Table of Contents
The General Purpose Barbell is the barbell for anybody at anytime.
If you're going to buy one bar, this is probably the bar you should buy.
You can deadlift, squat, clean, jerk, snatch, curl (yes, you should curl barbells), press, and throw if you want to.
For the majority of people looking for a barbell, a general purpose barbell will suit them best.
There's a large market for people looking for a general purpose barbell and there's all different price ranges and features.
A few attributes that I think are best for a general purpose barbell are:
Let's Dig In..
In my opinion, the best general purpose bar available is the Rogue Chan Bar, named after Matt Chan, a multi-CrossFit Games Athlete and overall awesome dude.
There's many reasons why I think the Chan bar is the best General Purpose Barbell.
1. Finish Options
Many barbells don't come in hard chrome unless they're a specialty bar like an Eleiko Weightlifting bar. With the Chan bar, you have that option and more.
What I've found with hard chrome bars is that the finish is extremely durable. For me, I don't like spending a lot of time oiling the bar and brushing the knurling. Chrome will resist oxidizing better than any finish I've seen, and it always looks good. Whether chalky or not.
2. Passive Center Knurl.
If all you're doing is high rep barbell work, than a center knurl isn't necessarily something you want. But if you're doing anything behind your neck, you want the extra confidence of a center knurl gripping your shirt.
You want the center knurl to be passive as well, which the Chan bar has.
A general barbell needs to have a good price. This is less important in the BEST OF THE BEST category, but the Chan Bar as of this writing is a little bit below $400.
Rogue Fitness has the best customer service in the industry and this bar comes with a Lifetime Warranty. You can't beat that.
28.5 mm diameter is good for nearly all applications.
6. Dual Knurl Marks for Powerlifting or Olympic Weightlifting
7. Slightly More Aggressive Outer Knurl
Great for maximum lifts, but not too much for high rep work.
A Made in the USA barbell in a chrome finish with free shipping and a lifetime warranty. This is the bar bargain hunters dream of!
Reasons why the American Barbell Training Bar is the BEST VALUE barbell in the General Purpose Category:
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.
< $300 is a decent price for this bar. But, when you see that it comes with Free Shipping like is plastered all over their website, it becomes a pretty good deal.
3. Made in the USA
I love USA made products.
4. Lifetime Warranty
LIFETIME WARRANTY. Nothing makes me happier than this combination of words.
Has a great whip, but not too much. Perfect for general lifting.
6. Tensile Strength
190k tensile strength steel is a steal at this price.
The Rogue Bar 2.0 is an absolute workhorse for the price. There's a reason they are the top fitness equipment supplier for people who actually use their equipment.
Things I like:
As of this writing the Rogue Bar 2.0 is right around $250. For a barbell like this, that's a steal!
Rogue has one of the best Lifetime Warranties going. There's other bars 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 has built his company by putting the customer first. It's what has allowed Rogue to be in the top spot as far as equipment manufacturers.
3. Tensile Strength
The Rogue 2.0 uses 190k steel that is great for for olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, CrossFit, and everything in between. This is a great tensile strength for general purpose lifting and is actually a bar I once owned and only got rid of because I upgraded or sidegraded to the Rogue Ohio Bar which is essentially the same bar, just Made in America, which I personally find to be of importance.
4. Dual Knurl Marks
Both Oly and Powerlifting Knurl marks
Has some whip, but is not overly whippy. Great for just about everything.
Utilizes Bright Zinc Sleeves and a Black Zinc Shaft. This is a durable finish and I especially like the Bright Zinc sleeves as they won't show abuse as bad as a Black Zinc sleeve will
Things I don't like:
They only give you one option and I'm not a huge fan of black zinc as it shows wear quickly.
Fringe Sport makes some of the best value equipment on the market. The Bomba V2 is no exception They price them really well and you can usually get Free Shipping if you look hard enough.
What I Like:
1. Great Price
At around $240 including shipping, it can't be beat.
Has a good knurl for all purpose workouts. As they say, "neither cheese grater nor too soft."
3. Bronze Bushings
I really like the use of Bronze Bushings. They last forever, have a decent spin, and look great.
4. Made in the USA
For some this is important, for others they could care less.
5. Dual Knurling Marks
Both IWF and IPF.
Free returns is a big bonus
What I Dislike.
1. Tensile Strength
The Bomba V2 is listed as having 160k tensile strength. Although this is more than the majority of people will need, I really like to see at least 175k.
I know I said I like the warranty, which I do for the free returns, but not for it's length. A one year warranty shows me they may not stand behind their product as much as someone with a 5 year warranty.
Eleiko Sport Training Bar
It's an Eleiko. Therefore you know it's going to be good. It just seems way overpriced.
What I Like:
1. It's an Eleiko
Eleiko makes the best barbells in the world. Period.
2. Tensile Strength
210k. Very high, and very strong.
Chrome finish. The best finish there is in my opinion.
4. Needle Bearings.
Has a high spin, a little too high for an all around bar, but not way too much.
What I Dislike:
Although they filed the knurling down a bit with this bar, it's still a little too sharp.
Overpriced in my opinion. Great bar, but too much for an all arounder.
Probably the best bar you can buy for under $150.
What I Like:
Sitting a little under $150 with free shipping from Amazon is crazy. Granted the bar isn't the best, but it's not meant to be. It's for the person who doesn't want to spend a ton of money, doesn't plan on using
Sergeant Cort is a strong guy with a big heart. Not only is his garage gym the envy of his neighborhood, but when he's not putting up crazy numbers on the platform, he's a member of SWAT busting in doors and serving his community on the local Police Force. Cort is no doubt, Garage Gym Built. Read More
When it comes to bumper plates, you pretty much have one material choice and that is rubber. Read More
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson seems to do everything big, and his home gym's (yes, he has multiple) are no exception. Read More
Brian Shaw is a 4-time World's Strongest Man and out of all the gyms that Brian could train at, where does he train most? His garage gym. Here it is in all its glory! Read More