The Best Barbells of 2020

10 Best Barbells Reviews 2020 Top Picks for Deadlifting, Weightlighting, & Powerlifting

On the surface, choosing the best barbell seems like a relatively easy task. Just as long as you select an appropriate size and weight to suit your needs, there’s little more to it.

Or so you’d think, but the reality of buying barbells isn’t quite as simple. Not only do quality standards vary enormously from one product to the next, but there are also endless different types of barbells to choose from.

PROIRON 20kg Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set Hand Weight with Solid Dumbbell Handles Changed into Barbell Handily Perfect for Bodybuilding Fitness Weight Lifting Training Home Gym
Triceps BAR Set Weight Plate Hammer CURL Standard 1" Barbell Fitness Gym Workout
MSRP
Price not available
Price not available
Our Rating
94
91
Material
Iron, free of phthalate and lead
Chrome Plated Solid Steel
Set Includes
Two handles, four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates, 4 collars, and a extended bar
Bar supplied with 2 chrome plated spinlock collars
More Information
PROIRON 20kg Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set Hand Weight with Solid Dumbbell Handles Changed into Barbell Handily Perfect for Bodybuilding Fitness Weight Lifting Training Home Gym
MSRP
Price not available
Our Rating
94
Material
Iron, free of phthalate and lead
Set Includes
Two handles, four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates, 4 collars, and a extended bar
More Information
Triceps BAR Set Weight Plate Hammer CURL Standard 1" Barbell Fitness Gym Workout
MSRP
Price not available
Our Rating
91
Material
Chrome Plated Solid Steel
Set Includes
Bar supplied with 2 chrome plated spinlock collars
More Information

From the budget-friendly to the ultra-premium, there are options available to suit all pockets. Not to mention, all fitness goals and preferred workout styles.

Picking the right barbell is more about value for money than high or low prices alone. Hence, value for money is the primary focus of this top-10 rundown.

But before naming the best barbells on the market right now, we’ll be taking a brief look at the factors you’ll need to consider before choosing your ideal barbell.

Not to mention, the various different types of barbells and their primary pros and cons.

Fixed Weight Barbells

Arguably the simplest (and often the cheapest) option is than of the fixed weight barbell. As the name suggests, this is a single fixed unit that cannot be adjusted in any way.

The weight limit of a fixed barbell is usually no more than around 50kg, though can be as light as 5kg in total. The biggest benefit of a fixed weight barbell is its simplicity. As there are no moving parts or removable components, there’s also almost nothing that can go wrong with them.

They’re not unbreakable, but are often as close as it gets. Plus, there’s zero chance of anything slipping out of place while in use, or becoming unbalanced. The durability of a fixed barbell is usually second to none, which is why they’re often used in gyms and heavy use environments.

On the downside, no adjustments can be made to the weight. This isn’t an issue if it’s the ideal weight for you – or you have multiple fixed barbells in a variety of weights. Though it can potentially limit the versatility of the barbell, which over time may become too light for you to benefit from.

Adjustable Barbells

set of barbells

Again, the name gives the game away with adjustable barbells. These are the more traditional types of barbells, which can be used in conjunction with weights of all shapes and sizes.

The weights simply slip onto the ends of the bar, after which they’re secured in place by screwing a fastener into position.

Needless to say, the biggest benefit of the adjustable barbell is its flexibility. It’s technically possible to own just a single barbell indefinitely, swapping and adding different weights as needed along the way. This can make adjustable barbells highly cost-effective and convenient in terms of storage, taking up far less space than multiple fixed barbells.

There’s no real downside to adjustable barbells, other than the slight risk of the weights slipping or falling off if using substandard products.

Adjustable Barbell Bar Types

If you opt for an adjustable barbell (most barbells on the market are the adjustable type), you’ll also find a range of shapes and configurations available.

You’ll also need to choose between the two standard bar sizes, which are as follows:

1-inch bars

These are sometimes referred to as standard bars, as they’re the most common bar size for most barbels on the market.

As the name suggests, the diameter of the bar is around 1-inch. These are usually the cheapest option available, though this also depends on the quality of the materials.

