Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Review

This barbell is so official, all it needs is a whistle.

We receive free products and receive commissions through our links. See disclosures page.

Finding the right barbell can be a difficult task in such a vast market — especially with all of the different options for specialty bars. When it comes to a bar that is specifically tailored for Olympic lifting, we think the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar is one of the best options out there. It features a pair of loading sleeves with a silky smooth spin, a knurling that you may want to write home to your mom about, and a solid tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI. 

If you’re doing a lot of Olympic lifting, you likely want a barbell that is going to provide a fast spin rate to allow you to get under the bar quickly. Thanks to the five needle bearings in the loading sleeves here, the Rogue Olympic Bar spins as smooth as Barry Sanders used to on the gridiron. This bar is also approved by the IWF, making it a solid choice for competitors. With its high tensile strength rating, great knurled grip, and smooth spin, we think those who are dedicated to Olympic lifting will want to snag this barbell.

Main Takeaways

  • Five needle bearings in each loading sleeve make this barbell a great option for explosive lifts (like power cleans).
  • The tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI means this barbell can take a beating and offers a solid rating for Olympic lifts.
  • The Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar is approved by the IWF, making it an ideal option for weightlifting competitors.
Rogue Olympic WL Bar
Rogue Olympic WL Bar
Rogue Olympic WL Bar

This barbell is approved by the IWF, features five needle bearings in each sleeve, and has a moderate yet grippy knurling which is perfect for Olympic lifts. 

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Video Review

Our Reviews Writer, Jake, tested this bar out in our garage gym. In this video review, he walks you through the pros and cons, pricing, features, and more.

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Highlights

The Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar may not be a good fit for all home gym owners — for example, if you’re looking for a bar to use for powerlifting, you’re better off snagging a power bar. However, if you already have a barbell you use for your powerlifts, and simply need one to rep out your cleans, this is a great option to consider. Since you’ll be performing movements where the bar rotates in your hands, the moderate knurling ensures this bar won’t rip your hands up — but it still provides a solid grip. We enjoyed the center knurling on this barbell as it provided us with extra traction on our chest without being too abrasive.

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Highlights
Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Highlights

Tensile strength is very important with barbells since this rating will tell you how strong the bar truly is (tensile strength ratings range from 120,000 to 230,000 PSI). This bar features a rating of 215,000 PSI, which is solid for this style of barbell since you likely won’t be able to put the weight limit to the test during an Olympic lift. We aren’t sure what that max weight capacity is, but it definitely flirts with around 1,000 pounds. This bar has received approval from the IWF, so if you’re a serious competitor, you may have found your match to prepare for your next competition.

The version of the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar that we have features a zinc coating. This may not be ideal for anyone who stashes their gear in a non-climate-controlled room, but if you clean your bar from time to time, you should be able to prevent too much corrosion from forming. Rogue also offers this bar in a cerakote finish, as well as in stainless steel. However, those versions do cost around $100 to $200 more, and the zinc version is already expensive enough with a price tag of around $560. 

Who Should Buy the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar

  • Olympic and CrossFit lifters who are looking for a barbell to handle their specific needs.
  • Weightlifting competitors who want an IWF-approved barbell to prep for their next competition.
  • Anyone who is looking for a barbell that features a solid tensile strength rating will enjoy that this bar has a rating of 215,000 PSI. This rating should be plenty for lifts where the bar is dropped onto the ground repeatedly.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar

  • Powerlifters will want to look elsewhere since this bar is not meant to be used for powerlifts.
  • Anyone who is on a tight budget may want to consider a more budget-friendly barbell.
  • Since this is a specialty bar, a lot of home gym owners who are looking for one barbell to handle all of their lifts will want to check out some multi-purpose bars that can be used for both powerlifting and Olympic lifting. The majority of multi-purpose bars are also going to save you a couple hundred dollars.

Price

As we mentioned, the 28mm zinc version of the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar is priced around $560. Shipping is free, but once you add taxes, you’ll be spending around $600. There’s also a 25mm zinc version available for about $550. Zinc is not the optimal choice in terms of protection from rust and corrosion, so if your gym is not in a climate-controlled environment, you may want to shell out some extra cash for some extra protection. The cerakote version is going to run you around $650 with taxes, and the stock version of the stainless steel version is going to cost you about $680. You also have the option to add on stainless steel loading sleeves for an additional $80, putting your total around $765. However, the 28mm zinc version is the only one that features a center knurling. 

