Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best barbell collars 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated August 1, 2020
Best barbell collars of 2018
Not all barbell collars are created equal though. Here are the customer reviews of some of the best barbell collars of 2018. Simply review and buy them. There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this barbell collars win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
№2 – Synergee Aluminium Barbell Collars Locking 2″ Olympic Size Weight Clamps – Quick Release Collar Clips
Why did this barbell collars come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
№3 – Quick Release Pair of Locking 2″ Olympic Size Barbell Clamp Collar Great for Pro Crossfit Training by Clout Fitness
Why did this barbell collars take third place?
A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
barbell collars Buyer’s Guide
Whip of the Bar
The “whip” is the common term for the ends of the bar bouncing at the end of a repetition, or a phase of a lift. The lifter will be stationary, but the ends of the bar will be moving.
Experienced lifters can use this during certain transitions in their lifts. For example, between the clean and jerk they can bounce the bar off their chest and propel the bar up by using the momentum of the bend coming upward into the jerk position.
The main factors in determining the amount of whip are the material from which the bar is made, and the diameter of the bar.
The thickness of the plates can also effect the whip that the user can generate. For example, bumper plates, spreading the load on the collar of the bar, will make the bar behave in a completely different to the way it will behave with calibrated weight plates, which take up less collar space.
Knurling is made from two sets of diagonal grooves cut into the barbell, usually going in opposite directions. This forms tiny diamond shapes, which dig into the skin on your hands when you hold the bar and assist with grip.
The width and depth of these grooves will determine how “aggressive” the knurling is on the barbell.
More aggressive knurling is primarily to assist with heavy deadlifts, where grip failure is the most likely.
The further in the knurling comes, the narrower you can effectively grip the bar. Weight lifting bars designed for powerlifting tend to have more knurling towards the centre of the bar for the use of sumo lifters who grip inside of what would be a normal grip for a conventional deadlift or clean.
A portion of knurling in the centre of the bar (known as central knurling) helps with grip on your back during squats. Both IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) and the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation) specify that a men’s barbell should have this.
Some specialised squat bars have a very wide central knurling to allow for use by larger men.
As mentioned earlier, the knurling is less aggressive on men’s Olympic bars, as when they catch a clean they don’t want aggressive knurling at the neck, but it is still there to assist with squats.
A woman’s weight lifting bar has no centre knurling. If central knurling is required during squats then using a male bar is preferable. The wider bar will also make squatting more comfortable on the upper back.
Olympic Weight Lifting Bars
Olympic weight lifting barbells are designed for the two main Olympic lifts – the snatch, and clean & jerk.
Olympic bars are usually smaller in diameter, but only by 1mm. However, this makes a difference to your grip strength.
The knurling on Olympic weight lifting bars is not as aggressive as other weight lifting bars. There must be enough to provide a good grip, but not so much that it rips your hands apart when the bar spins in your hand during the catch phases of the lifts.
Knurling is marked out for the snatch lift and is further apart than a power bar which is marked out for the bench press.
Olympic bars also require collars that spin. The spin on the bar deadens the rotational force of the barbell during the pull and catch phases of an Olympic lift (during snatch and clean) or the dip and drive (jerk or push press) reducing the impact on your wrists and shoulders.
Olympic bars also require more bend and flexibility. This is sometimes called the whip (stored elastic energy), which helps during the initial pull and catch phase of the lift to avoid unnecessary damage to your collarbones.
Bars which have achieved IWF accreditation are widely recognised as the best on the market (with the most accurate tolerance in relation to the bar’s weight) and only these types of bar are sanctioned for use in international competition. View IWF accredited bars.
There are IWF compliant bars that offer the same high quality as accredited bars, but come without the heavy price tag. Our latest range of Olympic Weight Lifting Bars offers a selection of IWF and IPL compliant bars – browse the range here.
Weight lifting barbells for powerlifting are designed for the big three lifting exercises: Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.
Knurling on powerlifting bars is much more aggressive to help the lifter grip the bar during heavier attempts.
The knurling comes in further than an Olympic bar to allow for narrower grips during deadlifts and a more secure squat.
Specialised deadlifting bars are available that are longer and have more whip. This means the end plates are left on the ground for longer, which allows the lifter to get into a stronger position before the full load comes off the floor.
Hybrid, Training & Multipurpose Weight Lifting Bars
Hybrid weightlifting bars are useful for gyms, CrossFit boxes and facilities that offer both Olympic weight lifting and Powerlifting.
