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CrossFit is a training style made up of constantly varied, high-intensity functional movements. As such, you want a barbell that can perform a wide variety of movements and last a long time.
A good CrossFit Barbell will have many features similar to a general purpose barbell; the best CrossFit barbell makes Olympic lifting, powerlifting, CrossFit metcons, and accessory work all feel smooth and natural. The main differences I see in CrossFit bars compared to general barbells is that a solid CrossFit barbell must have increased durability and allow athletes to easily cycle the bar (that is, it must be great for high-repetition workouts with a variety of movements).
A big reason CrossFit bars require increased durability? Most barbells made for CrossFit are used in an affiliate setting, not just a garage gym. This means tons of people use the bars every day and don’t necessarily take the same care of them that the owner would.
CrossFit bars are often dropped from overhead, slammed into the ground, and chalked up as if the person using it was drowning in their own sweat. (I've also seen some weird stuff done to barbells at affiliates, like using a barbell as if it was a shovel and straight up throwing the bar.) So, yeah, durability is key.
The best CrossFit barbells enable athletes to perform all of the Olympic lifts (snatches, cleans, and jerks), all of the power lifts (back squat, bench press, deadlift), and any type of accessory work. If you're into Olympic lifting or powerlifting, check out our guides to the best Olympic barbells and the best powerlifting barbells as well.
As CrossFit continues to soar in popularity, everyone and their brother wants to sell you a CrossFit bar. To be frank, there are a lot of low quality CrossFit bars out there now. That’s why I decided to compare the best of the best CrossFit barbells all in one place. Keep reading for my top picks for the best CrossFit barbells.
RELATED: Looking to build the ultimate CrossFit home gym? Check out our guide to the best CrossFit equipment for a home gym for more details!
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Best Overall CrossFit Barbell for Men: Rogue Ohio Bar
Best Women’s CrossFit Barbell: Rogue Bella Bar 2.0
Runner-Up CrossFit Barbell: American Barbell Training Bar
Best Value CrossFit Barbell: FringeSport Wonder Bar V2
Best All-Purpose CrossFit Barbell: Rogue Bar 2.0
Best Luxury CrossFit Barbell: Eleiko XF Bar
Best CrossFit Barbell for Heavy Lifters: Get RXd Stealth Bar
Good for: Literally anyone from newbies to Games athletes; this is the best barbell for CrossFit on the market.
My Favorite Things:
Point blank: This is a great bar. It’s essentially the same as the Rogue Bar 2.0, but made with bronze bushings and available in more finish options. You can get the Rogue Ohio bar in stainless steel with no finish, in steel with a black zinc finish, or in cerakote with multiple color combinations.
No matter the finish, the Rogue Ohio Bar is easily the best CrossFit barbell out there, thanks to its seamless construction and sick specs.
Manufactured in Columbus, Ohio (like many Rogue products), the Ohio Bar features a 28.5-millimeter shaft diameter with dual knurl marks to accommodate both power and Olympic lifting. It doesn’t have center knurling.
The 190,000 PSI tensile steel strength (200,000 for the stainless steel option) and 16.4-inch sleeve length allow the bar to handle heavy loads. This level of strength is pretty standard these days and makes a barbell safe and comfortable to use for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and CrossFit.
The bronze bushing system on the Ohio Bar provides ample spin and whip, and it should last a lifetime.
Finally, Rogue has one of the best lifetime warranties anywhere. There are other CrossFit barbells that I would say are a little bit cheaper and have the same specs and performance, but can’t hold a candle to the warranty Rogue offers. Bill Henniger, the owner of Rogue Fitness, has built his company by putting the customer first. It’s what has allowed Rogue to earn and maintain the top spot as far as equipment manufacturers.
The price of the Rogue Ohio Bar is a little much when you can get the Rogue 2.0 Bar (covered below), which is very similar, for a lower cost. However, the Ohio Bar is constructed at Rogue's home factory in Ohio, which is a big plus!
Check out my review on the differences between some of the best home gym barbells, like the Rogue Ohio Bar versus Rogue Power Bar.
Read my full Rogue Ohio Bar review.
(If you want to check out other great bars from Rogue, I like the Rogue Athlete Cerakote Ohio Bar- Froning Edition, which is just like the Ohio Bar with a black zinc finish and has been impregnated with Froning’s sweat (maybe). I feel the same way about the Operator Bar as I do the Ohio Bar; the only real difference is that the Operator Bar has an olive drab finish that appears to wear off quickly. The Rogue Castro Bar is similar in construction to the Ohio Bar but is bare steel, and not ideal for CrossFitters.)
