Elevate your home gym with these 7 sets of barbells
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If you’re building a home gym, a solid barbell set is a must–provided, of course, that you have room for it. Really, is there anything you can’t do with a barbell and some weight plates? From squats and deadlifts to chest and shoulder presses, you can get a full body workout using just one piece of equipment.
Before you load up your cart, keep in mind that not all iron sets are created equal. The style of the plate, the iron, the length of the bar, and the amount of weight involved are all factors to consider when making a purchasing decision.
Related: Top tips for progression in home workouts
Fortunately, we’ve done the groundwork for you. Are you ready to get the most out of your strength training? Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best barbell sets for working out at home.
LesMills SMARTBAR™ Weight and Weight Set
There are many features that make this set stand out. First, the patented alligator teeth and release design make it extremely easy to change weights. There’s no need to painstakingly loosen any locks: just pull the release lever and slide the panels in and off. This means that you will waste much less time transitioning between sets and exercises.
Not only that, but the bar’s 27mm diameter reduces forearm and hand fatigue, so you can focus on maintaining proper form and activating the muscles you’re really trying to do. The rotating bar helps isolate your muscles and ensure smoother movements.
The dumbbell plates double as hand weights, and are ideal for chest and shoulder exercises. The textured area ensures a secure hand grip for a better lifting technique, and you can even hold two boards in one hand thanks to the ergonomic design. Due to the plates’ innovative squared shape, you’ll never have to worry about the bar moving too far between sets.
All that said, the iron only weighs about 40 pounds with all the plates on it. However, you can purchase additional panels separately.
“I love how the individual weights have the center bar to help with grip,” one reviewer writes. “I am starting to develop arthritis in the thumb joint in my hands and have found these weights to be more comfortable to hold than traditional weights.”
$479 at LesMills.com
Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell with Curl Bar
This super-handy set has garnered hundreds of five-star reviews, and it’s easy to see why.
First, the space-saving design makes it an ideal solution for those with limited space to exercise. By replacing seven barbells and seven curling bars, it allows you to do a variety of exercises with less equipment.
The bar can be easily adjusted between seven different weights ranging from 20 to 80 pounds, giving you plenty of flexibility for different muscle groups. All you have to do is turn the dial to change your weight setting, resulting in less lost time between sets.
Reviewers also note that the strap is very comfortable to hold. One even noted that it felt like a “custom-made fist.”
The design and build here are clearly of a high quality – but just for your peace of mind, the entire assembly is fully covered by a 3-year warranty.
Want an extra challenge? Choose the SelectTech 2080 weight upgrade, which offers four additional weight settings for a maximum of 120 lbs.
$449 at Bowflex.com
CAP Barbell 300-lb Olympic Set
Calling All Heavy Lifters: When it comes to massive, you can’t beat this Olympic set, which includes 14 weight plates for a total of 300 pounds including bar. This gives you plenty of room to train both small and large muscle groups as you progress on your fitness journey.
The 7-foot bar, made of high-quality steel, comes with spring-loaded collars for added safety. Meanwhile, the cast iron plates can be easily moved during exercise. Reviewers love that the handle design makes the boards easier and more comfortable to handle.
As you gradually increase the load, the included changing plates—which include two 2.5-pound plates and four 5-pound plates—enable you to achieve more accurate totals.
“A perfect addition to my home gym kit,” one reviewer wrote. “There’s no need for a gym membership when you can have this at your convenience.”
$599.99 at Amazon.com
Related: The best dumbbell sets
Fitness equipment 300 lbs
On a tight budget? This Olympic set offers a lot of value for the price: With a variety of different weights ranging from 2.5 lbs all the way up to 45 lbs, you have plenty to work on no matter your fitness level or goals.
Perhaps the only drawback, according to some reviewers, is that because the 45-pound boards are slightly smaller in diameter, some movements—like deadlifts—can feel awkward.
