Used olympic bar for sale
1 - 24of 37ads
Cost £200 - 20kg Olympic BB barbell bar.
Cost £200 - 20kg Olympic BB barbell bar. Used for a week or so indoors and in as new condition.
Olympic EZ curl bar
Commercial gym quality Olympic EZ curl bar paid £60 for this over lockdown from the strength shop , used a handful of times so is as new condition, price is for...
£180 Olympic weights and bars
4 x 20 kg 2 x 15 kg 2 x 10 kg 2 x 5 kg 2 x 2.5kg 2 x 1.25kg 1 7ft bar 20 kg 1 5ft bar Used but in good condition No offers Ad # 27417499 Posted October 17, 2021...
2 Olympic barbell bar
Mossley Hill, Liverpool
Brand new. Never used. 2 barbell bar. Can drop locally or pick up l17. Still in original packing.
Olympic weightlifting bar deadlifts shrugs new
Aberaman, Rhondda Cynon Taff
Olympic plate size deadlift bar used for many types of Excecise as well bar as shown some marks scratches in use but good solid bar for this type workout £135
Olympic 2" 50mm T bar row landmine attachment weight disc/plate platform
Olympic barbell post insert for t-bar row and landmine exercises simply place base post inside stacked Olympic plates - can be used with as few as two weight...
Home Gym Equipment for Sale £1000
Thirsk, North Yorkshire
20kg plates X2 15kg plates X2 10kg plates X2 5kg Olympic bumper plates X2 5kg plates X4 2.5kg plates X2 20kg Olympic barbell EZ curl bar Olympic Marcy bench...
Olympic weights 110kg, squat stand, olympic bars, adjustable bench
Newton Abbot, Devon
110kg olympic weights total 2 x 20kg, 4 x 5kg, 4 x 2.5kg - Bodymax weights 2 x 20kg base weights 6ft olympic bar EZ curl bar Physionics adjustable bench Bodymax...
Marcy Tsa-5762 Half Smith Machine
Leeds, West Yorkshire
This bench is designed with safety as paramount. You can train alone safely, pushing your limits. User manual availability to download (Goggle or Tunturi )....
2 Olympic barbells for sale
Downham Market, Norfolk
For sale: bodymax 2" Olympic bar - 7ft - £100 mirafit 2" Olympic bar - 6ft - £75 mirafit 2 Olympic EZ curl bar - £50 all items are in excellent condition and...
Bodymax 135kg rubber Olympic radial weight plate set
Downham Market, Norfolk
Bodymax 135kg rubber Olympic radial weight disc plate set - 2 X 20kg 2 X 15kg 2 X 10kg 4 X 5kg 8 X 2.5kg 4 X 1.25kg the weight plates are in excellent condition...
*in stock* Hi temp speckle Olympic bumper plates - £3.50/kg
Lisburn, Lisburn and Castlereagh
5kg pair = £39.99 10kg pair = £69.99 15kg pair = £104.99 20kg pair = £139.99 25kg pair = £174.99 100kg set = £349.99 150kg set = £524.99 description: our hi...
100kg hi-temp bumper plate set - Olympic weights gym CrossFit
Dromore, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon
Delivery available - contact for link to order page description: this set includes 2 X 5kg, 2 X 10kg, 2 X 15kg, 2 X 20kg plates our hi-temp bumper plates are...
150kg hi-temp bumper plate set - Olympic weights gym CrossFit
Dromore, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon
Delivery available - contact for link to order page description: this set includes 2 X 5kg, 2 X 10kg, 2 X 15kg, 2 X 20kg, 2 X 25kg plates our hi-temp bumper...
Body power 7' Olympic bar barbell- 320kg rated (30mm)
Poynton, Poynton With Worth
Body power 7' Olympic bar - 320kg rated (30mm). Excellent condition hardly used cash on collection.
Mirafit multi grip tricep Olympic weight barbell deadlifts shoulder press etc.
Mirafit multi grip tricep Olympic weight barbell deadlifts shoulder press etc. Great condition, comes with it's spindle locks on each end. Great solid bar once...
Primal strength ceramic-coated Olympic barbell
East Calder, West Lothian
Blue ceramic coated bar 8-needle bearings and brass centre bearing 190,000 psi-tested steel/ 1000kg machine tested dual knurl markings at 1.2mm for power...
