Best Deadlift Bar – Introduction
What’s the best deadlift bar for beginners in fitness or powerlifting in 2023?
Deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do with a barbell.
With nothing more than a traditional barbell and bumper plates, deadlifts work every muscle of your body, on the back, and many on the front too.
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A lot of people think that deadlifts are “just” a back or leg exercise.
But, in reality, deadlifts work your entire body – from your heels to the back of your head, via your arms and core.
In fact, it’s hard to think of many muscles that deadlifts don’t work.
As well as being one of the most important exercises for building muscle and strength, deadlifts also teach you how to lift heavy objects off the floor safely.
As so many back injuries are caused by improper lifting, this is a very noteworthy benefit.
Of course, to do deadlifts, you need a suitable deadlift barbell.
As a beginner, you don’t need a specialist DL bar, but a high-quality barbell will last many years, so it’s worth buying a decent model that will allow you to progress from novice weights to heavier loads.
Most beginners will soon outgrow a cheap fitness-type barbell, and you may also find that short, thin bars aren’t very comfortable to use either.
Table of Contents
- What’s a classic deadlift bar?
- What to look for in a beginner deadlift bar?
- The 5 Best Deadlift Bars for Beginners
- Best Deadlift Bar – Wrapping Up
What to Look for in a Premium Deadlift Bar
As a beginner, you don’t need the best deadlift barbell available.
Things like Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bars and Buddy Capps Texas Power Bars are fantastic to use, but they’re also very expensive.
They have features that most beginners won’t even notice.
Those features include:
Given that the world record for the deadlift is just over 500kg/1100 lbs., it’s safe to say that premium deadlift bars are much stronger than the average gym bar.
How much weight can a deadlift bar hold in contrast to a typical 7-foot Olympic barbell?
A standard Olympic bar can generally hold up to 500 pounds.
In contrast, a deadlift bar is strong enough to withstand a load up between 1000 and 1500 lbs.
Most beginners don’t need this kind of bar strength.
Bar Flex vs. Stiffness
All bars flex, but it takes more weight to bend something like a Texas Power bar than a cheaper, standard commercial gym bar.
If you are lifting really big weights, the last thing you need is a bar that bends so much that it becomes deformed.
Premium bars are much stiffer than cheaper, general-purpose bars.
Bars like the Rogue Fitness Ohio deadlift Bar are made from premium materials.
They have to be of sturdy construction because if the bar breaks during a really heavy lift, serious injury could be the result.
Also, they need to be long-lasting and be able to withstand years of very heavy use.
In powerlifting competitions, everything has to meet the federation guidelines.
These guidelines are very specific and cover bar length, thickness, and weight.
For example, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) requires:
- the overall length of the bar does not exceed 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) in length
- bar diameter does not exceed 29 mm and not be less than 28 mm, and the
- weight of the bar and its collars do not surpass 25 kg (55 lbs)
While these factors are critical for a competitive powerlifter, they are much less important for a general exerciser.
While there is nothing to stop you from buying such a specialist piece of equipment, it would be a lot like learning to drive in a Formula One racing car – too much, too soon.
What to Look for in a Beginner Deadlift Bar
Instead, if you’re a deadlift beginner, look for barbells with the following features:
Except for trap deadlift bars, most barbells that are suitable for deadlifting are 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) long.
While you can deadlift using a shorter bar to save space, that places the weight plates closer together, which means less bar bend and whip.
While not crucial for beginners, a more flexible bar can be helpful for lifting heavier weights.
As the bar flexes, it allows you to get into a slightly higher position before the weight leaves the floor, creating a better angle for pulling big poundages.
According to most powerlifting federations, a deadlift bar should be between 28 and 29mm in diameter.
28mm deadlift bars are a little narrower than conventional bars, and that makes them easier to grip.
Bar diameter is one of the main differences between a deadlift bar vs. a squat bar, and squat bars are usually closer to 30mm in diameter.
Deadlift Bar Weight
The best deadlift bars weigh 20kg or 45 pounds.
Shorter bars weigh less, but, as you know, seven feet is the recommended length for a deadlift barbell.
A 20kg/45-pound bar is considered to be the standard deadlift bar weight.
Knurling is the textured pattern on your barbell.
It’s there to enhance your grip.
Watch out for overly aggressive knurling, which could rip your hands and cause pain and injury.
Instead, good knurling feels textured but not sharp.
If the knurling marks the skin on your hands, it’s probably too deep.
Deadlift bars don’t tend to have a center knurl – that’s more common on general-purpose power and squat bars.
The tensile strength of your bar is important, especially if you ever hope to lift heavy weights.
The better the bar, the stronger it will be.
Look for bars rated for 300kg (661 pounds) or above.
You might never lift this much weight, but stronger bars tend to last longer.
They also won’t bend and then stay bent – not something you want.
Deadlift bars have revolving sleeves that are usually held in place with hex bolts or snap rings.
Revolving sleeves stop the weight twisting in your hands when you lift.
Whether you do a conventional deadlift with a double overhand grip, or sumo with a mixed grip, the rotating sleeves will help stop the bar from rolling out of your fingers.
Materials and Finish
While most deadlifting barbells have a bare steel shaft and sleeves, some are painted or anodized to give them a more attractive finish.
Painted bars are not a good idea because even tough paint will chip and flake off.
In contrast, anodizing involves applying a permanent layer that bonds to the barbell, and that won’t chip or scratch.
As well as being very long-lasting, anodizing increases resistance against corrosion and decolorization.
Black zinc finishes are especially popular and make for a really good-looking barbell.
5 Best Deadlift Bars for Beginners
So how long is a deadlift bar, what does one weigh, and how thick are they?
