Barbell and Weight Set: Best Standard & Olympic Picks of 2020

 

At first glance, a barbell may seem like an extremely simple sports device both in its structure and in use.

But when you look closer, you can see that, in fact, the barbell is a whole world in a huge weightlifting universe, with its own characteristics and laws.

Looking to buy a Barbell and Weight Set? When you go to your store to choose one, your eyes are running from one piece to another and you don’t know where to start?

I hope that after reading my article, you will be more informed and well-prepared to make the best purchasing decision.

Below are some tips for choosing the best barbell and weight set for your home gym, as well as the best picks to choose from.


How to Choose the Perfect Barbell and Weight Set for Beginners?

A barbell is a treasured piece of equipment for every man who is serious about weightlifting, it is literally a symbol of a real athlete.Barbell and Weight Set

It is almost impossible to pump large and sculptured muscles without a barbell.

And why even trying to do it?

Even if you have health issues, you can always find a compromise, sparing option for performing exercises with moderate weights, which in the end will only strengthen both your body and your spirit.

If you are a healthy person, then it is from the barbell you may wish to begin your journey to the heights of athleticism.

In general, if you decide to buy a barbell for your home gym, first of all, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the main varieties of this wonderful sports equipment.

The barbell is a sports equipment designed for lifting weights in such kinds of sports like bodybuilding and powerlifting.Barbell and Weight Set

Therefore, the structure of its construction is very simple: the barbell consists of a bar, on which discs (weight plates) are hung on both sides, that are fixed with the help of different locks that forms the fixing system.

At the same time, the barbell can be purchased both in the form of a ready-made kit, or individually, selecting components according to your tastes and needs.

In the first case, you will get a ready-made shell without too much headache, but in the second – you can save money and collect a richer set in terms of functionality, without having to acquire anything extra.

The most important thing here is to take into account what standards there are for the barbell components and what is suitable for compatibility.

There are only 4 main aspects to pay attention to when deciding to buy a barbell, and these are:

#1. The Barbell’s Bar

As for the barbell’s bars, the main difference between them is in the form, which determines the purpose of using.

The standard straight bar is the most versatile and suitable for most exercises – from bench press and biceps curls to back squats.

 

Recommended Read: 5 Best Exercises for Muscle Gain: The Basis of Strength Training

Straight BarBarbell and Weight Set

Once upon a time, barbells were made only straight.

The first changes affected the length of the bars, convenient for people with long or short arms and different shoulder widths, as well as taking into account the size of the training room.

Further experiments with different forms of the bar showed how much it is possible to improve the technique of development of a certain muscle group and significantly increase comfort during training.

Beginner athletes, as a rule, have a strong fear of dropping the barbell down, which does not let them train at their best ability.

Luckily enough, manufacturers have solved this problem with various notches on the surface of the bar, which facilitate weight retention. In addition, the air is trapped in small grooves and the athlete’s palms sweat less.

The straight form of the bar is the most common option with which the development of the industry began. And now they are ubiquitous and loved by athletes around the world.

EZ-shaped

Barbell and Weight SetNon-standard form of a barbell was designed to give them a curved shape to change the grip angle.

This form provides a more natural anatomical position of the wrist when doing biceps curls.

This form allows you to involve a lot of small muscles into the work, due to which you can take larger weights.

W-Form

Barbell and Weight SetThis is a modified version of the EZ-form with a stronger bend, which brings the grip closer to neutral.

It has excellent returns when performing skull crushers and other similar exercises.

The Diameter of the Bar

Here are 3 diameters distinguished:

  1. American – 25 mm;
  2. European – 30 mm;
  3. Olympic – 50 mm (for large weights).

The Length of The Bar

Of course, the bar should be of acceptable length. The barbell’s bar most common lengths are 1.5, 1.8, and 2.2 meters long.

If you are limited in space, most probably you will not be able to comfortably use the bar with 1.9 meters length, so it is better to purchase a bar of 1.5 m.

Barbell and Weight SetMoreover, with this length, you do not have to think about balancing the shell in space, and you can fully concentrate on the exercise, and therefore work more carefully on the target muscle.

Otherwise, if you are living in a quite spacious house and have a dedicated area for your workouts, then choose more lengthy bars as these will allow you to perform exercises with a wide grip.

In addition, this will allow you to put more weight plates which will lead to more possibilities to increase the load.

The Weight of the Bar

The weight of the bar depends on its length and diameter, as well as on the density of the steel. A stronger bar has more weight and greater carrying capacity.

