We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.
When people ask for recommendations on the best Olympic barbell, we tend to give top picks from the likes of Rogue or REP Fitness. While these can be high quality barbells, they won’t fit in the price range for every home gym enthusiast.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly barbell for your Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, or general strength training, take a look at the Living.Fit Barbell. While it’s a pretty simple barbell, it has the specifications that rival top multi-purpose barbells on the market, and all for just over $200.
RELATED: Best Budget Barbells
OK, it has nice specs, but how does it perform? In our Living.Fit Barbell review, GGR Everything lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele tested out both versions of the barbell, cerakote and chrome finishes, and gave her honest opinion on both bars. I don’t want to spoil the review, but it’s safe to say that the level of quality you can get for just $200 is surprising. Read on to see if this inexpensive barbell is right for your garage gym.
Over 60 Written In-Depth Reviews on Barbells, and Climbing
On Garage Gym Reviews, we have just over 60 written reviews on barbells—Olympic barbells, specialty bars, curl bars, trap bars, and more—and the number is rising. Beyond that, our team of certified personal trainers, coaches, and athletes have tested well over 100 barbells, bringing our expertise in the fitness community to the field to determine which barbells have the best quality and value for consumers.
With our barbells, including the Living.Fit Barbell, we look at multiple features of each item according to our fitness equipment testing methodology, rating them 1 to 5 in each aspect:
- Construction and durability: Based on the materials used, how long will this barbell likely last?
- Tensile strength: How much whip and strength does the steel provide for the barbell?
- Versatility: Is this bar made for multiple uses, or does it specialize in one mode of training?
- Knurling and markings: How aggressive is the knurling, and are there any markings to guide hand placement?
- Rotation system: How do the barbell sleeves spin?
- Coating: What kind of finish does the barbell have to prevent rusting and corrosion?
- Overall value: Does the cost make sense for what the bar offers in its quality?
Along with looking at the customer experience (delivery, warranties, returns, and customer service), we give a final rating to each barbell. The Living.Fit Barbell has undergone the same testing process for its score.
Living.Fit Cerakote Barbell
- Finished with cerakote to help maintain its appearance
- Great for powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and other kinds of strength training
- Tensile strength of 180-210K PSI
- 1,500-lb weight capacity
Pros & Cons
- Layer of protection against corrosion, scratches, and wear
- Free shipping
- IWF standard knurling
- No product specific reviews
- May not be necessary for beginners
A Quick Look at the Living.Fit Barbell
In addition to providing kettlebell training and other courses, Living.Fit also sells a variety of budget-friendly equipment for home gym users—from home gym flooring and weighted vests to adjustable dumbbells and resistance bands.
The Living.Fit Barbell fits in with the rest that Living.Fit has to offer, providing good quality at an inexpensive price. The barbell specs are in line with most multi-use barbells, with dual knurl marks and a 28-millimeter diameter. With that said, the lack of a center knurling may deter some powerlifters from the bar, as some prefer a center knurl to keep the bar secure during squats.
The most impressive thing about the Living.Fit Barbell is its tensile strength, a measurement of the steel’s strength and a bit more accurate of a measurement than a bar’s weight capacity. Most budget gym equipment will sacrifice a bit of strength to keep the cost down. However, the Living.Fit barbell has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI, which is right in line with most barbells, ranging from 190,000 to 205,000 PSI.
Plus, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. Pretty good for a budget barbell.
Before You Buy
- The Living.Fit Barbell comes in both a chrome and cerakote coating, with $25 separating the two options. In our testing, both bars rated about the same, with slight differences in the finish and durability. The cerakote coating will provide better corrosion resistance, but we also noticed some scratching along the cerakote bar’s sleeves (although it’s mostly an aesthetic worry, not structural).
- Although the knurl marks are made for multiple uses, the bar specs favor Olympic lifters over powerlifters. Power bars tend to be a little thicker than the Living.Fit Barbell and also have a center knurling. Although 20-kilogram bars with IWF specs have a center knurling, it tends to be passive, so this bar will be fine for training the Olympic lifts for most.
- With that said, there’s no 15-kilogram barbell version for female weightlifters.
Is the Living.Fit Barbell Worth It?
The biggest noteworthy aspect of this piece of equipment’s value is its price. With the chrome version costing just under $200 plus shipping, and the cerakote bar costing $25 more, this is one of the least expensive barbells on the market. And even at a low price point like that, the Living.Fit Barbell still has pretty good quality.
A top multi-use bar like the Rogue Ohio Bar costs as much as $370 (for stainless steel) plus shipping. The REP Fitness Colorado Bar costs, at most, $330 with free shipping. While the bars here have better options in the finish and rotation systems, the Living.Fit Barbell still provides a solid barbell at over $100 less.
