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Old 08-03-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
Mark Edwards
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Hey all --

Obviously Olympic barbells are cooler and better quality and a little more convenient, but is there any real fitness disadvantage to using my old one-inch standard barbell and plates? I can't imagine there is, and couldn't find one described in the FAQs or archives, but thought I would ask. Is it an important investment and if so, why? Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
Paul Findley
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This came up a few months ago...from what I remember:

1. Plates need to rotate to execute lifts
2. Higher load capacity for heavier lifts.
3. Bumpers provide standard bar height, and you and can drop them safely.

If you haunt craigslist, you could probably sell your 1" and move to 2" for a minimal investment.

(Message edited by paul on August 03, 2007)
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #3
Aaron Dutton
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I'm sure this has been covered before. There are a number of benefits to using a real Olympic bar, even the cheap ones. Here are some of the benefits I've found:

Olympic bar is thicker and easier to grip (you'll notice this most in the deadlift).

In the deadlift the standard bar will be much closer to the ground than an Olympic bar because the weights are typically smaller in diameter.

A standard bar is pretty much worthless for Olympic lifting because the weights don't rotate.

If you have a power rack or squat stands, most standard bars are too short to use inside.

Olympic bars are easier to load because they are longer and heavier. You can probably get by loading two 45's on one side and not have it tip over. With a standard bar it would tip and drop the weights.

Olympic bars can hold more weight than standard bars. Important when your deadlifts get over 200 lbs.

All that said, I still have standard bars although mainly I use them for one-arm lifts (dumbbells) and sumo deadlift high-pulls (so I can use my Olympic bar for something else).

A used 300-pound olympic weight set should set you back around $100-120 USD. I would consider this money well spent, unless you are going to get a rubber bumper set anyway, and then I'd just save your money for that.

(Message edited by adutton on August 03, 2007)
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:30 PM   #4
Matt DeMinico
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Every once in a while sports stores will sell a 300lb olympic set with bar for $100. That's how I got mine. It's a cheap barbell, but it's an olympic barbell.
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Old 08-03-2007, 03:39 PM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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If you have one around, the unloaded one-inch standard barbell makes an okay warmup bar for the Olympic lifts.
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Old 08-03-2007, 04:33 PM   #6
Trevor Thompson
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I tell you from experience, grab an expensive OLY bar or one on sale or an old one, i bought one of those 300lb store barbell sets, i broke 2 yes TWO collars on 2 bars successively at 375lb could be very dangerous, try and get a quality bar.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
Patrick Donnelly
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I still don't get why everyone calls the 1" the "standard" size...
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Old 08-04-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
Mark Edwards
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My wife complains I never tell her what I want for Christmas. This year, no problem. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:42 PM   #9
Christian Salas
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Re: Anything wrong w/ non-Olympic barbells?

Does anyone know the maximum a standard bar can take? I'm only up to about 225 on mine, but I don't want it to snap over my face or something while bench pressing...
FYI Mine is a "Cap" 7' bar.

(I also have a Pendlay Bar with bumpers for olympic lifting)
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #10
Tom Fetter
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Re: Anything wrong w/ non-Olympic barbells?

I've done deadlifts with 315 on my standard bar. I suspect I'm very close to the point where the bar will develop a permanent bend.

It's far from ideal for the Oly lifts, but workable if you don't snug the collars up absolutely tight - leaving the possibility for the weights (rather than the bar) to spin somewhat.

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