Gym master adjustable squat dip rack weight lifting stand power cage frame
Downham Market, Norfolk
Gym master adjustable squat dip rack weight lifting stand power cage frame this item is I n excellent condition and less than a year old and not used all that...
Bodymax cable motion rack system sebr2584
Shoeburyness, Southend on Sea
Alas my cable rack system has to go - no room for it anymore. This is a fantastic piece of kit because it allow you to do barbell exercises (barbell safety...
Squat rack/pull up bar with 20kg Olympic bar
Balloch, West Dunbartonshire
Black and Blue squat rack/pull up bar with 20kg Olympic bar. Only used a handful of times since buying. Only selling as there is no more space for it. No...
Barbell, weights plates & rack
Downham Market, Norfolk
Bodymax 135kg rubber Olympic radial weight disc plate set - 2 X 20kg 2 X 15kg 2 X 10kg 4 X 5kg 8 X 2.5kg 4 X 1.25kg bodymax 2" Olympic bar - 7ft mirafit 2"...
Musclesquad 10kg Olympic 50mm EZ bar gym training weights
Excellent condition, only used a handful of times. Selling to thin my equipment out a bit and regain some room. Length - 4ft Weight - 10kg Grip diameter - 28mm...
CrossFit squat rack Olympic gym bench press
Squat rack for 6' bar, can also be used for bench and shoulder press with free standing bench Photo shows measurements, collection only or can be delivered...
Power rack frame with bench
South Lanarkshire, Lanarkshire
Power rack and bench - used but bar and plates in new condition. Pick up only. £800 for the whole lot. Bar - 7ft 2" 50mm Olympic bar and collars included....
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Weights & Bars
Weights, Dumbbells, Barbells, Kettlebells
Weights, Weight Plates, Weights Discs, Weightlifting sets and weight lifting kits for sale.
Why Buy Weight Plates or Weight Kits?
There are traditionally two types of weight plates available in the UK: these are commonly referred to as 1 inch discs (standard discs) or 2 inch discs (olympic discs). 1 inch plates or Standard weight plates (where the hole in the middle of the disc is approximately 24.7mm in diameter) and 2 inch Olympic weight plates, (hole is approximately 50mm diameter) The 1inch and 2 inch sizes relates to the diameter of the whole in the centre of the disc.
If you want to buy weight plates or weight discs you need to decide whether you want to buy 1" standard weight plates or 2 inch Olympic weight plates.
There are three different types of 1 inch standard weight discs available. 1 inch Standard Chrome plated plates, 1 inch standard Rubber Plates (rubber coated cast iron) and 1" Standard cast iron plates, commonly known as Standard cast disc. Cast weight plates can also be referred to as hammertone weight plates, Hammertone when used with the weight plates and weight discs refers to the paint finish. If you are buying 1" (1 inch) weight plates or standard weight discs, you will need standard 1" bars for them.
There are several different types of Olympic weight plates available. If you are considering buying Olympic weights, consider the following. Hammertone Olympic Plates or Cast Olympic discs are usually the least expensive, these are sometimes referred to as metal discs or metal weight plates. From a lifting and loading point of view, it is best to have a disc designed with a handle, as this makes the Olympic disc easier to load and unload from your barbell. Rubber Radial Olympic Disc (handle design) or Rubber Olympic discs come in black and coloured rubber coatings. Coloured Olympic weight plates usually follow IWF standard (International Weightlifting Federation Standards)10Kg Olympic Plates are Green, 15Kg Olympic Plates are Yellow, 20Kg Olympic Discs are Blue and 25Kg Olympic Discs are Red. Olympic Rubber Radial discs with a handle are easier for loading and unloading your barbell however full rubber encased Olympic discs are better for Powerlifting and heavier duty commercial clubs and gyms that require commercial grade weightlifting equipment. Olympic discs from 1.25Kg, 2.5Kg and 5Kg Olympic Rubber Plates are normally black.
Also available are technique discs or training discs, training plates. These are used to help beginners training for competition Olympic lifting. Training plates normally only come in 2.5Kg and 5Kg. 2.5Kg Olympic technique discs and 5Kg Olympic Technique discs are the same diameter of a 20Kg or 25Kg IWF weightlifting disc.
