In today’s blog, I want to talk about specialty squat bar/ or simply said squat barbell and give you some reasons to consider getting one and discuss some other reasons why maybe in case you should stay away from them.
So if you’re on the cliff, hoping to get one for yourself or not, this review blog on the best squat bar is going to help you.
“Mind you, here we’re discussing Squat Bar, not safety squat bar.” They’re different.
It is a really interesting story with me and ‘specialty bar for squats’ because if you asked me several years ago.“Hey, should I get a specialty squat bar? My answer right away would have been NO, and that’s pretty much it. 😊
Because if you know anything about specialty squat bars, my perception of them initially would be, and what really came to mind was a fat powerlifter who tends to be a little out of shape, wears a lot of knee wraps, and probably doesn’t squat to depth, in a weird Federation✌️.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of other people had that perception too.
And I didn’t probably help that at that time because there wasn’t also a lot in the marketplace in terms of brand availability of such barbells.
⏯️ Outside the Texas power bar, Mastodon squat bars, and some others there weren’t a lot of dedicated specialty squat bars available, and especially in India, there were NO options.❌ (at least that I was familiar with.)
But now my views have changed.🤷
Ideal For: Squat barbell is very beneficial for a lot of elite lifters, who go that extra mile to lift weights efficiently.
When you look at squat bar dimensions, the basics behind it are:
Now, for most people training at home or like YOU and ME who are maybe squatting like 120-140 KG, I didn’t think this barbell for squats would probably be that useful.
But again, I have mixed thoughts about them.
#1 Bullrock Squat bar in India
#2 Rogue Squat Bar
#3 Strength Shop Bastard Bar
#4 Squat bar by Strong Arm
32 mm Shaft Diameter
32 mm Shaft Diameter
32 mm Shaft Diameter
32 mm Shaft Diameter
Bar Coating: Black oxide
Stainless Steel Shaft
Shaft Finish: Bare Steel
Why I think you should get one because:🤷
With a squat bar you typically find that it’s much longer than a normal powerlifting bar📏, I think the thought here was to allow bigger lifters with poor shoulder mobility🤷 to kind of set the bar appropriately and not worry about any kind of shoulder issues.
Especially if they are in a really tight squat suit or just generally out of shape, who can’t really move their shoulders that well. 😅
Also, if you have a 49 inches power rack, They’re really beneficial to a lot of people and depending on what type of powerlifting bar you generally have or if you have a competition-style thin collar on there.
You’ll find the plates generally get pretty close to the uprights on a rack because the squat bar is longer it actually pushes the weights out further.
➡️ This means that really, no matter where the bar is centered or positioned in the rack when it’s racked while walking out, you’ll no longer clip the sides of the rack, which can be very disruptive for anybody.
Especially if you’re going for a really heavy lift or a PR and when you’re really focused on actually doing the lift. Hitting the rack would waste so much energy and willpower of a lifter 🤮 that it can really sabotage you going forward.
When you take a look at the shaft of a squat bar, you’re typically looking at somewhere between 32 to 35 millimeters of shaft diameter compared to a normal bar that’s somewhere between 24 and 26 mm.
Initially, they did this to add stiffness to it and rigidity.
As you load more weights onto it. The weight is obviously further pushed out because the bar is longer, it’s really beneficial to a lot of people’s training.
In my opinion, because there’s the more actual area of the bar to be in contact with your back. 😀
Add on to that the fact that most of these specialty squat bars are extremely well to aggressively knurled.⛰️
It means that not only do you have a lot of contact points on your back but those contact points are really sharp and when you set up with a squat bar, you really know and feel it because it’s not going anywhere, or slip which can really help on hot days when it’s pushing 100 degrees.
You might be more sweaty💦 and you have that knurling digging down into your back and when you have that thicker bar on your back that really gets settle pretty well.
