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The Definitive Rogue Ohio Bar Review

Where to Purchase: Rogue Fitness

There aren't many better all around barbells than the Rogue Ohio Bar.

You can snatch with it, clean with it, squat with it, bench with it, row with it, basically any movement you can think of, the Rogue Ohio Bar will be a trusty companion.

Is it as good as say an Eleiko (reviewed here: Eleiko Olympic WL Training Bar Review)?

No. But is it better than the majority of bars out there, and in a majority of situations? Let's find out…

Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar Review

The Rogue Ohio Bar with 190K PSI steel, 20 KG, 28.5 mm Diameter, and Lifetime Warranty

How It Was Acquired

Rogue has one sale a year and it's on Black Friday.

That's it.

If you want to get a good deal on shipping, or a fair price on any of their items you need to order on that day.

And that is when I ordered my Rogue Ohio Bar, on Black Friday, along with some of their HG Bumper Plates and the Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand (reviewed here: Rogue SML-2 Squat Stand Review.)

The retail price is for the Black Zinc w/ Bright Zinc version that I have is $282 and in my opinion, this bar, at this price, is an absolute steal.

IMG_20141114_074654

The knurl with dual marks, both powerlifting and weightlifting.

Knurling

The knurling on the Rogue Ohio Bar is just what you want for high rep workouts.

It's there when your grip is failing and you really need it, but it's not going to tear up your hands like a cheese grater.

If you rub your hand over the shaft you can hardly feel the knurl, then when you grip it tight, you can feel it stick in like you want it to. An upside to the knurl of the Ohio Bar is that it extends all the way to the collar which is great for tall people with long arms or bad mobility who need to use the full length of the shaft.

This was at one time exclusive to the Ohio Bar in Rogue's line of bars, however, the Rogue 2.0 Bar now has the same feature.

Whip

The Ohio Bar is not a barbell made just for weightlifting.

In the past, most bars were made with either weightlifting or powerlifting in mind. Therefore, you'd need to buy a couple bars in order to really be able to perform all the lifts easily.

Ever since CrossFit's popluarity has grown, more and more hybrid weightlifting bars have emerged. These are typically barbells designed to be used for all the lifts. They're a jack of all trades, and master of none (kind of like what CrossFit Athletes are.)The Ohio Bar is a hybrid bar made for powerlifting/weightlifting/CrossFit. It was never designed to whip like a high-end weightlifting bar so if you're looking for a bar to use exclusively for the classic lifts (snatch and clean & Jerk) I would look elsewhere.

It was never designed to whip like a high-end weightlifting bar, so if you're looking for a bar to use exclusively for the classic lifts (snatch and clean & Jerk) I would look elsewhere. It also was never designed to be as stiff as a power bar like the highly praised American Barbell Mammoth Bar.

The whip, however, is better than a bar you'd find at any globo gym and is more than enough for the majority of trainees.

IMG_20141114_074712

The tried and true bronze bushing.

Construction:

The Ohio Bar is built with 190k PSI steel. Before the Ohio Bar came out, this was about the strongest steel used in any sub-$500 barbell. Today, however, this is pretty standard and there are many bars at even lower price points that have higher tensile strength steel.

That said, the Ohio Bar  should hold up to whatever you throw out it and return back to being as straight as an arrow.

The bushings are bronze, the shaft is black zinc and the collars are bright zinc. Composite bushings have become more popular today due to their perceived longevity, but in my opinion, I prefer the older bronze style bushing.

The end caps feature a picture of the state of Ohio (kind of an ugly state) and snap rings hold the collars on the shaft. There is some movement side to side on the sleeves, but nothing to complain about.

Spin

The sleeves on the Ohio bar use bronze bushings, these kinds of bars are known as “bushing bars.” They are cheaper to make than bearing bars, and thus provide less spin.

This said, I find the spin of a good bushing bar compared to a bearing bar to not be TOO noticeable during use.I only clean 300# though, so I'm sure if you're lifting much more, the better the spin, the better it will be for your lift. Compared to other bushing bars I've used, the Ohio Bar is at the top. The only bushing bar that I've used may top it is the Rogue 2.0 Bar with its composite bushings. I have heard though that the

I only clean 300# though, so I'm sure if you're lifting much more, the better the spin, the better it will be for your lift. Compared to other bushing bars I've used, the Ohio Bar is at the top. The only bushing bar that I've used may top it is the Rogue 2.0 Bar with its composite bushings. I have heard though that the

Compared to other bushing bars I've used, the Ohio Bar is at the top. The only bushing bar that I've used may top it is the Rogue 2.0 Bar with its composite bushings.

IMG_20141114_075008

The wear doesn't affect the performance, but does increase manliness.

Durability

When I am looking at gym equipment one of the first things I ask is, “will this oulast me?”

Today, with the prices being paid, that's how long something like a barbell should last.

I like to buy something once, cry once.

Do I think this is the case with the Ohio Bar? As of now, yes, I do. That being said, there is a part of the bar that is showing more wear than I expected and that is on the shaft where the bar meets my shoulders.

My Ohio Bar has a black zinc shaft and over time that black zinc has rubbed away down to the silver metal. Does this make me upset? No, because I think it looks kind of cool and considering I purchased the Ohio Bar to beat up, not too look pretty, I'm okay with it.

IMG_20141114_074546

 On the platform, not necessarily where it belongs, but it doesn't look out of place.

Final Thoughts

I've developed a certain love for this bar.

It was the first “good” barbell I've owned and was the start of my garage gym.

It's developed a nice patina, and feels comfortable in my hands and will take any abuse I throw at it. For this reason, it's a great bar.

If I were to buy a similar bar today I would not buy the Rogue Ohio Bar though. The reason is because Rogue has come out with the Rogue 2.0 Bar which is built on the same chasis, only with composite bushings, and a smaller price tag. It's essentially the same bar for less money.

I do however expect the Ohio Bar to last for a long time and see lots of drops, slams, and bangs.

Update: March 2017

I still own and use the Rogue Ohio Bar regularly. Although I have now owned just about every bar imaginable, the Ohio Bar is one of my most reliable barbells in the stable.

If I want to use a bar and not have to think about it, I immediately head towards the Ohio Bar.

Sure, the black zinc has worn away and the knurling is less aggressive, but there's something about grabbing the barbell that started this whole Garage Gym Reviews journey.

I still highly suggest this bar, and believe that the reason it's remained unchanged is because the change is unneeded.

Where to Purchase: Rogue Fitness

Stay Strong, Live Long,

Coop

About Coop

Hello fellow fitness fanatics and equipment fueled fiends. I'm Coop and when not training I can be found mostly operating other entrepreneurial ventures, spending time with my Wife and family, and worshipping my risen Savior. You can find more about me here.

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