When I was about to max out the bar at my local crunch fitness gym, the manager Chris told me that I should just buy a “Texas Power Bar”, and bring it in, and leave it at the gym, and just work out with it.
I was intrigued so I googled it, and I came across it.
Long story short, I thought about it for a long time, and I even joined a local powerlifting gym, trying to avoid buying unnecessary equipment. However, this is what I realized was the downside of joining my local powerlifting gym:
The equipment, aka, the squat rack wasn’t what I was used to.
Also interestingly enough, some thing I discovered about powerlifting gems which I had no idea, it seems that equipment is actually relatively fragile, and is not meant to be used and abused. This befuddled me, because I always thought the purpose of powerlifting was to yell, shout, grunt, throw shit around, and beat shit up.
Anyways, finally after much thinking, and much reflection, it seems like a pretty obvious decision, and I did some more research on the Texas squat bar, which seemed to be good because it had longer slaves on each side, which means that I should be able to work on more weight, which should be able to accommodate more weight while still being able to clip on each side.
The tricky thing was trying to figure out which color combination or materials to choose. I just wanted to get the bar as quickly as possible.
Ultimately, after reading all the reviews, it seemed that the black zinc shaft, and the chrome sleeves seemed like a good combination, and a crowd favorite, and therefore, I just ordered it. Much to my surprise, the bar came in insanely fast, it only felt like three days or so. And I suppose this is shipping from Texas to Southern California!
So does it work?
I suppose the billion dollar question is this, does it work? Yes.
First and foremost, this bar is 55 pounds, which is about 10 pounds heavier than the standard 45 pound bar at the gym. Also, it is way bigger and taller and longer than the traditional bars. Third, the knurling, a.k.a. the grip, the serrated grip on it is phenomenal. it is just grippy enough, and the hand feel is phenomenal. It is literally one of the most beautiful pieces of physical objects that I have ever handled, almost reminding me of the first time I was shocked I was handling a brass Leica M9 camera and film Leica MP camera, and Leica Summilux/Summicron lens.
Why is the “knurling” so important?
This is the tricky thing when it comes to weight lifting equipment, and barbells: the grip, a.k.a. the knurling, is insanely important.
For example, when you are doing a squat, especially a really heavy squat, you want the serrated edges or the knurling or the grip in the center of the bar, which means that the barbell has better grip on your upper shoulders back and traps, and doesn’t simply slip away.
Some thing interesting I noticed with this bar, when I mixed it up with nine 45 pound plates, a 10, and a five pounder taped on top:
Apparently the bar should be rated to at least 2000 pounds and beyond. I read a lot of things of all these world records being set with it, around 1200 pounds squats, etc.
One of the main motivators I had in mind this bar was a safety concern thing; if I really wanted to keep adding weight to the barbell, I just wanted to be 100% certain that the bar would not break. Or snap.
I was able to successfully atlas lift 890 pounds on the standard hdR green bar at the gym, but was uncertain whether it would hold any more.
The other day, the first day I brought it to the gym, I was able to hit a new personal record with it, 895 pounds. Doing the math, considering that the bar is 55 pounds, I did nine 45-pound plates on each side, a 10, and a safety clip on the side, and I simply placed and taped a five pounder on top. 895 pounds. 5 pounds short of 900!
How to get it to the gym?
First and foremost, this thing is really big and long. Way longer than you might expect.
I am lucky that I am within a short walking distance of my local gym, maybe a 10 minute walk. Therefore, I just took it out of the packaging, put it on my shoulders, and simply walked it to the gym.
Also my attitude is I want it to be like common property at the gym; anyone anyone could use it! And it doesn’t need to be babied, it is meant to be used and abused.
Unfortunately, it seems that the standard 45 pound black plates at my local gym is a little bit thick, which means that I cannot load up the bar as much as I would like. I would prefer the skinny 25 kilogram (55 pound) red iron powerlifting plates that they have a powerlifting gyms instead. But fucking c’est la vie!
I’m trying to think of a safer way to tape or wrap or maybe elastic band heavier weights on top of the barbell. Maybe buying some gorilla tape, or I’ve actually seen some guys the gym use those elastic rubber bands to rubber band on more weight on top of the weights.