Good for: People who prefer softer knurling and a thinner bar (and those who don’t mind doing the fitness math for a 35-pound bar).
My Favorite Things:
The Rogue Bella Bar is probably the most popular women’s barbell out there, and it’s definitely the most popular women’s CrossFit barbell. The Bella Bar has made many appearances at the CrossFit games and if you enter an affiliate, there’s a good chance they’re stocked with Bella Bars.
It’s built specifically as a multipurpose weightlifting bar, and the specs show that: It has dual knurl marks for Olympic and powerlifting, no center knurl, bronze bushings and 190,000 PSI tensile strength.
It comes in stainless steel or in alloy steel with different finishes, including cerakote, black zinc, and e-coat.
The 25-millimeter shaft diameter is perfect for people with smaller hands, and the softer knurling is great for anyone who wants a lighter grip. On 15-kilogram bars, the sleeve length is shorter compared to 20-kilogram bars. The Bella Bar has a sleeve length of 13 inches compared to Rogue’s standard 16.4 inches on 20-kilogram bars.
Despite its smaller diameter and lighter weight, the Bella Bar can still be dropped (with bumper plates) without concern. Because the difference between tensile strength and yield strength (how much the bar can hold) is greater than it is with 20-kilogram bars, the Bella Bar has more whip than standard-sized barbells. It still has great spin and can handle heavy weights.
Some people say the Bella Bar is overpriced at $225 for black zinc, $285 for cerakote, and $320 for stainless steel, but it’s a Rogue barbell and it’s fully machined in the USA.
For more on the Bella, check out by Rogue Bella Bar 2.0 review.
Good for: Anyone who likes the Rogue Ohio Bar but wants to save a few bucks.
My Favorite Things:
American Barbell is using a chrome finish with this bar, which I think is awesome. It not only looks good, but it is very durable as well.
The whip on this bar is perfect for general lifting and the average garage gym owner. With mild knurling, 190,000 PSI tensile strength steel, a composite bushing system, and high-alloy steel construction, the American Barbell Training Bar gives Rogue bars a run for their money.
This bar comes at a decent price of $325. But, when you see that it comes with free shipping, it becomes an even better deal. American Barbell also offers a 15-kilogram Training Bar for $315 that stands up to Rogue’s Bella Bar.
I also love that this barbell is made in the USA — I think there’s something special about USA-made products. American Barbell is clearly going after Rogue Fitness with these specs, warranties, and manufacturing in the US. This is my personal favorite bar that I've used for CrossFit, so I’m interested to see how it catches on with the others, specifically Rogue bars.
(Speaking of other American Barbell bars, the American Barbell California Bar is another good CrossFit barbell that uses a composite bushing system and has a hard chrome finish on the sleeves. However, the shaft has a cerakote finish for added durability. It also has the dual knurl markings becoming standard on functional fitness barbells.)
Good for: Exercisers who don’t care about brand names and just want a quality bar they’ll get many years of use out of.
My Favorite Things:
FringeSport makes some of the best budget home gym equipment on the market. The Wonder Bar V2 is no exception. The specs on this bar are phenomenal and at around $260, the price can’t be beat.
You won’t find many other barbells with 205,000 PSI tensile strength steel for less than $300, let alone one that strong with knurl hash marks to IWF and IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) specifications.
The black-on-black zinc finish looks sleek and protects the alloy steel construction from corrosion, although a common problem with zinc finishes is that they scuff relatively easily and then you end up with a black-on-silver kind of deal.
As for the knurling, it’s a good knurl for all-purpose workouts — just what you want in a CrossFit barbell. As FringeSport says, “neither cheese grater nor too soft.”
The Wonder Bar V2 uses high-impact bronze bushings, which means this bar should last you a long time, even if you drop it often. The bushings also have decent spin, but it’s nothing like you can get with a bearing bar, so luckily you can choose to make your Wonder Bar a bearing bar!
You have a year to decide if this bar is right for you, as FringeSport offers a full year satisfaction guarantee with free returns. This alone is a really big deal and adds to the value of the bar.
If you prefer a 15-kilogram bar, FringeSport makes a 15kg Wonder Bar V2 in that specification as well.
Good for: The do-it-all CrossFitter who also includes powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and bodybuilding-style workouts in their routine.
My Favorite Things:
This barbell is very similar to the Rogue Ohio Bar (most Rogue fitness barbells have similar features all around), but I would argue that the Rogue Bar 2.0 is best for someone who does a little bit of everything.