2-inch bars

Also known as Olympic bars, these thicker bars are the choice for heavier lifting and competition-level training.

The wider diameter enables the bar to support much heavier weights, while also potentially improving the quality of the grip. Olympic bars are usually (though not always) more expensive than standard bars.

Personal preference also plays a key role when selecting a bar type, as some simply prefer the ‘feel’ of one type of bar over the other.

Bar Shapes

As for bar shapes, different options are available for different types of exercise. Some use a standard straight barbel for various different types of lifts, but better results can be achieved by using the right bar shape for the right exercise.

The most common barbel bar shapes are as follows:

EZ/Curl Bars

If you’ve ever wondered what those bars with a zig-zag shape are for, the answer is bicep curls.

The idea being that by providing a better grip while supporting the best possible wrist position, the safety and effectiveness of the exercise are both improved. If building bigger biceps is your aim, curl bars take some beating.

Tricep Bars

Available in 1-inch and 2-inch diameters, tricep bars are designed to intensify the effect of the exercise when working on your triceps.

Tricep bars are also commonly used for performing curls, though are designed primarily with tricep building in mind.

Deadlift/Shrug Bars

Also known as a hex bar, these octagonal barbell bars are designed to allow the user to effectively stand inside the bar when performing deadlifts.

This ensures that the weight is lifted in line with the user’s centre of gravity, rather than pulling them forwards during the lift. Though excellent for deadlifting, hex bars have very few other applications.

Standard Bars

No specialist design features, other than perhaps a textured surface to either side of the bar to maximise grip.

Standard weight lifting bars can weigh anything from 5kg to more than 20kg, prior to any weights being added. They’re also considered the most versatile option, as they can be used for a variety of different types of exercise.

How to Choose the Right Barbel

gym enviroment

Choosing the right barbel means first establishing your requirements, your preferences and your budget. After which, it’s simply a case of finding a product that fits the bill and has decent feedback from buyers.

Looks can be deceiving, so the importance of checking reviews and ratings cannot be overstated. Particularly if planning on picking up a premium barbell (or complete kit), it’s worth ensuring you’re getting good value for money.

Narrowing things down can be as simple as working out what kind of weightlifter you are, along with what you expect to achieve:

Newcomer or Junior

If you’re new to weightlifting and looking to get started for the first time, you’ll be fine with something relatively modest.

A basic 1-inch bar will suit you just fine, which should be adjustable to accommodate your changing needs. As you might not know your ideal weight for the time being, you’ll need a good selection of removable weights to experiment with.

Choose something of decent quality, but don’t go OTT with something overpriced.

Serious Weightlifter

Those with more experience who take their weightlifting seriously will (of course) need a more serious setup accordingly.

This is where the 2-inch diameter option is recommended, along with superior grip and heavier weights in general. You might also want to consider the different bar shapes available, if looking to give different muscles the best possible workout.

Built Like a Tank

Right at the top of the scale, superhuman heavyweight lifters at (or near) competition level need something entirely more robust.

Along with the kind of bar you can trust to safely hold the heaviest weights on the market, you’ll also need to think carefully about protecting your floor from damage. Hex bars are also considered mandatory for more intensive deadlifting.

The Best Barbels of 2020

Now that you have a good idea what you need, we’ll now be taking a brief look at some of the best barbels of 2020. Nothing matters more than choosing a barbel that fulfils your requirements, but quality and value for money also count for a lot.

Both of which are guaranteed with all of these bars, sets and accessories:

PROIRON Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set

PROIRON 20kg Cast Iron Adjustable Dumbbell Set Review

Overview

First up, this super-affordable set has been designed to cover all bases at the lowest possible price.

The 20kg weight limitation might be a little low for more serious lifters, but it’s one of the best sets out there right now for newcomers and lighter users.

The cast iron design is about as durable as it gets, the widened hand grips provide excellent traction while in use and the whole package is up for grabs for no more than about £50.

Features and Benefits

A versatile all-in-one kit from a leading manufacturer with decades of industry experience. Along with two heavy-duty bars, the kit comes complete with four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates, 4 collars and one extended bar.

