The American Cambered Grip Bar is the best damn specialty bar on the market. I said it, I stand by it, and I will show you why. Some will argue the best specialty bar is the SS Yoke Bar. I can understand why someone may feel that way, especially if they have bad shoulders and need that bar to squat. The SS Yoke Bar may be the best lower body specialty bar but in comparison to the best damn bar on the market, it doesn’t compare in usefulness.
Picking out new bars is always exciting, but making choices on which to pick can be difficult. Solving a specific problem is one way to go about it, or you can choose the bar that solves the most problems. The American Cambered Grip Bar is the specialty bar that can be used in so many different ways that it should be the first upper body specialty bar you should purchase.
I have had my bar for a little over a week and can say 100 percent, without a doubt, it is the most useful bar I own. Max effort, dynamic effort, repetition work, and isolation work can all be done with this bar. The American Cambered Grip Bar has a great balance to it. The slight angle on the handles reduces stress on the shoulders and wrists.
The American Cambered Grip Bar has four handles with slight angles and a positive/negative camber. You can use the bar forward or backward, and that gives you eight grip options. Flip it over, and you have eight more options. Using the bar with various exercises and setups gives you well over 250 options. You will see in the matrix below that this is not an exhaustive list but will give you about five years of max effort workouts without a repeat.
Not convinced yet? Keep reading.
I am not putting together a matrix for dynamic effort but looking at the options again, you have many different cycles. If you are bigger, go with the three outer grips. If you are smaller, the three narrower grips might be best for you. Toss in bands, chains, or a combo for more cycles. If you are closing in on a meet, you may need to shelve this bar for a while, but it is a great off-season option for dynamic work.
I gave you six off-season cycles to replace dynamic effort in a previous article, and this bar is great for these cycles. You can run them with one grip and switch your grip for the next cycle or cycle back and forth with the supinated/pronated grip before moving to a wider grip. The options could be a whole article. But for the sake of this article, you have a starting point.
This was partially addressed in the off-season cycles article, but there’s another option that I love. One of those is a push-up. The push-up is a great exercise, and this bar will be excellent for clients who can’t do them on the floor yet. The angle in the handle will help them keep proper arm position, and they can put it in the bar so they can complete the desired reps. I used the Swiss Bar for this in the past with great success, but I feel this will be a better option due to the slight angle in the handles.
For those of you who can do push-ups, you can use the camber for an extended range of motion and stretch. Doing ladder push-ups, 100 reps in as few sets as possible, three sets to failure, or running the rack (10 reps on each handle) are all great options. Elevate the feet and let the blood drain into your upper body while doing the push-ups for a great pump. Push-ups are also a great extra workout to add volume, bring in fresh blood, and work out some of the soreness. This is a great option for this bar and one of the many benefits from using this bar.
Here is an example of ladder push-ups with chains.
Mechanical Drop Sets
The camber and angled handles make mechanical drop sets very easy to perform. No matter if you’re pressing or doing isolation work. I have three examples of ways we have used the bar.
1. Supinated (reverse grip-ish) pressing with the extended range of motion to near failure. Once you are almost to failure, flip the bar over so you have a shortened range of motion with a pronated grip. And keep going. As you fatigue, you can then widen the grip to the next handle for an even shorter range of motion.
2. Have the bar set so the camber is away from you. Start at the outside and do six reps. Move to the next handle and repeat. As you get to the middle the handles are on the camber and the center of gravity moves toward you, making the exercise slightly easier as you fatigue.
3. Choose one handle and do 12 reps. Flip it over and perform another 12 on the same handle. If you choose the two inner handles, you will need the camber toward you on the first 12 reps. If you use the outer two handles, you want the camber away from you at the start.
As time goes on, I am certain we will find more ways to use the American Cambered Grip Bar. That will only solidify its spot as the best damn specialty bar on the market. There is nothing that competes on the same level of usefulness. Bodybuilders, powerlifters, athletes, and even the general population can find a spot for this bar in their training. I can’t recommend this bar enough. The only complaint I have is that this bar wasn’t around years ago.