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Once you’ve got a weight bench in your home gym, it’s time to choose the best barbell!

Barbells offer a ton of benefits including the ability to do a proper deadlift (which I feel is one of the best exercises you should be doing). Let’s check out the top 5 barbells currently on the market.

Best Overall BarbellDay 1 Fitness Olympic Barbell
Best Overall
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Best Multipurpose BarbellMX Select 80 Adjustable Barbell
Best for Tiny Spaces
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Best Barbell SetCAP Barbell 300-lb Olympic Set
Best Barbell with Plates
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Best Multipurpose BarbellYes4All Adjustable Dumbbells with Connector
Best Multipurpose
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Best on a Budget BarbellCAP Barbell 60″ Standard Bar
Best on a Budget
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Our Best Barbell Picks

What did we choose? Check them out – along with some pros and cons!

Best Overall: Day 1 Fitness Olympic Barbell

Bar Length: 7 feet |213 cm
Bar Weight:
45 pounds | 20 kg
Weight Capacity:
1,200 pounds | 544 kg
Sleeve Size:

This is the standard size of most barbells. This is an excellent version that will hold up to 1,200 pounds of weight on it. You’ll never outgrow this one.

This is just a bar. It doesn’t include any weight plates.

This is also available as a 700-pound capacity barbell, however, it was not available at the time of writing.

Long Sleeve Length: since the barbell can support up to 1,200 pounds, it has longer sleeves to hold all those extra weight plates.

Heavy Weight Support: this is a top-notch barbell that supports a very heavy weight (1,200 pounds).

Secure Plates: the barbell has an interlocking snap ring system to keep your plates in place securely.
Too much: weight/money for a lot of people.

This barbell is more than the average person will need. 1,200 pounds is a lot of weight, you might be just fine with a smaller (and less expensive) barbell.

However, should you get stronger and stronger and ever want to put A LOT of weight on your bar, this one wouldn’t need replaced.

The Day 1 Fitness Olympic Barbell is a great purchase for any home gym. It’s the type of barbell that will last a lifetime.

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Best for Tiny Spaces: MX Select 80 Adjustable Barbell

Bar Length: info not provided
Bar Weight: 20 pounds | 9 kg
Weight Capacity: n/a (can adjust from 20 to 80 pounds)
Sleeve Size: n/a

Don’t have a lot of space to store a bunch of weight plates and all the other things that go along with a barbell? Looking for an easy to use adjustable barbell system that will let you change weights quickly and easily? Look no further, the MX Select 80 has you covered.

So Easy: the biggest hassle with a barbell is changing the weight. The MX Select 80 solves that. Changing weights is so easy, you’ll be willing to do it for every exercise.

Two Barbells: You’ll get a straight barbell and an EZ Curl barbell. Both barbells work with the provided (easy to use) plates.

Stand: comes with a convenient (and stylish) stand to hold your barbells.
Expensive: I’m not going to pretend otherwise. This barbell is expensive. Like, really expensive. Totally worth it if you can afford it, but there are plenty of other options if this is out of your price-point.

Limited Range: unfortunately, the barbell only offers 20 to 80 pounds (in 5 pound increments). There’s a good chance you’ll (quickly) outgrow this if you’re using the barbell for deadlifts or squats.

The MX Select 80 is a modern, adjustable barbell that is easy to use for your home workouts.

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Best Barbell & Plates Set: CAP Barbell 300-lb Olympic Set

Bar Length: 7 feet |213 cm
Bar Weight: 45 pounds | 20 kg
Weight Capacity: 500 pounds | 226 kg
Sleeve Size: 2″

The CAP Barbell set contains an Olympic barbell and weight plates. It’s a basic set with a reasonable maximum weight capacity (500 pounds).

The set includes 2 weight plates of 45 pounds, 35 pounds, 25 pounds, 10 pounds, and 2.5 pounds plus 4 weight plates that are 5 pounds each. This is 255 pounds of weight plates + a 45 pound bar for a total set weight of 300 pounds.

Comes with Plates: This set comes with everything you need to get started.

Value: it’s unlikely you’ll find a more complete (or better quality) set at this price point. Are there better bars? Yes. At this price point? No. The value for your money is quite good with this set.

Olympic Bar: Olympic barbells are more durable and more stable. I consider them to have a (slight) advantage over standard barbells.
Iron Plates: these are a great quality of weight plate except they’re metal.

Personally, I prefer my weights to have some form of coating (usually rubber) to help protect my floor/wall.

If the idea of iron plates doesn’t bother you (and they’re probably not actually going to do any damage), then disregard this con!

The CAP Barbell Olympic Set is a reasonably priced option that’s suitable for most people.

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Best Multipurpose: Yes4All Dumbbell to Barbell Connector

Bar Length: 12″
Bar Weight: 3 pounds | 1.3 kg
Weight Capacity: not provided* (will depend on dumbbells)
Sleeve Size: 1″ or 1.15″
*all info above for just the connector!

The Yes4All Dumbbell to Barbell Connector is a bar you can attach in between two dumbbells to turn them into a barbell. It’s genius, really.

It’s available as a package (get 2 dumbbells, some plates, and the connector) OR if you already own 1″ or 1.15″ spinlock dumbbell bars you can just buy the connector.

Inexpensive: If you buy a package, it’s a really inexpensive option for getting dumbbells, barbells, and plates. If you just need the connector, it’s also less expensive than buying a bar.

Easy to Store: If you have this style of setup (dumbbell bars, a connector, and weight plates) it’ll take up much less space than any other configuration.

