Best CrossFit Barbells Review: Buyer's Guide & Tips For WOD, Beginners & Women

Think any old barbell will do for your CrossFit workout?

Think again. 

Firstly, you’ll need an Olympic size barbell for reliable sleeve rotation and the perfect fit for your weights.

You’ll also need a barbell designed for high-intensity movements as well as weight lifting. 

Why?

CrossFit includes a range of movements such as squats, deadlifts and lunges performed through multiple repetitions or Tabata style, which all require a versatile and comfortable CrossFit bar.

And lastly, you’ll need something super durable if you want it to last throughout all of your intense CrossFit workouts. Here are the best barbells for CrossFit which meet all these requirements, starting with our favorite: The Rogue Bar 2.0.

5 Best Barbells For CrossFit Reviewed

1. Rogue Bar 2.0

The Rogue Bar 2.0

Our Verdict: Best Overall

The best CrossFit barbell from this recognized fitness brand has to be the Rogue Bar 2.0. Named after the brand itself, this bar emanates everything that Rogue Fitness is about.

It is a step up from the 28.5mm Olympic bar that they previously released with some important upgrades. Made from stronger 190,000 PSI steel, this CrossFit bar is now more durable with added composite bushings and CNC-machined groove sleeves.

It gets better:

The composite bushings are self-lubricating to reduce friction during intense, high-rep training. You can even get your own customized color bands on the Rogue website and make this CrossFit barbell entirely your own.

The dual knurl marks are ideal for dynamic exercises in CrossFit and high-intensity training.

The shaft is finished in black zinc which is resistant to oxidation, preserving the coat for longer. For this level of professional quality, you’ll have to pay a bit more but it’s worth it for a long-lasting and reliable CrossFit barbell.

Pros:

  • Made from 190 PSI steel
  • Composite bushings for less friction
  • Dual knurl marks
  • Black zinc finish
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive but not overpriced

This has got to be the best overall CrossFit barbell and has been used in the CrossFit games for years. If you are serious about your training, invest in a strong CrossFit barbell like this.


2. Rogue 45 lb Ohio Power Bar

Rogue Ohio Power Bar

Our Verdict: Best for Heavy Weights

Featuring a 205,000 PSI steel shaft and single powerlifting knurl marks, Rogue 45 lb Ohio Power Bar is the best CrossFit barbell for heavy weights and will take on even the heaviest CrossFit barbell weights you can muster.

Here’s why:

The 29MM shaft has a high tensile strength meaning, little or no flex or whip which is just what you want with dynamic movements like squats and deadlifts. The thicker knurling is perfect for when you need a strong grip on your CrossFit barbell weights.

Again, this is a pretty expensive option that reflects the quality of manufacturing Rogue puts into all of their CrossFit barbells. If you’re a little worried about investing that kind of money, remember that Rogue offers a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Great for heavy weights
  • 205,000 PSI steel shaft
  • Powerlifting knurl marks

Cons:

  • Expensive

If you are a heavy weight lifter, you’ll need something even more durable and this is the best CrossFit barbell for you.


3. The Bella Bar 2.0

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0

Our Verdict: Best for Women

The best women’s CrossFit barbell has to be the Bella Bar from Rogue. It weighs 15 kg making it more manageable and easier to add CrossFit barbell weights to. It is also optimized for weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit.

Look:

The 25mm Bella Bar doesn’t have a center knurl but instead features the same Rogue dual knurl marks and 190,000 PSI tensile strength of the flagship Ohio Bar which shows that they take their women’s bars just as seriously as any other product.

This hybrid knurling pattern provides an excellent grip which is both comfortable and anti-friction. You’ll be glad of it after all those reps during your CrossFit training. The snap-ring bronze bushings also produce the perfect rigidity and natural whip for dynamic movements like squats and deadlifts.

The black zinc coating just provides extra durability and rust resistance so it's definitely the best option out of the Bella bars. Being slightly lighter, this bar is also slightly cheaper than other CrossFit barbells from Rogue, which is an added bonus. The only issue customers have found is that the spin can be a little stiff during certain exercises.

Pros:

  • Lighter and more versatile
  • 190,000 PSI steel
  • Durable black zinc finish
  • More affordable

Cons:

  • Spin can be stiff and slow

This is the best women’s CrossFit barbell because of the lightweight design and durable material which can still take on plenty of weight.


4. Fringe Sport 20 kg Men’s Wonder Bar

Fringe Sports Wonder Bar V2

Our Verdict: Best for Beginners

When you are working towards those last few reps, you shouldn’t feel friction or discomfort from your CrossFit barbell. This is why Fringe Sport wants you to feel that your barbell is just an extension of your own body.

Although suggesting that they offer professional equipment at home gym prices, this is still a pretty pricey piece of equipment. However, the Wonder Bar is a very versatile bar with a 28mm shaft which is ideal for Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit workouts.

This barbell also provides great spin. Thanks to the needle bearing cartridges. They might just need oiling every now and then to keep them supple.

It also has a 205,000 PSI so it is very durable and comes with a high impact bronze bushing which will really help with the intensity of CrossFit.

The knurl is suitable for all-purpose workouts and keeps your hands comfortable and friction-free. 

Although it is an investment, you can get a full-year satisfaction guarantee and free returns so this is the best CrossFit barbell for beginners who are still working out what works for them and just want to give it a try.

