Which Rogue barbell to buy?
The workhorse option from Rogue for all fitness purposes is the Rogue Ohio bar. This is the best value for money option if you don’t want to put more thought into it. If you want to get more involved you can download my free listing of the rogue barbells and read the details for each of them in this article.
What is your training style
Before you go into the search for the right rogue barbell for you it is important to know which kind of training you prefer to make the right choice. Rogue has a big selection of barbells. The clearer your use case the easier it will be to make a choice. Ask yourself several of the following questions:
- What will I do with the bar
- Strongman training?
- Where will I use the bar?
- Air-conditioned gym?
- How many do I need?
- Who will use the bars?
- Your wife?
- Your clients?
- Your team?
- How will the bar be used?
- Single purpose?
- Special purpose?
- How often will you use the bar a week?
- 100 times (Gym setup)
- Do you care about customer service and appearances?
- What kind of statement do you want to make with the bar?
- What is your budget?
Writing this down on a piece of paper will make the choice easier for you. It will also be a good time to pause and reflect why you actually want to buy your own bar and not just drive down to the next gym.
The safe bet: The Rogue Ohio bar
If you don't want to read this rather long article and watch the videos go for the Rogue Ohio barbell. This is the bar which can be used for any purpose, has been the longest in Rogue's portfolio and is very reasonably priced for Rogue standards. It has a lifetime warranty and a long list of positive reviews. The Rogue Ohio bar puts you back about 300$.
What else to consider from Rogue
- Which belt to buy from Rogue
- Which rack to buy from Rogue over $1000
- Which rack to buy from Rogue for under $1000
- Which plates to buy from Rogue
- Which strength equipment to buy from Rogue
- Which conditioning equipment to buy from Rogue
- Which Equipment package to buy from Rogue
- Which accessory to get from Rogue
- Which jump rope to get from Rogue
What is your budget
You can go in with 300$ and already get a decent barbell. For this budget you will get something functional, but not with a bespoke design. Your options are:
To leave yourself with more options to get something more bespoke, especially for your home gym as the higher price does not multiply out, I would recommend a budget of 500$. This widens the options to:
- Several Oly bar variations
- Thor power bar
- Freedom bar
- Chan bar
- Safety bar
- Toomey bar
- Davidsdottir bar
- Fraser bar
- Froning bar
- Ohio deadlift bar
- Westside bar
- Power bar
- Operator bar
Whatever your budget is you will be in good hands with Rogue. I made several purchases with them and was always happy with their customer service. With this, I am not alone.
The following overview shows different rogue customers using the barbells and ranks them from highest to lowest price.
The Russian bar became popular in the 1960s and was used at the Olympic games in 1980. It weighs 20kg and uses a diameter of 28mm. It withstands 200.000 PSI and has a chrome finish with 16.25 of loadable sleeve length. The design is unique and optimized fur multiple reps. To achieve this the bar has special sleeves combined with special collars. These enable you to do multiple repetitions on the Olympic lifts without having to reset the bar.
Rogue took the old model of the Russian bar and applied their modern knowledge and technology to bring the bar into the 21st century. The bar has a centre knurl and Olympic knurl marks. It also comes with bearing for a better spin off the sleeves.
The high quality and special manufacturing make it the highest priced Rogue bar to date. You ultimately get what you pay for and this is the top end.
Pros of the Russian bar
You get the best of the best with added functionality for weightlifters. The shaft is made of stainless steel while the sleeves are made of chrome. This is combined with extra functionality through the click and tighten mechanics of the collars.
If you have Olympic weightlifters who want to fully focus on multi-rep sets this is the bar to go for. This is the right bar for serious athletes who are subsidized by the state to win gold medals. Put this bar into an environment where there is respect for the sport of weightlifting and the equipment used.
Cons of the Russian bar
The high price tag makes it not really a feasible option for a home gym or Crossfit box. If you have to buy many barbells, the price will get unacceptable compared to the Ohio bar as you can get twice as many barbells for the same budget. If your gym is mainly powerlifting focused you might also want to look into other barbells.
