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Specialty Weightlifting Bars Review & Shopping Guide

Specialty weightlifting bars shopping guide

There is a great variety of specialty weightlifting bars on the market to supplement your workouts with. Maybe you’ve already seen some weird looking bar at one of the gyms and wondered what it was called, what it was for, or where you could get one. I’m going to give you a brief tour of many of these specialty bars right here, right now. From logs to axles and traps bars and multi-grips, let’s get you up to speed on some of these specialty bars.

Heavy Duty Multi-Grip Bar / Swiss Bar

The amazing Rogue Heavy Duty Multi-Grip Bar - Specialty Weightlifting Bars

Rogue MG-1 Multi-Grip Heavy Duty Bar – $292

I’m starting with my favorite: the Rogue MG-1 Heavy Duty Multi-Grip Bar. This 63 pound black beast of a Swiss bar allows you to train with a neutral grip and set new records. The MG-1 has Olympic sleeves and 3 different handle widths (5″, 13″, and 21″) and is rackable in a power rack or squat rack. This bar is the tool of choice for power lifters and other athletes who need to train a neutral grip for increased explosive strength. The neutral grip is also easier on the shoulders.

Use this bad boy for bench press, floor press, lockouts, JM press, shoulder press, and more.  Add chains, bands or change your grip width and you have one very powerful weapon in your bar arsenal with a ton of uses. This thing is truly fantastic; I love it! Check the video below for a demo.

Other Multi-Grip Bars

The Rogue MG-23 multi-grip specialty bar

Rogue MG-23 Bar – $245

The Rogue MG-24 multi-grip specialty bar

Rogue MG-24 Bar – $245

The Rogue MG-3 multi-grip specialty bar

Rogue MG-3 Bar – $275

Farmers Walks Handles

Specialty Weightlifting Bars - Rogue Farmers Walks Handles

Rogue Farmers Walks Handles (pair) – $185

Farmers Walks Handles are for well, farmers walks. Tax your grip, upper back, lower body and increase your general physical preparedness all with one tool. These are sold in pairs. Each handle is roughly 60″ long with around 11-12″ of loadable sleeve on each end, but this varies by manufacturer. Farmers handles can be loaded with standard Olympic plates (bumper or steel), but steel spring collars won’t work, you’ll need clamp collars or strongman collars.

There are lots of places to buy farmer’s walk handles, and prices are all pretty competitive. Check out Rogue’s handles for $185. You can also find them from Black Widow, American Barbell, etc. See the technique video below for a demonstration of farmers walks.

Rogue LB-1 Log Bar

Strongman Log Bar LB-1 by Rogue

The Rogue LB-1 10″ Log Bar – $395

If you are already into strongman training, this specialty bar will be no mystery to you. This giant 10″ diameter log has one purpose, and that is training for maximum strength. The neutral grip is easier on the shoulders for all the pressing movements. Use this log for pressing, cleans, jerks, benching and rows. It weighs almost 70 pounds unloaded and can handle up to 1000 pounds in additional weight. The LB-1 Log Bar is available from Rogue.

Rogue LB-3 12 inch log bar

Rogue LB-3 12″ Log Bar – $595

There is also a 8″ and 12″ Log Bar. The 8″ bar sells for $345 and weight 51-pounds unloaded, and the 12″ bar sells for $595 and weighs 134 pounds unloaded. Of course, you can also go with a real log; the Slater Log.

Slater True Logs

Slater Logs – $449 – $695

Specialty Weightlifting Bar – Tricep Bar

Specialty Weightlifting Bar - the Tricep Bar

The Specialty Tricep Bar – ~$90

First let me say that most people don’t need this bar. If you have wrist or elbow issues this may be helpful for you, but otherwise you probably have zero reason to own this. And even if you had to have a bar with this grip position, I’d suggest that you get the first bar listed on this post (the Rogue MG-1) as it is far more versatile. Having said that, it is still a specialty bar so I am including it here.

