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What barbell to buy for CrossFit from Rogue [Article, Free download]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jan 3, 2019 11:49:00 PM

What barbell to buy for Crossfit from Rogue

What barbell to buy for CrossFit from Rogue?


The Rogue Ohio bar is the one to go for. If you want to spend more than 300USD pick your favourite colour and CrossFit athlete to choose one of the updated Cerakote versions. 

Download the free Rogue barbell Overview

What is your use case 

As you are already considering a use case for CrossFit you have already considerably narrowed it down in terms of which bars you want to use. 


CrossFit is characterized by its high repetition work and relatively infrequent maximum strength efforts. You need a bar that is good at everything but does not excel at anything. A good whip combined with respectable steel strength and average knurling will do the trick. 


As your ow this it becomes more important to qualify who will be using your bar and what the use case is. Here are some questions to consider: 


  • Do you buy for yourself? 
  • Do you buy for your gym? 
  • What gender will the users be? 
  • How experienced are the users? 
  • What colour would be preferred? 
  • How many classes do you run?
  • Would you like to use bars as reward systems? 
  • What equipment do you already have? 


All of this narrows things even further so that you can find the right barbell for your CrossFit needs. 


What is your budget 


There are usually four budget categories when people when to buy a barbell. These are:


  • Up to 100 
  • Up to 300 
  • Up to 500 
  • Up to 1000 


If you want to spend up to 100 on a bar you will have to look for a used one or compromise on quality. Used bars can be gotten rather cheap or even for free when the time is right. As they take up space, many just want to get rid of them when they are not used anymore. If you can wait, this might be an option. 


If you buy a brand new bar for under 100 you compromise either on the brand, material or warranty. If you buy bars on a regular basis and already have a stockpile that is cool. If you are a first-time buyer or home gym owner this might not be the road to travel. 


Up to 300USD will get you a solid barbell which is basic. This is usually the middle or bottom of the portfolio for most vendors. The barbell you will get is solid and not compromised as a 100 USD version. However, you will get something basic that does not feel special or pretty. 


Up to 300 USD is the range when you either want to save money for your home gym or have to buy in bulk. You will not compromise quality and at the same time also not drive cost through the roof. 


With up to 500 USD you will be able to put a special stamp on your barbell. Be it a stainless steel shaft, custom logo or more aggressive knurling. With 500 USD you can fulfill all your needs. 


This is the optimum budget range for anyone who buys for their home gym or buys in bulk for professional athletes. Professional athletes will expect that you take extra care with everything you provide them with. Your home gym is your inner sanctum. If you are not on a budget, treat yourself. You will use this barbell 3-5 times a week for 3 - 8 years. 


Up to 1000 USD is the upper range. With this budget you can get al it’s any bar under the sun unless it is made of gold and speckled with diamonds. If you have athletes with very specific needs or want to break world records, this is the area to be in. 


The safe bet 


If you don't want to read this article and just want a bar fast without paying too much go for the Rogue Ohio barbell. This is the bar which can be used for any purpose. It has a lifetime warranty and a long list of positive reviews to go by.  The Rogue Ohio bar puts you back about 300$.


The black one


Price 375$


Rich Froning managed to claim the title of "Fittest man on earth" four times. This makes him the most successful CrossFit athlete to date. The Froning bar carries his logo. The logo is silver while the rest of bar has been kept black. Rogue uses its Cerakote finish combined with the base of the Ohio bar to create a design dedicated to a Rogue athlete.


The Froning bar comes in at 20kg and a diameter of 28.5mm. The sleeves are connected via bushing to the shaft. It can withstand 190K PSI Tensile strength with a good whip. The knurling is standard. This multi-purpose bar has a loadable sleeve length of 16.40.  


The Froning bar is a great option if you like the colour back and want to connect to one of your favourite CrossFit athletes. Other options you might want to consider are the Fraser bar and Matt Chan bar which are also multi-purpose bars with Rogue athlete branding. This is a great bar for any fitness enthusiast who wants to combine or contrast black with other colours in their home gym.