As the collars are specialized the Russian bar might also not be the right choice for a commercial gym or military facilities where there are a lot of people. Collars tend to get lost in those environments and they are an essential piece of the functionality and price of this barbell.
Rogue Pyrros bar
The rogue Pyrros bar was designed by Rogue in cooperation with Pyrros Dymas. Pyrros Dymas is one of the greatest legends in weightlifting. He won three gold medals in 1992, 1996 and at the 2000 Olympic games. He now works in the US as a trainer.
The Pyrros bar weighs 20kg, resists 200K Tensile strength and comes with a Diameter of 28mm. The sleeves spin via bearing which makes it a barbell which is ideal for weightlifting. Due to Pyrros specifications, the lubricant and knurling have been further optimised for weightlifters.
The shaft is made of stainless steel while the sleeves are made of Chrome. The loadable sleeve length is 16.30. There is no 15kg version of the Pyrros bar. Rogue might want to consider a Christine Girard version for gender balance and to appeal to their Canadian clients.
Pros of the Pyrros bar
The Pyrros bar is made of the best material available and built to the highest specifications. If your weightlifting team wants to connect with one of the greatest of all time this is the bar to go for. You will get the perfect spin, grip and material deserving of a champion. Do not underestimate the psychological effect this can have for your athletes. This goes especially in the last few weeks before the competition. Connecting with the greatest helps visualization and might give the deciding edge in competition.
This bar is the crown jewel addition to any gym that is focused on weightlifting. Get it to make your athletes or members feel special when you have competitions or when they test their one repetition maximum.
Cons of the Pyrros bar
The most obvious reason against it is the price tag. At 595$ it is almost twice as expensive as the Ohio bar. If you have to equip a military facility, university gym or commercial gym it is not really an option unless you are flush with cash. For powerlifting gyms, it also might not be the best choice as it has been optimized for overhead lifts, not for deadlifts and bench presses. If you want a bar for your powerlifting gym which has great whip you might be better off going for the Ohio deadlift bar.
Rogue Olympic weightlifting barbell
The rogue Olympic barbell weighs 20kg, has a diameter of 28mm and a tensile strength of 215K PSI. There are five different versions of this bar which come with different price tags:
The bright zinc has the lowest price tag at 495$ while the stainless steel comes in at 595$. The cerakote and EU Steel version retail at 545$, while the women's version comes in at 495$. Apart from the women's bar all of these come with 16.25 loadable sleeve length and chrome sleeve coating. All of these bars work with bearing for better spin. As with the Pyrros bar, they are approved by the IWF.
The EU steel bar is made of EU steel in the USA. There are some in the industry which claim that American steel does not behave the same as EU steel and therefore weightlifting bars made from EU steel are better. If you are inclined to believe this and still want a rogue barbell this is the option for you.
The cerakote bar is a slightly prettier and durable version of the bright zinc Oly bar which also comes in at a slightly higher cost. Rogue made a big push in 2018 for their new cerakote finish of the bar which lasts longer than bright zinc and leaves more freedom for designs.
The bright zinc version would be the best for a reputable gym with athletes that have aspirations to compete at national and international level. It saves 100$ per barbell compared to other options while still being professional. If you want to provide the best bar for weightlifting purposes for less ambitious clientele there is also the training bar for 295$.
Pros of the rogue Oly bar
This is a workhorse barbell for the professional. If you want to train the future masters of the universe this is the way to go. The bright zinc finish saves you 100$ per barbell compared to the stainless options and the Pyrros while not comprising on the bearing or whip.
Cons of the Rogue Oly bar
The price is still high for general use cases with many members. Especially in a CrossFit box where people still learn the technique, drop the barbells against walls or bang off other equipment, this might be over the top. If you still want a barbell with a great whip to mainly focus on Oly lifts the training bar might be a better option. It won't make your heart sink as much when a 295$ bar gets abused.
Rogue Thor power bar
The Thor bar pays tribute to the seven-time strongest man of Iceland Hafbor Julius Björnsson. He also starred in Game of Thrones as the mountain, helping Cersei to fend off attackers and crush the Vipers skull. The Thor bar uses the cerakote coating to put Hafbor's nickname Thor and an Icelandic flag onto an Ohio Power bar. It comes in a 45lb and 20kg version.
