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The Marrs-Bar is a safety squat bar with a unique camber and harness system that makes it feel different from any other specialty barbell I’ve ever used. The Marrs-Bar is a very expensive bar, but after using it for back squats, front squats, good mornings, lunges, and other exercise movements, I will say that it’s replaced the SSB in my training. I do think it’s a bit too expensive to recommend for most people, but, based solely on how it feels and performs, I think it’s a fantastic bar.
Why You Should Trust Us
I’ve tested all of the best safety squat bars available and have written the most comprehensive guide to SSBs. Although the Marrs-Bar didn’t make that list as one of our top picks (because it’s not a true SSB and I think it’s too pricey for most people), I still thought it was worth writing a Marrs-Bar safety squat bar review to help you decide if this bar is worth adding to your home gym.
The Marrs Bar is a safety squat bar with a unique camber. By redistributing weight like a "backpack", this is the ONLY bar that doesn't rest on your neck and cervical spine. With an ultra-comfortable memory foam harness, you can load more weight without discomfort. Our revolutionary design lets you do lunges, back squats, and front squats - hands free - like no other bar on the market. By reducing axial load on your neck and back you will reduce wear and tear on your spine, shoulders, hips and knees.
A Quick Look at the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar
The Marrs-Bar is a specialty barbell specifically designed for squats. It is most similar to a safety squat bar, albeit with camber angles that are quite a bit different. In talking to the inventor of the Marrs-Bar, I learned that the idea was born out of a desire to create a bar that would help him squat heavy again after dealing with various health issues.
The creation of the Marrs-Bar actually reminds me quite a bit of why Louie Simmons created the reverse hyper: he developed the idea as a way to rehab his twice-broken back so he could get back on the powerlifting platform. (Here’s how to DIY a reverse hyper, by the way). It’s funny to think that many of the great pieces of training equipment we have today were made simply to help those passionate about their hobby or sport get back to doing what they love. On another note, Louie Simmons is actually a fan of this bar and uses it at Westside Barbell.
The Marrs-Bar, much like a safety squat bar, places the load in a different place than a traditional Olympic barbell. However, the Marrs-Bar differs from a traditional safety squat bar in that it places the load lower on the back. I like to think of the Marrs-Bar as somewhat of a low-bar safety squat bar. The handles remain out in front to help those with shoulder issues to easily grip the bar without aggravation, and there are camber angles that place the load in a unique position, but it does feel much different.
My Favorite Things
- Bar feels extremely secure to squat with
- Reduces shoulder aggravation
- Solidly built and made with high-quality materials
- New version doesn’t have a vinyl cover over the padding anymore
- It’s an expensive specialty bar, running about $800
- Can be awkward to store
Is the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar Worth It?
I’ll start by saying this, the Marrs-Bar is one of my favorite bars to squat with. There’s just something about getting into the harness like a yoke shoulder system that makes you feel locked in, unlike any other bar I’ve used. It actually feels most similar to a hydraulic harness on a roller coaster.
The bar itself is made by a US-based manufacturer who makes barbells and specialty bars for many in the industry (you’ve likely used and heard of many of them, but I was asked not to divulge the actual manufacturer). You can find it at a number of different retailers, including Titan Fitness.
And although it’s one of my favorite bars, I can’t write this review without calling out that the Marrs-Bar is not cheap. It’s not Eleiko Oppen Deadlift Bar-expensive, but for a specialty bar, it’s a pretty penny. The cost increases quite dramatically when you factor in shipping as well. Due to the build of the bar not having any shortcuts (i.e. bolt-together parts), it has to ship freight, fully assembled.
Many companies have started creating bolt-together specialty bars like the Kabuki Strength Trap Bar that help to save on shipping costs. I’d love to see something like this come to the Marrs Bar to lower the cost of shipping and get it in more people’s hands.
Whether the Marrs-Bar is worth it or not depends on your needs and preferences.
- People who need a unique squat bar to displace the load from their upper back
- People who want to squat with a more hip-dominant pattern
- Trainees who love low bar back squats
- Anyone who just loves adding variety to their home gym specialty barbells and has $800+ to spend
Not Recommended For
- People who prefer the high-bar position of a traditional safety squat bar
- People who don’t really need the assistance of a safety squat bar and don’t feel any discomfort while squatting with an Olympic barbell
- People looking for a budget-friendly safety squat bar
Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar Specs
|Camber drop||45 degrees|
|Total length||89 in|
|Sleeve length||16.25 in|
|Sleeve diameter||49 mm|
|Sleeve finish||Black oxide|
|Weight capacity||1,200 lbs|
|Shoulder pad height||20 in|
|Shoulder pad width||7 in|
|Shoulder pad grip length||6 in|
|Shoulder pad grip diameter||43 mm|
|Handle spacing||11 in|
|Shaft finish||Silver zinc|
|Shaft diameter||38 mm|
|Shaft length||52.5 in|
|Tensile strength||190,000 PSI|
What It’s Like to Work Out With the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar
I really love working out with the Marrs-Bar in my garage gym. Due to how low the weight is distributed, it can force more hip drive (Mark Rippetoe would be proud), and I’ve found I can lift significantly more with the bar than with a regular safety squat bar due to where the load is focused.