Lindsay rates its value a 4.5 out of 5, saying, “I think this barbell has good value when you consider its tensile strength, its versatility, and the non-aggressive knurling.” If you’re looking for a premium barbell for home gym use, there are better, more expensive options available. However, for those seeking a good budget-friendly barbell, this weightlifting bar will work for any CrossFit or strength training workout.
- Multiple modes of training
- Those looking for a budget-friendly barbell
- Beginners who prefer a less aggressive knurling
Not recommended for:
- Anyone looking for a thicker power bar with center knurling
- Lifters wanting a specialized barbell
- Those looking for a 15-kilogram barbell
Living.Fit Barbell Specs
|$199 (chrome), $224 (cerakote)
|Ball bearings with brass bushings
|Chrome or cerakote
|IWF standard knurling with a depth of 1.2 mm
Using the Living.Fit Barbell
GGR lead reviewer Lindsay Scheele used both versions of the Living.Fit Barbell in her testing. She took the bars through multiple workouts, involving squats, bench press, deadlifts, clean and jerks, and overhead presses. Even when dropping the barbell with bumper plates, the bar stood its ground and performed very well. Let’s look into some of Lindsay’s thoughts on the bar’s specs and performance.
Durability & Construction
Made out of a high-alloy spring steel (particularly 42CrMo material), the Living.Fit Barbell has a strong tensile strength of 200,000 PSI. Spring steel is a type of steel that is alloyed with other metals to allow the metal to spring back to its original position, which is where the barbell will get its ability to whip and oscillate. With this material and strength, Lindsay rates the construction a 4 out of 5.
RELATED: Barbell Anatomy 101
The Living.Fit Barbell comes in two different coatings—cerakote and chrome. Lindsay rates the cerakote coating a 3.5 out of 5, a little higher than the less resistant chrome. However, in our testing, we saw early stages of scratching on the cerakote bar, along the bar sleeves.
Because of the early wear, Lindsay rated the cerakote bar’s durability a 4 out of 5, just a touch less than the chrome bar. Lindsay explains, “With such a high tensile strength, this is a bar that is built to last. However, while testing the cerakote barbell for the first time, we did notice some scratching on the sleeves from where the weight plates rubbed. It wasn’t anything that would compromise the structural integrity of the barbell, though—purely aesthetic.”
We’re used to describing the aggressiveness of knurling on Garage Gym Reviews as hill, volcano, or mountain knurling. However, Living.Fit describes their knurling as “IWF standard knurling with a depth of 1.2 millimeters.”
RELATED: What Is Barbell Knurling?
How does that compare to other barbells? The standard knurling isn’t very aggressive and is probably best described as a medium knurling. From her testing, Lindsay likes the knurling, rating it a 4 out of 5, although it may not be aggressive enough for everyone. The bar has dual knurl marks as well, allowing set-ups for both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. Still, the bar lacks center knurling, meaning the bar could slide a bit during squats.
The Living.Fit Barbell uses eight needle bearings and two brass bushings in total, meaning each sleeve has four needle bearings and one bushing. The hybrid rotation system allows for pretty decent rotation, although not as controlled as we see in higher quality barbells, earning it just a 3 out of 5 in its rotation. Furthermore, the use of needle bearing might be a deterrent for powerlifters, since you usually want less spin on a powerlifting bar.
Living.Fit Barbell vs DMoose Regional Barbell
DMoose Regional Barbell
- Barbell suitable for all training disciplines
- Can support up to 1,500 pounds
- Hard chrome finish
- 35- and 45-lb versions available
Pros & Cons
- Moderate diamond knurling
- Bearings for great spin
- 16.4-inch sleeve length
- 190,000 PSI Tensile Strength
- Lifetime warranty
- Suitable for all training levels
- Nice whip
- Dual grip rings on knurling
- No center knurling
- Extra care needed against oxidation
Another budget-friendly barbell on the market today is the DMoose Regional Barbell. Both are priced similarly, with the DMoose barbell being priced in between the two Living.Fit options. The Dmoose Regional Barbell only has a hard chrome finish, but it also has a 35-pound barbell option (although the specs aren’t available online).
While the specs are very similar, there are slight differences, notably the tensile strength. At 190,000 PSI, the DMoose bar has less tensile strength than the Living.Fit Barbell, although it’s still a good tensile strength. Also notable is that the rotation system on the DMoose barbell is entirely needle bearings, unlike the hybrid bearings and bushings of the Living.Fit Barbell. While it’ll be great for Olympic lifting, powerlifters may not prefer that much spin.