Things to consider when buying weights or weight kits. Traditionally there have been the standard (1 inch discs and bars) weight kits and Olympic Barbell sets (2 inch). Standard 1 inch weight kits can come as dumbbell sets only and are available from as light as a 10Kg or 15Kg dumbbell set up to a 40Kg or 45Kg dumbbell set or you can buy them as a barbell weights kit only or a combined barbell and dumbbell sets. A common size for a barbell and dumbbell weightlifting kit is 50Kg. Olympic Barbell sets as the title suggests, are usually only available as barbell sets and do not usually come with dumbbell bars. Common sizes of Olympic Barbell sets are 100Kg Olympic Barbell Kit, 140Kg Olympic Barbell Kit and 145Kg Olympic Barbell Kit.
A third category of Barbell sets is Studio Barbell kits. Often used in Body Pump classes at fitness centres although they are also very useful for home exercise. Often Studio barbell sets come with a bar size of 29mm as opposed to the standard 1 inch bar and discs that are sold in the UK. When buying a studio barbell kit the weight and the bar will be compatible, however if buying extra discs for your studio barbell set, it is essential to know the diameter of the barbell end so that you can purchase the correct weight plates.
Olympic Weights and Bar/GYM Weights for Sale
BRAND NEW rubber covered iron KG plate sets. Full commercial grade, high-end, top quality plates. They are simply beautiful!! These will sell out quickly. THESE ARE PRICED AT $2 LB! These are by far, the best priced new rubber covered plates in the country. They are high end commercial grade. Comparable new plates are selling for as much as $8 lb!
10 x 20 KG plates (44 lbs.)
10 x 15 KG plates (33 lbs.)
10 x 10 KG plates (22 lbs.)
10x 5 KG plates (11 lbs.)
10 x 2.5 KG plates (5.5 lbs.)
1,155 lbs. total = $2,310 SALE - $2,080
20 x 20 KG Plates (44 lbs.)
880 lbs. total = $1,760 SALE - $1,585
4 x 20 KG plates (44 lbs.)
4 x 15 KG plates (33 lbs.)
4 x 10 KG plates (22 lbs.)
4 x 5 KG plates (11 lbs.)
4 x 2.5 KG plates (5.5 lbs.)462 lbs. total= $924 SALE - $835Option 4
2 x 20 KG plates (44 lbs.)
2 x 15 KG plates (33 lbs.)
2 x 10 KG plates (22 lbs.)
2 x 5 KG plates (11 lbs.)
2 x 2.5 KG plates (5.5 lbs.)230 lbs. total = $460 SALE - $415Option 5 10x20 KG Plates 440 lbs. total = $880 SALE - $790
Intek Iron Olympic Plate Sets & Lots - Arguably the greatest of all time. Simply beautiful, accurate and ergonomically designed. Plates are in excellent condition. Option 1 6 sets available (665 lb. each) - $1,395 8 x 45 lb. Plates 4 x 35 lb. Plates 4 x 25 lb. Plates 4 x 10 lb. Plates 4 x 5 lb. Plates 2 x 2.5 lb. Plates Option 2 - One set available Pair of 100 lb. plates (2) $495 Option 3 - One set available 1 set (760 lb.) - $1,520 7 x 45 lb. Plates 3 x 35 lb. Plates 8 x 25 lb. Plates 9 x 10 lb. Plates 7 x 5 lb. Plates 6 x 2.5 lb. Plates
Troy Urethane Olympic plate sets. These are USA made extremely high end plates. Urethane is the cream of the crop and will last far longer than rubber covered iron will. These plates retail new for $4 - $6 lb. elsewhere.
These plates are in stellar condition and practically look brand new.
