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The American Barbell Gold Standard Bar is an excellent bar for those that want a "do-it-all" bar with a unique flair. With its flashy gold finish, recessive collar, and strong tensile strength, this barbell is a great option when comparing it to other barbells such as the Rogue 2.0.
When looking at what barbell to begin your fitness journey, whether it be for a garage gym, home gym, or even a commercial gym, the general thought is, what barbell is going to give me the most bang for my buck.
Barbells can, for the most part, be broken up into three different categories: powerlifting barbells, Olympic Weightlifting barbells, and barbells that can do both, but don't specialize in either.
Powerlifting barbells will be for those who primarily focus on the squat, bench, and deadlift. These barbells are often made using the highest tensile strength available. One of the best powerlifting barbells currently available is the American Barbell Mammoth Bar, read our full review on this barbell here.
Olympic Weightlifting barbells will favor lifters who focus on the classical lifts, i.e the clean and jerk, and snatch. These barbells tend to have greater whip than power bars and a thinner diameter shaft. A great option for Olympic Weightlifting is the American Barbell Stainless Steel Bearing Bar, read our full review on it here.
The American Barbell Stainless Bearing Bar has the same tensile strength as the American Barbell Gold Standard Bar, but the Stainless Bearing Bar has bearings in the sleeve that make it an Olympic lifting barbell, rather than the bushings in the Gold Standard Bar.
The American Barbell Gold Standard Bar is made with the CrossFit/functional fitness athlete in mind. What this means is, this bar can be good for someone who dabbles in powerlifting movements, Olympic lifting, all the while trying to increase overall strength.
Upon arrival, the first thing you'll notice with this barbell is the unique gold finish.
I love the concept of unique looking bars. In fact, I reached out to a couple of companies asking to make an "oil-spill" looking barbell a couple of years ago and never got any traction. So, the beautiful looks of the Gold Standard Bar is right up my alley.
I initially thought looks were one of the least important features of a barbell to most people. However, after seeing the popularity of Cerakote bars, it seems looks play a big factor in the purchasing decision of a barbell. Is this wrong? No, because people can purchase things based on whatever criteria they choose. No need to be dogmatic about this stuff.
In their sales copy, American Barbell notes that this barbell can range from rose to bright "gold". This is due to the process used to apply the zinc to the bar not producing consistent results. That said, I've yet to see a "bad" looking version of the bar.
The bright gold finish is actually a zinc finish that should have pretty good corrosion resistance.
Corrosion resistance is a very important concept to have knowledge of when comparing barbells, especially for garage gym owners where barbells are exposed to such varying climates. From least corrosive resistant to most corrosive resistant the ranks are as follows: bare steel, black oxide, zinc, chrome, stainless steel, Cerakote.
The zinc-coated steel will still be able to withstand hot summer days and cold winter nights, all the while not rusting. This is with the assumption that some maintenance will be required such as oiling and brushing the bar.
However, the entire barbell isn't zinc coated, the sleeves of the Gold Standard Bar are chrome plated as are all of American Barbell Sleeves. In my experience, chrome plated sleeves hold up extremely well. Chrome is more corrosive resistant than zinc in my experience and doesn't mar as quickly as zinc.
One feature of the American Barbell Gold Standard Bar that is unique to American Barbell is the recessive weld that allows the weights to remain flush against the collar. Not only is it functional, but it also looks great. This same sleeve is used on the American Barbell Stainless Bearing Bar.
The steel used on the American Barbell Gold Standard Bar is 190K PSI tensile strength. This is pretty standard bar stock for versatile bars at this price-point and is a great option.
For rotation, the Gold Standard Bar utilizes composite bushings. These are the same bushings used in the ever-popular Rogue Bar 2.0 and although they're less expensive than bronze bushings, I've never had an issue with their spin.
One feature that sets the Gold Standard Bar apart from others like it is its shaft diameter. Rather than the typical 28.5 mm shaft, American Barbell decided to make this bar 28 mm which is something I'm a fan of, especially for the classic lifts.
Knurling is another important topic of any barbell.
Knurling really comes down to personal preference, some trainees prefer an extremely aggressive knurling, while others like something more passive. Generally, Olympic Weightlifting bars are more passive than power bars, while general training bars are often even more passive.
The American Barbell Gold Standard Bar knurling is rather passive as are all of American Barbell Bars in comparison to competitors, but when chalked up, it feels fantastic. It feels very similar to the Rogue 2.0 Bar although a bit finer.
There's no center knurl (I'd love to see the AB Ghost Knurl in the future) and it has dual knurl marks based on IWF and IPF standards.
American Barbell has included a limited lifetime warranty for their Gold Standard Bar and I've heard great things about their warranty process (I haven't had a reason to use it yet, thankfully.)
Finally, if you're a gym owner and are looking to keep clients engaged, equipment like this is perfect for that purpose.
Overall, the American Barbell Gold Standard Bar is a great barbell for anyone trying to find a bar that will be able to perform in a variety of different movements. With its strong tensile strength, recessive collar, and crisp knurling, this barbell should not go overlooked.
The American Barbell Gold Standard Bar is an excellent bar that not only looks good, but is also extremely well made.
One option that I'd like to see added to the bar is the AB Ghost Knurl. This is one of my favorite parts of their SS Olympic Bar and I'd love to see it added as an option.
Other than that, there's not much else I could see improved for the price. It's that good of a bar!
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