Hybrid weight lifting barbells are great for beginner and intermediate weight lifters as they have the characteristics of both a powerlifting and Olympic weight lifting bar.
Hybrid barbells usually have two sets of fine knurling markings to accommodate for both Olympic lifting and power lifting standards.
Hex Trap Bar
The Hex Bar (or Trap bar) is an interesting barbell variation that is most commonly used in the gym for deadlifting as an alternative to the traditional straight bar deadlift. Many people prefer the trap bar deadlift because due to the load being placed in line with the user rather than off centre it puts less stress on the lumbar curve especially at the start of the movement. This makes it a common choice for users with back issues. Hex bars are normally 6ft or 7ft long and weigh around 25kg and 30kg respectively.
The EZ Curl bar is a shorter barbell variation which tends to be quite light weight and has a distinctive jagged shape. The advantages of this type of bar tend to be felt by users who experience discomfort in their wrists when using a straight bar for curls (the angle of the EZ Curl bar lets them grip the bar in a more natural position).
When buying weight plates and bars for home use it’s crucial to understand the two different sizes they come in. Standard weight plates have a inch diameter hole in their centre therefore they are only compatible with standard bars, Olympic weight plates follow the same principle but they have a inch diameter centre hole so you can’t interchange between the two sizes. This is the only real way that they vary from a compatibility perspective, certain gyms and weight benches will be designed to take either standard or Olympic sizes so it’s important to make sure that you get the correct corresponding weights to match that specific piece of equipment.
We have a selection of packages in both standard and Olympic that consists of a series of weight plates and a barbell; these packages are perfect to combine with a bench that features a rack, just be careful to make sure that the length of the bar will be wide enough to fit onto the rack on the bench. We always try to provide a range of large and small plates so that you can interchange depending on what muscle group you’re training.
Barbells are great for pushing heavy weights because you use compound exercises that are perfect for exhausting larger muscle groups such as your chest or legs, the only downside is that you can struggle with isolation exercises for definition.
The most versatile training tool you could ask for, dumbbells dish out a close to limitless expanse of exercises for you. They are ideal to put with an adjustable utility bench for upper body training but they’re plenty useful without too. Our adjustable dumbbells are your most cost effective option where you simply slide weight plates on and off a pair of dumbbell bars to tailor the weight to your needs; they don’t take up a lot of space and can easily be stored away making them perfect for home training.
If you’re looking for a full body workout then the Kettlebell is the tool for you, they’ve recently taken the fitness industry by storm exploding back into fashion and for good reason too. The unique design provides new realms of training possibilities that conventional weights simply can’t provide so if you’re looking to mix up your training and try something new then these come highly recommended.
Kettlebells are available like most weights in either vinyl or cast iron, the cast iron versions are a bit more expensive but worth paying the extra. The vinyl handles can really grate away at your hands making them uncomfortable and unpleasant to use.
Westside Bar from Rogue
One of the most common barbell collars that you will find in gyms, and possibly in your home, are spring collars. These collars have two grips on the end that when pushed together, open the circular area on top. This allows you to slide it onto the bar easily and then release, which will tighten on the bar.
Aside from the benefit of it being inexpensive, the circular spring pattern on the end allows for it to grip onto the ridges that are on most barbells, making for a pretty secure fit.
Secondly, comparatively to newer methods (which I’ll talk about here in a bit) spring collars can be a bit of a pain to get off. Sometimes you have to wiggle them off, as they seem to get stuck on the ridges of a barbell.
With these two concerns in mind, spring collars are still a decent way to go and are perfect for anyone on a budget. Just remain alert to make sure those springs don’t loosen up on you over time.
The beauty of spring collars is that they are so affordable, which means if you have any issues, just grab another pair.
As my weightlifting has progressed and I’ve worked out in better conditions and gyms, I’ve been able to work with better barbell collars. This includes clamp collars, which I am a big fan of.
These clamps slide on and off relatively easily, and then the lever is flipped to either tighten or release.
These clamps are strong and secure, and also very easy to put on and remove. I will say that I have seen a few clamp collars that have loosened over time, but this happens very rarely.
Really the only downside to clamp collars is that they are much more expensive than other collar types. You can expect to pay a hefty price for clamp collars, but quality pairs are certainly worth it.
