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
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
Farmers Walks Handles
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. American Barbell, etc. See the technique video below for a demonstration of farmers walks.
Rogue LB-1 Log Bar
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.
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.
Specialty Weightlifting Bar – Tricep Bar
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 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
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!
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
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
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!