5 Different Types of Deadlift Bars & Their Uses

5 Different Types of Deadlift Bars and Their Uses

With so many different types of bars on the market these days, it can be difficult to know which bars can be used for deadlifts and what purpose they could serve in our training programs. 

But don’t worry, we’ve narrowed it down for you so you can see all the options available to you when you’re deadlifting, and what their intended uses are.

The 5 Different Types Of Deadlift Bars are:

To better understand the options available, I’ll break down each type of deadlift bar and discuss how they could benefit our performance. I’ll also mention some potential negatives for using each type of bar so you can make a more informed decision.

After reading this article you’ll learn:

  • Which types of barbells can be used for deadlifting
  • The benefits of using one bar over another for deadlifts
  • Which type of deadlift bar is the best fit for you
  • My favorite product for each type of deadlift bar

Do You Want A Flexible Bar For Deadlifting? 

Using a more flexible bar is a benefit when we deadlift because the more flexible it is, the better our leverage in the start position is going to be. 

When we set up to initiate our deadlift off the floor, we should be wedding ourselves into the bar, and when the bar has more flexibility (also called “whip”) the bar itself will bend so that we can achieve a higher start position. 

Having a higher start position gives us better leverage to get the bar off the ground. 

If we’re using a bar with less flexibility that is stiffer, we will not be able to achieve the same amount of leverage in the start position and the weight will feel heavier coming off the floor.

The downside of having a more flexible bar is that the bar may be more prone to breaking over time because it is not as rigid. The flexibility of the bar may come at the cost of its integrity over time.

Looking for more barbells?  Check out our other articles: 

Deadlift Bars: 5 Different Types

1. Traditional Barbell

Traditional Barbell

The traditional barbell is the barbell that we’ll find in most commercial gyms because they are designed for versatility so that they can be used for a wider variety of movements. 

These bars are great if we want a bar that can be used for many different movements and not just deadlifts.

Why Is The Bar Good For Deadlifting?

The traditional barbell is good for deadlifting because it can be found at any gym that has barbells and it will be reliable enough to get the job done. 

Typically traditional barbells are not as stiff as a power bar would be, or as flexible as a specialty deadlift bar would be, so they’re a happy medium of flexibility.

While they may not be the most glamorous barbells on the market when it comes to deadlifting, they are definitely dependable when we’re training at a commercial gym or just starting up a home gym.

Barbell Negatives

The downside of using a traditional barbell for deadlifts is that they tend to have less tensile strength meaning they will bend more easily under load and may become warped over time. 

In addition, traditional barbells tend to have less knurling meaning that they do not have a textured enough grip. This is a downfall because we need some knurling to maintain a better grip, especially if we’re training in a commercial gym that doesn’t allow chalk.

Who Should Use This Bar

This bar is great for those who are beginners and are still learning the basics, or those who train mostly for general fitness because the bar will do exactly what you need it to, and be extremely versatile.

I also recommend this bar to those who are starting a home gym and are looking to purchase a bar that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

How Much Does This Barbell Weigh?

Traditional barbells typically weigh either 45 lbs or 20kg, but sometimes in a commercial gym, we can run into a bar that weighs 55lbs. There tends to be less consistency with traditional barbells because there are so many different brands of them on the market.

Related Article: Barbell Storage Ideas: 4 Ways To Properly Store Barbells

Bar Recommendations

I recommend the Synergee Rhino Bar for those interested in a traditional barbell because it’s versatile and is extremely budget-friendly. This is the perfect bar for those starting a home gym who need a bar that can do just about anything.

Although it won’t have the tensile strength that more specialty bars have, it will be one of the most durable traditional bars that we can get at this price point.

The one downside of this bar for me is that it only weighs 45lbs, which I do find odd, but this is something that would be worth it to me because of the price and the versatility.

2. Power Bar

power bar

Power bars are probably the most popular bar used for deadlifts because they are the bars that powerlifters will use in competition, and the bars that most strength gyms purchase as their standard bar for their members.

Why Is The Bar Good For Deadlifting?

Power bars are great for deadlifting because they have more aggressive knurling, which helps us to maintain our grip on the bar. 

Lifters often joke that if the bar slides out of your hand with a power bar, then all your skin is coming with it. To some, this might be a turnoff, but for those who compete, it’s a blessing as you don’t want to miss a deadlift because of a weak grip.

Another great feature of a power bar is that they are more resistant to bending or warping over time because of their tensile strength. So we can be sure that our bar will be more resilient to heavy loads.

Barbell Negatives

The downside to this bar for deadlifting is that power bars may be too stiff, which can make it harder to break the bar off the floor when deadlifting

This is because the bar is so stiff that it will move as a unit and so we must exert more force to elevate everything at once. 

Power bars also have a center knurling which is quite aggressive and can rip open our legs as we pull the bar up, which is why deadlift socks or shin guards are required in competition and probably need to be worn for all deadlift training sessions.