Lock-Jaw Barbell Collars
Another, and even more recent, collar I have worked with as of late are lock-jaw barbell collars. I must say that these are the neatest looking collars available. They are free-forming and wrap around the barbell and then you can easily click the lock into place.
I will say that they aren’t as easy to secure as clamp collars, but this is only a difference of a few seconds. However, once they are in place, they seem to be extremely secure and reliable. Lock-jaw collars are also priced around the same as clamps, so it makes that an easier (yet more expensive than springs) option.
You should plan to work with lock-jaw collars much more in the future as they are quickly becoming the standard in the weightlifting community.
Here is what you need to do…
Most gyms will have barbell collars, it is a smart choice to provide them to increase safety and decrease the risk of accidents. Without collars, it is asking for a problem, and is a liability.
Add your desired weight to the barbell and before you begin your exercise apply the collars.
Begin by having a collar in hand, and slide the collar onto the barbell. Slide the collar all the way to the weight plates. This will make the weight stay stationary and will reduce noise of the weights hitting each other.
Even if you plan on using a different barbell, this can often be the most cost effective way to buy weight plates in larger quantities.
Official equipment supplier of the CrossFit Games, Rogue Fitness are specialists in Strength and Conditioning Equipment.
One of the biggest names in Olympic lifting, Eleiko is the leading provider of professional equipment for Strength and Conditioning, Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Professional Fitness.
Eleiko stock everything you need to train professionally with Olympic lifts, from platforms and rigs, through to the bars, weight plates and collars.
Correctly termed as “ultimate tensile strength”, this is the measurement of the maximum amount of stress a given material can withstand before breaking. For obvious reasons, we can see why we would want to know the maximum load a barbell can withstand before failing. This is measured predominantly with the SI (international system of units) unit pascals (more often megapascals, or MPa). However, it’s worth noting the American unit differs, and is pounds per square inch (PSI). You should always double-check what unit of measurement your manufacturer uses when looking at the tensile strength of a bar. For this discussion, we will use PSI.
Anything over 185k PSI (185,000) is considered a good quality bar. However, some cheap brands seem to report very high tensile strengths, which highlights an issue: tensile strength doesn’t necessarily translate to bar quality. For instance, I’d rather go with a much-respected brand offering a lifetime warranty at 190k PSI tensile strength, over a no-name-brand offering just 1months warranty at 205k PSI tensile strength.
End Caps and Fixings
This is the point where the sleeve attaches to the bar, fixing it into place. I personally like the end caps with circlips that allow access to the bar internals (bearings or bushings) should they require greasing or servicing. I’m not a fan of these new sealed units. Even though the companies claim they are just as good, I notice they don’t carry the same length warranty, which concerns me. Hex bolts are the most common but I have yet to see many quality bars use these; they always seem to be present in the lower entry examples.
I find that if the bars are oiled and maintained, it won’t really matter. Oxide or zinc coats tend to rub off on the racks and, in my opinion, start to look scruffy. Stainless bars would be nice but very expensive. If you live near the sea, stainless bars or coatings are good ideas to limit salt and oxidative issues.
It’s worth noting that I won’t be covering specialty bars in this article. They have their place depending on what system you are running but it would take too long to list. The pros and cons of specialty bars are outside the scope of this article.
A deadlift bar
This is a tricky one. I originally bought a hybrid bar that had a little more whip, but in the end, I just ended up getting a power bar, as it was more specific to the sport and felt like a better compromise. The bench bars are not popular yet, so they are not worth investing unless you are sure you will be using one for your competition.
Again, if money is no object, feel free to buy all three. But if it is, I would just look into the power bar. It’s also highly recommended you check all bar recommendations. For example, the squat bar specifications for some federations may allow up to a 32-millimeter diameter but the GPC allow up to 3millimeters, which can change the feel of the bar and movement significantly, especially compared to a 28.5-millimeter hybrid bar. As diameter of the bar affects whip, the difference in movement across the barbells can also significantly differ from one another.
In the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) there will be two main bars: the male (20 kilograms) and female (1kilograms). The cost of your bar will primarily be influenced by budget. It’s recommended if money is no issue to get a bar with needle bearings, as these barbells will more closely imitate competition bars and the spin present on them. You can, however, get training bar versions if funds are limited with bushings that would suffice for basic lifting. If you are a professional high-end athlete or wanting to get every last edge you can in training, it would be prudent to purchase one that feels like the competition version so you can at least get some bar specificity within your training.