Even if you go with the zinc version of this bar, $600 is still a lot of money to be spending on a specialty bar. So if you aren’t a dedicated Olympic lifter, you’re probably going to be better off purchasing a multi-purpose bar. There are a lot of multi-purpose bars that are cheaper than this barbell, feature a similar knurling style, and can handle all of your lifts. However, if you are dedicated to your Olympic lifts, we think this bar is top notch.

In terms of financing this purchase, Rogue offers two different options — Affirm and PayLater. The payments with Affirm tend to vary from person to person since they run a soft credit score check to determine what you’ll pay. But with PayLater, you have the option of making four payments of around $140, or you can pay about $30 a month over two years. 

Overall Build and Quality

The 28mm zinc Rogue Olympic Weightlifting bar we have is crafted with high-quality steel, and features a zinc coating. The loading sleeves on this bar are friction welded together, so you shouldn’t ever have to worry about the integrity of the sleeves diminishing over time. Each sleeve also features five needle bearings, which create a smooth spin to help you get under the bar during your lifts. The grooves in the sleeves will assist you in keeping your plates snug, but we still recommend using weight collars for your own safety.

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Build

The 28mm version of this bar weighs 20 kilograms, is 86.6 inches in length, and features 16.25-inch loading sleeves. The 25mm version weighs 15 kilograms, and is 79 inches long with 12.5-inch loading sleeves. Regardless of which version you choose, this bar features a tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI. While there are barbells out there with a higher rating, this is a solid number for an Olympic bar. The knurling is nothing short of awesome in our opinion. Oftentimes zinc coated barbells tend to be a little slippery, but we didn’t find that to be true with this bar — we honestly thought it was stainless steel with how solid it felt in our hands.

Features

This barbell is available in three different finishes — zinc, cerakote, and stainless steel. If you want the highest level of protection possible, we suggest going after the stainless steel version, but as long as you clean the other two, you should be just fine. The knurling is a perfect combination of moderate yet grippy, and the zinc version features a center knurling for extra traction during your hang cleans

Since this is an Olympic bar, you’ll notice there’s only one set of knurl markings. This is common with specialty bars though. Power bars only have one set of markings set by the IPF, while Olympic bars feature markings set by the IWF. We also found the grooves on the loading sleeves to be helpful in terms of keeping bumper plates in their original place when lifting, but we still recommend using a pair of weight collars to ensure they don’t move. 

Knurling

Since this is an Olympic bar, the knurling is not going to be anywhere near as abrasive as the knurling on a power bar would be. This is by design as you’ll be doing movements where the bar is rotating in your hands. Considering we were using the zinc-coated version of this bar, we were pleasantly surprised with how grippy it really felt. Barbells with a zinc coating tend to be a little slippery, but that’s definitely not the case here. 

Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Knurling
Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar Knurling

The single set of IWF knurl markings on this barbell is pretty common with Olympic bars, and this allows you to achieve identical hand placement when lifting. Not every Olympic bar features a center knurling, but we really enjoyed the inclusion of a center knurl on the zinc version of this bar. Its purpose is to assist you in keeping the bar on your chest when hitting a clean, and it definitely got the job done. Just remember, the 28mm zinc version of this bar is the only one that features that center knurl.

Sleeve Design

With an Olympic barbell, you want to achieve as much spin as possible in order to effectively complete lifts like the snatch. Multi-purpose barbells often feature bushings in the sleeves. These are cheaper than the bearings you’ll find in the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar, but they also don’t provide as much spin. The five needle bearings in each sleeve of this bar allow the bar to spin quickly and effortlessly in your hands.

The grooves in this bar are also beneficial — these grooves prevent your bumper plates from sliding down the sleeves when you’re doing a lift and when the barbell is repeatedly dropped. Since it’s inevitable that your plates will still move a little bit after a few reps, we still think you should implement some weight collars.

Needle Bearings

Since this Olympic barbell uses five needle bearings in each loading sleeve, you’ll find the spin to be fast and smooth. This is going to be beneficial for your Olympic lifts since it reduces the amount of torque that your elbows and wrists go under when turning the bar. While they don’t mention it on their website, it appears as if Rogue also used some bronze bushings where the loading sleeves and barbell meet. If that is in fact true, this is also going to further assist your bar in spinning. 

Finish

The version of the Rogue Olympic Bar that we have in our garage is coated in bright zinc. In terms of protection from rust and corrosion, this is not going to be ideal for anyone who isn’t working out in a climate-controlled environment, and it will require cleaning periodically. However, Rogue does offer this barbell in both cerakote and stainless steel. Stainless steel is the head honcho in terms of protection from corrosion with cerakote coming in at a close second. It’s worth reminding you that you can add on stainless steel loading sleeves to the stainless steel bar for a uniform appearance, as well. But again, both of these versions will require you to dish out a bit more cash.

