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If you’re a competitive weightlifter, finding a good barbell to train with is important because the snatch and clean and jerk require a weightlifting-specific. One of the best weightlifting bars on the market is the Rogue Pyrros bar.
So is the Rogue Pyrros barbell worth it? The Rogue Pyrros barbell is worth it for competitive weightlifters looking for a barbell to train at home with that is just like a barbell you’d use in a competition. It’s made from durable stainless steel, is IWF certified, and was made in collaboration with Olympic weightlifting champion Pyrros Dimas.
In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the Rogue Pyrros barbell, discuss the differences between the men’s and women’s barbell, and review the pros and cons of the Pyrros bar.
I’ll also share some of my friends’ opinions on the Pyrros bar, discuss the things to look for when buying a barbell, and provide alternative barbell recommendations.
Rogue Pyrros Barbell: Detailed Overview
Both the men’s Pyrros barbell and the women’s Pyrros barbell were made in collaboration with Pyrros Dimas, a former Olympic weightlifting champion and the current technical director for USA Weightlifting.
Considering he’s won multiple gold medals and has been involved in weightlifting for 40 years, he knows what it takes to create a high-quality, competition-style weightlifting bar. The Pyrros bar is made out of stainless steel and has a knurl pattern that was selected by Pyrros and two other members of the USA weightlifting team.
When buying the Pyrros bar, you can opt for chrome or stainless steel sleeves. The bar with stainless steel sleeves is about $105 more, but spending the extra money will ensure you get a bar that’s almost completely rust- and corrosion-resistant.
The Pyrros bar is certified by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), meaning that it’s manufactured to the exact standards of barbells that are used in international competitions. Not many barbells on the market have this distinction, so it’s a testament to just how good of a product the Pyrros bar is.
Like other weightlifting-specific barbells, the Pyrros bar has bearings rather than bushings. Bearings and bushings are the thick circular pieces that sit between the sleeves and the shaft of a barbell. Bearings offer a lot more spin than bushings, which is necessary for a bar used for dynamic movements like the snatch and clean and jerk.
Are you a powerlifter who’s interested in transitioning to weightlifting? Check out my tips for making the switch in the article How To Switch From Powerlifting To Weightlifting (9 Steps).
Rogue Pyrros Barbell: Differences Between The Men’s and Women’s Bar
In weightlifting, men and women train and compete with different barbells. The biggest differences between the two bars are that the men’s bar weighs 20kg (~44lbs) and is 28mm in diameter while the women’s bar weighs 15kg (33lbs) and is 25mm in diameter. Additionally, men’s bars are 220cm long while women’s bars are 201cm long.
The thinner diameter on women’s weightlifting bars makes it easier for them to use the hook grip since they typically have smaller hands than men.
Interestingly, the men’s bars also have a center knurl while the women’s bars don’t. This is a feature that harkens back to the early 1900s when the one-handed lift was a tested lift in weightlifting in the Olympics. Women didn’t compete in weightlifting back then, so there was no need for a women’s bar with a center knurl.
There isn’t a very good explanation for why the center knurl still exists on men’s bars even though the one-handed lift is no longer a tested movement in the Olympics. But the barbell specifications set out by the IWF still state that a men’s barbell must have the center knurl even though it’s not required on a women’s barbell.
For a list of my top picks for a women’s weightlifting barbell, check out my article 10 Best Women’s Weightlifting Bars.
Rogue Pyrros: Pros & Cons
Rogue is known for its high-quality craftsmanship when it comes to weightlifting equipment, and the Pyrros bar is no exception. Like many Rogue products, it’s made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.
The stainless steel that Rogue uses to manufacture the Pyrros bar has a rating of F2 on Rogue’s F-Scale, meaning it’s one of the most durable materials you can use to make a barbell. If you’re storing it in a garage gym or in a gym that’s not temperature controlled, the barbell will be able to withstand heat, cold, and humidity.
Each sleeve on the Pyrros bar has 5 needle bearings. Rogue also used a more viscous lubricant that allows the sleeves to spin freely while still having some control. This allows the plates to move easily as the bar changes directions during a snatch, clean, or jerk but also provides some stability so you can control the weight during heavier lifts.
The Pyrros bar also has a tensile strength of 200,000 PSI. Tensile strength refers to how much a barbell can handle before it bends or breaks. Most competition-style barbells have a tensile strength of anywhere from 200k to 215k. While the Pyrros bar may not have the highest tensile strength out of all of the weightlifting bars on the market, it’s definitely not the lowest.
One drawback of the Pyrros bar is that the knurling is on the aggressive side. Most experienced lifters whose hands are already used to the demands of frequent weightlifting shouldn’t have an issue with it.
But the knurling could be uncomfortable for beginners, and it’s not a bar that you could use for high reps as you’d see in a CrossFit WOD. For weightlifters, it may be a bar that you use for training only when you have a meet coming up and want to practice with a bar that’s more similar to the one you’d use in your competition.