There are good brands that are significantly cheaper with good needle bearings, so do some research.
A CrossFit bar is a bit of a mystery. Looking into the bars typically used, they seem to favor a hybrid bar in most boxes.
To further complicate issues, they have used both men (20-kilogram) and female bars (15-kilogram) for women in competition, so make sure to double-check. They also introduced a C-70 last competition, at 1kilograms. This oddball is a shortened hybrid bar with a tiny length of 5.7feet rather than 7.00 feet, to allow more competitors in a given area due to closer spacing. I spoke to Rogue and they didn’t confirm that this is a permanent replacement. Caution should be exercised, as due to the length it won’t fit many racks, and with only 12-inch sleeves you’re not getting a lot of weight on there, especially if using thicker bumper plates. So my advice would lean more toward a general 20-kilogram hybrid bar in this instance.
If you are a female and cannot lift 20 kilograms then get the 15-kilogram hybrid, or maybe a bearing bar if you fancy an IWF competition in the future.
Added in Gym Equipment Articles
First up, a bit of background on the barbells. Given the growth in popularity of powerlifting, CrossFit, Olympic weight lifting and just strength training in general, there has been an increased demand for quality barbells. For powerlifters, the Texas Power Bar has been hugely popular. For those more into Olympic lifts, Eleiko barbells are highly regarded.
However the big drawback with these barbells is the cost. Especially in Europe, where the the American bars are costly to import.
IFS, the parent company of German brands ATX, Barbarian Line & Megatec, wanted to add quality bars to their range – but at an affordable price. In true German fashion, they went out to make a better barbell at a better price.
To do this they got a German laboratory to analyse the steel used in the leading brand barbells. The same German laboratory came back with a recipe of steel that would offer better performance. In order to offer this superior blend of steel at a great price, they would need to manufacture in China. This is where the Germans once again excel, in that they are highly proficient at setting up production systems that can generate quality at an affordable price.
A sample from each production run, is sent back to the German laboratory where it is tested for compliance with their strict standards. The end result is a barbell that will perform just as good, if not better than those high end bars but at a much more attractive price. There have been thousands of these bars sent out in Europe, to some of the most hardcore training facilities in the world. Here is an ATX bar in action at Powerbase in Eindhoven – home of Dutch strongman Niels Gordijn.
It’s also reliable, allowing you to make your change in just a few seconds.
You also get a handy tray to house the set and keep everything together.
The handle grips of the Bowflex 55feature tapered sides to enhance the feel along with a non-slip palm grip to prevent your hand from sliding around.
As the original designer of the selectorized adjustable dumbbell system, Bowflex are the most trusted and reliable supplier on the market.
Ironmaster 75lb QuickLock
The Ironmaster 75lb Quicklock adjustable dumbbell system is the fastest change system that we have come across, as well as being among the most reliable.
This set provides up to times as many pounds of weight as many other systems on the market.
They go up in increments of 2.pounds, giving you a wide range of selection options.
This set comes with a full cabinet to allow you to securely and smartly store the weights.
A heavy duty construction makes this a very durable, hard wearing set that will handle whatever punishment you throw at it.
It features a welded steel core, along with chrome plated handles that are extremely comfortable and highly grippable.
Nautilus Universal PowerPak 445
The Nautilus Universal PowerPak 44allows you to change weights in increments from to 4pounds.
It comes with a plastic workout stand, manual and workout guide.
The system uses a knob turn device that allows you to select the weight in the increments that you want to use.
The Stairmaster Twistlock Adjustable dumbbell set provides you with a very user friendly option.
A major advantage of this set is that you are able to change the weight setting without taking your hand off the handle grip.
This greatly speeds up your time to change, which is especially beneficial if you are doing down the rack style training.
The Stairmaster Twistlock also features handy weight selection window, allowing you to easily see what weight the system is set at.
This system also features enhanced safety, as the weights are firmly locked in place until you place the handle in the dock of the plate tray.
It has soft, comfort grip handles that are so comfy that you won’t even need to wear workout gloves.
The set includes the following weight plates: x 2.lbs (1.kg), x 5.0 lbs (2.kg), x lbs (4.kg), x 2lbs (11.kg), x 3lbs (15.kg), x 4lbs (20.kg). The bar itself weighs 4lbs. Thus, the starter weight is 4lbs, while adjustment increments are 5, 10, 20, 50, 70, 90 lbs. (2.2, 4.5, 9.0, 22.6, 31.7, 40.kg). Evidently, if you opt for extra plates of various weights, you can add some diversity on the possible weights of the barbell.