The diameter of this barbell is 29mm. The shaft withstands 205K of tensile strength and has no whip. The knurling is very aggressive to suit the needs of powerlifters. The loadable sleeve length is either 16.25 or 16.88 depending on which version of the Thor bar you will get. The sleeve coating is available in Cerakote or Chrome.
The Rogue Ohio power bar is quite popular and has a good reputation among home gym owners who mainly focus on powerlifting. The Thor and the Ohio power bar are not that far apart in price, so you might as well get the more modern version. Alternatives to the Thor power bar are the Rogue Ohio power bar, the Rogue deadlift bar and the Westside bar.
Pros of the Thor bar
The design is innovative and you get a strong powerlifting bar which connects you to one of the greatest strongmen of our time when you train. Especially if you own a home gym and want to give it the extra special touch, this can be a good choice. No whip is a great option for bench presses and squats. You want as little whip as possible on these two movements.
Cons of the Thor bar
As with all the new Rogue bars you have to like the design. If you are a Brian Shaw fan or want to appeal to the masses in your gym you might be better off getting a barbell with fewer design features on it. The Thor power bar is also a focused bar. If you want to keep things flexible you might be better off getting the Chan or Ohio bar for multi-purpose use. The price tag of 450 USD might also be off-putting to some.
Rogue Freedom bar
The rogue freedom bar is a special version of the Ohio bar which bears the American red, white and blue. It weighs in at 20kg and has a diameter of 28.5mm. The sleeves are made of chrome and are connected via bushing to the shaft. The shaft coating is cerakote and the loadable sleeve length comes in at 16.40.
There is no centre knurl and it withstands 190K PSI tensile strength with a good whip. The knurling is less aggressive than with powerlifting and weightlifting bars.
Pros of the rogue freedom bar
The freedom bar is based on the workhorse Ohio bar, one of the bars which Rogue produces for the longest time. You can rest assured that Rogue knows what they are doing when handling the shaft for this one. The cerakote finish is a new addition to the Rogue portfolio which has been adapted from the weapons industry. This enables better protection against corrosion while providing nicer finishes.
If you are patriotic and want to show some colour, this is the bar to go for. It is one of the most intricate designs I have seen on a barbell so far. The technology used for this barbell is also the basis for the custom barbells which rogue recently added to their portfolio.
The pricing is also moving closer to the 295$ mid-range Ohio bar, which makes this a good bar for home gyms, small groups or as a replacement for one of the retired barbells in your gym.
Cons of the rogue freedom bar
If you do not like the design, there is no point in getting this barbell. Especially for commercial uses, you have to consider whether a more neutral design might be the better choice for you. While Cerakote is great against corrosion it is less able to take a beating from plates and banging of other metals. The chrome sleeves will be fine, but take care to avoid banging of the shaft of other things.
Rogue Chan bar
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 with 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 300 USD 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 Ohio, Castro, C-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.
Rogue Safety Squat bar
This is a bar out of the speciality bar selection of Rogue. Safety bar squats are especially popular among powerlifters. The idea is that the squats become less taxing on your body while still being able to train your posterior chain longer and harder. A very popular combination is to do safety bar squats to a box. You might want to consider to pick up one of Rogue boxes to be able to perform the movement.
The Rogue safety bar is tested at 1000lbs and weighs in at 70lb/35kg. It has a frame and padding attached so that you can fully focus on your legs. There will be less balancing needed as with a normal barbell. Also, your elbows will not suffer as much with extensive heavy squatting.
Safety bar squats are not ideal for beginners. You need to build basic strength first to be able to progress to this beast. Do not think that 140kg of a back squat with a barbell is the same as with the safety bar. The name can be a little misleading.
Pros of the safety bar
The safety bar is very popular with seasoned powerlifters. The older you get the more wear and tear your body shows. Especially when you have been lifting heavy for decades. The safety bar addresses these issues. You can lift heavy weights without taxing your ligaments and shoulders as much.