Because the bar also only has one Olympic knurl mark, it’s not an ideal barbell for powerlifting since it doesn’t have the knurl mark to indicate the widest grip you can take on the bench press in a powerlifting meet.
Another drawback of the Pyrros bar is its price. Even though a barbell is a purchase you shouldn’t have to make often, the price of the Pyrros bar could be a turn-off for some.
It’s not an entry-level bar, nor is it an all-purpose bar that you could use for CrossFit and powerlifting as well. The price is indicative of the fact that this is a bar meant for competitive weightlifters or anyone who runs weightlifting competitions.
- Stainless steel construction is resistant to rust and corrosion
- IWF certification
- Needle bearings give the bar a lot of spin
- Made in the USA
- Lifetime warranty
- Not ideal for powerlifting or CrossFit
- Knurling may be too aggressive for some
Rogue Pyrros: Key Features & Benefits
Some of the key features that make the Pyrros bar stand out from other weightlifting bars are:
- Lifetime warranty
- IWF certification
Almost all barbells come with a warranty, but the length of each warranty varies. The Pyrros bar is backed by a lifetime warranty. Rogue will replace the bar at any time at no cost to you if it breaks or there are other structural issues with it due to poor construction.
However, the warranty is voided if damage to the barbell is caused by improper storage, failure to maintain it properly, or dropping it in a reckless manner — for example, on concrete, with iron plates instead of bumper plates, or with damaged bumper plates.
Need a storage solution for your barbell? Check out my tips for properly storing a barbell.
I’ve spoken about the bar’s IWF certification already, but it’s a distinction worth mentioning again. Being certified means the IWF recognizes the precise manufacturing and high-performance capabilities of the barbell. Only a handful of weightlifting bars on the market are IWF certified.
The IWF certification is also an excellent benefit if you’re a weightlifting gym owner who also runs competitions at your facility. Your athletes can use Pyrros bars for training, and you can supply them at your competitions so you can ensure you’re using equipment that meets the federation’s standards.
The Rogue Pyrros bar is known for its whip. Whip refers to the bar’s ability to flex without bending or breaking under a heavy load. It also allows weightlifters to use momentum to stand up faster in the clean recovery and in the dip before the jerk to drive the bar overhead.
When developing the bar, Rogue had Pyrros experiment with barbells made from different types of steel. The Pyross bar is manufactured with the exact steel that had the best whip according to Pyrros.
What Others Say About the Rogue Pyrros Barbell
I asked some of my friends in the weightlifting community about their experiences with the Pyrros barbell. Here is what they had to say.
Mike Dewar, Olympic Weightlifting Coach
The Rogue Pyrros all stainless steel barbell is the creme de la creme of the elite weightlifting barbells. The stainless steel offers perfect whip and bar flex at heavy loads. The knurling is also perfect and is left exactly how it was machined, giving it an awesome feel with and without chalk. I’ve used many weightlifting bars with my female athletes, and I like the Pyrros bar more than Eleiko or others. This is the go-to bar for the serious weightlifter looking to train on one of the best barbells in the world, without the hefty price tag.Mike Dewar, Olympic Weightlifting Coach
Team ODC Barbell, Elite Youth Weightlifting Team in Kentucky
I personally use the women’s Pyrros bar, I train on it daily and I also use it for the women on meet days. It’s the best women’s bar in our gym, we also have the women’s oly bar that Rogue sells as well but the Pyrros bar is better. It has strong knurling & I use it for everything but squats.Team ODC Barbell, Elite Youth Weightlifting Team in Kentucky
Alternative Weightlifting Barbells
If the Pyrros bar is out of your budget or you’re looking for more of an all-purpose barbell, one of the barbells below may be a better fit for you.
The Rogue Echo Bar is a multi-purpose barbell that can be used for weightlifting, CrossFit, or general strength training. It doesn’t have a powerlifting knurl mark or center knurl, so it’s not the best for competitive powerlifters. But it would be sufficient for casual lifters who like to squat, bench, and deadlift.
The Echo bar is also more than half the price of the Pyrros bar, making it an excellent choice for home gym owners who want a high-quality barbell at a more affordable price.
The Fringe Sport Men’s Oly Weightlifting Bar is what I’d consider a mid-range barbell. It costs more than lesser quality bars on the market, but it’s not as expensive as the Pyrros bar.
This barbell isn’t IWF certified, but it matches the IWF barbell specifications. It has a moderate knurl that offers a secure grip without tearing up your hands too much. It also comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects, so you can get the bar replaced for no extra cost if it breaks due to poor craftsmanship.
Things To Consider When Buying Weightlifting Barbell
Six things you should consider when buying a weightlifting barbell are:
- IWF certifications
- Intended use
- Bushings vs bearings
- Manufacturer’s warranty
Budget is one of the first things you should consider when buying a weightlifting barbell. Barbells are available at a wide range of prices ranging from a couple hundred dollars to almost $1,000.
