Rogue Ohio Bar vs. X Training Elite Competition Barbell

Discover which of these multi-purpose barbells is the best fit for your lifting needs.

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From the features, to the price, no two barbells are the same — including the Rogue Ohio Bar, and the X Training Elite Competition Barbell. Some barbells are meant for Olympic style lifts, such as the snatch or clean & jerk, while power bars are meant for your three main power lifts — the benchsquat, and deadlift. With so many options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming when looking for the right barbell to add to your home gym. Odds are you’ll want to save some money, and purchase one barbell that can handle all of those lifts — these two fall into that category.

While both of these barbells share some qualities that make them versatile and able to handle nearly anything you throw their way, they also have some pretty notable differences. They both have bronze bushings that provide a spin smooth enough for your Olympic lifts (but also controlled enough for your powerlifts) with a non-abrasive knurling that is great for high rep exercises. That being said, both of these companies took a different approach in manufacturing their barbells, the pricing is noticeably different, and the overall strength of each bar varies. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between these two multi-purpose barbells from Rogue and X Training.

Rogue Ohio Bar Highlights

The Rogue Ohio Bar is one of the most popular barbells on the market, and for good reason. It’s able to handle a wide range of workouts, and is available in a few different finishes. However, the version we’ll be referring to is stainless steel. When it comes to fighting off rust and corrosion, stainless steel is the optimal choice — especially for those who house their equipment in a humid area. The stainless steel version of this bar also features a higher tensile strength rating than the black zinc, black oxide, e-coat, and custom bar options. If you were to go with the custom option, you’d be able to choose between the cerakote color of your choice, or spend $25 extra for stainless steel — among a few other customizations.  

If you’re looking for a barbell to rep out some bench presses, or maybe spend some time working on your power clean, we think you’ll appreciate the grippy, yet non-abrasive knurling of the Ohio bar. Since it’s stainless steel, you likely find that you’re able to get a better grip than if it was coated — sometimes barbells with a coating tend to feel a little slippery. The lack of a center knurling makes this a good fit for Olympic lifts since you’ll experience less irritation on your skin, but that also leads to less grip for your back squats, and potentially your cleans

The bronze bushings in the loading sleeves provide a spin that is ideal for both powerlifting and Olympic lifting since it doesn’t spin out of control, and the grooved sleeves will assist you in keeping your weight plates in their original position — but we still recommend using a pair of weight collars for your safety. The spin produced by the sleeves is an important trait since it reduces the amount of torque on your wrists and elbows during any move where the bar is lifted from the ground and rotated in your hands.

The tensile strength here can’t be ignored either — the stainless steel version is rated at 200,000 PSI, while the other options are 190,000 PSI. Tensile strength is a big factor when looking for a new barbell as it essentially tells you how strong a barbell is. The higher the number, the stronger the bar — barbells typically range from 120,000 to 230,000 PSI, so even some elite powerlifters can get solid usage with this bar.

Rogue Ohio Bar Barbell
Rogue Ohio Bar Barbell
Rogue Ohio Bar Barbell

The Rogue Ohio Bar is 28mm in diameter, has a sleeve length of 16.4 inches, and features two knurling marks for optimal hand placement. It's made of stainless steel, and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Main Takeaways

  • The Ohio Bar is available in multiple finishes, including stainless steel — the optimal choice when it comes to fighting off rust and corrosion. 
  • The moderate knurling, lack of a center knurling, and bronze bushings in the loading sleeves make this barbell compatible with Olympic lifts. 
  • The stainless steel version of the Ohio Bar has a tensile strength rating of 200,000 PSI, which is a solid number that allows nearly every lifter to get solid usage out of it.

X Training Elite Competition Barbell Highlights

The X Training Elite Competition Barbell can be used for both powerlifting and Olympic lifting. The knurling is more on the passive side, so beginners may enjoy this bar more than veterans since they can use this bar without aggravating their hands while lifting. Beginners aren’t the only ones who can get solid usage out of this barbell though since the tensile strength rating is 215,000 PSI. This makes it stronger than the Ohio, but at a price tag that’s much lower. A factor that likely leads to that lower price though is the black chrome coating here, which doesn’t offer as much protection against rust and corrosion as stainless steel. 