Great Value: If you buy a package, you’re getting a great value for the weight plates. Frankly, even if you don’t need the dumbbells this might still be one of the cheapest options for lighter plates.
Iron Plates: Again with the iron plates. These are also a great quality but, metal.

Extra Time: This is going to be the most time-consuming setup to use. You’ll have to regularly readjust your weights and bars. Once you get used to it, it becomes normal but it could be extra irritating at first.

The Yes4All Dumbbell to Barbell Connector is a great value for a standard barbell option.

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Best on a Budget: CAP Barbell 60″ Standard Bar

Bar Length: 5 feet |152 cm
Bar Weight: 14 pounds | 6.3 kg
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds | 113 kg
Sleeve Size: 1″

This is a shorter barbell (5 feet compared to a 7-foot Olympic) that holds 1″ plates. It’s a great purchase for the price (although it does not come with plates).

Price: this is an inexpensive barbell. The quality is above-expected at this price point.

Plate-Size: if you’re on a budget, you’re probably buying dumbbell bars and weight plates. It’s a lot more common to find 1″ dumbbell bars & plates. This means having a 1″ bar (instead of an Olympic) will make sharing easier.
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds isn’t a ton of weight. It’s definitely enough to cover all beginners (and better than nothing) but you might outgrow this bar at some point.

The key is might. You might not.

The CAP Standard Barbell is a great purchase for a budget home gym. It’s a barbell, you don’t really need any fancy features!

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Barbell Buying Guide

The 2 most important features to consider when buying a barbell are the style and knurling.

Barbell Basics

The image above has the 3 parts of the dumbbell labelled.

Shaft: this is the part of the bar that you’re going to hold.
Sleeve: this is the part of the bar where the weight plates go.
Knurling: this is a textured area on the shaft. Not all bars have knurling, it can be on different areas of the shaft, and there are different types of knurling (you’ll learn more later).

Bar Style: Standard or Olympic

I used to go to a gym with a friend. Our gym only had Olympic bars OR a small selection of fixed-weight barbells. We were two weak young girls. I remember the first time I did a full set of 12 bench press reps with an empty barbell (so 45 pounds). I felt so bad-ass and my love of Olympic bars (and slight scorn of standard bars) was born.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with Standard Barbells.

What is a Standard Barbell?

Standard Barbells are shorter, lighter, hold less weight, and have a smaller sleeve diameter. Although the name ‘Standard Barbell’ suggests they’re all one size, they’re not. Standard Barbells come in a variety of sizes.

Bar Length: 5-6 feet |152-182 cm
Bar Weight: 14-25 pounds | 6-11 kg
Weight Capacity: 150-300 pounds | 68-136 kg
Sleeve Size: 1″

What is an Olympic Barbell?

This means that Olympic Barbells are heavier, longer, hold more weight, and have a large sleeve diameter. Unlike Standard Barbells, Olympic Barbells are one-size – but – depending on materials can have different weight capacities.

Bar Length: 7 feet |213 cm
Bar Weight: 45 pounds | 6.3 kg
Weight Capacity: up to 1,200 pounds | up to 544 kg
Sleeve Size: 2″


Knurling is the textured pattern on the shaft of a barbell. Knurling is mainly for grip.

Essentially, the rougher the knurl the better the grip. However, rougher knurl is also going to be rougher on your hands. Most knurl texture is subtly different, the big difference on bars is where the knurl is located.

Some bars have knurl all the way across the shaft, from sleeve to sleeve. Some of these bars will have small strips of unknurled space which are just guides for where to put your hands.

Other barbells will have an unknurled space in the center of the bar and knurling on the sides. This knurling may go right to the sleeve (bonus) or not.

Why would you want (or not want) knurling in the center of the bar? When you’re doing anything where the bar rests against your neck/back/upper shoulders (like squats), the knurling will affect how the bar “grips” you. If the bar is going to be on bare skin (topless or backless tops), you probably want an unknurled center. Otherwise, a knurled center will grip your shirt a lot better than an unknurled one.

Barbell Buying Guide: Images showing the shaft, sleeves, knurling and unknurled parts of the barbell

Choosing the Best Barbell for Your Home Gym FAQ

Answers to your most frequently asked questions about barbells.

Should I Buy a Used Barbell?

Go for it! But don’t just buy the first “good deal” you come across. There are some things you’ll need to consider if you’re going to buy a used barbell. Check out this comprehensive guide to buying a used barbell from Two Rep Cave.

Should I Buy a Women’s Barbell?

Fuck NO*. Pardon my language but it pisses me off to see things gendered for NO REASON. Probably because things sold as “for women” are usually much more expensive than the “for men” or non-gendered equivalent.

It’s a BARBELL – A STICK MADE OF METAL – there is ZERO reason why you need one specifically “designed” for a woman. Don’t let predatory companies charge you a premium because they slapped “for women” on the package.

End Rant.

*If you’re getting into professional lifting, there might be some different bar requirements. I don’t know. But for an at-home, non-professional gym, I stand by my original opinion.

Will a Barbell Help with Weight Loss or Strength Gains?

It’s not an either or thing. Barbell exercises can help with weight loss AND getting stronger.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.” So grab a barbell and start building muscles!

What are Some Good Barbell Exercises?

There are many barbell exercises you can be doing. Check out:

It’s Selection Time: Pick the Best Barbell for YOU!

Pin This: The Top 5 Barbells for Your Home Gym

A barbell is a great addition to any home gym. It will offer you more exercise options!

Be sure to choose the barbell that fits your needs and budget. Which barbell did you choose and why? Let me know in the comments below!

Now that you’ve picked out the best barbell for your home gym, you’re going to want to Choose the Best Weight Rack next.

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