Best Barbells for Olympic Weightlifting

Man lifting with the Alpine Bar

Olympic weightlifting exercises are difficult enough. Picking the perfect Olympic weightlifting barbell doesn’t have to be.  

REP makes several different barbells specifically designed for weightlifters, whether you’re just starting out or competing at the highest level. Here’s a look at those bars and how to pick the right one for your training.  

REP’s Olympic Weightlifting Bars 

REP’s Olympic barbells are:  

Best barbells for Olympic weightlifting graphic

What’s an Olympic Weightlifting Barbell? 

Woman lifting with the 15kg Alpine Bar

A typical Olympic weightlifting barbell has the follow characteristics:  

  • It’s 7’2” long. 
  • It’s about 28mm wide for men and 25mm wide for women (yes, Olympic weightlifting has different standards for men and women). 
  • A weightlifting bar weighs 20kg or about 45lbs.  
  • It has a 50mm sleeve diameter (that’s compatible with standard weight plates).  
  • A weightlifting bar usually has medium-depth knurling – enough to assist with grip but not as aggressive as some other power bars.  
  • It has bearing sleeves, which provide a smooth spin (useful for the clean and jerk and snatch).  
  • It may have more whip than a standard powerlifting barbell.  

How to Pick an Olympic Weightlifting Barbell 

Not sure which weightlifting barbell to pick? Here’s a quick breakdown and guide. 

Beginner Weightlifting Bar: Mesa Technique Bar 

Mesa Technique Bar

The Mesa Technique Bar

The lightweight Mesa Technique Bar is ideal to help you learn the proper techniques of Olympic weightlifting. As a training bar that’s built for beginners, the Mesa weighs just 15lbs – but it’s long enough to fit on a standard power rack. Although it’s a beginner bar, the Mesa remains high quality, with a bare aluminum shaft and steel sleeves coated with durable Duracoat® finish.

It features slower-rotating, bushing-construction sleeves, light knurling with no center knurl, knurl markings to help you know where to put your hands, and is rated to handle 50lbs.  


Intermediate Weightlifting Bar: Teton Training Bar (15kg and 20kg)

Teton Training Bar

Teton Training Bar

The Teton Training Bar is a high-value, Olympic weightlifting barbell. The 20kg bar features a 28mm diameter shaft and comes in full bright zinc or a black chrome shaft with bright zinc sleeves.

The bar has International Weightlifting Federation knurl markings, medium-depth knurling, and ribbed sleeves to keep the plates secure during explosive lifts. The Teton features high-performance needle bearing sleeves for a fast, smooth, quiet spin -- ideal for Olympic-style lifts. This bar can handle 1,500lbs.  

The 15kg bar comes in bright zinc with a 25mm diameter and no center knurl.

High-End Bar: Alpine Weightlifting Bar (15kg and 20kg)

The 20kg Alpine Bar

The 20kg Alpine Bar

This is the best of the best, in terms of weightlifting bars. The Alpine Weightlifting Bar is it, from its hybrid needle-bearing sleeves to its high-end details. The bar comes in various finishes, including fully stainless steel (swoon). You can also get it in hard chrome or with a black chrome shaft and hard chrome sleeves. The knurling is medium-depth and the weight rating is 1,500lbs.  

If you’re a competitor, the 20kg Alpine follows IWF specifications, including a 28mm diameter and knurl markings to help you determine proper hand placement on the barbell. The 20kg Alpine features a “passive” center knurl, which is smoother to accommodate high-volume training, while still providing some extra stick during back squats.   

The 15kg Alpine adheres to IWF specifications for female lifters, with a 25mm shaft diameter and IWF markings. It does not have a center knurl.  

The 15kg Alpine Bar

The 15kg Alpine Bar