440 lbs. sets - $1,095
3 sets available
45 lb. x 6
25 lb. x 4
10 lb. x 4
5 lb. x 4
2.5 lb. x 4
New solid rubber full commercial grade, HIGH QUALITY, ACCURATE, bumper plate sets. These are BRAND NEW in box!! We put these bumpers up against any leading expensive brand names.Option 1 - Full Set
45 lb. x 2
25 lb. x 2
15 lb. x 2
10 lb. x 2
Option 2 - Starter Set
25 lb. x 2
15 lb. x 2
10 lb. x 2
45 lb. x 10
Original Ivanko M Series Olympic Plate Sets / Lots. These are RARE, hard to come by and some of the most sought after Olympic plates in existence. 825 lbs. - **OUT OF STOCK** 10 x 45 lb. plates 2 x 35 lb. plates 6 x 25 lb. plates 10 x 10 lb. plates 8 x 5 lb. plates 6 x 2.5 lb. plates 970 lbs. - **OUT OF STOCK** 14 x 45 lb. plates 9 x 25 lb. plates 8 x 10 lb. plates 8 x 5 lb. plates
330 lb. Sets
Iron Grip Olympic Plate Lots. These are USA made and full commercial grade. These are some of the most desirable and sought after plates that exist. These plates retail new as much as $4 lb.
The Iron Grip Olympic plate is our signature product. Revolutionary when it was first introduced, the 12-sided anti-roll design with integrated handgrips still has no equal in the market today. It remains the single most significant change to one of the oldest fitness products in the industry. Our design improves safety, functionality, and usability, making Iron Grip the preferred weight plate in premier fitness facilities around the world. Iron Grip Olympic weight plates surpass all others in quality, accuracy and reliability. **OUT OF STOCK**
Six options: 1,225 lb. set includes: 45x10 35x10 25x10 10x10 5x10 2.5x10 - $2,605 490 lb. set includes: 45 lbs. x4 35 lbs. x 4 25 lbs. x 4 10 lbs. x 4 5 lbs. x 4 2.5 lbs. x 4 - $1,105 245 lb. set includes: 45 lbs. x 2 35 lbs. x 2 25 lbs. x 2 10 lbs. x 2 5 lbs. x 2 2.5 lbs. x 2 - $565 45 lbs. x 10 = 450 lbs. - $1,075 45 lbs. x 20 = 900 lbs. - $2,020
Store your weights in style with the Olympic Plate tree, engineered for durability and styled based on European design. You’ll be impressed with this piece of equipment’s ability to handle up to 1,280 lbs. These trees are in beautiful condition and retail new for $499.
Key Features of the Olympic Plate Tree include:
- 8 Weight Pegs: all pegs are mar-resistant and nickel-plated, allowing you to store heavy plates with ease
- High Storage Capacity: store nearly 1,300 lbs. of weights on this plate tree
We have a large amount of BLACK Oxide & Zinc Olympic barbells available. They are all rated 750 lb. minimum and as much as 1,500 lbs. Black oxide and zinc are a much better quality than traditional chrome bars. They are also far less likely to bend. These are preowned, but in decent condition. All bars are checked to make sure they are not bent.
Pre-owned iron Standard and CAP brand Olympic weight plate sets, priced to sell. Condition may vary order by order.**OUT OF STOCK**Sets Includes:2 x 45's2 x 35's2 x 25 's2 x 10's2 x 5's
Fitness Equipment Empire stocks a large variety of weights for sale. We have Olympic Weights, gym weights & plates, rubber covered plates, iron covered plates, rubber bumper plates, power Olympic bars, clip springs, and more. Our Gym/Olympic weights often come in lots and you can get either brand new or pre-owned weight sets.
These weights are all perfect for a commercial gym or even a robust home gym. Our extensive variety of weights for sale means that you can find the right equipment to cover your needs at any price point. We also have some commercial grade weight Hammer Strength Olympic plate tree stands perfect for easy storage of our weights as well.
Buy Olympic/Gym weights
Our variety of weight bars include stainless steel, black oxide, EZ curl bars with bearings, and a black oxide/zinc mix. You can get bars rated for 750 pounds, 1000 pounds, and up to 1,500 pounds for our heavy lifters.
When browsing our Olympic/Gym weights for sale and trying to determine which options are the best for you, try to keep in mind what matters to you most. Some weights come with rubber grips to ensure ease of transportation and use, others have an anti-roll shape to prevent your bar from getting loose on the ground, and some are designed for maximum shock absorption.
Some of the brands we carry include, Standard weights, Olympic KG Plates, Jade USA, Iron Grip, Troy VTX, Empire, Ivanko M Series, York USA Vintage, and more. As you can see, we offer the variety you need when shopping our Olympic/Gym weights for sale.