So, the Marrs-Bar is essentially a low bar safety squat bar with some other minor changes.
What really makes the Marrs-Bar stand out is how it feels when you step under the bar. You see, with Olympic barbells, the load is placed directly across your upper back/cervical spine. There are no cambers or angles so the weight is felt in alignment with where the plates are. The Marrs-Bar, much like a traditional safety squat bar, uses cambers to place the load in a different place than where the bar sits on your back.
In use, it is of course great for back squatting, but I’ve found it’s great for other movements as well. It works surprisingly well for front squats, although be prepared to get humbled as the weight pulls you extremely far forward and will totally torch your lower back, much like a deadlift.
In addition to front squats, you can do lunges, marches, and step-ups with the Marrs-Bar. Due to the yoke of the bar wrapping around your upper body, you don’t necessarily have to hold onto the handles during these moves. One of my favorite uses for the bar is step-ups; this torches my quads and glutes and is also pretty fun.
You obviously can’t do weightlifting movements, like the snatch or clean-and-jerk, with the Marrs-Bar. But you can use it for a huge variety of accessory lifts, bodybuilding movements, and just for general strength building.
How the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar Is Built
The Marrs-Bar is honestly a behemoth of a bar. Weighing in at 64 pounds with a 38-millimeter shaft diameter, this solid steel specialty bar is a heck of a lot of fun to use.
Construction and Durability
I’m impressed with the construction of the Marrs-Bar for the most part. However, since my original review of the bar, some things have changed. Of note, the bar used to have a “skirt”, as the founder of Marrs-Bar calls it, which is the vinyl that covers the padding. It was thick, sweat-resistant, and generally very well done.
They’ve since done away with the vinyl skirt and use bare padding now, which I’m not a big fan of. I prefer the old skirt, but I understand the reasoning for the change: The new harness uses a type of foam that molds to your body shape and is constructed of a single piece to prevent slipping.
The quality of the foam padding is still good. It’s extremely dense and for good reason: If the bar is capable of holding over 1,000 pounds and people will lift that much on it, then the padding needs to be able to hold up to a lot of compression. Oftentimes when a company is making a specialty bar, they’re more focused on the bar than the padding and it ends up getting overlooked. The Marrs-Bar is not that way.
The handles on the bar feature rubber sleeves. I prefer the ribbed sleeves like what is found on the EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar, but these are fine.
The shaft of the bar has a bright zinc coating. I cannot state just how superior this type of coating is to a powder coat. There are still way too many specialty bars using powder coats on areas that are prone to wearing.
For instance, both the Rogue Fitness SB-1 Safety Squat Bar and the EliteFTS SS Yoke Bar are marketed as premier SSBs (and they are…kinda) yet Rogue uses black powder coat on theirs and EliteFTS uses clear powder on theirs. After only a couple uses they end up looking like you took a cheese grater to them and then rust begins to form.
So, all of that is to say that I like the choice of coating for the shaft and wish more companies making specialty bars would follow suit.
The sleeves are coated in black zinc, which is better than raw steel, but I still have my complaints about it. Black zinc tends to look extremely worn after only a few uses due to the metal-on-metal contact of the weight plates and sleeves. This is a minor point, but worth noting. In terms of size, the sleeves are the same as an Olympic barbell, so you can use any bumper plates, steel plates, or any other variety you’d use on an Olympic bar or power bar.
The best way I can think to describe the Marrs-Bar experience is if you loaded up a backpack with as much weight as you could. The weight, because of how low it sits on the back, feels similar to a very heavy, but comfortable backpack.
This loading allows you to lift more weight because it’s naturally a more advantageous position. I’ve seen people squat well above their max numbers with the Marrs-Bar and that’s largely due to where the load is placed. Some people consider this “cheating,” but I myself don’t, as it’s not a competition lift. If you want to make it tougher, throw on more weight.