The SportDOG FieldTrainer
42is our pick for the best overall dog training collar. The first thing you will notice about this dog training collar is how compact it is. The collar is designed for use on dogs of pounds and over, with neck sizes of inches to 2inches. The collar is so light that most dogs will barely notice they are wearing it. The transmitter has a range of 500 yards, which may not be the longest range you can find on a dog trainer collar, but it will be more than enough for most situations.
The FieldTrainer 42is manufactured by SportDOG who specialise in dog training collars for hunting dogs, so it is no surprise that both the collar and the transmitter are tough, waterproof and submersible. We also liked the way that the transmitter fits comfortably into the palm of your hand.
II. Our Pick of The Value
The PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar is our pick for the best value dog training collar. This model has a range of 100 different settings for both the vibration and the static modes of correction, so it can be used on dogs of all kinds of different temperaments. You can also use the vibrate mode or tone mode as a warning.
The transmitter unit is light in the hand but large enough to make using it easy. It has a large, backlit LCD display as well as large buttons, so you can use it even when it is dark. Both the collar and the transmitter are also waterproof, so a bit of rain won’t be a problem either. The collar will fit dogs of between 10Lbs to 100Lbs and the maximum range of the unit is an impressive 1,200 feet. This particular model of dog training collar can be used with up to two dogs, with the purchase of additional collar.
Overall, the PetTech Remote Controlled Dog Training Collar is the best value dog training collar that is feature rich and versatile enough to be used for all types of dog obedience training.
Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer
The Educator E-collaris a versatile dog training collar that can be utilized for very small dogs and large dogs as well. The Educator Mini is usually by far the most famous collar and the smallest in the marketplace. This device comes with a 1/2 mile remote control trainer packed with exclusive features which make it one of the most humane and effective dog training collars obtainable.
The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer has some features that you simply don’t find on other e-collars and it makes use of some very advanced technology. The first thing that makes. The Educator different is the type of correction that it gives, which is not as harsh as some other dog training collars.
There are an amazing 100 levels of stimulation available on this dog training collar and that means that you can select exactly the right level of stimulation to suit both your dog’s temperament and the dog’s behaviour. The static shock that the Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer gives is different from most other training collars as well. The sensation that a dog feels is more like a tapping than it is a jolt.
The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer is available in a variety of styles and configurations, which is another big benefit of this model, and the half mile range is great if you have a dog that has a tendency to run away. The remote control unit is waterproof, shockproof and it even floats if you drop it in water. The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer also comes with a two year warranty which is a lot more than most dog shock collars have.
The Educator E-Collar Dog Trainer is a neat, well-designed dog training collar and it is packed full of clever features. From the compact and cleverly designed remote control unit to the huge range of different levels of correction; this is an electronic dog training collar that deserves a place on your e-collar shortlist.
Getting the dog’s aggression under control
Most people who own aggressive dogs probably received them that way through no mistake of their own. If a dog remains aggressive, though, they can be unpredictable and they may harm you, a close friend, or a neighbour. Because they are aggressive, they need to learn that this is simply not acceptable, and a fast way to achieve this is to use a wireless training dog collar. Using training methods that include the use of an electronic training device will help you get that aggressive behaviour under control quickly.
Size and Disposition
The very first thing you should know is there are various kinds of dog training collars that you could choose from,depending on your dog’s size, training, and its disposition. If you need just a basic lead and collar, since your dog doesn’t have any issues when out on the walk, be sure you always walk with your dog with you or behind you to show your dog your dominant position in the pack.
Easy to Use and Lightweight
Always look for the dog training collars that will be easy to use, are small and light-weight, and have audio receivers and an array of stimulation levels, because collars of this type are most effective when they are unobtrusive and the electrical stimulation can be fully controlled. This is especially the case for dogs that bark excessively. The best dog training collars can correct misbehaviour even with just a cautionary sound or a mild static shock.
If your dog happens to have problems on the walk, you can get a slip collar, which is ideal for correcting misbehaviour. If your dog, for example, gets distracted by squirrels easily, other dogs, or just by a gust of wind, a slip collar will be ideal for pulling him back and getting him back on track. Give the leash just a quick, but firm pull, because if you pull it right back, your dog will just pull back against you. However, if you give it a quick tug to the side, he will get knocked off balance, and you will get his attention.
