The Best Barbells for CrossFit: Lift Heavy and Move Fast

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man doing crossfit

If you would have told me five years ago that I would fall madly in love with CrossFit, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. If you would have gone a step further, and said that barbell workouts would be my favorite kind of exercise, I would have given you a sturdy, "bless your heart." However, those responses would have me chomping down a heaping helping of crow. I love CrossFit and barbells so much nowadays, and that is why I am excited to tell you all about the best barbells for CrossFit.

CrossFit training consists of constantly varied functional movements that are often performed at high intensity. Considering that CrossFit incorporates both Olympic lifts (cleans, jerks, and snatches) and powerlifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press), you will be best served with a multiple or general-purpose barbell. Barbells used in training and in WODs should incorporate some aspects of bars designed specifically for the two genres of weightlifting.

However, it's no secret that CrossFitters are hard on their clothes, their shoes, and their equipment. Barbells are no exception. Barbells used for CrossFit workouts are often covered in sweat and chalk before they are dropped from overhead. This means that not only are the best CrossFit barbells able to handle weightlifting, metcons, and accessory movements, but they are also tougher than a sub-three-minute Fran. Keep reading for our guide to the best barbells for CrossFit, including our 7 favorite picks.

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The Best Barbells for CrossFit- Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Barbell for CrossFit - Rogue Bar 2.0

Rogue Bar 2.0


  • Weight: 45 lbs. (20kg)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Bar length: 86.75"
  • Knurl: Light
  • Finish: Black zinc


If you want a top-performing CrossFit barbell that can handle anything that you load on it, you must check out the Rogue Bar 2.0. This bar moves seamlessly from fast-paced metcons to heavy one-rep max workouts, making it perfect for the varied world of functional fitness. Furthermore, it has a tensile strength of 190,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), which means that it can be loaded up with weight and dropped from overhead with little worry.

You will also find that it has ample spin so that you don't have to stress about your liftoff from the ground or the torque on your wrists. The only sticking point with this bar is that it is only offered in zinc (black zinc shaft with bright zinc sleeves). Zinc is in it for the duration, but it won't stay pretty (yes, pretty) for long.

What We Like

  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Attractive finish
  • Several color options

What We Don't Like

  • Can be hard to grip due to light knurling
  • Only available in a zinc finish
  • Can scuff easily

BUY: Rogue Bar 2.0

Best Budget CrossFit Barbell - Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Barbell

Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Barbell


  • Weight: 45 lbs. (20kg)
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Bar length: 84"
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Finish: Chrome


Titan Fitness PRs the mid-tier, reasonably priced strength equipment game and the Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Barbell is a great jumping-off point for those who want a quality barbell that doesn't drain your budget. It is made from cold-rolled steel (which is stronger than hot-rolled steel), and it can handle up to 700 pounds of weight. This is more than enough even for almost everyone, even elite CrossFitters. And, the weight of the actual bar (45 pounds) is also something not usually found in bars at this price range, meaning that they have a lower weight-bearing capacity.

The spin could be a little faster, but it is not a deal breaker—especially if you're new to CrossFit. The slower, more-controlled spin may be beneficial when you are learning proper weightlifting form. Given the strength, price point, and free shipping, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better budget-friendly barbell for CrossFit.

What We Like

  • Affordability
  • Great bar for beginners
  • Compatible with 2" Olympic plates
  • Well-manufactured chrome finish
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • Large diameter
  • Spin could be better
  • Some complaints of damaged or open shipping boxes

BUY: Titan Fitness Economy Olympic Barbell

Best Women's Barbell for CrossFit - Rogue Bella Bar

Rogue Bella Bar 2.0


  • Weight: 35 lbs. (15kg)
  • Diameter: 25mm
  • Bar length: 79.13"
  • Knurl: Light
  • Finish: Multiple


I have two Rogue Bella Bars in my home gym. My daughter and I use them frequently, and we are both big fans of this bar. The first thing that attracted me to the Bella is its 25-millimeter diameter. You may not think that a couple of millimeters would make that big of a difference, but when you are wrapping your hand around a bar loaded down with weight, every millimeter counts.

