Power Cleans 135/95
So the 4 new Olympic Weightlifting Girl Bars are in.
Which has prompted me to make a post about the different types of weightlifting bars, or more specifically, the different types of bars that we use. I won’t go into a terrible amount of specifics as to the specs, I’ll give you the most important details.
The first one and generally the more expensive of the two that we have are the Olympic Weightlifting Bars.
First off what you are paying for when you get an Olympic Weightlifting bar, is the high PSI rating to cope with all of the dropping and to have a springy yet strong metal characteristic making the metal processing more difficult.
Not all 1200lb barbells are the same. You can tell the quality of a bar better from finding out what its PSI is. The lb rating simply tells you when a barbell will bend in a supported position. But that is not necessarily how barbells are used and thus the PSI will give you a clearer definition of the quality of a bar.
Majority of our Guys Olympic Weightlifting Bars: 1200lb limit and 130K PSI, Rogue Bars 155k PSI, and about 7 foot long.
Girls Oly Bars: about 6 foot long (same center bar length) and no PSI rating because of the smaller weight limit on the bar (400lbs) meaning, don’t load the bar with over 225lbs. The first girl to clean and jerk over 225, we will celebrate the occasion by buying a bar than can handle her beastly weights, which checking the board, we aren’t terribly far off. These bars are not meant to be deadlifted with either, Oly lifting only unless its pretty light weights (sub 225.) If you prefer, use a Rogue Bar or one of the Oly bars with a higher limit if you intend on getting up their in weights.
Where our bars typically get ruined is people not paying attention or spotting properly. If you load a 400lb static load bar, with 200lbs, back squat with it, miss the rack, and the end cap swings down and hits the floor (instead of the bumpers). I’m not a physics major (Keith!) but the force in that second that transfers through the bar pushes that 400lb static load to a limit. Resulting in a bent bar.
These bars have a smaller diameter than the powerlifting bars making them a bit “springy.” Which is ideal during the dip and drive process, allowing you to time the spring to pop the bar up a bit easier. They also have a smaller diameter, in our case 25mm for the girl bars and 28.6mm for the guy bars for you to get your hook grip around it.
The knurling marks are also placed appropriately for Olympic Weightlifting. You will also see that it has no center knurling to avoid scratching the hell out of your chest during cleans.
The bearings in these bars are also a bit smoother. Typically rolling pin style bearings which allow for a smoother turnover in the Snatch and Clean, that way you don’t have to fight the weights to turn the bar over or wreck your hands with the knurling.
Then you have our powerlifting bars.
These bars are definitely not as whippy, also they are about 29mm around, most companies that have a thicker bar need the thickness to make up for their lack of meterial/processing quality, and have powerlifting knurling marks (ours have both power and olympic weightlifting marks) You don’t really want these bars to be whippy either as you may be repping out back squats and bench with them and its best not to have them springing. These also have a center knurling for a better purchase on your traps during back squats.
Our Powerlifting bars: 1200lb test, he gave me a number when I asked for the PSI on the bar that made no sense. Which leads me to believe that he does not know. The company I bought them from which is local, and if you are in the market I will steer you away from his bars (so call and ask, I won’t blast him online)
I can tell you one thing though, it must be far less than our current bars, we have ruined over 10 of them, I think to the tune of 14 bars ruined in the last 4 years. at around 150 per bar…you do the math.
These bars are also bolted bars, which is typically the least expensive, and if you take my advice, never buy a bar with a bolt in it, they are a headache, go with the snap pins.
We are slowly replacing all of our bolted bars with nice Olympic Weightlifting bars, but I can tell you this. If you are buying one for your home use, buy a good quality bar, with a company that stands behind their product.
The long and short of it is, we have nicer bars, they are most definitely more expensive, but not indestructible. Know the difference between the Power Bars and Oly Bars. Also, know the difference between the Power and Oly movements so you can select the right bar for the job.
And as always, dropping an empty bar to the ground without bumpers on it is punishable by Death.