A different type of training collar you can use is the illusion collar, which helps keep the slip collar near the top of the throat, which happens to be its most sensitive part. These are perfect for dogs that have issues on the walk, and with pulling in particular. Pulling on the scruff of the neck, as these collars do, will help your pet become more sensitive to your commands and make it respond quicker to what you want them to do.
First of all you will need to familiarise yourself with the collar and test the functions of your dog training collar. Next, you’ll fit the collar on your dog correctly. A proper fit is very important. The collar of the dog should fit snugly on top of the neck, close to the ears, and be close enough to the skin to ensure the probes are in contact with the skin rather than have the collar slipping around the dog’s throat. You need to be able to slip two fingers beneath the collar.
Fit the collar
The correct fit of a collar will ensure that it is safe and simple to use. Dog training collars work best when they are fitted properly. Your dog training collar will be the best size if it sits snugly, but easily over the dog’s head. You don’t want to buy one that is too tight, but you don’t want it to be too loose either. If it’s too tight, it will be difficult to remove and put on. If it is too loose, it could accidentally slip from the dog’s head when the head is lowered.
How to put on the training collar
When you should use the collar
Your pet should only have the collar on during training sessions. Make use of the collar only once you intend to enforce orders. Placing the collar on your dog tells your pet to pay extra attention to you and to what you are going to do next. Do not use the training collar on every day walks, when the dog is usually unsupervised, or without a leash fastened.
How the collar can be used
A dog training collar should be used as a sharp reminder or to communicate information. It should not be used as a punishment and it should not be used continuously. It is important to remember that an e-collar is an aide to good training, not a replacement for it.
Better for conditioning
On the other hand, if you’re primarily focused on strength training, consider our upgrade pick, the Ironmaster 45-Pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells, or if you want more weight, get the 75-pound version (includes a stand). Either set is expandable up to 120 pounds per handle for real heavy lifting, should you ever get to that point. This set was my personal favorite because I loved its smart design, traditional feel, and all-metal construction. However, it’s much slower to adjust, and will take you about 1to 20 seconds to fiddle with the screw-in pin lock as opposed to to for the dial-based picks. That makes them ill-suited for conditioning workouts that rely on rapid weight changes, but if you primarily want dumbbells for bodybuilding and/or stand-alone exercises, these are the better buy because they’re more durable and can be bought in heavier configurations. They also come backed by a limited lifetime warranty as opposed to the two-year affair provided by our other picks.
The adjustable dumbbells we tested allow users to easily scale up the difficulty of their workouts so that they continue to produce “adaptation” (fitness jargon for progress).
Science and Practice of Strength Training
However, that doesn’t preclude committed and experienced weightlifters from benefiting from our advice. In that spirit, we tested models like the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells and the PowerBlock U-90 (Stage set), which offer higher load-bearing possibilities (and use slightly more involved weight-adjustment methods), in order to present a thorough assessment of the major players in the field.
Kettlebells have become incredibly popular since CrossFit exploded onto the scene, but these weights aren’t ideal for at-home use. And I say this as someone who’s been working with kettlebells since 2003—in fact, they are the most-used weight equipment in my gym. But kettlebells require specific technique in both Olympic lifting and powerlifting to avoid injury, which you should really learn from a trained and certified instructor. They are great if you know how to use proper form, but I have seen very few self-taught (or YouTube-trained) kettlebell users with proper form. In addition, kettlebells typically aren’t adjustable and can actually take up more space than a full set of dumbbells. Meanwhile, dumbbells allow for more isolation movements (with less range of motion required across multiple joints), and they include a wealth of easily accessible, solid support materials, which make them better suited for at-home users.
Conditioning consists of exercises that require a person to work hard or move fast for a limited amount of time to increase their cardiovascular health. You have heard of many conditioning exercises: aerobics, short runs or sprints, jumping rope, and a lot of gym exercises that people consider to be cardio. All conditioning exercises burn fat as a result. You can also use weights (like a pair of dumbbells) for conditioning work. These workouts typically involve circuit training (exercises conducted in rapid succession and targeting different parts of your body). There’s usually only a 20- to 30-second break between exercises. That’s why it’s important to be able to change weight settings quickly. If your muscles start to tire, it’s better to complete the circuit using lighter weights than risk injury. But the only way to do that while keeping your heart rate up (without switching to a different, lighter set of weights) is to have weights that can adjust on the fly.
