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Article: Why Are Barbells So Expensive?


Why Are Barbells So Expensive?

You love strength training and would like to make it a consistent part of your life.

Then you googled barbells for sales and the sky-high prices made you think twice.

Sound familiar?

The cost of a barbell can come as a shock to some.

But why?

A barbell’s just a large metal pole, right? It’s not even particularly useful without weight plates.

So why would one barbell cost hundreds of dollars?

Barbells are expensive for a few different reasons. Thankfully, not every quality barbell costs you an arm and a leg.

Let’s dive into this question a little further before explaining how you can find a reliable barbell that meets your needs at a fair price.

Expensive Barbells

First, let’s define what we mean by “expensive”.

The Squat Bar by Kabuki Strength currently sells for over $700. Meanwhile, top-of-the-line barbells from Eleiko go for upwards of $1,000.

Even options designed to be more budget-friendly can come with a painful price tag, as Rogue’s “economically priced” Echo Bar 2.0 still checks in at $255.

It can be frustrating to want to better yourself only to find that the equipment is significantly more expensive than you’d anticipated.

So why exactly are some of these barbells so darn expensive?

Barbell Materials

Most barbells are made from cast iron, but some can be made from steel.

They’re also commonly finished with materials like cerakote, zinc, black oxide and/or nickel.

The cost for these materials can vary widely depending on the quality and quantity used in the barbell. Materials like steel alloy also tend to be quite heavy, and the costs of shipping/handling such materials can be significant.

Premium barbells tend to feature expensive materials.

The Squat Bar by Kabuki Strength, for example, has a tensile strength over 250,000 PSI and is marketed as being “harder than any other bar currently on market”.

But that extreme toughness comes at a price.

Precision manufacturing also plays an important role in barbell price.

It’s not just the raw materials, but the time, energy and cost associated with producing the bar correctly.

Barbell Manufacturing

Most expensive barbells cater to a crowd of diehard weightlifters and powerlifters who sweat the small details when it comes to their equipment.

Eleiko’s IWF Weightlifting Competition Bar, for example, is touted for its “extremely tight tolerances” and “improved greasing processes” — which is essentially jargon to the average fitness enthusiast.

That bar’s also designed to withstand the enormous pressures of dropping 500+ pounds from eight feet in the air directly to the ground, as often occurs on a competitive attempt by elite weightlifters like Lasha Talakhadze.

Those qualities come at a price, as that barbell currently sells for a cool $1,100.

Barbell Demand

Barbell’s have been an extremely hot item of late.

Strength training’s popularity has exploded in recent years and the pandemic brought about unprecedented demand for fitness equipment.

Some manufacturers have predictably taken advantage of this fact by raising their prices. It’s simple supply and demand, as there are only so many barbells to go around.

Barbell Reputation

Barbells are no different than designer handbags or expensive sports cars.

Some barbell manufacturers can sell their equipment at a premium because of their reputation — there will always be individuals willing to shell out more money just so they can say they own the “luxury brand”.

It may seem funny considering we’re talking about big heavy sticks here, but it’s the truth! There are some people out there who feel they need the “Mercedes-Benz” of barbells.

But what about the rest of us?

Budget-Friendly Barbells

There are budget-friendly barbells on the market that exceed the quality and reliability the average fitness junky requires at a fraction the cost of a Kabuki or Eleiko bar.

Now, even if you don’t plan on squatting 700 pounds or chasing a world record in the Clean & Jerk anytime soon, there’s still danger in going too cheap.

Buying a shoddy barbell that’s the same cost as a drive-thru value meal will probably leave you disappointed if you ever plan on loading up more than 30 or 40 pounds.

The HulkFit Barbell is where excellent quality meets extraordinary value.

Available in both five and seven foot configurations and chrome or black color-ways, these bars can easily support hundreds of pounds and stand up to years of intense workouts.

Starting at just $99, HulkFit Barbells deliver everything you want in a barbell at a fraction of the cost of “luxury” brands.

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