The lack of a center knurling and the bronze bushings add to the versatility of this barbell — it doesn’t spin out of control but it does seem to spin a little more freely than the Ohio bar. So when you factor in the more passive knurling and sleeves that spin more freely, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell might be the better choice of the two for Olympic lifts. However, the grooves in the loading sleeves of this barbell are not cut as deep as the Ohio, so you will most likely experience more movement with your bumper plates as the bar drops on the ground. 

X Training Elite Competition Barbell
X Training Elite Competition Barbell
X Training Elite Competition Barbell

The X Training Elite Competition Barbell has a 215,000 PSI tensile strength, and features medium, dual knurl marks. This bar is made with alloy steel and has a black chrome finish — plus, its oil-impregnated bronze bushings provide a great spin.

Main Takeaways

  • The tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI found with the X Training Elite Competition Barbell puts it in a top-tier category. 
  • The bronze bushings provide a high rate of spin, but not one that’s out of control, so you can still focus on your powerlifts. 
  • The $230 price tag for this barbell is pretty rare considering the tensile strength. Typically barbells this strong are more around $400. 

What Are the Big Differences Between the Rogue Ohio Bar and the X Training Elite Competition Barbell?

Both of these barbells share some qualities that make them multi-purpose bars, but there are also some distinct differences. Let’s dive more into those differences, including the materials used, overall strength, and price tags for each.

Stainless Steel vs. Black Chrome

At first glance, you can tell that these two barbells are crafted from different materials. The Ohio Bar has multiple finishes for you to choose from, but the Elite Competition Barbell only comes with a black chrome finish.

The Ohio Bar we have in our gym is stainless steel with chrome sleeves — you have the option of having stainless steel sleeves as well, but that is an additional $95. Stainless steel is the best choice for someone who has their equipment stored in a garage gym (like we do) since it will fight off corrosion at the highest rate possible, and doesn’t need to be cleaned as much as a coated bar.  

The X Training Elite Competition Barbell only comes in a black chrome finish, which is not going to provide the ideal protection for anyone in a humid environment like a garage. This may require you to clean your bar a couple times a month in order to keep it in good shape. Though if you are in a climate controlled environment, you might not experience much of an issue. The coating of this bar may also lead to less grip than you’ll find on the stainless steel Ohio, but that’s pretty common with the majority of coated bars. 

There’s a Price Difference

Despite the overall grip from the knurling, the price between these two barbells might be the biggest difference. While this is likely due to the fact that the Ohio Bar we have is stainless steel, it’s still a bit surprising that the other versions are also more expensive when you consider the tensile strength ratings of these two bars. 

Rogue Ohio Bar

You can find the stainless steel Ohio that we have in our garage listed right around $370 on the Rogue Fitness website. If you were to replace the stock chrome sleeves with stainless steel sleeves, it’s going to add another $95 to your total, bringing the overall price to around $500 once you include shipping. We realize this is not a cheap barbell, but the overall quality and the reputation of this bar may make it worth the cost.

If you want the Ohio Bar but want to save some money, you might want to take a look at the other coating options. The black zinc and e-coat version are priced around $305, while the black oxide version is around $320, and the custom option is around $350. However, since these prices are not too far off from the stainless steel version, it might be worth spending a little more money for the extra protection from corrosion, as well as the higher tensile strength. 

If you don’t want to spend that much money up front, Rogue does allow you to finance your purchase through PayLater from PayPal, as well as Affirm. This is going to split your purchase up into interest free payments of about $130. 

X Training Elite Competition Barbell

If money is your deciding factor when choosing between these two barbells, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell is likely going to be the bar for you. Priced right around $230 on the X Training website, we think you’ll struggle to find a deal as good as this one when it comes to tensile strength. We’ve reviewed some barbells that share a similar price tag, but those options also feature a tensile strength closer to the lower end of the spectrum. And to make this bar less expensive up front, you can also finance this purchase through Affirm for about $60 a month. 

