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MG-1 Swiss Bar – The Most Versatile Specialty Bar Around

The MG1 Multi-Grip Swiss Barbell - The best specialty bar

Are you looking for a way to add some variation to your lifts? Are you hitting some plateaus and needing to break up the routine? For an inexpensive way to mix up your bench press, overhead press, rows, deadlifts, and even arm workouts, consider a Swiss bar like Rogue’s MG-1 Multi-Grip Bar. The MG-1 Bar may very well be the best, most versatile specialty bar option on the market, and it’s easily one of the least costly ways to add a new dimension to a stale workout.

Last updated December 2017 – brought current with price and specification adjustments

As you can see the MG-1 is Rogue’s version of the Swiss Bar. I was originally interested in a Swiss bar because I wanted to add some variety to my chest routine. I wanted a bar that could help me bust out of my own plateau; a bar that would allow me to train explosiveness and lift more weight, but with a neutral grip and less stress on my shoulders. This bar does all that and a lot more.

This guy knows what's up. Gear galore, but you can't beat the MG-1 for versatility

Sweet garage gym. This guy knows what’s up – I see the MG-1 Bar.

The MG-1 Swiss Bar is surprisingly versatile. I knew when I bought one that it would have other uses besides a bench press bar, I just didn’t realize how many. I can mix up so many different exercises with it; shoulder press, military press, skull crushers, hammer curls, JM presses, lockouts, floor presses, stiff leg deads, close-grip bench and my absolute favorite secondary use for this bar – the bent-over barbell row. Try to find another specialty bar as versatile as the Swiss bar. You won’t find this many ways to use an EZ curl bar or trap bar unless you just start making exercises up.

Floor presses with a Swiss bar using chains instead of plates for dynamic lifting

Floor presses with the MG-1 using chains rather than plates. A neutral grip bench with dynamic weights.

Add upper back variation by using the MG1 to row

Bent-over rows with the MG-1 / Swiss bar. While there is nothing wrong with standard barbell rows, this does introduce some variation that allows you to work different muscles.

The MG-1 weighs 39 pounds, has 1.91″ sleeves that utilize the 2″ Olympic plates that you already own, and will work with many Olympic collars, but works best with Strongman/axle collars. The MG-1 Bar is completely welded, made in the USA, and has 3 different handle widths (5½”, 13½”, and 21½” apart). It’s 82″ long and will rack in your standard power rack or squat rack. It sells for $275; about as much as a decent, mid-range Olympic barbell.

Rogue MG-1 Multi-grip Bar v2

Remember that this is still a barbell. You can use this bar with your chains and resistance bands as well. Like I said, this bar is extremely versatile and you’ll be wondering where it has been your whole life.

Add Fat Gripz to take your workout even further

Mix things up even more by adding Fat Gripz. These will allow you to train your grip and forearms along with whatever else you’re working on

If you have tendinitis or carpal tunnel you’re already imagining how much more comfortable your lifts would be with this bar. This is a must for anyone who has any pain associated with wrist rotation; especially when a load is applied. That goes for both pulling and pressing. I hyper-extended one of my wrists years ago and underhand grips were hell; so painful. Had I known about this then, I would have had to deal with a lot less pain while I worked out.

Check this bar out. Rogue isn’t the only company that makes a Swiss bar, I just happen to like Rogue. Buy it from whoever you want, just get one! I will say this though, Rogue is one of the few Swiss Bar makers that knurls the handles. Plus they offer other variations like the MG-2 and MG-3 that may be better suited to you and your training needs. Also, there is no lead time so you’ll have at in no time.

Rogue MG-2 Multi-Grip / Swiss Bar Variant

Do you already own this bar? Comment and let us know what you like about it. What’s your favorite exercise with it?



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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Josh Anderson January 31, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Benching with it is a little different, and so far bent over rows are probably my favorite

    • jburgeson January 31, 2015, 8:17 pm

      It is, at first. I like pressing with it. Not every time, but I mix it in.

  • B.RodX December 23, 2015, 11:35 am

    Thanks for the review and your insights on this bar. Would you recommend the Rogue MG-1 which has all its grips in the neutral position or the Rogue MG-2 or MG-3 which have the grips slightly at an angle. I’m leaning more towards the MG-1 but I would like to be 100% sure this is the right one and not one of the others. I know it’s probably more on an individual”s preference, but I would like to know why you (or anyone else) chose the MG-1.

    • jburgeson December 23, 2015, 12:40 pm

      Unless you need a particular position because of a shoulder injury, its just personal preference. If you’ve got a pair of dumbbells you can sort of emulate the positions and see which feels the most useful. If you plan to shoulder press and/or use it for rows, the standard 90 degree MG-1 is probably the way to go. But again, it’s preference, and you can make either variation work.

  • Dan April 17, 2017, 9:44 pm

    What is the maximum loading capacity to one of those bars?

    • jburgeson April 18, 2017, 11:32 am

      They don’t say. Matter of fact I don’t recall ever seeing a capacity given for a specialty press bar. I think it only becomes relevant with squat/deadlift bars – where real weight may potentially be involved.

      On the off chance you meant loading capacity, the sleeves are 14″.

  • Johnny April 18, 2018, 9:22 pm

    Do you guys make a Swiss bar with rotating sleeves? I often run into shoulder problems using the straight bar.

    • jburgeson April 18, 2018, 10:40 pm

      I don’t know of any, but with Swiss bars there really is no need for that. The bar shaft isn’t ever put into rotation. Also, since Swiss bars are made with tubing that has a 1.9″ diameter rather than 2″ diameter of normal sleeves, plates tend to spin freely around the sleeves anyway (if ever put into a situation where they would spin; like rotating the bar around toward the front of J-cups or something).

  • justin October 17, 2020, 12:39 pm

    Do you still consider this the best multi grip bar option? I’m looking into getting one but there are so many choices.

    Also struggling to figure out if I should go with one that only has neutral grips or a mixed grip one. Any advice you have there? I have had shoulder issues in the past but not from lifting. I am also training for powerlifting if that helps.

    • jburgeson October 18, 2020, 9:07 am

      At this point, probably not. You’re right, there are so many options out there now, and it may be that the angled variations of the Swiss Bar are probably the best for most people. Or mixed, if it’s configured the way you think would work for you.

      I’ve actually had the kind of shoulder issue for the better part of the last year that prohibits a flat bench regardless of hand position, so my Swiss Bar is covered in dust. Were I able to press and wanting to upgrade, I would look towards something like the American Gridiron Bar by Elite, or Rogue MG-2. Probably the MG-2 because it’s cheaper and from a company I like more than the other, but either would work for me.

  • Mauricio Mendoza April 23, 2022, 8:54 am

    Hi, I have a Rep pr4000 rack, and as you know, all rep racks are 47″ width. Could this rogue or elitefts bars fit in my rack?I know rep just released its multigrip bar, but I am not sold totally on it.
    Thank you!

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