The weight of the bar for an amateur athlete is 10-20 kg, the Olympic (powerlifting) is 20 kg, the bar for squats is 30 kg.

Important Note: the barbell’s bar for home training should have sufficient rigidity and not spring when lifting large weights.


#2. Lock Devices (The Fixing System)Barbell and Weight Set

Separately, it is worth talking about various systems for fixing weight plates in a bar. This is a very important element, which largely determines both the convenience and safety of working with the barbell.

For barbell’s bars with a landing diameter of 26mm and 30mm, threaded fasteners with special nuts are often used.

In the case of Olympic bars, more popular are spring clamping rings which allow you to change weight plates very quickly and conveniently, as well as lock-clamps and classic ring locks with screw clamps.

Barbell and Weight SetIn general, the choice of the type of fastening is a matter of taste, if only the fixation method is reliable enough.

Therefore, to fix the weight plates on the bar, a smooth sleeve, nut, and spring are used.

It might be boring enough to tighten the nuts every time so that the latch with the springs is a more convenient option because it can be put on and released.

Locks on the basis of a smooth sleeve are put on instantly and are well fixed by a latch or a bolt. This is what is actually used at the Olympics competitions.


#3. Weight Plates

Weight plates (or how I also like to call them pancakes 🙂 add greatly the load to your workouts.Barbell and Weight Set

These differ from each other in size, weight, and material of manufacture, but the most important difference is the inner diameter of the disk – the size of the borehole.

It is this parameter that determines the compatibility of weight plates with the barbell.

In case you already have dumbbells with a good set of weight plates, you can try to pick up the bar of the barbell for the diameter of their hole.

If you do not have weight plates yet though, you may wish to buy a bar with the most unified landing diameter.

Today, for the barbells intended use at-home gym, the most popular landing diameters are 26mm and 30mm.

For this size, you can choose weight plates of any price category weighing from 0.5kg to 20kg and even 50 kg.

These weight plates can be colored, chromed, rubberized and even enclosed in a plastic shell.

If you are planning to work out on the floor without additional protection, then the pancakes should be rubberized so as not to damage the floor surface.


Types of Barbells

Barbell and Weight SetHome (Amateur/Standard) Barbell – has a relatively small length and weight restrictions up to 100-120 kg.

Disks (weight plates) are used with a diameter of 25-26 mm.

These are perfect for amateur workouts with light weights. The advantage is a relatively low price.

Olympic Barbell is designed specifically for professional bodybuilders according to a specific technology that allows withstanding large weights (300, 500, 600 kg and even more).

For the Olympic barbell, weight plates with a diameter of a landing hole of 50-51 mm are used.

Women’s Olympic Barbell differs from men’s barbell by a shorter bar (205 cm), lower weight (15 kg) and diameter (25 mm).


Additional Aspects

Warranties or Money-Back Guarantees

Since good-quality weight lifting equipment may not be cheap, this is another aspect that you may wish to consider.

Some of the manufacturers offer 1, 2, or even 5 years warranties, and some of them do not offer this at all. 

If you are concern about this issue, rest assured, as I have covered this information also.


The Barbell’s Pricing

Last, but not least, let’s see what to pay attention to in terms of the price.Barbell and Weight Set

The cost of a barbell depends primarily on its manufacturer: the more prestigious the brand, the more the shell will cost.

Next, the price is also influenced by the weight of the bar, the landing diameter, the method of fastening the locks, the quality of the metal, the maximum possible load, etc.

If you are serious about your workouts and you know that you are going to continuously work out for many years to come, then I would suggest considering investing in a high-quality barbell that will withstand prolonged use.


Best Barbell and Weight Sets Reviewed

Below I have reviewed the best barbell and weight sets available on the market right now. My list contains picks for both beginner athletes as well as more experienced and professional bodybuilders.

If you are in a hurry, make sure to check out #1 pick on my list because it is my favorite one as it provides a good, high-quality barbell and weight set for the money.

Otherwise, I encourage you to go through the entire review and pick a product according to your own needs and preferences.

Enjoy!


1. XMark Olympic Weight Set

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 700 pounds (300 kg)

Olympic Bar Diameter – 28 mm

Olympic Weight Plates: (2) 25 lb, (4) 10 lb, (4) 5 lb, and (2) 2.5 lb

Lock Devices: Brass Bushings

XMark Olympic Weight Set is a product that can be suitable for both beginners as well as pro athletes.