Despite being smaller around, it still has a 190,000 PSI, making it incredibly durable. Further, it uses bushings, instead of bearings, which makes this bar stable enough to handle both powers, while also having enough spin to safely perform Olympic lifts. The Bella bar is offered in a variety of color combinations and finishes.

What We Like

  • Great for people with smaller hands
  • High tensile strength
  • Offered in a variety of finishes and colors
  • Durable coating

What We Don't Like

  • Louder than other bars when dropped
  • Knurling may be too light for some
  • Pricy shipping

BUY: Rogue Bella Bar

Best Premium CrossFit Barbell - REP Fitness Deep Knurl Stainless Steel Power Bar EX

REP Fitness Deep Knurl Stainless Steel Power Bar EX


  • Weight: 45 lbs. (20kg)
  • Diameter: 29mm
  • Bar length: 87.4"
  • Knurl: Aggressive
  • Finish: Stainless steel


Premium barbells, especially speciality bars, can get into four figures, but we are framing this review specifically for CrossFit. Keeping that in mind, the REP Fitness Deep Knurl Stainless Steel Power Bar EX is an awesome pick when you want a quality CrossFit barbell and have the money to spend on it. With stainless steel stretching from end cap to end cap, this bar is a shiny beaut. The knurling on this bar rivals that on much more expensive Olympic barbells.

Although this bar can handle the variety of movements incorporated in CrossFit, it should be noted that with its deep knurl and somewhat limited spin, it is more suited to powerlifting. However, neither of these is enough to keep it away from a fast-paced WOD. If you wanna splurge on a bar that is as attractive as it is durable, get your hands around the REP Power Bar EX.

What We Like

  • Incredible quality for the price
  • Full stainless steel
  • Top-end tensile strength
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive for a bar that will be dropped often
  • Smooth sleeves means always using clips
  • Knurling may be too aggressive for some

BUY: REP Fitness Deep Knurl Stainless Steel Power Bar EX

Best CrossFit Barbell for Heavy Lifters - REP Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar

REP Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar


  • Weight: 45 lbs. (20kg)
  • Diameter: 29mm
  • Bar length: 86.75"
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Finish: Stainless steel


If you long for the days when one rep maxes are programmed, you'll love the REP Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar. Using all stainless steel, REP built this bar to lift heavy. It has a whopping 205,000 PSI, and I am not trying to hold you small, but I don't think that you'll be lifting more than this bar can handle.

Despite being able to handle heavy loads, this attractive, sleek bar doesn't show its wear and tear easily. It looks good coming out of the box, and it will still be strutting after it's been around the block. This bar uses a bushing system, and it doesn't spin as much as other bars. Of course, this is preferable for heavy lifts, but it also makes it less versatile when using it in CrossFit workouts.

What We Like

  • Incredible affordability
  • Durability
  • Stainless steel
  • High amount of tensile strength
  • Sleek aesthetic

What We Don't Like

  • Stainless steel end caps mean you must use clips or collars
  • Lack of versatility
  • Minimal spin

BUY: REP Fitness Stainless Steel Power Bar

Best Versatile Barbell for CrossFit - Bells of Steel - Cerakote Utility Barbell

Bells of Steel - Cerakote Utility Barbell


  • Weight: 45 lbs. (20kg)
  • Diameter: 28.5mm
  • Bar length: 86.75"
  • Knurl: Medium
  • Finish: Stainless steel


Two of the cornerstones of CrossFit are versatility and adaptability. Therefore, you will want a CrossFit barbell that can move from programming that includes high-rep, low-weight barbell movements as easily as it can handle heavy days. And, you will get exactly that with the multi-purpose Bells of Steel - Cerakote Utility Barbell.

Due to its smooth spin and knurling that hits the sweet spot, I recommend this barbell at a considerably higher price than is listed. Therefore, its budget-friendly price and free shipping in the U.S. makes this barbell even that much more attractive.

What We Like

  • Great value
  • Knurling is fantastic for CrossFit
  • Handles a large variety of movements exceptionally well
  • Spins very well

What We Don't Like

  • Center knurling (may be a positive for some)
  • Black zinc shows wear and tear quickly
  • Sleeve grooves can make loading hard

BUY: Bells of Steel Cerakote Utility Barbell

Benefits of CrossFit Barbells

Weight training offers a whole slew of benefits, such as increased muscle, improved metabolic rate, and better bone density, among other positive aspects. Given the amount of health benefits associated with lifting weights, and the variety of exercises that can be performed with a barbell, adding one to your workout arsenal is a great idea.