Pros of the Froning bar


The Froning bar is a single colour bar in black which makes it less popping than the other athlete designs from Rogue. If you like simple designs which do not make bold statements this is a good bar to get. The Ohio bar builds the base and delivers a solid base for multi-purpose barbell training. Connecting to the legend Rich Froning might also give your athletes a psychological boost while training. The low key design also makes it a more feasible option for gym outfits. 


Cons of the Froning bar


As with the other Ohio bars with cerakote finish make sure that it is mainly used with bumper plates instead of steel plates. Otherwise, wait until these bars become available with chrome sleeves. It should only be a matter of time until Rogue makes this available. A black shaft can be more prone to show scratches of the underlying material. If you go heavy duty and don't care for the design you might want to go for the Ohio bar, Castro bar or Operator bar instead. 


Learn more about the specs of the Rogue Froning barbell and purchase on the Rogue website


The red one


Price 375$


This barbell is inspired by back to back Crossfit games champion Mat Fraser. After performing a long time in the shadow of the all-time greatest Crossfit athlete Rich Froning he finally managed to make it to the pinnacle of the sport after Froning retired from the individual competitions. He won the title in 2016 and 2017. This long wrestle to the top is ingrained in this bar with Mat Fraser's slogan "Hard work pays off. 


The Fraser bar comes in at 20kg and a diameter of 28.5mm. The shaft and sleeves are Cerakote coated. The colour scheme is red and black. The Fraser bar withstands 190K PSI of tensile strength and has a loadable sleeve length of 16.40. The sleeves rotate via bushing. As the Fraser bar is based on the Ohio bar it is designed as an all-purpose bar with a good whip.


This is my personal favourite design from Rogue to date. I am harbouring between the Fraser bar and Chan bar as I prefer the design of this bar, but also know that the Chan bar as better value for money in terms of the material it is made of. I ultimately think I will end up buying the Chan bar as I already live and breathe the motto hard work pays off. 


This Fraser bar is a great addition to any home gym. The inspirational slogan also makes it a more viable option to be bought in bulk than other designs from Rogue. It still makes about a 100$ USD a bar difference to the Ohio bar. If you do not like this design you might also want to consider the Froning bar. 


Pros of the Fraser bar


The Fraser bar represents the concept of the underdog who overcomes adversity to rise to the challenge. When this inspires you, this is the bar to get. You will get a solid barbell which makes use of the most modern production techniques Rogue has to offer. If you like the red and black colours, even better. This is a well designed, reliable piece of equipment that will make you proud.


Cons of the Fraser bar


If you are a big fan of Rich Froning you might want to invest your money in his bar instead. As with the other updated versions of the Ohio Bar the sleeves only come with Cerakote coating. This leaves this bar more exposed wear and tear from metal to metal contact. Try to use bumper plates instead of metal plates to remedy this. 


Learn more about the specs of the Rogue Fraser barbell and purchase on the Rogue website



The blue one 


Price 375$


The Rogue Bella Davidsdottir edition pays tribute to two times female Crossfit champion Katrin Davidsdottir. It comes with her sledge dog logo and has the Rogue logo imprinted. The effects are achieved by Rogue's cerakote finish which they have adjusted from the gun industry.


The bar base is derived from the Bella bar, the "female" version of Rogues flagship Ohio bar. It is made to IWF standards and comes in at 15kg. The diameter is 25mm and the loadable sleeve length comes to 13.00. The sleeves rotate via bushing and the bar withstands 190K Tensile strength. The whip is good to accommodate its versatile use.


If you like blue and Iceland this is the bar for you. This is also a bar which will especially tailor to the needs of women, as the international standards differ from the men's bars. If you like blue, you are from Europe and like Crossfit, this is a good bar for a home gym or as a special edition to your commercial gym. The higher price compared to the original Bella bar might make it a bad choice when you want to buy in bulk.