Cons of the safety bar
This bar can only be used for squats. If you only have a budget of 400 USD for the bar in your home gym do not get this bar. The same goes for gyms. Most of your clients will be intimated by the size of this beast and not know how to use it. You probably will only need one unless you are specialized in powerlifting. It is also huge and awkward to store. Know exactly why you want this bar before purchasing it. Otherwise, you have 395USD gathering dust in your basement. If the price tag is too high you can also opt for the camber bar. The camber bar comes in at a lower price and has a similar effect to the safety bar with less material protecting the lifter.
Rogue Bella bar Davidsdottir
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 addition 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 in a package with the Thor power bar so that a couple can train at home. 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.
Rogue Bella bar Toomey Edition
The Toomey Edition pays its respect to the 2017 Crossfit champion Tia Clair Toomey. Its basis also comes from the Bella bar and the Cerakote finish is applied to get an arrow design on the shaft. The blue used for this bar is slightly darker than the one for the Davidsdottir bar.
This bar weighs 15kg and has a diameter of 25mm. The sleeves have bushing to make them spin. It has a good whip and is built to IWF specifications for women. It withstands 190K PSI tensile strength and has a loadable sleeve length of 13.00. The knurling is standard. All of these specs make this bar an all-around bar with a nice design.
This bar is good for anyone who wants to add a special bar to their commercial line up or weekend warriors who want to have something special in their home gym. Tia Clair Toomey is from Australia, so if you want to show some flag down under, this is the bar to get.
Pros of the Toomey Bar
With the darker blue, the Toomey bar might be a better fit for certain colored power racks of Rogue than the Davidsdottir bar. Some also might prefer an arrow on their bar compared to a dog. The design is pretty and well executed. As with all of the branded bars Rogue makes good use of the Cerakote finish and is willing to experiment for best results.
Cons of the Toomey Bar
If you do not like the design this bar is not for you. As with other high gloss bars, it might not be the right choice when you want to buy in bulk for commercial or educational purposes. For this use case the Bella bar, Ohio bar or training bar might be better suited. If you are really hard pressed for budget when buying in bulk have a look at the Castro and C-70 bar.
Rogue Ohio Bar Fraser Edition
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.
Rogue Ohio Bar Froning Edition
The Rogue Ohio bar Froning edition pays tribute to all-time Crossfit legend Rich Froning. 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 another design dedicated to a Rogue athlete.
The Froning bar comes 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 is 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.
Rogue Ohio deadlift bar
The Ohio deadlift bar has been specially designed for deadlifting. With a diameter of 27mm and 190K PSI tensile strength, it bends more than the Ohio bar. This great whip helps powerlifters to deadlift from a more advantageous position. The bar weighs 20kg and the sleeves spin via bushing rather than bearing.
The knurling on this barbell has been made extra aggressive to minimise chalk need or maximise the grip strength when chalk is applied. The loadable sleeve length is 15.50. There is one version in zinc and another with raw steel available.
Overall, this bar gets very good reviews for the purpose of deadlifting. Be aware that when you purchase this bar, it is specially built for deadlifting. It is a great addition to your arsenal when the basic needs are covered. For your first purchase, you might want to look at the Ohio bar, Ohio power bar, freedom bar or chan bar before moving to this piece of equipment.
Pros of the Ohio deadlift bar
The Ohio deadlift bar is special as it is one of the few cheaper bars from Rogue with a great whip. The only other bar which has this is the training bar. This makes it a great tool for anyone who wants to squeeze out the last couple of pounds on the deadlift. The whip is mostly received in a positive way.
Cons of the Ohio deadlift bar
A widespread comment on the deadlift bar is that the knurling is too aggressive. I personally can't see how a professional powerlifter would make this comment, however, they are out there. It is also a barbell which has been build for one purpose only. If you are starting out your home gym or want to appeal to the masses this is not the bar to go for.
