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What kind of deadlift bars are there ?

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 17, 2015 1:48:56 PM

What kind of deadlift bars are there ? 

The deadlift is personally my most favourite lift. When you want to reach peak performance it can help to change up the routine. I have personally not extensively tried the approach of varying the stance, grip, bars and loads constantly, but here is an overiew for you which bars made help to make this easier for you.

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Classic barbell

The classic barbell is what you you will find in most gyms. They vary widely in their quality with the York ones being the most cost efficient and therefore at the lower end of the quality range. You might find barbells with bushing or bearing, still most of them will have bushing in your local gym.

If your local gym is serious about lifting you might find specific olympic weightlifting and powerlifting barbells. These have a more aggressive knurl to ensure more grip for the professionals. You will experience these to be rougher on your skin which has the benefit of being able to lift more and the downside of higher likelihood to get your skin damaged.

In addition the knurl marks are slightly different between olympic and powerlifting bars to show you where to put your hands. Usually the powerlifting bars are built to withhold more psi (basically tells you how mch weight you can put on the bar until it breaks) than olympic bars due to the fact that there is more load moved in the powerlifts than in olympic lifts. 

Lifting is not always for beginners. You need proper technique, balance and a bit of strength to do it. Otherwise you might hurt your shins on the deadlift or pulll some muscles when squatting. Improper squatting might also harm your spine. So get proper advise or start deadlifting with other bars.

Olympic weightlifting

Powerlifting bar

Trap bar


A good option for beginners is a trap bar. The trap bar enables you to stand with both feet on the ground while the bar practically wraps around you. On the deadlift this eliminates problems with flexibility that some beginners experience who can not move their shins out of the way when they pull the bar up. I also find it easier to grip and most poeple are able to lift more with the trap bar than with a barbell.

What you can give a try once you fell comfortable is do 5 - 10 reps with the trap bar and then start walking with it turning it into a farmer's walk. Nice change of your routine. Most local gyms have at least one of these around. The only irritating thing about them is that they usually weigh around 30kg and are very bulky to getin place. Good news that a trap bar is usually free to use when you walk into the gym, because people do not bother getting it in place.


Trap bar

 Fat Bars

For more advanced lifters it can be useful to use fat bars to work on their grip strength. You will probabaly have to search a bit to find a gym who provides these and they are rarely used (at least in the facilities I have seen so far). I have not tried them yet, but I think I'll give it a shot quite soon. Let me know about your experiences in the comments.

Fat bar

Further reading