The entire kit is made exclusively from the highest-quality materials, including cast iron weights that are practically unbreakable. A steel connection tube is included to transform the two dumbbell bars into one barbell bar.

Exceptional versatility with a maximum combined weight of 33kg, including the weight of the bars. Ergonomically designed knurled handle grip improves comfort and workout quality, while reducing stress on the hands.

Verdict

This is a great all-in-one kit for newcomers and casual lifters across the board. The quality of the weights and the bars is great considering the price, while the overall flexibility and versatility of the kit is outstanding.

An affordable and durable entry-level kit that delivers way more than you’d expect for the price.

Pros

  • Huge versatility and flexibility
  • Quality materials throughout
  • Very comfortable to grip
  • Conversion bar included
  • Well presented and easy to use
  • Outstanding value for money

Cons

  • Not heavy enough for serious lifters

Home Treats Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbell/Barbell Set

Home Treats 20KG Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbell/Barbell Set Review

Overview

Billed as a treat for any home (that happens to accommodate weightlifters), the Home Treats 20KG Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbell/Barbell Set is another superb kit at an entry-level price.

With strong focus on compactness and convenience, this is a smart little set of bars and weights that’s perfect where space is at a premium.

It also ships complete with a neat transportation box with straps, making it easy to store and move around when required.

Features and Benefits

A genuine all-in-one kit that features everything needed to get started at home, including four 0.5kg plates, four 1.25kg plates, four 2.5kg plates, 4 collars, 2 easy grip handles and an extension bar.

Designed with an advanced anti-slip surface for maximum comfort and reduced exertion when tackling more difficult lifts. Rubber O-rings ensure a safe and reliable hold when the weights are in place, allowing for quick and easy swaps.

Durable materials throughout and a borderline unbreakable design, easy to use and the perfect choice for newcomers to weightlifting.

Verdict

The quality of the weights and the bars alike is excellent for this kind of money, while the range of weights is also ideal for more casual workouts.

Very good overall value for money and the perfect entry-point to the world of weightlifting, backed by a generous warranty for total peace of mind.

Pros

  • A complete all-in-one kit
  • Can be used as barbell or dumbbells
  • Quality materials throughout
  • Very easy to use
  • Extensive warranty
  • Superb overall value for money

Cons

  • Not the kindest to floors

Body Revolution Barbell Bar

Body Revolution Barbell Bar 1.4m Weights Bar for 1 Inch Standard Weight Lifting Plates – Spinlock Collars Included Review

Overview

This innovative Body Revolution Barbell Bar has been designed to minimise exertion and save time, while maximising the benefit of every workout.

Complete with heavy-duty spinlock collars, this high-end 1.4m bar is suitable for most 1-inch diameter weights from major brands. It’s also been designed to hold weights of up to 120kg, making it great for casual workouts and more serious lifters alike.

Features and Benefits

Competition quality materials and engineering at a rock-bottom price, ideal for all types of workouts. The 1-inch diameter bar is compatible with the vast majority of 1-inch diameter weights (not included with the bar, sold separately).

Cambered handles for greater grip stability, enhancing performance while minimising exertion and improving the effectiveness of every workout.

Comes complete with two spinlock collars with a rubber insert, designed to securely hold weights in place with no slipping. The bar is 1.4m in length, weighs around 7kg and has a maximum load capacity of 120kg.

Verdict

Simple yet effective, this Body Revolution Barbell Bar is a no-nonsense workhorse that simply gets the job done.

Versatile, inexpensive and built to last, it’s a great choice for casual workouts and more challenging lifts alike. It also ships in quality protective packaging to prevent damage and is covered by a money-back guarantee for peace of mind.

Pros:

  • High-quality materials
  • Comfortable grip
  • Secure spinlock collars
  • Extensive compatibility
  • Supports up to 120kg
  • Excellent value for money

Cons:

  • Weights not included

We R Sports Triceps Bar Set With Spring Collar

We R Sports Triceps Bar Set With Spring Collar Review

Overview

A brief look at something a little more specialist, this is one of the best-selling tricep bars on the market right now by a clear mile. Once again, it’s a simple yet effective bar that’s been designed to accommodate the needs of most users – all at a price that’s hard to argue with.