While you will likely need to clean this barbell more frequently than the stainless steel Ohio if you have it stored in a garage, the money you’ll be saving might make it worth the extra care. Since you’re potentially saving a couple hundred dollars, you’ll free up some cash to add a power rackweight bench, some dumbbells, or even a kettlebell or two to your home gym.

Tensile Strength

We preach about the importance of tensile strength in a barbell a lot, and both of these bars feature a solid tensile strength rating. However, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell has the higher rating of the two, despite it being priced lower. 

A difference of 15,000 PSI may not be enough for people to sacrifice a better grip and the protection from corrosion you may get from the Ohio, but it’s still worth noting that gap. The Ohio still has a rating of 200,000 PSI, which may be plenty for the majority of weightlifters to properly work out with. Since both of these barbells are relatively close to the higher end of things in terms of strength, they can be the bar that a beginner grows with, while also supporting the needs of athletes with elite strength

Loading Sleeves

The loading sleeves of these two barbells we have are pretty similar in nature, but they aren’t identical by any means. The main similarities are that they are both coated in chrome (black chrome for the Elite Competition Bar), and they utilize bronze bushings to provide the necessary spin for an Olympic lift. Bronze bushings are typically found in versatile barbells since they don’t spin as freely as bearings, which makes them compatible with power lifts.

Bronze bushings also degrade slower than bearings do, and they’re a little bit cheaper. We noticed that the sleeves on the X Training bar spin a bit faster than the Ohio, so if you mainly want to focus on your power cleans, the Elite Competition Bar might be the optimal choice for you. 

Knurling

Other than the overall appearance of these two barbells, the knurling from both might be the biggest difference we experienced. Yes, they’re both on the moderate side of things, but they did feel pretty different in our hands. 

Since the Ohio Bar we have is stainless steel, our grip felt less compromised since there is no coating on the bar (like the black chrome of the X Training bar). The overall abrasiveness of the Ohio also felt more “grippy” since the pattern is cut deeper, and in reality, the X Training knurling is more on the passive side. But, if we were to have one of the coated options of the Ohio, the difference may have been less. 

Loadable Weight

While the X Training Elite Competition Barbell does not have the overall weight rating listed online, the higher tensile strength rating will likely lead to a higher weight rating than the Ohio. This is something that will be a big factor for anyone who is lifting some super heavy weight

The Ohio is rated to hold up to around 1,260 pounds with a tensile strength rating of 200,000 PSI. But once again, since the Elite Competition Bar has a tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI, it likely can hold closer to 1,400 pounds of weight. And since the coated versions of the Ohio have a tensile strength rating of 190,000 PSI, those versions will also feature a lower overall weight rating.

Which Barbell is the Better Option?

When deciding between these two barbells, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each, and then make your decision on what is best for your specific needs. We like to consider the price, the materials used, as well as the overall strength of the bar, and advise you to do the same. 

If money is your main concern and you’re on a bit of a tight budget, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell is going to be the one for you. Since it’s priced right around $230, it’s nearly half the price of the Ohio. But because it’s coated in chrome and is not stainless steel, it might not last you as long as the Ohio, so you’ll want to clean it often, or else you could wind up needing a new one sooner, spending more money overall.

The tensile strength of the Elite Competition Barbell is also 15,000 PSI higher than the Ohio, so if you are power cleaning super heavy weight, you might want that extra protection from any potential bending. But, that gap also may not be big enough for a lot of users out there. You should also consider the overall grip you’ll get from these barbells. In our time with both, we really felt that the Ohio was superior in terms of offering a non-compromised grip. This is likely due to the stainless steel (rather than black chrome coating), but the knurling also feels to be cut deeper. So if you have sweaty hands, you might want to go with the Ohio since you have a decreased chance of needing chalk or straps to assist your grip

At the end of the day, both of these barbells are highly versatile and are able to handle a wide variety of workouts. You can seamlessly switch from deadlifting to practicing your clean and jerk, and that’s why these could be such a nice addition to your home gym. While they are similar in nature, their builds and prices are different, so we suggest focusing on the features of each and then deciding which one best aligns with your goals and your budget. If you do that, then you should be able to find which one is better for you.  