However, you can’t beat this price for the value.
“I actually like the light grooves at the end where the weights sit because they help grip the clamp and stop the weights from walking,” one user writes. “I also really like how they grip weights and they have a built in handle cutout. This definitely helps in grabbing larger weights while loading and unloading the bar.”
Note: This set also comes in another version with a maximum weight of 135 lbs.
$399.99 at DicksSportingGoods.com
Club Quality Deluxe Bar Set 4 Weights by Step Fitness
If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly, no-frills option without the sticker shock that comes with some iron sets, look no further.
This set comes with four sets of weight plates ranging from 2.75 to 11 pounds apiece, giving you a total of 60 pounds to work with. This may not be enough when you get into more advanced training, but it’s a solid place to start.
The panels, which are made from recycled material and laminated to a durable HDPE shell, feature quick-release collars – meaning it’s easy to quickly change weights as needed. What’s also great about these weights is that they’re designed like steering wheels with multiple handles, making them easier to carry and opening up the option to do a greater variety of exercises.
As for the rod, the heavy gauge steel construction and powder coating ensure it will last a long time.
“The coated finish on the strap makes for a better grip when your hands are sweaty,” one reviewer wrote. “So far, there has been no flaking of paint like I see with metal finish bars, and I think this bar is easier on my hands than smooth metal bars.”
Another reviewer noted that they were able to get additional weight plates compatible with the bar – so keep in mind that although it may take some digging to find the right fit, you do have the option to go up in weight for an extra challenge if 60 pounds isn’t cutting it.
$135.99 at Amazon.com
XMark Olympic Weight Set with Olympic Bar
One problem with lifting weights at home is that you can’t exactly bail on the go—at least not without seriously damaging your floors. This set is made with durable rubber-coated bumper plates for added reassurance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll want to lock the bar the way you do in the gym (depending on the surface you’re working on) but you won’t have to be as careful as you would with barbell-based boards.
The product comes in a wide range of maximum weights, ranging from 65 lbs to 365 lbs, so there is an option for every level of strength exerciser.
Conveniently slotted plates make it easy to load and unload onto the bar, and the slotted profile is easy to grip. The strap features a solid chrome sleeve with a maintenance-free O-ring locking system and is coated with a corrosion and friction resistant manganese phosphate for longer life and a more comfortable grip. It also features 10 needle bearings for smoother, quieter rotation.
However, it should be noted that the hoops are not included, so you will have to purchase them separately.
“I used to consider myself a garage gym snob and took a chance on this bar and I’m so glad I did!” writes one reviewer. “The tread is light – medium in depth but very durable due to the coating and is great for high rep work but still has enough stick to do heavy lifts. The spin on this bar is amazing! Very smooth and consistent. The spin is also very fast which is great for OLY lifts (clean And jerk, grab). If you’re in the market for a good general-purpose training tape, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better one at this price point.”
$694 at Amazon.com
Decathlon 110lb Weight Training Adjustable Cast Iron Dumbbell and Barbell Set
If you need an all-in-one set with all the essentials for at-home weightlifting, you can’t go wrong with this set – which includes both a barbell and adjustable dumbbells for maximum versatility without breaking the bank.
The durable cast iron and steel rods are backed by a two-year warranty, and the non-slip knurled design promises better grip and handling. The weights can be stacked up to 110 pounds, and keep in mind you can always purchase additional plates separately if you want to lift a heavier load.
Reviewers agree that the quality is surprisingly good considering the price, and they say it’s an excellent space-saving option if you have limited space to store weights.
“This is a good set for beginners,” one reviewer wrote. The barbell and dumbbell bars are well knurled for a good grip, without being too sharp, and the weights are plated, so they shouldn’t rust in indoor use. The clamps to hold the weights on are very simple and quick to use. Overall, I think this was a good buy for working out at home, and I’m happy I would recommend him.”
$149 at Decathlon.com
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