Many of these brands can be found in gyms across the country due to their high quality and reliability. We offer the best prices on a lot of these top brands and are happy to help you improve your gym’s weight selection.
Olympic vs. Standard Weight Sets
As you can imagine from the name, Olympic weights and bars are a step up from standard lifting sets. Often used for competition, these weights offer more adaptability and less disruption and spinning while lifting. Ideal for heavy lifting, Olympic weights offer several advantages over standard weights such as increased stability, better weight accuracy, and quiet, smoother lifting. Of course, with advantages like these, you can expect a higher price point. Depending on your needs, these benefits may outweigh the additional out-of-pocket expense.
When comparing standard plates against Olympic weights, you’re likely to notice the difference in the center hole size. Rather than a 1-inch space, Olympic weights have a 2-inch center hole. This difference in space makes the Olympic weight larger although weighing the same. This difference also prevents you from using a standard bar with Olympic plates.
If you’ve ever lifted a lot of weight using a standard bar, you may have noticed it bend. Standard weight bars just can’t handle higher weights. And this bend can throw you off balance quickly, leading to a potentially dangerous situation. Olympic power bars are safety tested and rated for 1,500 lbs. allowing you to bring out your Hulk smash without any worry.
Olympic Weights For Sale
If you are looking for specific brands, but don’t want to pay for a brand new set of weights, we also offer pre-owned weights for sale that will fit your needs. Pre-owned weight sets will be added to the site depending on availability so check, back often.
Browse the wide selection of Olympic plate sets and bars at the Fitness Equipment Empire. We carry new and preowned gym weights and power bars at a fraction of retail cost. Whether you are looking for a starter or complete set, we have options that can align with your lifting goals.
Please make sure if you purchase any of our weights for sale to always handle them with care as you do not want to hurt yourself or others, and should always maintain proper storage of weights in your gym.
Feel free to give us a call at 215-460-8025 or send an email if you have any questions. We are always happy to help you figure out the best setup for your gym or answer any questions you may have!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an Olympic Weight Set?
If you’ve just started lifting, it’s likely you’ve heard talk about Olympic weight sets and bars. What exactly sets an Olympic lifting set from your standard set? Here we’ll cover the differences between the two so you can decide which set is right for you.
What is the best value Olympic weight sets?
Factors that affect the price of Olympic weights:
- Material – Most Olympic weights for sale are made from cast iron. However, some of them are coated with rubber. Those coated with rubber tend to be more expensive
- Grip holes – There are plates with unique cutouts at the edge that give you additional places to grip the weight and come with a higher price tag.
- Weight precision and accuracy – In most cases, cheaper weights are usually poorly calibrated compared to expensive ones.
What is recreational training?
Recreational training is training for leisure for those who do not participate in any major sports or games and helps to improve those who do it. Weightlifting can also be considered a recreational activity for most people who go to the gym just to keep fit. Many people describe Olympic weights and weightlifting as fun and still receive the other benefits that come with this type of training.
How to examine a used olympic barbell before you purchase?
The best place to buy a used Olympic barbell and other gym equipment such as Olympic weights is online. If you live in a place where people have yard sales, that would also be a great place to shop for a barbell. When shopping around, ensure that you know the different types of barbells and which one is good for you, especially if this is your first time.
Should you buy lbs or Kg weights?
This decision depends on your location and whether you are lifting weights competitively or not. If you live in the US, it’s easier to buy lbs plates because that is the standard measurement of weight in the country. If you plan on competing in the Olympics or other weight lifting sport events, you should buy Kg plates. What’s awesome is that you can find Olympic weights for sale in Kilograms if that is what you prefer. They start from 1.25-25Kgs.
Who can use Olympic weights?
Both trained and untrained persons can use Olympic weights. The term untrained is used to describe someone who doesn’t have any experience lifting weights. If you fall under this category, you should start slow with about three workouts per week and grow from there. An experienced person can start with four workouts per week and increase the number of reps per session.
For sale olympic bars used
How to Inspect a Used Olympic Barbell Before You Buy
A high quality new barbell can run you $300 easily.