Features and Benefits

Chrome plated solid steel bar for total durability and a comfortable grip. 1-inch diameter for maximum compatibility with third-party weights. Quality spin-lock collars to secure the weights in place, with no slipping. Heavy-duty construction designed with equally heavy use in mind.

Manufactured by a leading brand with decades of industry experience.

Verdict

Weighing in at around 7kg, this is one of the highest-quality tricep bars on the market right now for this kind of money.

It has the look and feel of a bar that should sell for at least double this price, further standing out from the crowd by featuring spinlock collars that actually work.

Even when you’re subjecting this thing to serious punishment, there’s absolutely no slipping or sliding to worry about.

Pros:

  • Chrome plated solid steel
  • Very heavy duty construction
  • Excellent spinlock collars
  • Unbeatable for the price
  • Broad weight compatibility
  • Comfortable to hold

Cons:

  • Weights not included

Gorilla Sports Fixed Rubber Barbell

Gorilla Sports Fixed Rubber Barbell Review

Overview

If you’re on the market for a fixed barbel, you won’t go wrong with this collection from Gorilla Sports.

Available in a variety of weights from 10kg up to 50kg, these high-end workout tools set new standards for design and build quality.

A million miles from the bargain-basement fixed rubber barbels doing the rounds, these things are durable and hardwearing enough to be used in a commercial gym or professional training environment.

Features and Benefits

Manufactured using the highest quality materials for guaranteed durability and long-term value for money.

Available in a range of weights to suit all requirements and preferences, from 10kg up to 50kg. Expertly design grip for maximum comfort and safety while in use, reducing hand strain and maximising workout effectiveness.

Optional barbel storage rack available – ideal for neatly storing multiple weights while minimising required space. Shipped in protective packaging and covered by an extensive warranty, with quality aftercare from the support team at Gorilla Sports.

Verdict

Every Gorilla Sports Fixed Rubber Barbell is designed to showcase what genuine quality and attention to detail are all about.

You could argue that they’re slightly more expensive than conventional fixed barbels, but there’s really nothing conventional about them.

From casual home workouts to commercial gyms and training facilities, these things have long-term performance and durability written all over them. All of which translates to real value for money.

Pros:

  • Outstanding build quality
  • Durable and hardwearing
  • Very comfortable to hold
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Suitable for commercial use
  • A great long-term investment

Cons:

  • Heavier weights quite expensive

BodyRip CLASSIC PRO Standard Barbell Sets

BodyRip CLASSIC PRO Standard Barbell Sets Review

Overview

Back with complete kits now, the BodyRip CLASSIC PRO Standard Barbell Set is an excellent buy within the £50 price bracket.

Designed to suit the needs of beginners and more advanced lifters alike, the BodyRip CLASSIC PRO Standard Barbell Set comes with everything needed to work out at home.

It’s also built to last, with cast iron weights that feature a slick enamel finish for a more sophisticated look.

Features and Benefits

Kit comes complete with everything needed to get started, including 2 x 2.5kg; 2 x 5kg; 1 x 4FT 1″ Spinlock Barbell; 2 x Spinlock Collars Solid and durable weights in a variety of sizes, accommodating the needs of casual lifters and serious bodybuilders alike.

Designed for a premium look and feel at an entry-level price, with a black enamel coating and a specially designed comfort grip.

Suitable for a variety of exercise, including but not limited to Side Crunches, Twists, Good Morning, Crunches, Wrist FTs, Reverse Grip FTs, Standing Overhead Extension, Lying Triceps Extensions, FTs, Upright Rows, Biceps FTs, Military Press, Shrugs, Front Raise, Pullover, Bent Over Rows, Lying Press, Calf Raise, Squats, Lunges and more.

Verdict

Excellent quality, fast delivery and huge versatility – all for a price of less than £50 (or thereabouts).

The BodyRip CLASSIC PRO Standard Barbell Set really does have the look and feel of a far more premium kit, comprising everything needed to enjoy a complete workout at home.