Pros:

  • Durable material
  • Great spin for a variety of exercises
  • One-year guarantee

Cons:

  • Cartridges might need regular oiling

Fringe Sport aims to offer professional equipment at a home gym price. Although this bar is still a little pricey you will get a full year guarantee making this a great CrossFit bar for beginners to try out.


5. Fringe Sport 15 lb Training Barbell

Fringe Sport 15 lb training barbell

Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy

Another great option for CrossFit beginners and the best budget barbell for CrossFit is this training bar

Although more expensive barbells are definitely worth the investment for CrossFit, if you are just starting out with your training and using a lower weight, this barbell is still good enough for CrossFit in terms of quality.

Other training barbells aren’t ideal for CrossFit because the knurling is often too deep; meaning poor spin. But his CrossFit training bar is just as high performing as Fringe Sports other bars but a slightly scaled-down version.

The moderate knurl provides a decent grip for moderate weights and is comfortable on the hands. The 28mm aluminum shaft is the perfect size for CrossFit and the bushings are smooth for a decent spin.

This is also the best CrossFit barbell for youths as it is slightly lighter and easier to manipulate.

Although less dense than steel, aluminum is lighter and still has a maximum capacity of 150 lbs with no whip. This is definitely a step down in material but as long as you keep the weights low this barbell will work well for your basic CrossFit training.

Pros:

  • Lighter aluminum bar
  • Cheaper
  • Great for CrossFit training and beginners

Cons:

  • Not as durable
  • Max weight 150lbs

If you are shopping on a budget and thinking all of these CrossFit barbells are a bit out of your price range, a training barbell is your best budget option. Just remember that it isn’t quite the same quality as the professional CrossFit barbells at the top of this review.


Why Do I Need a CrossFit Barbell?

CrossFit is very physically challenging and your equipment feels the intensity just as much as your body. This is why a normal barbell might not hold up to the constantly repeated pressure of CrossFit exercises. 

CrossFit barbells can take on more weight, are more durable, and more comfortable which is exactly what you will need for your next WOD.

crossfit barbell training at the gym

Generally, CrossFit barbells are heavier and longer than normal barbells. You can get lighter ones for training but you want them to be durable which is why they are usually made from heavy steel. They also have the same measurements as an Olympic barbell so that you can use CrossFit barbell weights.

What to Look for in a Perfect CrossFit Barbell

All of the CrossFit bars in this review meet the standards that you would need in the Box. If you are looking for your own CrossFit bar, make sure you check it has the same high-quality specifications.

Material

Steel

The most durable barbells are made from steel. The CrossFit bars in this review have a tensile strength of 190,000-205,000 which is the best barbell strength for CrossFit as it prevents the bar from bending under heavy weight.

Aluminum

Cheaper training bars are made from aluminum but these usually have a weight limit of around 150lbs as they won’t be able to safely take on the same weight as a steel bar.

a guy training with crossfit barbell

Knurling

Knurling on CrossFit barbells is placed on either side of the bar instead of in the middle which is best for dynamic movements and helps you to spread the weight. 

Quality knurling is especially important for CrossFit bars as you’ll be picking them up and putting them down repeatedly and you don’t want sore hands to stop you from reaching your rep limit.

Spin

With dynamic exercises, you’ll want to be able to turn the bar over in your hand easily. This is where bushings come in as they increase the durability of CrossFit bars which repeatedly spin. The CrossFit bars are easy to spin and have long-lasting bushings that don’t need to be constantly oiled.

Which is the Best CrossFit Barbell for Me?

With several great options to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down which ones can be the candidates for the best barbells. Depending on what you want to achieve with your CrossFit workout and your level, one CrossFit bar might be the best pick for you.

Best for Women

There are CrossFit barbells specifically designed for women. They adhere to the competitive Olympic and CrossFit measurements for women and are slightly lighter making them easier to manipulate for a length of time. 

Let's check out this video below: 

The best women’s CrossFit barbell has to be The Bella Bar 2.0 as it is of the same quality as other Rogue bars but designed to be more comfortable for women.

Best for Heavy Weights

If you are pushing your CrossFit workout to the max or are competing professionally, you’re going to want a barbell that can take on as much weight as you can. 

The Rogue 45lb Ohio Power Bar has an impressive 205,000 PSI steel tensile strength which will take on some pretty hefty weights - just be sure to bring along your favorite CrossFit pre-workout to give you an extra edge in the Box.

Best for Budget

For beginners or anyone shopping on a budget and just looking to try out CrossFit before they really commit, the Fringe Sport 15lb Training Barbell is the perfect training bar. 

Just make sure that you don’t use it with heavy weights once you move past your training. Instead, upgrade to a more durable bar when your CrossFit skills and strength improve, or even to a trap deadlift bar, in case you get more inclined to doing deadlifts.


Conclusion

With so many great options out there, each CrossFit barbell offers something unique. For me, there is one CrossFit bar that seems to combine the best of all of them. The overall best CrossFit barbell has to be the Rogue Bar 2.0.

With a decent PSI and durable resilient steel, this CrossFit barbell will see you through your intense workouts and won’t quit until you do. The composite bushings are ideal for high reps and constant movement, so you’ve got no excuse not to keep going.

A CrossFit barbell is certainly worth the investment if you are looking to take your training to the next level and really push the limits. Take a look at all the CrossFit barbell options in this review to find the perfect match for you.

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