In other words, if you do one or two CrossFit metcons a week and do an equal amount of bodybuilding-style workouts, Oly lifts, and heavy powerlifting, the Rogue Bar 2.0 gives you the best bang for your buck.
Different iterations of this bar have been used in the CrossFit Games for as long as the Rogue Bar has been around, so it’s good enough for you if it’s good enough for the fittest people on earth.
The only real downside to the Rogue Bar is that it only comes in one finish (black zinc shaft and bright zinc sleeves), This is a fairly durable finish and I especially like the bright zinc sleeves as they won’t show abuse as bad as a black zinc sleeve will. I’m not a huge fan of black zinc as it shows wear quickly. It does come with machined sleeve grooves with customizable silicone bands.
Still, with a 28.5-millimeter shaft diameter, dual knurl marks for Oly and power lifts, no center knurl, and composite bushings for ample spin, this barbell can do everything a CrossFitter needs it to do. It also features 190,000 PSI tensile strength and good whip. This is a great tensile strength for general purpose lifting — Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, and everything in between.
Good for: Athletes who do equal Olympic lifting and CrossFit, and who don’t mind spending some extra dough on a good bar.
My Favorite Things:
Look, this bar won’t make it onto everyone’s shopping list. At $630, the price is steep — very steep — for a CrossFit barbell that will likely be dropped a gazillion times and drowned in chalk.
However, this is an Eleiko. It’s a high-quality steel bar. You know they make a good product when the name says it all.
The Eleiko XF barbell has dual markings and a comfortable grip ready for anything, which is the foundation of a good CrossFit barbell. It has fantastic durability and bar feel with 25,000 PSI tensile strength Swedish steel. Swedish steel is some of the best in the world for weightlifting. Eleiko barbells cost more, because they cost more to make. You get what you pay for.
Unlike the rest of the barbells on the list, the Eleiko XF uses a combination rotation system, making it a true multi-purpose bar. I honestly just don’t know about the combination of bushing and bearings though. Does it really aid the spin well enough to compromise a potential shortened lifespan?
Anyway, it’s got a chrome finish, which is the best finish for a barbell until I'm proven otherwise. Eleiko says the knurling on this bar is its least aggressive knurling, which is even better for CrossFit workouts that require high repetitions and bar cycling.
The Eleiko XF bar is also available as a 15-kilogram bar.
Eleiko has, from what I've seen and read, one of the shortest warranties in the industry. Most leading brands offer a lifetime warranty on their barbells, and Eleiko offers a 12-year warranty on the XF bar.
Good for: People who plan to regularly lift heavy loads and want extra confidence in the strength of the bar.
My Favorite Things:
The Get RXd Stealth Bar is a steal: For less than $300, you get 216,000 PSI tensile strength steel. This is the strongest bar on this list of best CrossFit barbells, and it’s without a doubt the best for people who plan to burden it with extremely heavy loads.
For spin, the Stealth bar employs a dual bushing/bearing system, which I’m still not entirely sure about. I would need to use a dual-spin bar alongside a regular bushing or bearing bar for a long time to see how the durability of dual-system bars holds up. However, I do like the fact that the bushings in this bar are oil-impregnated, which means they self-lubricate and require less maintenance.
In addition to dual spin, the Stealth bar also has dual knurling, which is key for a CrossFit barbell. There’s no center knurling on this barbell, just like the others in this review.
Both the sleeves and the shaft of the Stealth bar are finished in hard chrome, my favorite barbell finish. Also, the gold bands on the collars of the 20-kilogram barbell make the bar look even cooler.
The Stealth bar is also available as a 15 kilogram bar for $250. All the specs are the same, except for the thinner shaft diameter (25 millimeters) and shorter sleeves (13 inches). The women’s bar still sports 216,000 PSI tensile strength.
I wish Get RXd offered more information about where its products are manufactured, because I like to know where my goods are coming from. The Get RXd headquarters is in Texas, but the company provides no information as to where the Stealth bar or other products are made.
There are tons of benefits to having a barbell in general. A barbell is a mainstay of any garage gym because it provides tons of training opportunities, and is the only way to truly train the big three lifts: back squat, deadlift, bench press, snatch, clean, jerk. Of course, you can do many of these movements with dumbbells and even kettlebells, but you’ll never be able to throw considerable weight around.
Honestly, if you have to choose just one thing for your home gym, choose a barbell and weight plates. A power rack is a nice addition, too, but if you’re on a budget, you can do all your lifts from the floor until you can get that coveted power rack.