A pretty flawless purchase for this kind of money, though it’s been said by some that that spin collars are far from the best. Then again, it’s not the end of the world considering the value for money the kit as a whole represents.

Pros:

  • Versatile all-in-one kit
  • High quality materials
  • Slick enamel finish
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Fast shipping
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Spin collars not the best

BodyRip Premium Pro Barbell Sets

BodyRip PREMIUM PRO Barbell Sets Review

Overview

A premium range of heavy-duty workout toys with something for everyone, every BodyRip PREMIUM PRO Barbell set is a top-seller in its field.

Suitable for a wide range of training activities, each BodyRip PREMIUM PRO Barbell set comes with colour coded weights, ergonomic bar grips and a convenient polygon shape to prevent rolling.

Great for the home gym, these ultra-premium weights are also durable enough for commercial exercise environments and competition-level training.

Features and Benefits

Designed and manufactured by one of the world’s leading sports equipment brands, with decades of industry experience.

Manufactured to the highest possible standard and suitable for all types of training, including commercial gym use. 12-sided design prevents weights from rolling when not in use, while the convenient colour coding feature makes for easy weight identification.

Rubber coating to the exterior of the weights helps protect floors from damage and reduce noise when placing weights on the floor. Created to satisfy the needs of the most demanding weightlifters and gym junkies, available in a variety of specifications to suit all requirements.

Verdict

In terms of quality, durability and performance, these are just about as good as it gets. They look and feel as fantastic as any weights you’d find in your local gym – and that’s exactly what they’re designed to be.

Affordable enough for a quality home gym, these BodyRip PREMIUM PRO Barbell Sets are also perfectly suitable for commercial training environments.

From comfort to build quality to durability, these are on another level. They also represent excellent long-term value for money, given how they’ll probably never need to be replaced.

Pros:

  • Unbeatable build quality
  • Well presented and colour coded
  • Exterior rubber protection
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Suitable for commercial use
  • An excellent long-term investment

Cons:

  • Bigger weights quite expensive

Body Revolution Dumbbell Set

Body Revolution Dumbbell Set Review

Overview

Last in our list, this adjustable Body Revolution Dumbbell Set is all about versatility and value for money.

Packed with quality components and compatible with most 1-inch add-ons, this sub-£40 kit is one of the best entry-level starter packs out there.

Whatever your fitness goals and however limited your budget may be, the Body Revolution Dumbbell Set has you covered.

Features and Benefits

The Body Revolution Dumbbell Set has been designed with compactness and convenience in mind, making it easy to store and transport when not in use.

The weight plates have been designed with a protective noise-reducing exterior coating, protecting floors from damaging and minimising noise.

Quick and easy weight changes with safe and secure fasteners, ensuring no slipping or movement when in use. Use the connector bar (included in the kit) to transform the dumbbell bars into a barbel – a complete all-in-one kit for the home gym.

Comfort grip areas on the bar for minimum exertion during heavier and more prolonged workouts.

Verdict

The Body Revolution Dumbbell Set delivers far more than you’d expect for this kind of money. All of the components in the kit are of surprisingly high quality, including the connector bar (which can sometimes be worryingly flimsy).

The bar may be a little too short for some, but nonetheless makes the perfect choice for the vast majority of lifts and workouts.

If you’re looking to get as much as possible for as little as possible (money-wise), the Body Revolution Dumbbell Set takes affordable quality to a new level.

Pros:

  • Quality weights and bars
  • Great connector bar included
  • Premium look and feel
  • Very low price
  • Compatible with most 1-inch add-ons
  • Fast shipping

Cons:

  • Caps a little fiddly to attach

In Summary…

Buying a barbel for working out at home (or anywhere else) doesn’t have to be difficult. Nor does it have to be particularly expensive, as the market for affordable weight training gear continues to grow.

Again, it’s simply a case of asking yourself a few questions to work out what you need:

What sort of workout will I be doing?

How heavy do the weights need to be?

Do I need a special bar type?

Would I be better with a complete kit?

How much do I want to spend?

After which, all you need to do is find a barbell (or kit) you can afford with solid feedback and at least some kind of warranty.

Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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