And adding a barbell tailored for CrossFit workouts adds both durability and versatility. These barbells transition easily between technical Olympic lifts, heavy powerlifts, and fast-paced metcons, and this will make your intense, sweat-inducing workouts just a little easier. By using a CrossFit barbell, you can rest assured that you're getting a bar that won't rip your hands with overly aggressive knurling or that it will spin so that you don't have to worry about wrecking your wrists.

Perhaps the biggest pro of a CrossFit barbell is its toughness. These bars can take a beating, making them durable enough for the long haul despite their owners' abusive nature.

How to Choose a Barbell for CrossFit


Ok, I know that I've mentioned that CrossFitters drop their barbells from overhead a time or two, but it happens—a lot. This means that the materials and the strength and quality of the materials used in constructing barbells for CrossFit is extremely important.

How resistant a bar is to breaking under tension is known as its tensile strength, and most barbells have a tensile strength between 150,000-170,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) However, given the beating that your CrossFit barbell is going to take, you will want to look for one that has at least 180,000 PSI.


A barbell's knurling, the raised crossing pattern that covers sections of the shaft of barbells, helps you grip the bar. The three basic types of knurling move from a light or passive knurl to a heavy or "ag": hill, mountain, and volcano. Chris Duffin, the founder of Kabuki Strength, gave them this definition and many in the fitness industry have adopted these names.

Although knurling can elicit passionate debates on what type is best, when it comes to CrossFit barbells light (hill) knurling is best for most people. This is because high-rep barbell movements performed in CrossFit workouts can cause a lot of friction between your hands and the bar. Additionally, you will often be bouncing from the barbell to another movement, and light knurling can help keep dreaded hand rips away.


When you are performing Olympic lifts, your grip goes through a substantial range of motion. The spin of a barbell helps you perform this range of motion without putting unnecessary torque from the weight plates spinning on your wrists. Furthermore, if your bar sleeve doesn't spin, it can feel like your plates are stuck in mud when you try to lift them from the ground.

The amount of spin is largely determined by if the bar uses bushings or bearings to connect the shaft of the bar to the end caps. Bushings are smooth, solid rings that are typically made from brass or bronze. Whereas bearings are constructed of several small balls or rods that spin independently of each other. Bearings provide optimal spin, but bushings are more durable. And, that is why bushings are a good choice for CrossFit barbells.

Weight and Diameter

Generally bars used in CrossFit are approximately 35-45 pounds. If you're lifting more than the weight of the barbell, how much the bar weighs is not much of a consideration. However, the diameter of the shaft is something that may be a factor in the kind of bar you prefer.

A 35 pound (women's barbells) bar's diameter is just under an inch, whereas the heavier bar is typically 1.1-1.25 inches. If you have smaller hands, you may prefer a bar with less diameter as it will help your grip.


The finish of a bar affects how the bar feels in the hand, the knurling, and the oxidation rate are impacted by the finish. Stainless steel and bare steel are raw finishes. Since these bars don't have anything applied to them the bar's knurl is not changed at all. However, bare steel oxidizes quickly and requires more maintenance than their stainless counterparts.

Cerakote is an applied coating that will fill in some of the knurl depth, but it is very resistant to rust. There are several other finishes for you to consider, and the one that works best for you should be determined by how it feels, how much time you have for maintenance, and how the climate of your area will affect the oxidation rate.

FAQs About Barbells for CrossFit

How heavy are the barbells in CrossFit?

Barbells used in CrossFit are typically around 45 pounds (20kg). Barbells that are often known as women's bars are about 35 pounds (15kg). The lighter barbells also have a smaller diameter.

What type of barbell is used for CrossFit?

CrossFit barbells should be tough and durable, with light knurling, and a decent amount of spin. The finish is based on personal preference.

How do I choose a barbell size?

Barbells don't come in many different sizes. The main size factor that you will want to consider is the diameter of the shaft as this will affect your grip.