The reason why I am saying this is because XMark offers all the standard weight plate pairs plus a wide selection of Olympic weight sets.

The bar has smooth chrome sleeves that ensure easy loading of plates while providing a superior feel.

It is upgraded with brass bushings, and therefore the Olympic bar provides the perfect spin so that you can be sure the weight will not take you to the right and left while exercising.

The weight plates are rubber coated so that if you don’t have additional floor protection in the room you are going to exercise, there is no need to worry because these will not damage your floor when you will put it down or even drop it.

PROs

  • High-Quality Product from a Trustable Brand;
  • Wide Range of Weight Plates;
  • Perfect for Deadlifts and Back Squats;
  • Great Value for the Price;
  • A Bunch Of Satisfied Customers.

CONs

  • Rubber plates Have a Distinct Smell.
  • No Manufacturer’s Warranty Provided.

 

 

 


2. Troy USA Sports Olympic Weight SetBarbell and Weight Set

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 600 lbs;

Olympic Bar Weight – 20 kg;

Olympic Weight Plates – 300 lbs in total (14 USA Weight Plates);

Locking System – 2 Collars.

This is a product from Serious Steel Fitness.

If you are looking for a non-rubber construction, this barbell and weight set may be what you want.

The 7ft Chrome Olympic bar has a weight capacity of 600 pounds.

Plates are easy to put on and off as they feature milled edges for comfort. They also have number and letters that let you know the plates’ weight and makes them easy to select the one you need.

It comes with 14 weight plates in total, 2 X 2.5 lbs., 4 X 5 lbs., 2 X 10 lbs., 2 X 25 lbs., 2 X 35 lbs. and 2 X 45 lbs. The weight plates are fixed with the help of 2 collars with spring settings for holding the plates tightly.

PROs

  • Durable Cast Iron Construction;
  • Perfect for Deadlifts and Back Squats;
  • A Lot of Happy Customers;
  • 5-year Warranty.

CONs

  • The Locking System Kind of Shaves the Bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 


3. US Weight Duracast Barbell Weight Set

Product Specification:

Bar Lenght – 4-5 inches (1,5 meter);

Barbell Weight Set: 2 X 5 lb., 4 X 10 lb., 1 X 4 lb.

Locking System – 2 Spring Locking Clips.

If you are looking for a budget option of a complete barbell and weight set, then this product from an American bran US Weight may be what you are looking for.

The price is quite affordable if to compare with the previous barbell and weight sets in this list.

The set includes the following:

  • 55 lbs two-piece threaded barbell;
  • The weight set includes 7 plates in total (2 X 5 lb., 4 X 10 lb., 1 X 4 lb);
  • 2 spring looking clips.

Since it’s a double bar (they are connected together), I wouldn’t recommend adding too much extra weight simply because it may not be able to hold it.

The weight plates are coated and therefore, easy on floor and rust-resistant. This is a great feature if you don’t have yet a special flooring coverage in the room where you are working out.

PROs

  • USA product;
  • Budget-Friendly;
  • Comes with a Complete Training Guide;
  • 90-days Manufacturer’s Warranty.

CONs

  • Not Really Suitable for Long-Terms Workouts.

 

 

 


4. CAP Barbell and Weight Set

Product Specification:

Bar Lenght – 5 inches (1,5 meter);

2 Standard Dumbbell Handles;

Weight Plates included: 6 x 2.5 lb, 6 x 5 lb, 4 x 10 lb;

Locking System – 4 Spinlock Collars.

This barbell and weight set is ideal for home use. The reason why I am saying this is because it comes with a bar of 1,5 meters that could easily accommodate small and limited spaces.

Keep in mind though that because of its length, you will not be able to use it on an Olympic weight bench.

Besides the barbell itself, you also get 2 dumbbell handles and due to this, you receive a wonderful sports equipment that allows you to exercise with both barbell and dumbells.

Both the barbell and the dumbbells’ handles are made of steel material that makes them durable and strong enough.

The weight plates are made of solid cast iron so no worries that these may be broke in time. However, weight plates are not coated so keep this in mind when using on the non-protected floor.

The weight set also comes with 4 spinlock collars that ensure the barbell and the dumbells are fixed properly, although it may be quite annoying to screw and unscrew them.

PROs

  • A Product from USA Trustable Brand;
  • Complete Barbell and Weight Set + 2 Dumbbell Handles;
  • 30-days Manufacturer’s Warranty.