Rogue Westside Power
The Westside bar has been developed together with Louie Simmons which is not too far from his own gym. The Westside barbell training facility is world famous for continuously producing some of the strongest powerlifters in the US and on an international level. The Westside method is a staple for strength coaches. The method is especially well tailored to lifters who compete with bench press shirts and squat and deadlifting suits.
The westside barbell weighs in at 45lb with a diameter of 29mm. It can withstand 205K PSI tensile strength and connects the sleeves to the shaft via bushing. Rogue offers a black zinc finish on shaft and coating. The knurling is powerlifting and the bar has no whip. The loadable sleeve length is 16.25. There is no 20kg version available.
The westside barbell was part of one of the earliest pushes of Rogue to diversify their portfolio away from their Ohio bar and Bella bar. So far, the westside bar has not gotten a Cerakote facelift. This might be planned in the near future. The westside barbell is a good alternative to the Ohio power bar or Thor power bar. Keep in mind that this is a powerlifting speciality bar. If you are mainly focused on weightlifting have a look at the Pyrros bar & training bar. If you own a CrossFit gym stock up on all-purpose barbells like the Ohio and Bella bar first before you branch in special bars like westside bar.
Westside bar pros
When you are looking for a very stiff bar with a less aggressive knurl this is the bar to go for. You get 205K of tensile strength with standard knurling. The fact that Louie Simmons gave it his approval also points in the direction that this is the right bar for powerlifters who vary their grip often. This is a crucial component of the westside method. There are a few reviews out there which prefer the West Side barbell to the Ohio power bar, even though it comes in at a higher price.
Westside bar cons
The black zinc finish is more open to corrosion than other finishes from Rogue. It is also a powerlifting specific bar and you might also have to buy an Ohio deadlift bar to complete the set. Depending on your need the Matt Chan bar retails at just a slightly higher price, has the same tensile strength and has a better whip. It all depends on your goals. If you want to do more than powerlifting this bar is not ideal. If your main focus is the big three go for this one.
Rogue Ohio Power bar
The rogue Ohio power bar is one of the IPF approved barbells from rogue. To be used in competitions barbells have been tested and approved by the association you want to compete in. The IPF is one of the most respected and well-known federations in the world. This means that you can simulate powerlifting competition standards in your own gym. If you are a powerlifting gym intending to hold a competition at a national or international you should have at least one IPF approved barbell. Three might be even better depending on how many athletes are invited.
The Rogue Ohio Power bar comes in two versions. One in Zinc and the other in stainless steel. The zinc version withstands 200K PSI tensile strength while the other withstands 205K tensile strength. The bar weighs 20kg and has a diameter of 29mm. The loadable sleeve length is 16.875. The sleeves are attached to the shaft with bushing. The Ohio power bar has no whip and aggressive knurling.
The Ohio power bar is described as one of the best options for powerlifting on a budget. The 325$ option brings it very close to the bread and butter Ohio bar. If you don't want any intricate designs and you are focused on powerlifting, this is the bar to get. You might want to toss up between the westside barbell and the Ohio bar. If you compare like for like (in this case zinc for zinc) you get a stiffer bar with less aggressive knurling from the westside barbell and a less stiff barbell with more aggressive knurling with the Ohio power bar.
Pros of the Ohio power bar
The Rogue Ohio power bar is a good value for money bar for someone who wants to start a home gym with powerlifting focus. If you can spare a couple of extra dollars compared to the Ohio bar it will be worth your while. The other options to consider are the deadlift bar, thor bar and westside bar if you do not care that much for overhead lifts.
Cons of the Ohio power bar
The Rogue Ohio power bar has not been designed to be dropped continuously from overhead. While you can do it the lack of whip will show more wear and tear on the bushing and the bar itself. It will also behave suboptimally during clean and jerks and snatches if the main focus of your training or gym is weightlifting. If you want to invest while on a budget into a solid weightlifting barbell goes for the training bar instead.
Rogue Operator bar
The operator bar is the version of the Ohio bar which is most tailored to the military and military enthusiasts. It uses the Ohio bar as a base and adds different military patterns and colours with a Cerakote finish. The Cerakote finish is widely known in the gun industry and the technology has been ported by Rogue to be used in their barbell finishes.
