With the pandemic making it more important than ever to get your home gym set up right. I recently found myself looking for the best budget barbell on Amazon and like many, was a bit overwhelmed by the choices. How strong of a bar do I need? Can I use it for powerlifting and Olympic lifting too? There is a lot to consider when looking at buying a barbell and the first couple questions you need to ask yourself are:
How much weight do you plan on lifting?
Do you plan on deadlifting 500+lbs, cleaning 225lbs, or are you just looking to squat 135lbs for high reps? The strength of the bar has a big impact on the price. So if you don’t plan on lifting heavy you can spend a little less on the bar. But you are a powerlifter or Olympic lifter, don’t skimp on strength.
Do you plan on doing any Olympic lifting?
If you are wanting to do Olympic lifting like cleans, jerks, or snatches the quality of the bar really matters. The load created by these dynamic lifts and dropping the bar will put a lot of stress on your equipment. Making the quality even more important. Another thing to consider with Olympic lifts is the sleeve bushing system. The bushing system allows the weight sleeves to spin freely from the bar. Generally pin systems are preferred because of their durability but they do come at an extra cost.
What diameter hole weights do you have?
Weights and bars come in two standard sizes. 1inch and 2 inch (Olympic sized), the size of the whole in the center of the weights. In general 1 inch bars will hold much less weight than a 2 inch Olympic bar. The standard size barbell at most gyms is 2 inch. Because of this I highly recommend getting a 2inch barbell.
What Are Barbell Bushing & Do They Matter?
The bushing connects the weight sleeve to the barbell handle allowing them to spin freely from the handle. This really matters for Olympic lifting and crossfit style workouts where dynamic movements are involved. The nicer barbells will feature a pin and bushing system. The more total pins the better. And typically the higher the cost.
Based on your answers to these questions you should have a good idea of what your basic needs are. Now let’s get to the top choices for the best budget barbell on Amazon.
Best Budget Barbell on Amazon 2021
XMark 7 ft. Olympic Bar
Why you want it: If you’re a beginner looking to get a barbell for a good price, then this may be the right one for you. It only features a 700lb capacity so it’s really meant for 200lb or less. If this sounds like you then this is one of the best beginner barbells on Amazon.
Why you might think twice: If you’re a serious lifter then this isn’t the barbell for you. It’s not meant for lifting heavy, Olympic lifting, or crossfit.
XMark Barbell Review:
“I primarily needed a starter bar for my initial setup of my garage gym. This has checked all the boxes for me thus far and the price point was definitely reasonable compared to other more mainstream bars. A great bar for a starter or an obvious home gym but would definitely go another route when I purchase another bar.”
D1F Olympic Barbell 2”, 1200lb Capacity
Why you want it: If you are looking for a home gym barbell that will handle squats, deadlifts, bench press, and shoulder press. While not looking to go overly heavy. Then this is a great choice for the price. The 1,200lb capacity is perfect for most people that don’t plan on ever going over 400lbs and don’t plan on doing many dynamic lifts.
Why you might think twice: If you want to lift really heavy, this is not the bar for you. You’re going to want to take a step up to something with a 1,500lb capacity. If you’re looking at doing any Olympic lifting or CrossFit style workouts, you should look at something with a higher end sleeve bearing complex.
D1F Olympic Barbell 2″ Review:
“I picked this bar up because I wanted a small upgrade to what my gym offered, and this bar is definitely that. It’s far higher quality than what you’ll see in your average commercial gym. The grip works well, bearings are smooth, it has snap rings instead of bolts holding it together, and the measurements are spot on. It’s a solid 45 pound bar (not 20 kg actually), and the overall finish is great.
I use it primarily for squats and deadlifts. It does have the 28mm diameter so it’s easier to grip on the bench if that’s your thing. I have yet to use it for any pressing.
No complaints, this is a great bar and I feel it’s a good value.”
XMark Black Diamond Olympic Barbell Sets with The Crowbar 7′ Olympic Bar
Why you want it: This is the perfect home gym barbell for most people. With a 1,500lb capacity you can feel safe moving some weight on this bar. It also comes with a 28.5mm grip which many powerlifters prefer. That little bit of extra width will allow you to grip the bar better for deadlifts and bench.
Why you might think twice: If you’re looking for a barbell for Olympic lifting or CrossFit style workouts then you’re going to want to go with another option. Something with better bearings and the standard 28mm grip. The next two bars on the list will have you covered.
XMark Black Diamond Olympic Barbell Review:
“I’ve been using this for 2 and a half months now. It easily scratches but that’s to be expected. It’s hard to see the knurling, so I have to turn on a light for hand placement. The bar is well made though and takes lots of abuse. I know its a 0 maintenance bar but I still would suggest cleaning the bar with a brush and oil. Since its back, unsightly stains from skin, oil and dust can be clearly seen. I’ve slammed it on the ground many times already doing deadlift (315) and it’s still going strong.”
E.T.ENERGIC 7 Foot Olympic Weight Bar Barbell Workout Bar with Hard Chrome Sleeves
Why you want it: This is my winner for best budget barbell on Amazon. With a 1,500lb capacity, built at 200,00 PSI, and a 4 needle bearing system in each sleeve (8 needles total) it has the spin you want in an Olympic barbell. The price tag is also a huge win at $235.99 with free delivery. Similar Rogue barbells (28mm, needle bearing design) sell for over $500!! This barbell will last most people for a lifetime.
Why you might think twice: The only reason you wouldn’t want this barbell is if you want something really specialized. A powerlifting bar for going really heavy. You specifically want a 28.5mm grip. Or something with a crazy bearing system for perfect spin and is strong enough to constantly be dropped with heavy weight.
E.T.ENERGIC 7 Foot Olympic Weight Bar Barbell Review:
“The bar is very nice. I have a less expensive bar, and this is much better. Key quality points: the rotation of the weights on the bar is very smooth so whatever bearings or bushings that are in there are much better than cheaper bars. The Knurled part of the bar provides grip without being too rough. On The less expensive bar that I have, the knurled part is too smooth.“
Synergee Regional Olympic 20kg Men’s and 15kg Women’s
Why you want it: The 5 needle bearing system is about as good as you are going to get in a barbell under $400. So if you’re doing olympic lifting at a high level or really heavy weight this might be something you want in a bar. If you’re looking at the high end Rogue olympic barbells, this is also a very comparable option at a much cheaper price tag.
Why you might think twice: Light weight also means less power and options. If you need deep deep tissue this may not be the right massage gun for you. And with only 3 speeds it’s not as easy to dial in the perfect massage.
Synergee Regional Olympic 20kg Men’s and 15kg Women’s Review:
“I’ve used many barbells during the course of my weightlifting hobby and own a Rogue Ohio Bar, and this Synergee bar stands up there with the rest of them. I’ve been using it 6 days a week, 1-1.5 hours a day for the past year of semi-heavy lifting (435/405/245 lbs deadlift/squat/bench) and it shows little to no signs of wear. The construction quality is of identical quality to my Rogue bar, and I find myself using the Synergee bar more often since it has much less aggressive knurling. The steel has a good amount of flexibility and the bearings swivel easily. The only con I have is that the rubber bands with the logo fall off occasionally, but they can be left off. With regular cleaning and maintenance I expect this bar to last me at least another 5 years, if not more, with my 6 day/week workout schedule.”
These are the best budget barbell on Amazon that we could find with verified purchases and reviews. If you have a favorite that’s not on this list make sure to leave a comment below or send me a message here!