As for having a CrossFit barbell specifically, the primary benefit is durability and lifespan. Any of the barbells on this list will last you many years with minimal maintenance. Of course, you can’t completely neglect the care of your barbell, but with basic maintenance (i.e., not dropping it empty from overhead and cleaning the chalk off after use), you’ll enjoy a lifetime with your CrossFit barbell.
Also, choosing a CrossFit barbell means you’re choosing one suited for high-rep workouts. When you’re in the middle of a grueling WOD or strength training for volume, you don’t want to be distracted by overly aggressive knurling or lack of spin on the bar.
A few attributes that I think are best for CrossFit barbells include:
Because you’ll likely beat the crap out of your CrossFit barbell, you probably don’t want to spend too much money. This negates the Eleiko option for most people. I would say that the $250-$300 range is best for CrossFit barbells, and bars in the $300s or higher should have something extra to offer that means a lot to you (like the fact that the Rogue Ohio bar is manufactured at the Ohio Rogue campus).
I expect most CrossFitters will be dropping their bar from overhead or from the front-rack position, moving quickly through high volumes of repetitions, and working out in a non-climate-controlled area. All of these factors mean you need a durable barbell, which means you need one with high tensile strength and a high-quality coating.
Look for at least 180,000 PSI tensile steel strength. Stainless steel bars are ideal in terms of oxidation resistance, but other common (and less expensive) finishes such as hard chrome and cerakote also increase durability. Zinc also protects against oxidation, but avoid black zinc if you beat up your barbell pretty good, as it shows scuffing more easily than bright zinc.
A CrossFit barbell should be grippy, but it shouldn’t tear your hands up. Save the bloody palms for pull-ups and toes-to-bars. Medium knurling assists with grip without digging into the skin too much.
Barbell whip is the difference between yield strength and tensile strength. A very whippy barbell flexes significantly under heavy loads, whereas a low-whip barbell remains stiffer. A good CrossFit barbell has enough whip to accommodate moderately heavy loads, but not so much that you’re dealing with an oscillating bar during a metcon.
Most CrossFitters need a bushing system, not a bearing system. Dual systems can work, too, but you can’t go wrong with bushings on a CrossFit barbell.
For more on how to buy a barbell, read my barbell buying guide.
What type of steel Is best for CrossFit barbells?
Stainless steel is the most durable type of steel for use in barbells, and it also requires the least maintenance, as it’s corrosion-resistant. Alloy steel and Swedish steel (a high-alloy steel) are good second choices, as long as the barbell has a solid protective finish. Stay away from bare or naked steel unless you want to spend your days cleaning and maintaining your bar. As you might expect, stainless steel barbells are more expensive than bare steel or coated steel barbells.
What type of finish is best for CrossFit barbells?
If you’re not going to get a stainless steel barbell for CrossFit, get as good of a coating as your budget allows. After stainless, cerakote is the most durable, long-lasting finish. Then, in order from most durable to least, comes e-coat (an electrically applied paint), zinc, chrome, black oxide, and bare steel. When talking about durability as it relates to barbells, we’re talking about resistance to oxidation.
What type of knurling is best for CrossFit barbells?
CrossFitters do Olympic and powerlifting moves, so they should purchase a bar that has dual knurlings for the best comfort and grip. A true powerlifting barbell has center knurl, and the knurling across the entire bar tends to be deep and sharp.
Competition Olympic lifting barbells also have center knurling, although many manufacturers have started making Olympic barbells without center knurling due to the popularity of Olympic lifts in CrossFit. Overall, Olympic barbells have milder knurling than power bars.
A good CrossFit barbell will have both Olympic and powerlifting knurl marks, but without the center knurling. In terms of depth and sharpness, you want a CrossFit barbell to have mild knurling.
Should you have bushings or bearings on a CrossFit barbell?
Bushing bars are favorable for powerlifting, while bearing barbells are favorable for Olympic lifting. This is because bearing bars have an extremely fast spin ability and bushing bars spin at a slower rate. Seeing as CrossFit uses both Olympic and powerlifting movements, either type of barbell can be used. Most CrossFit barbells use the bushing mechanism, though. It’s really up to personal preference: Do you prefer more spin or less?
Which CrossFit barbell Is best?
My top pick for the best CrossFit barbell is the Rogue Ohio Bar. Not only does it have all of the features a good CrossFit bar should have, but it also comes in a ton of different finish options, so you can pick the best option for your garage gym and level of maintenance you’re willing to put in.
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