The operator bar has a good whip and weighs 20kg. The diameter is 28.5mm and the loadable sleeve length is 16.40. The sleeves are attached to shaft by bushing. The operator bar withstands 190K tensile strength and is built for multi-purpose use. The knurling is standard. This is the bar designed by patriots for patriots.
If you have to equip a gym on a military base in the US this is the bar to go for. Your troops will appreciate that you invested the few extra dollars to get a bar with a nice design. Especially when morale is down this is a feasible option to lift spirits a little. Of course, if budgets are tight there are also the Castro bar and Ohio bar to be bought at bulk friendlier prices for the treasury. Also ask Rogue for special pricing as the military has been given special status in Rogues customer care.
For home gym owners or soldiers that return home, this can also form the little touch which makes it special and personal for you.
Pros of the operator bar
The operator bar can fit any military design and blend in with the troops when off duty or at the base. You will get a high-quality piece of equipment in the middle of the budget range of rogue. At the same time, you will still not be seen as cheap, as the Cerakote finish is one of the latest developments in the Rogue portfolio. Of course, if you are a no-nonsense leader, don't make it pretty and go for some of the lower budget options. Whatever is received better by the ones you serve.
Cons of the operator bar
The military theme is not for everyone. If you have a gym that is more frequented by liberal mindsets maybe stay away from this one. There are plenty of other options with more neutral designs to choose from. With the Cerakote finish on the sleeves, it might also be more susceptible to wear and tear than with chrome sleeves.
Rogue TB 1 & 2
The trap bar 1 & 2 of Rogue are their take on the trap bar. Trap bars are a great tool for Strongman competitors and powerlifters to get some stress of the posterior chain while still developing deadlift strength. Another application is farmer carries which makes it a very versatile strength tool.
The trap bar 1 comes in at 58lbs while the Trap bar 2 comes in at 60lb. The designs are also a good example of how Rogue handles customer feedback. The first generation of these trap bars was very heavy. This has been remedied in the second generation which you can purchase now. The sleeves come in at 1.91 diameters which means you can use all standard plates from Rogue with these speciality bars.
The difference between the trap bar 1 and trap bar 2 is that you get a pair of extra handles in the more expensive version. I leave this to personal preference. I always found that these extra handles were in the way and rather a hindrance than a help. However, I am 185cm high. If you have taller athletes you might want to get the bar which leaves your team/members with more options.
The production process of a Trap bar involves several welding steps. With Rogue, you can be sure that the production line knows what they are doing as Rogue has the volume of purchases and passion which is needed for a good welding job. You can also be sure that someone in America did the weld job. This can not always be said of other speciality bars in the market. It is unlikely that you will break a bar, However, if the weld is poor, someone will take away substantial injuries if it breaks mid lift.
Pros of the trap bar
Trap bar deadlifts a great addition to your training routine to get more deadlift volume in. You are putting less stress in your back as you would with the straight barbell. Especially if your gym has a lot of seasoned athletes consider a trap bar to have more options to address their needs. If you have lots of space in your home gym this is a good purchase to cover some of the more Strongman reölated exercises.
Cons of the trap bar
The trap bar takes a lot of space to store and train with. Most home gyms will not have the necessary space to do farmers walks and store it unless you actually own a farm. Many members in commercial gyms feel intimidated by the sheer size of a trap bar and it will just sit there and gather dust. Take a hard look at the use case as this is one of these toys which look good when you purchase it and than won't be used.
Rogue Camber bar
The camber bar is another variation of the speciality bars of Rogue. It is very similar to the safety bar with a few differences. The first is that the hands can be placed lower on the frame. This helps even more with athletes suffering from a shoulder injury. The other difference is that the weight swings more during the movement. This helps with bigger core activation. While the safety bar lets you squat more weight deeper the camber bar actively works on balance.
The camber bar comes in at a weight of 85lb. The shafts fit regular clips and plates. The camber bar comes fully welded. Pay special attention to quality when you buy speciality bars. The production process is usually less mechanised than for barbells. You need a good welding job to be safe. Yes, you can get these bars a lot cheaper from craigslist. However, you might end up with a terrible welding job.
