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The almighty barbell.
Many companies strive to produce a bar of utmost quality. However, in my experience the majority of companies producing bars that are available on the market today are looking to do no more than pocket your hard earned benjamins, and leave you with a sub par bar that you will eventually replace.
So, my advice to you is SPEND GOOD MONEY ON YOUR BARBELL.
This is a simple idea and is even something strongly recommended by legends in the strength world such as Mark Rippetoe (I have a good story about Rip when he was lifting at Collegiate Nationals decades ago that I will share sometime.)
In the tradition of reviewing the superficial things first, lets take a look at the overall appearance of the bar.
In my mind, a barbell isn't made to be very fancy. There are some out there like the Rogue Operator Bar that feature unique colors, but overall a bar is there to serve the purpose of lasting generations and lifting a lot of heavy iron (or rubber for the Kool-aid drinkers and olympic hopefuls.)
The American Barbell Training Bar is not flashy.
Which I like. When you look at it, it looks like a precision made piece of machinery. Everything from the name "Training Bar" to the simple end cap means business.
Although I love creativity, I don't think it's necessary for this sort of equipment. My lifts can be the flashy part of my training, not my barbell.
You also can't look past the beautiful hard chrome finish that not only looks good in the present, but will age better than just about any finish available. In my opinion, as evidenced in my reviews of the various barbells available today, chrome is the best finish you can put on a bar.
So, to conclude on the beauty of the bar, I find it quite. It exudes a professional sort of allure that says, "I'm not here to be looked at, but to be used."
I like that.
A barbell is made of few components. However, the components and construction of a proper bar for training must be machined with tight tolerances. A bar built with tight tolerances will be quiet.
How many times have you gone to a globo gym, picked up a bar for some high rep deadlifts and every time you set the bar down sounds like a bull just ran through the china shop?
The reason this happens is because the majority of gyms purchase bars made for the masses and thus are rather there for looks, than actual use.
I've used all sorts of barbells and even have in my opinion the best weight lifting bar available in my garage, the Elieko WL Training Bar. However, no bar I have ever used has ever been as quiet as the American Barbell Training Bar.
If you use the bar without any plates while warming up and drop it on the platform there is no metal on metal noise. The only thing you hear is a deep thud of the bar hitting the rubber mats on the platform.
That my friends is absolute quality.
I remember when I first got my Eleiko and admired how great of a difference the noise reduction was compared to my Rogue Ohio Bar. I am now making that same admiration on the difference between the American Barbell Training Bar and the Eleiko.
This being said, the American Barbell Training Bar is not as good overall as the Eleiko, but for over $500 less, the American Barbell Training Bar is without a doubt the best value. (Click here to read my guide to the Best Barbell for CrossFit.)
The reason the noise of the barbell is low is because the barbell is made with such precision.
This is most obviously seen in the knurl.
There are many bars with fine knurl. However, one of the differences you notice between the high-end bars and the mid and low-end bars is how the knurl and the smooth part of the shaft are divided.
In a low-end bar, the knurling will feather off. There is not a distinct separation. This doesn't make for a bad bar per se, it's just one of the things that causes the bar to cost less than others.
The knurling on the American Barbell Training Bar really sticks out to me because there is absolutely no feathering. There is an abrupt stop where the knurl is finished and this is a beautiful sight to behold. You can see what I mean in this picture below:
The knurl on the American Barbell Training Bar was surprisingly sharp out of the tube (see what I did there?)
It may simply be because I haven't used a brand new bar for a little while, but the knurl was even sharper than my Eleiko.
This being said, I have used nothing but the Training Bar for the past month and as such I have noticed the knurl dulling down to more of my liking.
Either way, the knurl is great. Some people like a sharper knurl and I'm pretty much in that boat. The less chalk I have to use, the better. In fact, I found myself hardly every chalking up, except for max attempts which is very nice.
The knurl is as precise as any I've seen, which shows the machines they use are dialed in and probably some of the best you can buy. You notice bad knurling with some of the Made in China bars because they produce them in such mass quantities, the knurl making devices get dull.
Stick to Made in America like this bad boy.
I am not an elite level weightlifter. However, on a pretty good day when I'm lifting to at the top of my abilities I can notice the whip of a bar coming into play.
It is not as whippy as an exclusively weightlifing bar, or as stiff as a squat bar, but to me it's just right.
The spin on the American Barbell Training Bar left a little bit left to be desired.
However, the reason this is, is because it's a brand new bar packed with lots of grease.
Every bushing bar I've used starts out this way and slowly but surely over 6 months to a year begins to spin wonderfully.
I'm excited to see the bar continue to spin better and I plan to update this review with another spin test in the next 6 months to show the difference.
In all honesty, this is the best bar I've used for CrossFit style training.
You can deadlift with it.
You can snatch with it.
You can bench with it.
You can clean and jerk with it.
You can curl with it. (Yes, I do curls)
It's truly a great all around bar and in my opinion, a sub - $300 bar that is chrome plated and has the features this bar does is outstanding.
There's a reason I've dubbed this the Rogue Bar Killer and I believe when this company starts to get their products in the hands of athletes, Rogue Fitness better watch out.
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