Both are good multipurpose bars, but if you’re looking for a 15-kilogram budget barbell, the DMoose Regional Barbell may be a great option. Additionally, the Living.Fit Barbell will have a little less spin, for those wanting to use the barbell for more powerlifting movements. You can read more in our in-depth DMoose Regional Barbell review.
|DMoose Regional Barbell
|$199 (chrome), $224 (cerakote)
|Ball bearings with brass bushings
|Chrome or cerakote
|IWF standard knurling with a depth of 1.2 mm
|1.2-mm diamond knurl with dual knurl marks
The company provides a lifetime warranty on the Living.Fit Barbell, which is a nice reassurance for a budget-friendly barbell. The warranty covers the barbell against any material, functionality, or workmanship defects throughout its lifespan. The warranty doesn’t transfer between owners, however.
Living.Fit has a 30-day return policy as well, which is only allowed for unused and unopened items. They will ask for pictures of the item in its unopened, original packaging when you request a return. Because of the strict return policy, Lindsay had to give the warranty and other policies an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5.
As far as customer service is concerned, Living.Fit provides tons of ways to contact the company: phone, email, live chat, and a help center on the website answering frequently asked questions. Lindsay rates the customer service a 4.5 out of 5 for the business’s many ways to be contacted.
Ordering the Living.Fit Barbell
Even though quite a few pieces of Living.Fit gym equipment are available on Amazon, the Living.Fit Barbell can only be purchased directly from the Living.Fit website, where shipping is calculated based on your location. The barbell comes protected in cardboard tubing and wrapped in thick plastic. We had no issues with the delivery of the bars, leading Lindsay to rate the delivery a 5 out of 5.
Financing is available for people who use ShopPay. Options include four interest-free payments made over eight weeks, or you can finance over monthly payments—but this method will accrue interest.
As of this writing, there is only one review available on Living.Fit’s website for the Living.Fit chrome barbell. The short review gives the bar a perfect 5-star rating, saying the knurling was just right. While it is a positive review, and we did like the barbell ourselves, this is hardly an accurate depiction of the entire fitness community, so as more reviews come in, we’ll adjust this section to reflect a more accurate slice of the population.
Final Verdict of Our Living.Fit Barbell Review
Even if you can’t afford the highest quality bars or premium barbells from Eleiko, Rogue, or REP Fitness, there are quite a few budget-friendly options available that still have good quality and durability. The Living.Fit Barbell is one example. While it may not have the specialization of an Olympic weightlifting barbell or power bar, it’s an excellent choice for a multipurpose barbell, especially for those looking for a strong, budget-friendly barbell.
The Living Fit Barbell Cerakote may be a great addition to your garage gym, especially for powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and strength training.Costing just over $200 with a weight capacity of 1,500 pounds, this bar should work great for most people. The Cerakote option has IWF standard knurling and QPQ+ Cerakote coating to resist wearing over time.If you are in the market for a good quality barbell, this may be a good option for you. If you are just beginning and don’t need the highest-quality equipment, you may consider purchasing a less expensive option.
Product Brand: Living.Fit
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 224.99
Product In-Stock: InStock
Living.Fit Barbell: FAQs
What is the best barbell for beginners?
If you’re completely new to strength training or barbell training, the best bar to begin with may be a technique barbell. Designed to have similar specifications as other Olympic barbells, technique barbells are lighter, usually between 10 and 15 pounds, and will allow you to begin weight training at a reasonable weight, instead of having to jump to a 45-pound barbell.
Is it worth buying a barbell for home?
In most people’s cases, yes, it is absolutely worth buying a barbell for your home gym. Barbells are one of the most versatile options available in a home gym. Allowing a variety of weight loads and exercises, barbells can provide a lot of options in a relatively small space. With a weight bench and squat rack, you can perform upper body and lower body exercises alike with a barbell, saving on a gym membership as well.
RELATED: Home Gym vs Gym Membership
What is the best barbell?
Barbells can vary by quality, price, and specialization. The best barbell will vary from person to person, depending on your fitness levels and goals. Here are our top picks for the best Olympic barbells:
-Best Barbell Overall: Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar
-Best Multipurpose Olympic Barbell: REP Fitness Colorado Bar
-Best Budget Barbell: Living.Fit Cerakote Barbell
-Best Safety Squat Bar: Titan Safety Squat Olympic Bar V2
-Best Barbell Under $200: DMoose Regional Barbell
-Best Value Barbell for Weightlifting: Bells of Steel Olympic Weightlifting Bar 2.0
-Best CrossFit Barbell for Women: Rogue Bella Bar 2.0
-Best Barbell for Weightlifting: Eleiko IWF Weightlifting Training Bar
-Best Power Bar: Rogue Fitness Ohio Power Bar
-Best Hex Bar for the Money: Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Bar
Looking for an alternative exercise to build lower body muscle while improving your cardio? The training experts at GGR break down the sled push workout. Read more
There’s no better start to the day than doing a morning workout. We go through the benefits, give tips, and finish off with a 30-minute morning workout routine. Read more
Have a ball and get a full-body workout with our complete guide to stability ball exercises. Read more
In our Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells review, we see if these budget-friendly adjustable dumbbells are the best for a low cost. Read more