When I saw that elitefts was coming out with their own Power Bar, I emailed Matt Goodwin and asked him to ship me half a dozen of them. Sight unseen. They weren’t even available yet. Matt relayed that they would be here in a few weeks. So, I waited.

I waited at the door like Al Bundy when Peg said that she ordered him a pizza. As it turns out, Peg did not order him pizza. And although Al’s pizza never came, my bars did.

The question you may be asking is: Why would I order six bars, sight unseen, when I could have easily chosen some other bar that I knew was of the highest quality, such as the Texas Power Bar? Simply stated, I knew that if elitefts was putting their name on a Power Bar, then it would be a stellar one. I’ve been buying elitefts for years and I love them. Of course, there are other manufacturers out there who produce quality bars as well – just not many that I’d personally want to spend my money buying.

Still, I could have started out with ordering just one bar. Why risk buying six bars? Apart from the fact that we needed new bars, I must admit that there really was no risk in my opinion. If Dave put the elitefts brand on it, I was fine. So, along came the bars and we opened them up. I was not disappointed.

Let’s go over the bar’s features and benefits:

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Aggressive Knurling with Center Knurl and Powerlifting Marks

I like aggressive knurling, some don’t. That’s because they have sissy hands with no callouses. If you’ve been actually training for a while you develop callouses. That requires an aggressive knurl to dig into your man-hands. The center knurl ensures it will not move when it is on your back for squats and good mornings. By having the rings spaced for Powerlifting, we know our hands are in a consistent and legal spot.

Bronze Bushing Bar

I like bearing bars for some things and bushing bars for others.
If you don’t know what this means, here is the rundown: An Olympic bar and a Power bar should revolve smoothly on the ends. You do not want a bar that does not revolve, like a Strongman Axle when powerlifting or weightlifting. A bearing bar is usually more expensive and rotates much faster and smoother.

A bushing bar is a better alternative for our needs as powerlifters. They revolve very smoothly, but not as fast as a bearing bar.
A bearing bar is better for Olympic Weightlifting where you want a bar that spins fast, smooth, and for a long time.

28.5 mm Width

This is ideal for what we do as powerlifters. This width is not too thick, and not too thin. Like warm porridge, it’s just right.

2,000-Pound Capacity with 190,000 PSI Strength

This is a confusing area for some to understand. The 2000-pound capacity is easy to grasp. It means the bar will hold 2000 pounds without damaging it. The PSI is where the confusion slips in. Many don’t understand what this means. It simply measures the tensile strength of the bar, which means the amount of force needed to permanently damage it. It is how much force the bar can take and still recover without a permanent bend in it if dropped. Did you ever drop a bar on the safety pins in the rack, or drop one on your chest while benching? A bar with a low PSI will bend easily and it will be no good after a few drops or one bad one.

As an example, an Eleiko bar has 215,000 PSI at almost three times the cost. 

190,000 PSI for under $330? That’s a winner.

Zinc Plating

This is a no-brainer. Having high-quality plating on a bar prevents it from rusting. We have all kinds of bars at TPS, and sadly, it gets moist in here when the gym is full so, we have seen all kinds of bars need maintenance. With moisture comes oxidation (rust), and that will ruin a bar fast. Many brands are not zinc plated but finished with other methods. I have found that zinc plated bars are virtually maintenance free. And speaking of maintenance.


Snap Ring Ends

Snap rings are good for some types of bars and not for others. For example, I’ve seen the snap rings fly out on low-end weightlifting bars when dropped with as little as 225 from overhead. Pinned bars are better for this. A snap ring bar is fine for powerlifting, and might be a better choice as you can easily disassemble the bar in about three minutes with a pair of snap ring pliers. This then allows you to clean and lubricate the revolving ends – doing so for an hour once every year or two will extend your bar’s life by years.

Although these features sound great, the primary question remains: How did the elitefts Power Bar perform? We have had them for about a month at this point, and they get used all day in a gym full of strong(er) people. I have used this bar almost exclusively in my training as well - so much that I even put a Proloc Bar Blocker on one and it's mine. Overwhelmingly, people love them. The only complaint that I have heard is that the knurling can be a little aggressive for some people, but I just tell them to use more chalk.

The bottom line is that I’ve got a gym filled with virtually every bar on the planet, and yet I use this particular bar during every session – I cannot give it a better endorsement than that.

WATCH: Equipment Feature — elitefts Custom Bench