This bar is intended for doing tricep extensions in it’s various forms in a manner that is less confining to the wrists. It can also be used for hammer curls and a few other random accessory exercises. There are dozens of versions of this bar available on Amazon, some Olympic, some standard; some knurled and some with this grip padding. I mention Amazon because you won’t find these sold by the big boy barbell manufacturers like Rogue or Eleiko.

The Rogue Trap Bar

The hex trap bar from Rogue Fitness

The Rogue TB-1 Trap Bar – $295

The Rogue Trap Bar is an 88″ long, 80 pound knurled bar intended for shrugs and deadlifts. One benefit of a trap bar deadlift is that it puts less stress on the lumbar spine since the load is centered and not off axis like a traditional deadlift. It’s also great for beginner lifters. The trap bar can be racked in a standard power rack and it has 13″ Olympic sleeves for plates. Trap bars are great, check out the video below for a demo.

Olympic EZ Curl Bar

EZ Curl bicep bar

The easily recognizable EZ Curl Bar

Another bar that may not be necessary for the average person, the EZ curl bar was developed to take some pressure off of the wrists during curls. It can also be used for tricep movements like skull crushers. I personally feel this bar has more potential and legitimate use than a tricep bar, but you could still probably do without it. Unless you have an actual injury, there is an argument to be made that you should improve the flexibility in your wrists rather than attempt to accommodate the issue with specialized equipment. Still, it’s nice to have… I do!

The black oxide Ivanko EZ Curl Bar

EZ Curl bars are made by many manufacturers. The only high-end EZ bar is by Ivanko for more money than you might have paid for your Olympic bar (but I hope not). It’s rated at 218,000 PSI! So go with a Troy or York to save some cash, but avoid super cheap models like CAP as they are sometimes hollow… ya, hollow.

The Rogue Safety Squat Bar

Well this bar is a little weird to explain, so I’m gonna copy and paste a few lines here from the manufacturer:

The weight distribution is unique to this bar. Training with the Rogue Safety Squat bar is known to tax your anterior chain; the weight distribution falls between the front squat and the high-bar back squat to vary your power output training. This bar is a safer option for intense squat progressions or maximum load lifts.This bar is known to increase your maximum working weight when compared to the traditional back squat.

So there you go! This beast weighs 70 pounds and has machined Olympic sleeves for Olympic plates. This bar has been tested up to 1000 pounds. Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see this bar in action.

The Branch and Beam Bars

the branch and beam rogue specialty weightlifting bars

The Rogue Branch & Beam Bars – $165 ea.

Both of these fat bars are designed to improve forearm and grip strength while adding a challenging new dimension to pulls and deadlifts. They both weigh about 40 pounds and can handle up to about 550 pounds of plates on the 14″ sleeves. The Branch (the round bar) is 3″ in diameter and the beam (the square tube) is 3″ x 3″. The grip area on both bars is 38.5″. These bars are not knurled so keeping these thick bars in your hands is all on you. Check them both out at Rogue Fitness.

The York Bi-Tri-Trap Bar

The York bi-tri-trap specialty weightlifting bar

The York Bi-Tri-Trap Bar – ~$120

This York bar is 30 mm with rubber grips and is intended for various bicep, tricep and trap movements. You can curl it, row it, skull crush with it… it’s ridiculous. I’ve actually never seen one of these in person and wouldn’t really know what to do with it if I did. For some reason, it looks unsafe to me but what do I know. Amazon sells these.

Videos of Specialty Bar Use

Rogue Multi-Grip Bar

Rogue Trap Bar

Rogue Safety Squat Bar

Farmers Walks Technique

There are many variations of all the bars I’ve mentioned. I saw many versions of the multi-grip bar, trap bar, and the “arm” bars online, but they are more or less the same save for some quality differences. You should be able to recognize almost any barbell and identify its use with no problem now. If you feel I overlooked something critical, please comment below. Merry Christmas!

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Louis-Jean June 13, 2014, 9:22 am

    What about cambered bar ?