Related Article: 10 Best Budget Barbells (That Are Still High Quality)

Who Should Use This Bar

This bar is great for those who compete in powerlifting or those who prefer to train the powerlifts because this is exactly what the power bar was designed for.

It’s also a great option for those who own private gyms and want to cater to strength athletes because it will be a crowd favourite.

Related Article: Barbell Sleeve Replacement: How Do You Fix A Barbell Sleeve?

How Much Does This Barbell Weigh?

Power bars can be purchased in pounds or kilograms and are always either 45lbs or 20kg. Despite there being many different brands of power bars, the weights of the bars are pretty standardized.

Bar Recommendations

My favourite power bar is the Ohio Power Bar from Rogue Fitness because of its more aggressive knurling and its versatility for use with all 3 of the powerlifts.

The bar is also approved for use by the IPF and is therefore used in most competitions, so lifters who plan to compete should get used to its level of stiffness. 

The Ohio Power Bar is one of the most popular bars among powerlifters and it can typically be found at any strength-focused private gym. 

The bar weighs 45lbs or 20kg depending on if you buy one in pounds or kilos, and has a tensile strength of 205,000 PSI so we know it’s durable.

3. Trap Bar

trap bar

Trap bars are recognizable by their cage-like shape that is often hexagonal. They can be found at most commercial gyms and all strength-based gyms. 

Trap bars are used primarily for trap bar deadlifts, which is a deadlift variation that slightly mimics the squat but is still considered a hip hinge.

Why Is The Bar Good For Deadlifting?

The trap bar is good for deadlift because it teaches us how to use our quads to break the bar off the floor due to the more forward knee position. When the knees are slightly more forward we can better engage the quads to “push the ground away” and initiate the lift.

The trap bar deadlift has a great amount of carryover to the conventional deadlift and can help us dial in our technique off the floor in this lift.

Barbell Negatives

The downside of a trap bar deadlift is that it is a neutral grip instead of the typical grips we would use for a deadlift (double overhand, hook grip, mixed grip) and therefore may not have as much carryover grip-wise as we’d like.

Another potential negative for the trap bar is that we do have to stand inside the frame of the trap bar (which is kind of like a cage) while performing the movement, so if we are someone who has a larger build then we may feel crammed in the trap bar.

Who Should Use This Bar

This bar is great for those who are training for general fitness, for sports, and for those who want to use it to improve their deadlift off the floor. 

I would recommend this bar be carried at all commercial gyms, and privately owned strength gyms because of its value to both the general public and strength athletes.

How Much Does This Barbell Weigh?

Traps bars can come in a range of weights and sizes, but the most common weight we will see is a 45lb trap bar. However, they could range from 45lbs to 85lbs depending on the product and the brand.

Bar Recommendations

Rogue Tb-2 Trap Bar

The most durable trap bar for the price is the Rogue TB-2 Trap Bar which weighs 60lbs and offers different grips depending on our preferences. 

I prefer a trap bar with an elevated grip, but this bar also provides the opportunity for those who prefer a grip that is even with the bar.

In addition, this trap bar has great textured knurling which I appreciate because trap bars can be hit or miss with the quality of their knurling, but the rogue trap bar does not disappoint. 

This trap bar also has longer sleeves than other trap bars on the market, which accommodate athletes of higher strength levels as well as those who are beginners.

4. Deadlift Bar

A deadlift barbell is a specialty barbell that was created specifically for the deadlift, and should not be used for any other compound movements. 

Deadlift bars can be identified by their longer shaft, and their more aggressive knurling, and their thinner diameter than standard bars.

Lastly, deadlift bars typically don’t have knurling in the center so that we don’t scrape our shins as we pull the bar up our legs.

Why Is The Bar Good For Deadlifting?

A deadlift bar is good for deadlift because of its more aggressive knurling and thinner diameter that helps us to maintain our grip on the bar by creating texture that helps prevent our hands from slipping.

In addition, the longer shaft of the deadlift bars gives the bars more flexibility which can help us pull more weight off the floor. This is because when we pull up on the bar, we can get some leverage by getting into a higher position before all the plates leave the floor.

Barbell Negatives

The flexibility of a deadlift bar, which is its main benefit, is only really expressed at heavier weights so it is not necessarily something that will work for everyone at every level of strength. Instead, it’s probably only worth it for those who are capable of lifting 500+ lbs.

Another potential negative with a deadlift bar is that if we plan to compete in a powerlifting federation that doesn’t use a deadlift bar, it may not be worth getting used to a bar with this much whip. Instead, we would be better off practicing with a power bar.

Who Should Use This Bar

A deadlift bar is only worth it for those who excel in the deadlift and can lift closer to 500+ lbs. So if we’re not quite at that level, then we should probably hold off for now.