Is Stainless Steel That Much Better Than Chrome?

To be blunt, yes, stainless steel is much better than chrome. While chrome is going to offer you some protection from corrosion, it doesn’t really come close to stainless steel. But to be fair, no coating does — except maybe cerakote.

We don’t know how you feel about your gym equipment, but we would assume that you want it to last for a long time. If that is the case (hopefully so), then you’ll want to consider the stainless steel Ohio since you have a better chance of it lasting you a lifetime, and that’s especially true if you plan on storing it in a humid garage. But if your home gym is in a climate controlled environment, the chrome may be just fine for you. 

Can the Ohio Do Anything the X Training Elite Competition Barbell Can’t Do?

While the Ohio Bar features a better knurling and deeper cut grooves on the loading sleeves, both of these barbells can help you accomplish exact same workouts. The bronze bushings allow both to handle your Olympic lifts, but remember, bronze bushings don’t spin as freely as bearings do, so you can still train your power lifts, as well. The X Training Elite Competition Barbell does have a higher tensile strength rating (and likely a higher overall weight rating) though, so you may be better off doing some heavy power cleans with it despite the Ohio having the superior grip. But at the end of the day, the short answer here is no. The Elite Competition Bar can do everything the Ohio Bar can. 

Final Word

Making a decision on which barbell to add to your home gym can be a tough task, so when choosing between these two options, be sure to weigh all of the pros and cons. If you are working with a big budget, or if you are working out in a garage and need some extra protection from corrosion, the Ohio Bar is probably going to be the one for you. However if you are on a tighter budget, or maybe you don’t mind cleaning your barbell, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell is still a solid option. This is especially true if the overall weight rating and tensile strength rating of a bar is going to be the ultimate decision maker for you (as the X Training bar features a higher rating for both).  

The best thing about these barbells is that they can suffice the needs of the majority of the weightlifting community. Beginners can use either option without tearing up their hands, while more advanced lifters can also use both of these to handle some hefty weight.

In our case, we do think that the Ohio Bar is the “better” of the two, but the gap isn’t as big as you might think. We just need the extra protection from corrosion since our garage can get pretty steamy, and the stainless steel also provides us a better grip. However, the X Training Elite Competition Barbell is still a solid option, especially if you want to save some money. 

FAQs

Are there any limitations with the Rogue Ohio and the X Training Elite Competition Barbell?

While these multi-purpose bars can handle the majority of the workouts you might decide to do, the lack of a center knurling could be an issue for some. This could play a role in traction during back squats, and for some, power cleans, since you do lose some extra grip.

Why is there such a price gap between the Rogue Ohio and the X Training Elite Competition Barbell?

If you were to only look at the tensile strength (which leads to the overall weight rating of each bar), you’d likely think the Elite Competition Barbell was the more expensive option. That definitely is not the case though, and we think this is due to the coating. Every option of the Ohio Bar offers more protection from corrosion than chrome can offer, which could make it last longer than the black chrome coated X Training bar.

What makes the Rogue Ohio and X Training Elite Competition Barbell all-purpose barbells?

You might not realize it if you’re new to weightlifting, but barbells tend to vary pretty drastically in how they are built. Anyone who only wants to focus on powerlifting will want to go for a power bar since the knurling is more abrasive, the diameters tend to be thicker, and the sleeves experience very little spin. Olympic barbells tend to be thinner than power bars, and feature a non-abrasive knurling with bearings in the sleeves to accommodate those style lifts. 

With a multi-purpose barbell, the knurling and diameter are pretty similar to an Olympic bar, but the implementation of bronze bushings slows down the spin of the loading sleeves, so it can handle powerlifting too.