You can get a good used barbell under $100 from second-hand shopping apps like OfferUp, LetGo, and good old Craigslist. While they might not be shiny and new looking enough for a health club, used bars of high quality can be perfectly suitable for a small hardcore gym or personal trainer’s gym. The seller often has no idea what he has.
When you’re really desperate, have no bar, and you just need to start lifting, buy the first thing you see that isn’t rusty. At least that way you won’t get rust on your hands, and worse, in your eyes. There’s no sense waiting if you can get some kind of crappy bar today. You can resell it later.
The rest of this will assume you’ve got something already to tide you over for a while, or you’re in a nice metro area where you have lots of choices.
So here’s how to make sure you’re getting a good bar…
How Much to Pay
Brand new, really nice bars start at just under $300, while decent medium quality ones just under $200.
Used, figure half the new price is an ok deal. If it’s in immaculate condition, you could pay a little more. If it needs work, like there’s some rust you need to take care of, well, what’s your time worth?
Of course, you don’t always know what bar you have. Many older ones have no identifying marks. Anything under $100 is probably a great deal you should jump on if it checks out. And here’s how you check it out…
This one will be a lot of work to restore
When the outside is very rusty, the inside is probably worse.
A bit of rust on the shaft only isn’t a cause for concern. However, is it the “bad” kind of rust? If it’s smooth to the touch and doesn’t come off on your hands, it’s a patina, which is an inactive, thin oxidation that formed slowly, doesn’t develop further, and actually acts as a protective coating over the bar against active rust. Patina won’t rub off on your hands. A lot of people actually like bars that have developed a patina. It happens with bare steel bars or bars with coatings like black oxide that tend to rub off quickly with a lot of use, when the bar is kept in a commercial gym or a basement and not out in the garage.
Rust on the sleeves, or a rusty bolt on the end that holds the sleeves on, means the inside of the sleeve is rusty. It probably has spent time outside or in a tropical (humid) climate.
You want to avoid rust if possible, but rust actually isn’t a deal breaker if you have the right tools to clean it. Bars can be disassembled and cleaned up quite nicely. See our olympic bar maintenance and removing rust guide for details.
Make Sure It Spins
Barbell sleeves that don’t spin well, or don’t spin the same on either side, could have built-up rust in them.
The second cause of this would be it has gone dry from oil leaking out, and it just needs oiling. See the olympic bar maintenance article referenced above. Basically you just need to get a hold of a light oil and try dripping it down the edge of the shaft into the sleeve. Sometimes it’s a good fix and that’s all it needed. More modern bars this doesn’t happen to. They get made with sealed sleeves and a grease lubricant instead of oil that doesn’t leak out.
Sometimes it can be a manufacturing defect, but generally those are returned to the manufacturer at the time of purchase and you don’t see them around on the used market. I ran into a couple new bars in the past with a locked up sleeve. The manufacturers replaced them, of course.
Chrome is one of the most common bar finishes. When it starts to chip anywhere on the shaft or sleeve, there’s probably a layer of rust under the chrome that is causing it to separate. At that point there’s certainly rust in the sleeve too. You’re not only going to have to disassemble the sleeves but also take a wire brush and get all the chrome off the bar, leaving a bare steel bar, or it’s just going to keep chipping on you and jab into your hands or fall in your eyes.
A badly rusted chrome bar was probably left outside and was probably made with cheap chrome. Good chrome is really effective at blocking moisture. It takes more than sweat and regular use to rust a bar that badly.
The Very Ends – Allen Bolt or Snap Ring?
Most all cheaper bars have an allen bolt (with a hex shaped hole) showing on the end. The allen bolt can be bent, broken, or come loose. Good bars don’t have these. They’re instead secured with snap rings (retaining rings), or York has a pinned sleeve, consisting of separate piece of sleeve at the end with a pin jammed through it that secures it well. In fact, I’ve never heard of York’s system failing, while snap rings occasionally break.
Pinned sleeve (pin showing at top)
The kinds of bars with cheap allen bolts sell for like $115 new. Don’t pay more than $30 or so, even assuming it’s in great condition, or avoid it altogether and look for a good bar if you can.
Without an allen bolt it’s most likely a medium or high quality bar. Good sign!