Pros of the Camber bar
The camber bar is unusual and will challenge your athletes. Not a lot of people have ever seen, nevermind used a camber bar in the real world. Combining the camber bar and safety bar is especially useful for strongmen who have to get used to moving weights at different angles and positions. If you want to use this as a cheaper replacement for a Yoke carry be cautious You can not put this bar down in the middle of the walk.
Cons of the Camber bar
This bar already weighs 85lb unloaded. It is also very cumbersome and awkward to store. This is a tool for big gyms with lots of floor space. If you are already constrained for space this is not the bar to get. It is also more challenging than the safety bar. If you are a beginner deciding between a safety and camber bar, go for the safety bar.
Rogue Training bar
The rogue training bar takes the core of the higher priced Oly bars and combines it with the sleeves and bushings of the Ohio bar. The result is the lowest priced bar with a great whip in the Rogue selection. This is the bar to get for gyms tailored to the needs of beginner Olympic weightlifters. You still get the feel of the whip while optimizing for cost as they likely are going to wreck the bars quicker.
The training bar weighs 20kg and comes with bushing at a 190K PSI tensile strength. The loadable sleeve length is 16.25 and the diameter of the bar is 28mm. The shaft is made of black zinc while the sleeves come in bright zinc. A standard knurl round this bar into a good package for aspiring Olympic lifters.
The training bar is a good cost safer coming in at 200$ less than the high-end Olympic barbells. This is almost two for one for your Olympic weightlifting needs. I would not equip a gym full of Olympians with this, but when you run a reputable gym that is aimed at making soccer moms and middle-aged dads strong, this is the bar to go for.
Pros of the training bar
The biggest pro is the price. You can not beat 295$ in the rogue selection to get a great whip. Even if you are mainly getting all-purpose barbells you can throw in one or two of these to keep your Oly fans happy.
Cons of the training bar
The training bar has no bearing and only comes in Zinc. Therefore your athletes will train with bars that do not fully represent what happens in competition. This can have an impact on movements like the snatch and clean and jerk which hugely depend on timing and explosiveness. The zinc is one of Rogues poorer coatings in terms of corrosion. Be prepared that you have to replace these bars more often if your gym goes for a very neat and tidy look.
The Rogue Ohio bar
The Rogue Ohio bar is the flagship barbell of Rogue. This is the workhorse of the portfolio and a best seller. You can make anyone happy from powerlifters to weightlifters to Crossfitters. This bar has been bought by Crossfit gyms and home gym owners all over the world. It is the perfect balance between price and versatile use. If you want a bar and don't want to think or even write a long article like I did, just grab this one.
The Rogue Ohio bar was one of the earliest lineups sold by Rogue. It builds the base of most bars which you can read about in this article. This means that Rogue really knows how to build this bar. Years of experience and experiment have gone into the production process of this bar and they managed to build a very successful business on top of it.
The Rogue Ohio bar weighs 20kg and comes in at a diameter of 28.5mm. The basic model comes in two variations, Zinc and Black Oxide. It withstands 190K PSI Tensile strength with a loadable sleeve length of 16.40. The sleeves are attached with bushing to the shaft and you will feel a standard knurl when you lift.
The basic model still goes strong and if you want to go in bulk for an all-purpose gym, this is the option to go for. If you are more powerlifting orientated look out for the Rogue Ohio power bar. If you have more of a weightlifting focus check out the training bar at a similar price.
Pros of the Rogue Ohio bar
The Rogue Ohio bar strikes the perfect balance between budget, functionality and design. It has developed to the middle of the range product that every use case can rely on. You can purchase this bar without wrecking your head. Even if your training focus changes in the future, you can still make use of the Ohio bar without having to buy a new one. Some of them or six years in action and still going strong.
Cons of the Rogue Ohio bar
Middle of the road means that the Ohio bar is not great at anything specifically. It is neither IPF nor IWF approved. It is not made of the best material available and has no bearing. That doesn't make it a bad bar, just not the greatest you could possibly get for a specific use case. In most scenarios, this won't matter anyway.