Strength training and conditioning each has its benefits, which is why so many experts recommend a program that combines a bit of both. Therefore, it’s nice if you can have one set of weights that excel at both types of training.
For a more detailed rundown of the two types of training, check out this breakdown at Livestrong.
How we picked
While adjustable dumbbells have been around for more than 50 years, it wasn’t until the 200release of the home workout craze P90X that the market exploded with variations on the classic barbell design. That design, which includes a bar, loose weight plates, and screw-on collars to secure them, was incredibly unwieldy for the quick transitions between exercises and weights that were a staple of P90X. Producers took note, developed new designs, and years later we have a market glutted with options in adjustable dumbbells.
Each of the experts commended the advantages of a strength program built upon a variety of resistance levels and exercises. They all agreed that the new wave of adjustable dumbbell technology had provided a convenient alternative to the screw-collar adjustable variety of yore. Read remembers that adjustable dumbbells were what brought him into weightlifting, and he “fondly” remembers his dad complaining about the “piles of weight plates strewn about everywhere in the garage.” The smaller footprint of these newer adjustable weights is a huge plus for him. Schoenfeld, whose book The M.A.X. Muscle Plan uses dumbbells for strength gains, loves the scalability of adjustable dumbbells because “having a wide range of weights facilitates the ability to derive superior results.” McDowell believes in using simple strength programs to supplement cardio training programs, and she thinks that adjustable dumbbells offer an easy solution for strength needs. She and her husband have a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552s at their house.
How we tested
Testing dumbbells “for most people” is a bit difficult to do because different people will want to do different things with them. This is why I wanted to test for both strength and conditioning, and with a variety of users of all sorts of body types to make sure we covered all the necessary bases.
I tested each of the models in three ways. First, I took them through a battery of traditional dumbbell exercises like curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses, bench presses, rows, squats, and lunges. I did each of these as stand-alone exercises, so the emphasis was on strength work and isolation instead of conditioning. In these strength tests, I was checking to make sure that the dimensions of the dumbbells didn’t compromise my range of motion, that they felt comfortable and stable through different movements, and that they allowed lots of variability in loading options (when doing isolation exercises, especially of smaller muscle groups, it’s important that users can move up in small increments).
Then, to add a more conditioning-oriented component that was in line with the currently trendy approach used by CrossFit and other methods, I used each of the dumbbells in a “complex.” These combine multiple exercises in one work set without putting down the weights. For these conditioning workouts, I was looking for a weight that was broadly functional (showing no problems with range of motion, offering quiet and stable operation, and allowing for very easy manipulation in between work sets when I was shaky and tired). Complexes allow a user to combine strength and conditioning in taxing workouts that last no more than 20 minutes. This makes them particularly well-suited to a home user who has trouble finding a workout that fits into their busy schedule. I used the following complex: five bent-over rows, five hang cleans, five squat/presses, five bent-over rows. I found this by searching Dumbbell WOD (workout of the day). The 2reps took me about 5seconds to complete.
CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Solid Chrome Bar
feet CAP Barbell Olympic Bar with an impressive 1200 pounds of weight capacity and has Patented high-tech Accu-Armour coating on the knurls as well as sleeves making it highly durable and sustainable for any heavy-duty weightlifting practices. It has snap clips assembly for the sleeves, hence, no hassle of bolted mechanism. Also, it is backed with years of noteworthy Manufacturer’s warranty period for best after-sales support.
Body Solid that offers high quality solid steel constructed bar with strong central and handgrip knurling provided for firmness while lifting. With coats of black chrome finishing and feet length, it also offers shoulder bolted sleeve assembly to secure collars in place steadfastly.
The third favorite one from the list is the
XMark Fitness feet of Olympic Bar having an impressive 700 lbs. of weight capacity with finest center and handgrip knurling provided to carry out any fitness training exercises smoothly. The black manganese phosphate coating is what is unique in this bar, making it highly corrosion-resistant and abrasion-resistant.
User Feedback on this Budget Barbell Set
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your barbell collars wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of barbell collars
- №1 — Lock-Jaw Pro Barbell Collar – 2″ / 50mm
- №2 — Synergee Aluminium Barbell Collars Locking 2″ Olympic Size Weight Clamps – Quick Release Collar Clips
- №3 — Quick Release Pair of Locking 2″ Olympic Size Barbell Clamp Collar Great for Pro Crossfit Training by Clout Fitness