The exception to this is at least one vintage Ivanko model they stopped many years ago, as below. You can see the “U.S.A.” engraving, which they only put on USA-made bars. This was a good bar with a strong and secure allen bolt. There could be some other such bars by companies no longer in business.
vintage Ivanko USA-made OB8
Is it Straight?
A slightly bent bar, noticeable only on close inspection, will get really annoying to lift with. When it’s not aligned just right at the start of your lift, it will want to rotate in your hands to push the bowed part upwards.
The bend might not be from abuse. And it might not be from being weak steel that got bent under ordinary lifting. Good cold-rolled steel isn’t always perfectly straight from the factory. Manufacturers have to sometimes use a press to force the steel straight before they add them to stock and start shipping them to customers. They either have to pay an employee to do that, or waste money by tossing ones that are slightly bent, or pay a premium to the fabrication plant to not send them any bent ones to begin with. So no matter what, it costs them, and that’s part of what you’re paying for.
To test a bar for straightness, the easiest way is simply to lay a bar down on the floor, spin the shaft with your foot, and see if the sleeves wobble.
Strength coach Mark Rippetoe demonstrates this method:
Play in the Sleeve
In other words, how much room the sleeve has to wiggle, either side-to-side or up and down as you shake it.
This is not a big deal if you’re not getting a bar for doing olympic lifts (snatches and cleans).
The direction of play is important to notice:
Side-to-side play is movement along the direction of the shaft. I suspect this can lead to snap rings breaking (which does happen), but I don’t know that for a fact. Nevertheless, I don’t like it.
Up-and-down play means the components aren’t made to the right diameters to fit snug. This will affect your olympic lifts in a significant way. When the fit isn’t snug against the bearings or bushings, the wobble interferes with and slows the smooth and sensitive rotation of the sleeve. Good spin, therefore, is not only about the bushing material but also how snug it is. Up and down play is what causes a ton of noise when dropped with bumpers.
There are plenty of high quality bars out there that have some play in them and make noise, so this doesn’t mean the bar is junk. Apparently getting everything assembled snugly is harder than it sounds. Still, this play is something to take into consideration if you’re doing olympic lifts. You can just spin the sleeves and see how sensitively and freely they spin despite room for wobble. It might be fine.
Does the knurling go all the way to the end of the shaft? On cheap bars it never does. When it does, it’s a sign that the manufacturer put extra effort into it to accommodate lifters who need a wide snatch grip or wide squat grip.
Nice bronze bushings showing, but the knurling stops 1/2″ short of the end. Not too bad, seeing as others stop 1″ short or more.
If it doesn’t, that doesn’t really mean much. Some high quality bars have knurling that stops an inch before the end.
Well-trained hands can feel the difference between a 28mm and 29mm shaft, and even a 28.5mm shaft. 1mm extra diameter means 3mm added to the circumference, which is noticeable.
Otherwise you will need to rely on calipers. I use these calipers from Amazon; the top is inches and the bottom is cm/mm.
The calipers I use, on a 29mm power bar (the bottom zero lines up with the 2.9cm mark)
Cheap olympic bars tend to be made with 30mm shafts. That gives the bar significantly more load capacity over a 28-29mm bar (it doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it does make a difference) despite being made of weaker steel.
That doesn’t mean all 30mm bars are garbage. There are high tensile strength 30mm bars made for pressing and squatting because that’s a more comfortable size for those lifts and it adds extra stiffness for those lifters putting up big numbers. It’s not fun for a powerlifter to be coming out of the hole in a max squat attempt and have the bar wobble around on him.
On the other hand, a 28-29mm bar tends to be at least of medium quality.
So just take a 30mm shaft as a possible sign of a cheap bar, taking into consideration the other aspects above.
Sometimes it’s possible to determine the model or at least the manufacturer. If you’re unsure, and you’ve got pics (from the outer end of the sleeve, and another showing the inner end where the shaft meets it), post them on the bodybuilding.com equipment forum. Those guys never seem to tire of “ID this bar for me” requests.
For a no-brainer approach, Rogue usually has some “boneyard” bars in their closeouts. These are actually brand new but have some cosmetic blemishes off the production line.
David founded Adamant Barbell in 2007 and Two Rep Cave in 2018. Depending on his mood, he's into weight training, running, bodyweight exercises, and hitting the heavy bag.
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