The Castro bar
The Castro bar is a bare steel bar which comes closest to what you find in most commercial gyms. This is the lowest price tag you can get from Rogue for a full barbell. This makes it a good fit for anyone on a budget who has to buy a lot of barbells or expects them to be stored outside/transported often. For those scenarios, it is a waste of money to get anything that it pretty or elaborate in function.
The Castro bar weighs 20kg and comes in at 28.5mm diameter. It can take up to 190K PSI tensile strength with a good whip. The knurling is standard and the sleeves are attached via bushing. The loadable sleeve length is 16.50. Based on this it is the lowest priced multi-purpose bar available from rogue. Other bars are either special use or designed for children.
The Castro bar is the option to go for if you want to go spend as little as possible while still maximising the training options. If your gym/facility can also live with the fact, that these bars might look quite beaten up pretty fast, even better.
Pros of the Castro bar
The ultimate reason for the Castro bar are the costs. You still get a Rogue bar which is made in the United States at relatively low prices. The bar still goes through the same basic quality checks and holds a warranty. There are other vendors out there who might send you a bar with a lower price tag. Think twice whether you will get the same customer service, warranty and quality checks which only slightly retails over the cost of the raw materials, never mind the labour.
Cons of the Castro bar
A big con of the Castro bar is the bare steel. This finish is likely to show corrosion and use. This means you will need to take more care of it and maintain it more often. If you already have the labour and the necessary equipment to clean bare steel, you might even turn this into a plus. If you want to drill discipline into a bunch of new recruits you might get in a barbell cleaning session once a month on top of the other equipment maintenance you do.
Rogue Multi Grip Bar
The Rogue multi-grip bar is a great tool for anyone who wants to break through their bench press plateaus. The handles are spaced out at different intervals to enable variations on the bench press. This will help to attack your muscles from different angles while being easy on the wrists. This training can also be done with an ordinary barbell but this will put more stress on your ligaments and joints.
The Multi-grip bar weighs around 40LB depending on the configuration. Together with the camber bar and safety bar it is part of Rogue's speciality bar line up. The multi-grip bar is available in three configurations. The MG1 has only straight handles, the MG2 only tilted handles and the MG3 has a mix of both.
The handles are knurled. The sleeves come in at 1.91 diameter which means that your Olympic plates will fit. As with any speciality, bar pays special attention to the welding. You can rest assured that Rogue will do a proper job. If you get a low price alternative it might not fit the plates and collars which are standard or break just at the wrong moment.
Pros of the Multi-grip bar
The multi-grip bar is a great tool to mix things up and build a stronger bench press. It will also help your athletes to give their wrists and shoulders a break while still going heavy on bench presses. The different angles also avoid that you have to get a whole set of dumbbells for your home gym to attack your chest from different angles.
Cons of the multi-grip bar
Not a lot of people will use it and it takes up a lot of space. Unless you are sure that you or your members will take bench pressing serious think twice before getting the multi-grip bar. You might want to get some dumbbells instead if you have space.
Rogue C 70 Bar
The rogue C70 is a short version of the Ohio bar. The main difference is that the loadable sleeve length is 12.00 instead of 16.40. This makes it a great bar if you want to get a lot of CrossFitters in the same space or if your basement gym has very limited space. The length makes it impossible to rack the bar in regular racks and squat stands.
The C70 bar weighs 35lb and has a diameter of 28.5mm. It withstands 190K PSI Tensile strength. The sleeves are attached to the shaft with bushing. The available coating is Black Zinc.
This is a very specialised bar. Only consider getting it if you face this exact problem, not being able to get enough Crossfitters into one space, which is a very special challenge to have.
Rogue Boneyard bars
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.
Before doing this overview I would have leaned towards the Fraser bar for my home gym. After going through the details I am more inclined to go for the Thor Bar and Chan bar. If I would go low budget I would choose the Ohio power bar and Ohio bar. I hope this article helped you to get some ideas and make the right choice for yourself. If there are any questions put them into the comments below.