    • jburgeson June 13, 2014, 12:23 pm

      The safety squat bar is basically a cambered bar, but yes there are other variations. Concerning the cambered bench bar, I just opted to leave it out. Not that common anymore due to shoulder issues… or that’s my understanding of why we don’t see them anymore. PL shops tend to carry them.

  • John Doe January 11, 2016, 10:28 pm

    I am in the market for a trap bar. Budget is a big concern but I’m not going to buy something I will break. If I had the money I would by this http://www.amazon.com/Super-Olympic-Trap-Combo-Bar/dp/B0017RLK9A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452572808&sr=8-1&keywords=super+trap+bar or mabey the rogue, but I don’t. Can you suggest a few cheap options?

    • jburgeson January 11, 2016, 11:42 pm

      I don’t know where you’re going to find a trap bar for much less than $300… that’s about the norm. Generally the ones you find for significantly less than that are shorter and not rackable.. That takes a lot of the variety out of owning a piece like that, which I think you want in something that already is very specific and generally unnecessary anyway. Do you have a mobility issue that prevents you from deadlifting with a standard barbell? Is there a specific reason you’re in the market for a trap bar?

  • John Doe January 12, 2016, 12:08 pm

    I just need it for shrugs and farmers walk but if I am buying one I need a quality one cuz ill probably end up using it for different things eventually. The EFTS bar seems like the best deal at 170

  • Brian November 19, 2016, 11:34 am

    Anyone know where to purchase a Gaspari curl bar?
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  • Tony December 17, 2016, 12:19 pm

    If you could only have one specialty bar, what would it be? I imagine I’d have a multi-grip and an earthquake bar at some point in the distant future when my training deserves such things.

    • jburgeson December 17, 2016, 2:51 pm

      Yeah some form of Swiss bar like the MG’s from Rogue. I’m not keen on their MG prices, but they are about the nicest out there that I know.

  • Dave January 25, 2017, 8:13 pm

    Great site. Have you heard feedback about the Intek Functional Trap? It looks so versatile. Also considering the Rogue TB-2.

    https://intekstrength.com/product/functional-trap-bar/
    https://youtu.be/8iLaMCcaPcM

    • jburgeson January 26, 2017, 7:08 pm

      Thank you, and no I have not. It’s an interesting idea, but it looks like all the movements that this open front end allows are already possible in a gym. Zerkers, lunges, step-ups, etc. It might make for an interesting addition if you are already in the market for a trap bar and don’t mind spending so much money on this one, but I have a feeling the vast majority of people would be more than happy with something like the TB-2 for less money.

  • T January 30, 2017, 12:18 pm

    So when are the Rogue EZ curl bar and arm blaster reviews coming?

    • jburgeson January 30, 2017, 2:26 pm

      I might actually grab the curl bar; it looks sweet and the one I have is garbage anyway, but not the arm blaster. I have mixed feelings about devices that allow you to curl more than you could otherwise do with good form. Twice in my life I’ve developed elbow tendinitis from overloading curls via preacher benches and similar upper arm bracing devices, so I’m not really a fan.

  • Mark March 2, 2017, 6:29 pm

    Any thoughts on the Valor Fitness Super Hex Trap Bar? I’ve seen another commercial version of this by an Australian company, but this is the one I’ve seen in the US with this design.

    • jburgeson March 3, 2017, 10:16 am

      I don’t like that assembly is required. The sleeves are attached with bolts, and that is exactly why the load limit is so low for a trap bar. The multiple handles is a neat idea, but that’s already possible without moving parts. Price is nice compared to true trap bars, but at the end of the day it is less equipment for less money considering that stronger folks risk damaging it (450+ is not at all unreasonable for a deadlift). For someone who needs a trap bar to work around an injury, sure why not. For hardcore workouts, get something welded and strong that doesn’t require assembly. Also notice that the distance between handles is about 3 or 4 inches further apart than normal – which can be bad or good depending on the user.

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