If we are at that level of strength and want to maximize our deadlift potential, then a deadlift bar could be what we’re looking for.

Lastly,  if we’re someone who wants a bar with more versatility then the deadlift bar won’t be the best option because it is a specialty bar and therefore really only designed to be used for deadlifts.

Related Article: 7 Best Dumbbells That You Can Drop Without Damaging Them

The most popular specialty deadlift bars on the market are:

  • Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar
  • Texas Deadlift Bar
  • Strongarm Deadlift Bar
FinishDiameterLoadable Sleeve LengthTensile StrengthPrice
Rogue Ohio Deadlift BarCerakote, Black Zinc, Bare Steel, E-Coat27mm15.5 inches190,000 PSI$330-$395
Texas Deadlift BarCerakote, Black Zinc, Bare Steel, Chrome27mm18 inches190,000 PSI$335-$400
Strongarm Deadlift BarBare Steel27mm15.5 inchesn/a$375

Bar Recommendations

My personal favourite deadlift specialty bar is the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar because it comes in more finish options so that we can tailor it to our specifications. If we’re going to get a specialty bar, we might as well be able to choose the finish that we want. 

In addition, the Rogue deadlift bar gets my vote because of Rogue’s lifetime warranty that guarantees that I’ll get my money’s worth out of this bar even if something happens to it over time.

The 15.5-inch loadable sleeves are going to give us plenty of room to load up the bar with as much weight as we could want, especially if we’re using metal pound plates or calibrated plates.

Related Article: 10 Best Women’s Weightlifting Barbells

5. Olympic Barbell

An Olympic-style barbell is a barbell that will be used by those who train and/or compete in Olympic lifting. It can be identified by its rotating sleeves, its increased level of flexibility, and its smaller diameter.

Why Is The Bar Good For Deadlifting?

An Olympic barbell is good for deadlifting because it has some flexibility that helps us gain additional leverage off the floor, similar to a deadlift bar. However, the Olympic barbell is designed for the clean and the snatch and therefore is more in its element when we’re doing clean deadlifts or snatch deadlifts.

Another benefit of the Olympic barbells is that it has moderately aggressive knurling to help us keep our grip on the bar. 

In addition to this, Olympic lifting bars can be purchased without knurling in the center of the bar, which will help us to avoid scraping our shins when we do conventional deadlifts.

Barbell Negatives

Although some flexibility in the shaft of the barbell is good, specifically for Olympic lifting, if we’re trying to maximize our deadlift the Olympic bar may not be specific enough to the movement because of its rotational capabilities that can shift in our grip, especially if we don’t hook grip. 

So if we’re looking to deadlift as much as possible, we are probably better off with a power bar or specialty deadlift bar that is designed to help us maximize our deadlift potential.

Who Should Use This Bar

An Olympic bar is great for those who are incorporating deadlifts to improve their Olympic lifting, especially if our style of deadlifts are snatch deadlifts or clean deadlifts because these will be more specific to the bar’s intended use.

This bar isn’t the best option for those interested in maximizing their deadlift strength because it’s not specific enough.

How Much Does This Barbell Weigh?

Olympic barbells will typically weigh 20kg (men) or 15kg (women) if purchased in kilograms, but some brands do sell Olympic-style bars in pounds, in which case the bars would weigh 45lbs (men) or 35lbs (women).

Bar Recommendations

Men’s Bar

The best men’s Olympic lifting bar on the market for the price is the Rogue Training Bar because it has no center knurling to scrap our shins, it has great whip if we’re planning on doing the Olympic lifts or its deadlift variations more often.

This bar has 190,000 PSI of tensile strength and it has a lifetime warranty through Rogue Fitness so we can rest assured that this bar will be well worth the price we pay for it.

Women’s Bar

The best women’s Olympic lifting bar on the market for the price is the Rogue Bella Bar because of its high-quality design, its 25mm grip that makes it possible for women to comfortably maintain their grip, and its durability with a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI.

In addition to this, the proceeds from the pink special edition bar, in particular, go towards breast cancer research at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is absolutely a selling factor to me because not only am I getting a high-quality barbell, but I’m also supporting an amazing cause.

Related Articles: Rogue Bella Barbell 2.0 Review (Tested With 100+ Workouts) and Ritfit Barbell Review: Tried & Tested With 20+ Workouts

Final Thoughts

Knowing what types of bars can be used for deadlifts makes it easier to decide which bar is the best option for us when we’re deadlifting.

If you train at a privately owned gym you can probably convince the owner to consider investing in these bars to keep members happy. If you train at home, then there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing the bar that’s going to compliment your deadlift the most!

About The Author

Amanda Parker

Amanda Parker has a passion for competing and coaching in both powerlifting and weightlifting. She uses her knowledge from her Kinesiology Degree, CSCS, and Precision Nutrition certification to coach athletes and lifestyle clients for performance in training and nutrition. Connect with her on Instagram.