifting technique and performance. 

We hope this post helped you to learn how to choose the best barbell. You can also check Important Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Rowing Machine for 2023.