That’s an issue I’ve seen with some of these other gym barbells or if you’ve squatted with the powerlifting bar which might have center knurling but there are still some smooth parts of the bar on the shaft that can STILL lead to slipping. 🤷
For that reason, a lot of people chalk their back in competition to negate this. In training, they might wear an A7 bar grip shirt or things of that nature.
Therefore, the knurl on this specialty bar for squats is fairly aggressive, which I like a lot.😁
With a lot of these squat bars, what you’ll notice on this one, in particular, is the Rogue stainless steel squat bar is fully knurled across the entire shaft, which is NICE FEATURE.
Meaning no matter where the bar touches on your back you’re going to have knurling there, which again leads to how secure it can feel on your back.
And even when you take a look at some of the other squat bars that might not have a fully knurl shaft like the Texas squat bar the ISF squat bar strong-arm squat bar the center knurling portion is actually wider than you’d find on a powerlifting bar 🦍
Or if you’re coming from something like an Olympic bar which doesn’t have any knurling whatsoever in the center, you can really feel that difference.
While setting up the bar on your back. You might notice that some squat bar like Strength Shop- bastard squat bar has a lot more rings💍 on it than your normal barbell.
In fact, some have 5 knurl marks/ rings which I think are just off of frame, but you’re familiar with those they’re on every single powerlifting bar you’ve probably ever used. 😄
It also has a center ring, so that way, if you’re getting under the bar and lining up, you don’t need someone to help set you up. You can ensure that you’re always in the center of the bar.
✔️This also helps in general because this squat barbells is longer than normal.
The fact that I generally use roller cups for my rack so I can always position the bar as CENTER sometimes even though I think the bar is centered because this is so much longer and I’m not running into the sleeves as quickly as I would with a Powerlifting Bar.
I could potentially be a little bit off-center otherwise, so I can always make sure with this Center knurl mark and I’m always in the center where I need to be obvious to set myself up for as much success as possible.
➡️ You will also notice in some bars there are 2 other knurl marks for rings and what this is actually going to do is denote where on a typical barbell the knurling would start. 😄
Now, this might not seem like a big thing to a lot of you, but if you talk to someone who takes a narrow grip, they usually will use the start of the knurling in order to position their hands. Instead of someone using the actual powerlifting ring marks or whatnot.
💭 This just gives you another guide point that if you usually used to grip where the knurling starts to set up, this is just an easier way to go about doing it.
If you’re actually competing in a Federation, so pretty much anyone outside the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation). You’re probably using a squat bar.
A lot of people ‘like to practice how they play‘
That’s why people get a calibrated plates that’s why people get all this fancy expensive equipment because they’re really interested in powerlifting. 🔥
Having a bar that you’re going to use in competition can be very helpful. Otherwise, if you’re used to training on a powerlifting bar and you when you go into your competition and, for instance, you’re using a specialty barbell for squats🏋️ which you’ve never touched before.
It can be a little difficult for some people to grasp, and that’s not just because it has a thicker shaft. It’s a lot different.
So practice as you play.🤾♂️
These are mainly the 6 main benefits, in my opinion, of using a specialty bar for squats.
No longer hitting the brights on walkouts, the bigger thicker bar is going to feel a lot better on your back, especially with the knurling, and again if you’re competing in a Federation that uses one it’s good to have one in your back pocket.
For everyone again, I think they’re very beneficial.
But wait!!! There are definite reasons to stay away from them as well.
So this bar, Rogue Squat bar, I think retails for something like $450 that’s before tax and shipping. Cap squat bars around the same, we’re taking a look at like the Kabuki squat bar I want to say it’s probably in the upper five hundred or so depending on what finish you get it’s definitely enough from you.
So these specialty squat bars can be pretty pricey, which makes them a deterrent for people to buy something like these.
😅 Though they’re meant only for squats.
Yes, but if you’re competing, you’re probably not going to want to bench with this bar because it’s not going to be like what you’ll see in the competition
Yes, you can, but it’s actually harder to grip even though it has good knurling it’s thicker, which means it’s going to tax your grip a little more.
