What’s the difference between power lifting and Olympic lifting bars?
Power lifting involves motions such as bench press, deadlift and squats. Barbells for this category of lifts do not require much spin in the sleeve as they are just vertical motions with no sudden or aggressive movements of the bar. For power lifts you do not need to use a bar with bearing in the sleeve. Just a good quality power lifting barbell with brass bushing, that will provide a limited rotation of the sleeves, is best for power lifting. The bar also does not require any whip or flex.
Olympic lifting incorporates motions such as the snatch and the clean and jerk. These are rapid, aggressive motions that require a bar with bearings in the sleeves to enable the weight plates to spin through the motions so they do not place drag on the bar or cause you to become unbalanced during the Olympic lifting movements. Crossfit® mainly incorporates Olympic lifting and some power lifting so a good quality bearing bar is best suited for Crossfit® training.
The other requirement is that the bar has good flex or whip. Whip is the amount of elastic energy the bar has. A bar with good whip will aid the lifter through the motions of the clean and jerk and other rapid weight lifting motions.
What are the lifting marks on the barbell?
These marks serve as a guide for performing Olympic lifts or power lifts. The lifting marks located further away from the centre of the bar and closer to the sleeves are the Olympic lifting marks and the marks closer to the centre of the bar are power lifting marks.
Performing clean and jerks or the snatch requires a wider grip and power lifting motions such as dead lifts and bench press. This is why there are the two sets of marks on better quality barbells.
Bushing or bearings?
As outlined earlier, this depends on whether you are into power lifting, Olympic lifting, Crossfit® or a combination of styles. Bushings or bearings are what enables the bar’s sleeves to spin around the shaft.
Bushings are usually made of brass or bronze and are fixed between the bar’s shaft and the sleeves so that the sleeves can spin freely. They have a lot more friction than bearings. Most, better quality bars use bearings instead of bushings. This offers users more variety and a smoother spinning barbell for Olympic lifts.
Nickel, chrome or zinc coating?
The most popular choice in high end bars is the nickel plated barbell. There are varying degrees of quality so don’t get fooled into thinking that just because it’s a nickel plated bar that it’s a high quality barbell.
All economy bars will be finished with a standard shiny chrome plating. This is to protect them against rust and general wear and tear. There are also very high end bars that are plated with a satin hardened chrome finish.
Black zinc bars look awesome but are less popular than nickel and chrome bars as scratches are far more visible on a black surface. This really comes down to personal preference.
Feel free to call us or visit our showroom so you can test the bars out yourself. We will happily load the bars up for you to try out to ensure you make the right buying decision.
Our showroom is at 622 Waterdale Rd Heidelberg West, in Melbourne and just down the road from the main entrance to Latrobe University.
We deliver to every state, city, suburb and town in Australia, so whether your are located in Victoria (Vic), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (Qld), Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (Tas) and Northern Territory (NT). We can also provide a complete design and fitout for your facility if you are located in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Launceston, Perth and all other regional towns and cities thoughout Australia.