CONs

  • The Fixing System may not be suitable for anyone.
  • Not suitable for Olympic power racks and benches.

 

 

 

 


5. Body-Solid Rubber Grip Olympic Sets

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 300; 400, and 500 lbs;

Black Olympic Bar – 7 inches (2,13 meter)/45 lbs (20 kg);

Weight Plates included: (2) 45lb. (2) 35lb. (2) 25lb. (2) 10lb. (4) 5lb. (2) 2.5 lb;

Locking System – 2 Olympic Spring Collars.

This Body-Solid Olympic Set has been designed to overcome the competitors in quality, design, and reliability. That is why and the price is higher than of other Olympic barbells and weight sets.

The weight plates are enclosed into a high-quality rubber, that is durable enough to prevent damage to the equipment itself, or to walls and floors.

Also, they feature a unique quad-grip design that is safer and easier than any other design out there.

This Set includes:

(2) 45lb. (2) 35lb. (2) 25lb. (2) 10lb. (4) 5lb. (2) 2.5 lb. plates

(1) 7 ft. – 45 Lb. Chrome Olympic Bar

(2) Olympic Spring Collars.

PROs

  • Good Quality;
  • Unique Design;
  • Perfect for Deadlifts and Back Squats;
  • A Lot of Satisfied and Happy Customers.

CONs

  • High Price;
  • Rubber Smell;
  • No Manufacturer’s Guarantee Provided.

 

 

 


6. Body-Solid Steel Grip Olympic Sets

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 300; 400, and 500 lbs;

Black Olympic Bar – 7 inches (2,13 meter)/45 lbs (20 kg);

Weight Plates included: (2) 45lb. (2) 35lb. (2) 25lb. (2) 10lb. (4) 5lb. (2) 2.5 lb;

Locking System – 2 Olympic Spring Collars.

If you want the same quality as the previous barbell and weight set in this list, but without the rubber smell, then you may wish to consider this wonderful barbell and weight set from the same manufacturer.

This Body-Solid Steel Grip Olympic Set is made from the highest quality gray iron, which makes it an exceptionally strong and durable product.

The set consists of as follows:

(2) 45lb. (2) 35lb. (2) 25lb. (2) 10lb. (4) 5lb. (2) 2.5 lb. plates

(1) 7 ft. – 45 Lb. Chrome Olympic Bar

(2) Olympic Spring Collars.

PROs

  • Good Quality;

 

  • Unique Design;
  • Perfect for Deadlifts and Back Squats;
  • A Lot of Satisfied and Happy Customers.

CONs

  • High Price;
  • No Manufacturer’s Guarantee Provided.

 

 

 


7. Deltech Fitness Olympic Weight Set

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 750 lbs;

Black Olympic Bar – 7 inches (2,13 meter)/45 lbs (20 kg);

Weight Plates included: (2) 2.5-lb plates, (4) 5 lb plates, (2) 10 lb plates, (2) 25 lb plates, and (2) 35 lb plates;

Locking System – 2 Chrome Plated Spring Collars.

This is a weight set that offers great value for the money.

This is not like the two previous weight sets in this list, but the price is lower and still, it is a good quality product for anyone who is not looking for something too fancy.

PROs

  • High-quality and Durable Cast Iron Material;

 

  • Perfect for Deadlifts and Back Squats;

 

  • Great Value for the Money;

 

  • Satisfied Customers.

CONs

  • No Manufacturer’s Warranty Provided.

 

 

 


8. Marcy Vinyl Weight Set

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 100 lbs;

Heavy-Duty Standard Bar;

3 Pairs of Weight Plates included: (2) 25-pound, (2) 15-pound, and (2) 10-pound plates.

Locking System – 2 Spring Clips.

If you are looking for a different coating material for your next barbell and weight set, then this vinyl-coated piece of equipment may be the right choice.

The specifics of this barbell and weight set is that its steel bars are enclosed in a vinyl plastic that helps protect the weights from sweat and moisture.

The weight included is suitable for both beginner athletes as well as for more experienced bodybuilders.

PROs

  • Vinyl-Coated Equipment;
  • A Lot of Happy Customers;
  • Available Price;
  • 2-years Manufacturer’s Guarantee.

CONs

  • Plastic May Broke More Easily so There is a Need to Be a Bit More Careful with this Piece of Equipment.