While some barbells at the low end of that range are of decent quality, a serious weightlifter should consider getting a top-of-the-line bar. Since you’ll likely be training with it for a couple of hours a day several days a week, you’ll need a bar that can handle heavy weights and be dropped repeatedly.
2. IWF Certifications
A casual lifter or one who’s just getting started with weightlifting doesn’t need a barbell that’s IWF certified. But for a competitive weightlifter, getting a bar with that distinction ensures that its weight and measurements are accurate, which can give you a slight advantage when training for a competition.
Below are the IWF specifications for men’s and women’s barbells:
|Specifications||Men’s Barbell||Women’s Barbell|
|Material||Chromed steel||Chromed steel|
|Center knurl||Yes, 12cm long||No|
|Grip sections||Sections must be 131cm long and be spaced 45cm apart||Sections must be 131cm long and be spaced 42cm apart|
|Knurl ring||Single knurl ring 19.5cm from each inner sleeve||Single knurl ring 19.5cm from each inner sleeve|
|Markings||Blue markings at each end and in the center of the bar||Yellow markings at each end and in the center of the bar|
|Sleeves||41.5cm long and 5cm in diameter Must rotate freely||32cm long and 5cm in diameter Must rotate freely|
3. Intended Use
How you train will dictate the type of barbell you should get.
If you only train for weightlifting or powerlifting, you’ll need a bar that’s specific to your sport. If you do CrossFit, you should look for a multi-purpose barbell that you can do strength work and WODs with.
Anyone who does general strength training and/or doesn’t train the snatch and clean and jerk can use either a multi-purpose barbell or any other standard 45lb barbell.
4. Bushings vs Bearings
Barbells have either bushings or bearings, which are the mechanisms that allow them to spin. Barbell spin is important for weightlifting because it puts less force on the elbows, forearms, and wrists.
As such, weightlifting-specific bars will have bearings because they spin faster and more smoothly. However, they are also more expensive.
Powerlifting and multi-purpose bars are typically made with bushings. Barbell spin isn’t quite as essential in the squat, bench press, and deadlift because you want the bar to feel as stable as possible.
Bushing bars are also more affordable, which makes them good options for people who train recreationally.
The knurling on a barbell is the etching on the grip section that allows you to get a good grip. Some barbells have aggressive knurling that really digs into your skin while other barbells have more passive knurling.
What kind of knurling you get will depend on factors such as how often you train, how experienced you are, and what you use the barbell for.
An experienced lifter will likely want a bar with an aggressive knurl pattern so they can maintain their grip under heavy loads. A beginner lifter may want a barbell with passive knurling until you develop calluses on your hands.
Anyone who uses a barbell for CrossFit or other functional fitness exercises may also want a bar with passive knurling so you can comfortably perform high reps without your skin tearing.
Since you won’t always know how the knurling will feel until you get your hands on a barbell, here’s a brief guide on the different types of knurling:
- Hill – the most passive knurling that will feel smooth and comfortable but won’t be as easy to grip
- Mountain – the most aggressive knurling that’s diamond-shaped and is usually seen on power or deadlifting bars
- Volcano – knurling that falls in between hill and mountain and is grippy without being too sharp
Barbells also have knurl rings. For powerlifting, the knurl ring indicates how wide you can take your bench press grip. There are no rules for how wide you can grip the bar in a snatch in weightlifting, but the knurl mark can act as a visual guide for where you want to place your hands.
If the skin on your thumbs tends to rip when you use the hook grip, you may need to use lifting tape to protect them. My favorite lifting tape is the Warm Body Cold Mind tape.
Most barbells should come with a warranty, but the length of the warranty will vary by manufacturer. Some companies only have 30-day warranties while others offer lifetime warranties.
It’s also important to check what’s covered in the warranty. Often, the warranty will only apply to the manufacturer’s defects and is voided if you improperly store your barbell, use it for anything other than lifting weights, or don’t use the right kind of plates on it.
Looking to add a set of plates to your home gym and not sure which ones to buy? Check out my article Bumper Plates vs Metal Plates vs Rubber Plates (Pros & Cons).
Other Barbell Resources
- Deadlift Bar vs Stiff Bar: Are They Really THAT Different?
- BandBell Bamboo Bar (Ultimate Guide)
- Rogue Bella Barbell Review (Tested With 100+ Workouts)
- Barbell Sleeve Replacement: How Do You Fix A Barbell Sleeve?
- Ritfit Barbell Review: Tried & Tested With 20+ Workouts
- 10 Best Budget Barbells (That Are Still High Quality)
The Rogue Pyrros barbell is one of the highest quality weightlifting bars on the market. Its stainless steel construction means it can handle a lot of abuse, and the fact that an Olympic weightlifting champion has his name on it is a testament to just how good of a barbell it is. The IWF certification also speaks volumes about the bar’s craftsmanship and performance.
While it’s not ideal for powerlifting because it only has a single Olympic knurl mark or for CrossFit due to the aggressive knurling, the Pyrros bar is an excellent choice for any competitive weightlifter who trains at home or wants their own barbell to keep at the gym.
About The Author
Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.