The other feature of the Marrs-Bar that really stands out in comparison to typical safety squat bars is the wrap-around yoke that secures you under the bar. I was skeptical of this because I wasn’t sure how it would accommodate various sized people. The creator of the bar is, to put it lightly, massive. He squats over 700 pounds and looks like he may squat much more. I was worried that he created it solely for his use and people of his stature and therefore it wouldn’t work for the general public.
However, after using it myself and putting quite a few different people under the bar of various sizes and strengths, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it works fine for most people. Similar to a one-size-fits-all hat, I’d say that the Marrs-Bar will feel comfortable on most people, including women. It does look a little bit goofy on those with thin shoulders as the pads are massive and can be a bit wide, but that’s necessary to accommodate powerlifters with 20-inch necks.
Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar vs. Other Safety Squat Bars
It’s tough to compare the Marrs-Bar to traditional safety squat bars because the ergonomics are so different. In my opinion, they’re different bars. A safety squat bar should be what most people look at first. We’ve detailed all of the best safety squat bars and plan to add the Marrs-Bar somewhere in the mix, but I do think it’s a different enough bar to not be a direct competitor.
The Marrs-Bar situates the weight much lower on the back, making it great for good mornings as well. If you already have a safety squat bar and want to add something new to your barsenal (see what I did there, bar + arsenal), then the Marrs-Bar is a great option. I don’t think it’s absolutely revolutionary, however, it is a great specialty bar that offers a unique stimulus and has replaced a lot of the training I typically use the safety squat bar for.
The safety squat bar it most rivals is the Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar. For most people, I prefer it at a similar price point due to greater versatility including the ability to somewhat mimic the loading and camber angle of the Marrs-Bar.
Ordering and Assembling the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar
Because the Marrs-Bar doesn’t have any bolt-together parts, it has to ship freight, which can take a while and be expensive. I think it’s worth it for such a quality product, and honestly, if you can pay $800 for a specialty bar, is it really that much of a problem to pay for the shipping? Plus, because it ships as one piece, there’s no assembly to be done once the Marrs-Bar reaches your doorstep, so you can get to work with it right away.
The Marrs-Bar comes with a one-year warranty if you order it from Titan Fitness, which covers workmanship and defects, just like a typical gym equipment warranty. Titan Fitness has great customer service, and you can really tell that the company cares about its customers as evidenced in my exclusive one-on-one interview with the CEO of Titan Fitness, Austin Speck.
You can reach Titan through the customer support line (800-605-8241) or by submitting a form on the website. You may also track your order, read FAQs, and learn about the shipping and return policies on the website.
Home gym owners seem to love the Marrs-Bar. On the Titan Fitness website, there’s only one review so far (Titan just recently became a distributor of the bar). That five-star review praises the high-density foam on the harness and says shipping was faster than expected, which is always a nice surprise.
There are several testimonials on the Marrs-Bar website, with buyers saying the Marrs-Bar helped them start squatting again after shoulder or back injuries. Other written reviews we’ve read have the same sentiment we do: This specialty bar is one-of-a-kind and it’s a great alternative to or addition to a regular safety squat bar.
Final Verdict of Our Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar Review
The Marrs-Bar is a unique barbell that mimics the function of a safety squat bar, but it’s different enough to warrant a clear distinction, in my opinion. I enjoy using the Marrs-Bar and it continues to be one of my favorite specialty barbells.
- The Marrs-Bar is a versatile specialty bar that changes the dynamic of the load on your body.
- It’s expensive, but can be worth it for people who have had back, shoulder, or hip injuries.
- I think the Marrs-Bar is a great alternative to a regular safety squat bar.
Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar
The Marrs-Bar is a safety squat bar with a unique camber and harness system that makes it feel different from any other specialty barbell I've ever used. The Marrs-Bar is a very expensive bar, but after using it for back squats, front squats, good mornings, lunges, and other exercise movements, I will say that it's replaced the SSB in my training. I do think it's a bit too expensive to recommend for most people, but, based solely on how it feels and performs, I think it's a fantastic bar.
Product Brand: Marrs-Bar
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 629
Product In-Stock: InStock
Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar FAQs
Here are some answers to common questions I hear about the Marrs-Bar Safety Squat Bar.
What is the purpose of a safety squat bar?
Safety squat bars are designed to reinforce good posture during the squat. The design of the bar forces your torso to stay more upright, reducing the possibility that you lose core control and fall forward during a squat.
Is the Marrs-Bar a safety squat bar?
The Marrs-Bar is kind of like a safety squat bar, but it’s slightly different. The design places the load lower on your back than most SSBs.
Are safety squat bars better?
Safety squat bars aren’t necessarily better than regular barbells, but they do have their place. SSBs can help you gain strength while removing excess pressure from your lumbar spine and decreasing stress on your shoulders and cervical spine.
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