You now know the answer to all these questions and more.
Armed with all this information, you should have no problem choosing the right barbell for your deadlifting needs.
Not sure where to start?
Here are FIVE of the best deadlift bars for beginners:
#1. CAP Barbell Olympic Trap Bar
This hexagon CAP Olympic Trap Bar is ideal for beginners.
Unlike regular Olympic and power bars, where you stand behind the weight, with a hex bar, also known as a trap bar, you stand between the weights.
This means the load is in line with your feet, and that helps improve lifting mechanics while taking stress off your lower back.
Trap bars do tend to reduce posterior chain activation, but that’s a small price to pay for safer, more comfortable deadlifts.
However, powerlifting doesn’t allow the use of trap bars like the CAP Olympic Trap Bar, so you’ll be better off with something like a Texas deadlift bar or Okie Power Bar if you want to deadlift in competitions.
#2. Okie Deadlift Bar
Even if you are a beginner, you may still have aspirations of becoming a competitive powerlifter.
Or maybe you just enjoy deadlifting so much you want to use a really good barbell.
Either way, the Okie Deadlift bar could be just what you are looking for.
Super-strong and explicitly designed for deadlifting, this Okie power bar comes with a lifetime warranty.
#3. Valor Fitness OB-DL Deadlift Bar
- HEAVY DUTY DEADLIFT BAR- The OB-DL Olympic deadlift barbell is constructed of...
- ENHANCED BAR FLEX- This deadlift barbell measures 90.5" in length, allowing each...
- AGGRESSIVE KNURLING- Allows you to have a stronger, firmer grip on the deadlift...
- WIDE COLLARS- 56.5" of barbell length between the collars. Each collar measures...
- ADDITIONAL- Recommended max weight load of 1,200 lb. The OB-DL is meant strictly...
This specialist deadlifting bar is rated for loads up to 1200 pounds, has plenty of whip to make getting heavy loads moving easier, and has an attractive black finish.
The deep knurling means you’ll be able to maintain a solid grip even with sweaty hands.
The Valor Fitness OB-DL Deadlift Bar is an excellent deadlift bar that should provide many years of faithful service.
#4. Yaheetech Olympic 7 feet Weight Bar
- This straight bar is designed to hold up to 300-pound and comes with spring...
- Product Dimensions:Length: 86''; Weighs Approximately: 39.5 lb; Sleeve Diameter:...
- Great addition to your weight room;Perfect weight and length for learning...
- A nice lifting bar for arm exercises such as curls, biceps/tricep extensions,...
- The Yaheetech 7' Olympic deliver the perfect combination of value, construction,...
This Yaheetech Olympic bar isn’t specifically designed for powerlifting or deadlifting.
However, it’s a decent option for beginners who want to deadlift, but don’t want to spend a fortune on something like a Rogue Ohio Power Bar.
It’s a perfectly serviceable bar rated for up to 300 lbs.
So while you won’t be setting any deadlifting records with it, you’ll still be able to use it to build a reasonable level of strength.
Note: with its 30mm diameter, this Yaheetech Olympic 7 feet Weight Bar will be a little harder to grip than a 28mm deadlift bar.
#5. Cap “The BOSS” 7-Foot Olympic Barbell for Weightlifting and Powerlifting
This bar is a lot of fun!
Supplied with a black phosphate finish, this solid Japanese steel 1500 pound-capacity bar is a serious workout tool that also looks cool.
Cap “The Boss” Olympic Bar which has a center knurl is specifically designed for powerlifting, and at 132,000 PSI tensile strength steel, it’s more than up to even the heaviest squat, bench press, and deadlift workout.
The finish doesn’t just look good, it’s also extremely durable and rust-proof so it will prolong the life of your Cap “The Boss” Barbell.
Is a Deadlift Bar Worth It?
While you don’t need a specialist deadlift bar to do deadlifts, especially if you are a beginner, once you’ve used one for the first time, you’ll quickly come to realize how much better deadlifts feel with something like a Cap “The Boss” Powerlifting and Deadlift Bar in your hands.
Yes, these bars are generally more expensive than regular barbells, but that’s because they have very specific characteristics, including just the right amount of flex and whip to help you lift even heavier weights.
They are also rated for thousands and not just hundreds of pounds.
And what about a deadlift bar vs. a power bar?
Power bars are usually suitable for squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, which means they are more versatile.
However, that versatility means compromise, and power bars aren’t the prefect bar for deadlifting.
So, is it worth getting a specialist deadlift bar?
Yes, but only if you are a deadlift specialist!
However, for most weightlifting and fitness beginners, a multi-use power bar or Olympic bar is perfectly adequate.
Best Deadlift Bar – Wrapping Up
Barbells, like the exercisers that use them, come in all shapes and sizes.
Compact training barbells are ideal for home exercisers who don’t have a lot of space, or that want to lift light to moderate weights.
They’re cheap and more than adequate for general workouts.
Olympic bars, power bars, and deadlifting bars are longer and more expensive and are ideally suited to hard, heavy workouts.
Strong and long-lasting, this type of barbell is the best choice for serious exercisers and powerlifters.
Trap or hex bars are in a category all of their own.
They make deadlifts a little easier, and that can be useful for both beginners and advanced exercisers.
However, trap bar deadlifts often feel like a squat/deadlift hybrid, and that’s not always a good thing, especially if you are a deadlift specialist.
Whichever type of barbell you choose, it’s good to know that every deadlift you do will take you yet another step closer to your training goal.
Use this beginner deadlift workout routine and 12-week deadlift program to start your deadlifting journey.
Experience the transformative power of the deadlift to change your body and life.
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