 

 

 


9. Body-Solid Colored Rubber Grip Olympic Set

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 300/400 lbs;

Olympic Bar – 7 inches and 45 lbs (20 kg);

Weight Plates included: (2) 2.5-lbs, (4) 5-lbs, (2) 10-lbs, (2) 25-lbs, (2) 35-lbs, and (2)-45 lbs

Locking System – 2 Olympic Spring Collars.

If you are looking for a barbell and weight set that will add more colors to your weight lifting workout, then this Body-Solid Olympic barbell and weight set might be what you are looking for!

The reason why I am saying this is that the weight plates are colored so that you can easily find the weight that you need simply selecting the right color.

Therefore, the colors represent the following weights:

  • Red – 45 lbs;
  • Light Blue – 35 lbs;
  • Yellow –  25 lbs;
  • Green – 10 lbs;
  • Dark Blue – 5 lbs;
  • Gray – 2, 5 lbs.

Besides that, the weight plates are enclosed in a durable rubber so you can rest assured that these will not damage your flooring, or will not break themselves after a few liftings.

Also, the weight plates feature a quad-grip design that makes the whole weight lifting process easier and safer.

The size for the Olympic bar is the 7-inch length and 20 kg in weight.

PROs

  • Good Quality Product;
  • Colored Weight Plates;
  • A Lot of Happy Customers.

CONs

  • Rubber smell;
  • No Manufacturer’s Warranty Provided.

 

 

 


10. XMark Olympic Plate Weight Sets with E-Z Curl Bar

Product Specification:

Weight Capacity – 300/400 lbs;

Olympic E-Z Curl Bar – 7 inches and 45 lbs (20 kg);

Olympic Weight Plates: (4) 10 lb. (4) 5 lb. and (2) 2.5 lb. plates.

Locking System – 2 Olympic Spring Collars.

I couldn’t close this review without the option of E-Z Curled Bar. As I have said earlier, this form of the bar allows you to do different exercises if to compare with the straight bar.

This XMark bar is not only formed functional, but it’s also not bad to look at, either.

The black/onyx finish looks very nice, the knurls are just right (not too hard on the hands, but enough to make you feel like you have a good grip), and it feels very well balanced.

As regarding the price, while this curl bar is a bit more expensive than some others you might find, it is definitely a matter of you getting what you pay for.

PROs

  • High-Quality Product;
  • E-Z Curled Bar;
  • Perfect for Skull Crushers and Other Similar Exercises.

CONs

  • Rubber Odor;
  • High Price;
  • No Money-Back Guarantee.

 

 

 


Concluding Thoughts

The barbell is the main equipment for weight training. It is impossible to gain muscle mass, form a relief or develop endurance to the fullest without using a barbell.

Recommended Read: How to Deadlift With a Barbell: 5 Tips For Beginners

Therefore, it is worth approaching the choice process with all seriousness, and it does not matter where the training will be held – whether at home or in the gym.

With the help of a barbell, you can train absolutely all muscle groups, from the calf to the upper bundle of the delta.

This piece of equipment plays a huge role in mass gain and no dumbbells are capable to produce the same result.

Knowing how to choose a barbell and weight set, you will surely find a shell that is suitable for you in both weight and design.

You may also wish to consider buying a weightlifting belt, gloves for fitness, weightlifting sports shoes and other bodybuilding accessories that will make your weight training safer and more enjoyable.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and now, you know better how to choose the best barbell and weight set.

If you have any questions or thoughts about the above aspects, or you have something to add or share your story, please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you asap.

If you liked this article and think it might be useful for someone else too, please share it with your friends and family through social media channels.

Stay Fit!

Ionut Voicu

2 thoughts on “Barbell and Weight Set: Best Standard & Olympic Picks of 2020”

  1. I’ve just started lifting and have been using machines as this stabilizes the weight for me.

    I tried barbells and the weight on them felt heavier.

    Is there a reason for this or are the manufacturers’ specs off?

    Thanks for the information you gave us on barbells.

    Bob

    Reply
    • Hi, Bob,

      No, the manufacturers’ specification of the machines has nothing to do with this.

      The reason why you feel heavier to exercise with free weights rather than on machines is that machines are designed in such a way that they themselves determine the direction of movement of the weights.

      On the other hand, when performing some exercises with free weights, the load level jumps strongly in different parts of the movement.

      Besides that, the skills of working out on machines are acquired much faster and easier than the skills to correctly perform exercises with a barbell or dumbbells.

      I hope this helps!

      BR,
      Ionut

      Reply

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