The one thing that drives many strength training lovers toward a gym membership is the availability of barbells, weight benches and weight plates. There's a reason the big 3 compound lifts for building over-all power is the barbell squat, bench press, and deadlift. Nothing else comes close to the barbell as the best way to train for strength.
Having a barbell in your home gym will level up your training, and look no further than right here at Better Body for the full selection of equipment.
In this article, we cover:
- Why Barbells are Key to Strength Training
- A Guide to Better Body Barbells
- Cues for the Big 3 Barbell Lifts
Why Barbells are Key to Strength Training
There are several reasons why barbells are key to maximizing your strength training.
First, barbells are extremely adjustable, allowing you the tiniest weight adjustments so you can hit your progressive overload goals safely. These small increases, when combined with increases of reps and consistent training, translate into size and strength gains.
Second, barbells are an ergonomically-friendly way to handle loads - allowing you to grip heavy weights and moved directly over your centre of gravity. This works well for strength training because gravity only works in one direction: straight down. Training with a barbell allows you to work directly against gravity: straight up. With the barbell, you can progressively add heavier weights to your body's natural motion, resulting in increased strength over time. Barbell training is simply, effective and proven... the foundation of strength training since the 1860's.
Nowadays, there are a variety of barbells to choose from to meet particular goals. In the next section, we discuss the 4 staples of the Better Body Barbell collection.
A Guide to Better Body Barbells
Better Body Weight Barbell
The Better Body Weight Barbell is our entry-level offering.
It is a standard barbell measuring to 86.75" in total length, 1.9" in diameter and 16.4" in loadable sleeve length. By itself, the Better Body Weight Barbell weighs 45 lbs. Slap on up to 700 lbs in max weight - and hold on tight to the standard knurl for optimal grip.
Our Better Body Weight Barbell is made with the bushing system which is best for slower, controlled movements.
Better Body Competition Barbell
At first glance, the Better Body Competition Barbell is identical to the Weight Barbell - minus the availability of the red colour, of course. However, there are a few key differences that make the Competition Barbell our premium choice.
While both barbells are made with reinforced steel, the Competition Barbell has a polymer-ceramic coating that makes it the most durable choice. With dual knurl marks, you’ll experience increased grip so you can worry less about slippage and focus more on lifting. This barbell can also hold up to 1500 lbs and boasts great whip.
If you need a barbell that can helps you train optimally for Olympic movements like the clean and jerk, the Competition Barbell is for you.
Barbell whip is how much and how easily a barbell will flex under load - without permanently bending. The greater the whip, the more the load will shift with momentum. This is important to highly skilled lifters who use whip to aid in their lifts.
Better Body E-Z Curl Bar
Performing bicep curls with a regular barbell may cause pain in your wrists and shoulders.
The E-Z Curl Bar allows you to keep a neutral grip when you perform curls, reducing stress and reducing your risk to injury. In addition to safety, the angle allows for a better bicep muscle activation, while our non-abrasive knurl pattern allows the best grip.
In Photo: Better Body Hex Barbell
Better Body Hex Barbell
Because of the way weight is centred with the body, the Better Body Hex Barbell is much more aligned with your centre of gravity - creating a balanced position that puts less force on the lumbar spine, prevents lumbar hyperextension, and reduces the risk of bicep tears.
It also allows you to lift heavier weights compared to a regular bar - helping you explode through strength plateaus. Fully machined and with dual knurl marks, experience increased grip so you can worry less about slippage and focus more on lifting.
Cues for Big 3 Barbell Lifts
In the fitness world, a cue is a word or phrase designed to help someone excel at performing a specific movement.
Most often used by personal trainers on their clients, cues can help you perfect your form and experience greater strength and size gains.
However, you don't need a personal trainer to make use of cues. Read on this next section to familiarize yourself with the most helpful cues for each of the 3 big barbell lifts.
Barbell Squat Cues
- Avoid raising your toes or heels - keep the weight in your midfoot
- Keep your knees in line with the toes as you squat
- Drive your knees outwards as you come up from the squat
- Maintain a neutral spine throughout the squat (no flexion or extension of the spine)
- Keep your shoulders down and back
- Brace your core as you perform the squat
- Keep your gaze facing forwards
Barbell Bench Press Cues
- Eyes under the barbell
- Push the floor away as you un-rack the barbell, bring the barbell down, and drive up to starting position
- Squeeze your hands so hard that you leave fingerprints on the barbell
- Bend the barbell - engage your hands and lats throughout the movement and ensure that your elbows tuck slightly
- Let shoulders fall back - rretract and depress your shoulder blades
Barbell Deadlift Press Cues
- Breathe & brace
- Pull your hips down
- Take the slack out of the barbell
- Flex your armpits
- Hands as hooks – arms as chains
- Shoulder blades over barbell
- Shins to barbell
- Push the floor away
- Hips through
- Lock the hips & knees together
We hope this article was helpful in helping you decide which barbell is right for your home gym. Next up - read all about Squat Racks.