And because the knurling is more prominent in terms of a fully knurled shaft or a wider center knurling piece, you find it aggressive here. On top of that, depending on how you pull for a deadlift.
If you choose to use that for this, it’s really going to eat up your shins or your socks.
➡️ So the specialty bar for squats is tough, and it’s tough to recommend.
Whereas a deadlift specialty bar will allow you to pull more for most people the very first time you use it.
It’s also not as versatile as something like a safety squat bar which you can use for safety bar squats, or for Hatfield’s squats, or lunges, good mornings.😅
It’s a lot more versatile than this, which is predominantly just for back squats. So for a lot of people, #1 paying a lot of money 💰 and #2 not using it as much as you would like is a drawback.
Other cons of the squat bar are:
📢Power Barbell for an all-around bar it’s tough to recommend and probably the biggest reason why I wouldn’t recommend this for most people. Because when I take a look at one of the biggest benefits which are not hitting the uprights or maybe even feeling a little more secure in your back.
Those are all things that are easily prevented if you work on your walkout and how you actually rack the bar on your back.
So if you have a problem where you’re clipping the uprights as you walk a squat out, they help clean up your walkout.
That way, you don’t have to spend $500 on a barbell that you probably don’t need.
Yes, it’s beneficial, but again you could easily fix that without dropping money on specialty squat bar 💸 and could put that towards buying other things for your own gym as far as getting a better power rack on your back. Ya, the knurling is good, all that good stuff, but for a lot of people that are not going to make a huge difference.
It is about going that extra mile. Do you want to go the extra mile? Yes, then go buy a squat bar.
I think for most people, add to the fact that if you do compete, let’s say in USA PL or IPF 🏋️♂️ you’re going to be using a powerlifting bar for all your lifts. So you would never actually use this in competition again kind of diminishing some of the value that I’ve mentioned is one of the reasons to consider it.
At the end of the day there’s pros, there’re cons of squat bar. Like I said, I think they’re extremely beneficial if you’re looking for your very first specialty barbell. 💯
I don’t think a squat bar should be bought unless the exception is you compete in a federation that uses one or you really just can’t clean up your walkout enough where you can’t avoid hitting the uprights.
There are other bars as well- like Olympic bar or power bar, which you can probably buy first, but again, if you have the money, you have the room in your gym or you’re looking for something like this. I think it’s a good idea for a lot of people. 💭
You’d be surprised about how much you like specialty squat bar, even if you’re squatting something like 100 KG, and on higher weights it spreads out MAGIC!!!
Other good blogs to read:
1. A Champion’s Guide on How to choose the best barbell for home gym in India.
2. What is Squat Bar: Should you buy a squat bar?
3. 5 Best specialty barbell for garage gym
A specialty squat bar normally weighs 20-31 kgs. That’s more than any Olympic bar. The reason is clear and simple; they are made long, thick, and with larger sleeves. The extra material gets added, making them heavier than any normal barbell.
Most people do use a power bar for their squats, as they are made thicker, have center knurling on them, and gains minimal flex. But as the emergence of specialty squat bars begins, some athletes who do train with federations, or compete, have shifted towards practicing with a specialty bar.💤 There is no significant benefit, but they’re more native to bars that we get in competitions.
The gold standard is probably the Texas power bar, which is in my opinion, the most popular one. That’s someone I see out there most frequently. ➡️ To get that bar in the lowest level finish, which is bare steel, bare steel shaft, and bare steel sleeves, with shipping is going to cost you still probably around $440 when it is all said and done.
Considering the Indian market for gym equipment, which is fairly new and much separated, there are opportunities to explore and brands are bringing out some good bars, but currently, we can’t recommend you anything because there are none available.
Alternatively, you can explore Bullrock Fitness India to look at some of their other specialty bars.
I hope you get some value out of the blog: “What is Specialty Squat Bar: Do You Really Need One?”😄
If you have other comments or questions regarding a squat bar or anything else. Please leave them in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading.
Stay Strong, Keep Lifting.
Sharing is caring.💘