Pros of the Davidsdottir


A nice design which inspires you to think of Katrin Davidsdottir's wins in the Crossfit games. It might be bought is a package with the Thor power bar so that a couple can train in the home gym. It is an all-around bar which is up to the task.


Cons of the Davidsdottir


The Davidsdottir bar is currently only available with Cerakote sleeves. These are more likely to show wear and tear from the plates. If you use it at home and want to keep it crisp consider getting bumper plates instead of steel plates with this bar. You can also wait until Rogue offers it with chrome sleeves like the chan bar. The design might not flow as nicely then.


Learn more about the specs of the Rogue Davidsdottir barbell and purchase on the Rogue website


The pro one



Price:  395$


The Matt Chan bar was the first Rogue barbell to be introduced with an athletes name. Matt Chan and Rogue have been working closely in the last few years. You can see this in the many equipment demos done by Matt. Matt Chan is a former firefighter and finished multiple times in the top ten of the Crossfit games. Since Rogue updated their Cerakote range they had another go at the Chan bar design.


The Chan bar is an Ohio bar on steroids. You get a better design, a centre knurl and a stainless steel shaft for 395$. If you want to spend the extra 100$ USD compared to the Ohio bar this is the all-purpose barbell to get. The design was created to fit Olympic and powerlifting needs alike.


The bar comes in at 20kg of weight, 200K tensile strength and a Good whip. The diameter is 28.5mm and the sleeves spin via bushing. Rogue offers two variations on the sleeves, one being cerakote the other chrome. It seems that cerakote does not respond well to metal to metal contact. If you want to use steel plates with the chan bar maybe opt for the chrome sleéves. The loadable sleeve length is 16.5 which is a bit longer than the other standard bars.


Pros of the Chan bar


This bar has a lot of pros and only a few cons. You get a stainless steel bar for 100$ USD less compared to the oly options.  The bit of extra knurling helps with front squats. This is the best value for money bar you can get above 300USD from rogue. In addition, you also get a cool design. If you want to do everything in your home gym, this is the one to go for.


Cons of the chan bar


If you have to fit out an entire gym with 10 - 20 barbells 100$ a piece does make a difference. This bar is also too pretty to be used in military installations or with beginners. For these scenarios, you are probably better off buying the OhioCastroC-70 or operator bar. The training bar might also be a better option if you only want to do Oly lifts, as it has a better whip at a lower price. The bushing might also not be ideal if you are a competitive weightlifter. The bars you will use in your competition have the bearing. 


Learn more about the specs of the Rogue Chan barbell and purchase on the Rogue website



The used one

Price Varies


Boneyard bars are barbells which Rogue sells without warranty. They come in 29mm, 28.5mm and 25mm. This is basically the pile of barbells which has been sent back to clients of Rogue which made use of their guarantee. They are faulty in some kind of way. The knurling might not be perfect, the bar has blemishes, the sleeves were scratched. Depends on the individual case. Rogue still is convinced that they can be sold for use and will do the job. They are just not Grade A. You might also find barbells in the boneyard which have never been used and did not pass the quality controls of Rogue. These bars are safe to use but have some minor flaw in appearance.

The boneyard bars are subject to availability and prices vary based on what has been sent back. Rogue categorises the bars by diameter. Refer to the summaries earlier in this article for specifics on each bar.

Pros of boneyard bars

The big advantage of the boneyard is that you can make a steal on a good barbell for a very low price. If you do not mind minor aesthetics flaws this can be the place for you to hit above your weight.

Cons of boneyard bars

With the boneyard bar, you are entering a lottery and forfeit the Rogue warranty.  If you don't like what you get it is tough luck and you just have to stick with it. You can get lucky and get a bar with almost nothing on it or one that is in pretty bad shape. Somethings got to gove.


What barbell to buy for CrossFit from Rogue 


Choose whether you want to spent more than 300 a bar or not. If you want to spent more, pick your favorite color and CrossFit athlete. Pick the correlating bar and have fun. 


Further reading 

Can barbells help lose weight? [Article]

Which Rogue barbell to buy? [Article, Free download]

Topics: Rogue