Product Specs

Rogue is as notorious as B.I.G. when it comes to the quality of their equipment, and the Olympic Bar is no exception. This barbell features a tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI, so even the most elite lifters can get some solid usage out of this barbell. Since this barbell meets the IWF standards, this is a good option for any competitors to add to their home gym. 

Tensile Strength 

When looking to buy a barbell, you absolutely need to pay attention to the tensile strength, making sure it can accommodate your strength level. With a rating of 215,000 PSI, this barbell from Rogue is going to be a great fit for athletes of all levels. Barbells range anywhere from 120,000 PSI to 230,000 PSI. Power bars tend to be closer to the max rating, but that’s due to the weight you often lift during those workouts (such as during a deadlift). 215,000 PSI is ideal for an Olympic bar. 

Materials

The materials used when crafting a barbell are also a determining factor in the caliber of the bar, as well as its price. The Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar features a high-quality steel build with the option of a zinc, cerakote, or stainless steel finish. While the zinc bar will need to be cleaned more frequently to avoid corrosion forming, that process doesn’t take too long and will be worth the extended use you’ll get from taking care of your bar. But if you don’t want to worry about that as much, it may be worth spending some additional cash for added protection in the form of cerakote or stainless steel.

Weight Capacity

While we don’t know the exact weight capacity of this barbell, the 215,000 PSI tensile strength rating means you can load at least 1,000 pounds onto this bar — maybe more. However, since the world record power clean is 582 pounds, we don’t think you need to worry about this Olympic bar not being able to handle your strength level

Dimensions and Weight

Both the men’s and women’s versions of this barbell are approved by the IWF, so the dimensions are exactly what you’ll find in a weightlifting competition. The 20-kilogram version is 86.6 inches long with a diameter of 28 millimeters, and it has 16.25-inch loading sleeves. The 15-kilogram version is 79 inches long with a 25-millimeter diameter, and it has 12.5-inch loading sleeves. 

Warranties

Rogue includes a lifetime warranty on this barbell that covers any manufacturing defects. This does not cover negligent use, such as using damaged bumper plates, or allowing corrosion to form. 

Places to Buy

You can purchase this barbell directly through the Rogue Fitness website. 

Company Information

Since 2006, Rogue has been one of the leaders in manufacturing fitness equipment, and they remain dedicated to producing equipment of the highest quality. To find out more about their operations, you can reach out to their support team at 614-358-6190, or you can live chat with a team member on their website. 

Final Word

The Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Barbell is a specialty bar that is designed to handle all of your Olympic lifting needs. It has a tensile strength rating of 215,000 PSI, which is perfect for that style of lifting, and the five needle bearings in each loading sleeve provide the right amount of spin for your lifts. The knurling is ideal for any lift where the bar rotates in your hands since it won’t tear them up, and the zinc version also features a center knurl.

If you’re worried about corrosion forming on the zinc version, Rogue offers this barbell in cerakote and stainless steel finishes, but those don’t feature the center knurling. The women’s version doesn’t feature a center knurl either, and it’s also only available in a bright zinc finish. Since this bar is on the expensive side, anyone who isn’t dedicated to their Olympic lifts, or wants a barbell that can handle it all will likely want to consider a multi-purpose bar to make the most out of their purchase.

Anyone who competes in weightlifting competitions though will be happy to know that this bar is approved by the IWF. So if you’re looking for a specialty bar to handle your Olympic lifts, we think you found your match in the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar.

FAQs

Are there any limitations when it comes to working out with the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar?

Yes, since this is an Olympic bar, that is the only style of lifting you will want to be using this barbell for. While you could probably still bench press with it if you really want to, you’ll be better off benching with a power bar. If you want a bar that can do it all, we suggest browsing some multi-purpose barbells, like the Rogue Ohio Bar.

Does it matter which finish I choose for the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar?

The answer to this question depends on the room you use to stash your gear. If you’re working out in a steamy garage without AC then you will likely want to spend some extra money on the cerakote or stainless steel versions to give you the highest level of protection from rust and corrosion. But if you have a climate-controlled environment to work out in, you should be just fine with the zinc finish.

Is the Rogue Olympic Weightlifting Bar available in smaller sizes?

Yes, this barbell is also available in 15 kilograms. However, it’s not available in 10 kilograms. So if you are looking for a junior bar you’ll need to keep that search alive.