A barbell is usually a steel bar that is 5 to 7 feet long, often varies from thick to thin, usually about one inch. Weight plates are slid onto the outer portions of the barbell on either side to obtain the desired total weight. These weight plates are usually secured with collars to prevent them from sliding off during the exercise. A barbell is used in weight training, Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.
The best barbell exercises are: back squats, front squats,overhead squats, deadlifts, rack-pulls, stiff-leg deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, bent-over rows, bench presses, overhead presses, cleans, jerks, snatches, power cleans, push presses, and power snatches.
The barbell is very simple tool, so it is easy to learn the basic lifts quickly. With proper coaching, anyone without any debilitating pre conditions can learn most barbell exercises in under an hour. The weight is fixed and stable, so the tool itself is less likely to deviate from a normal range of motion. Another advantage of the barbell is that unlimited progression is possible because you can always add more weight to the bar. Being able to add more weight easily makes progressing with this tool very simple.
The main disadvantage of barbell training is that the only ultimate way to progress with this tool is to increase weight on the bar. By lifting heavy loads, the body is placed under extreme stress. In simple terms, lifting heavy weights can provide enough stimulus for the muscles to grow larger. On the other hand, lifting heavy weights dangerously compresses the joints and then injury will always occur, and this is often overlooked in a training program. This isn’t solved by taking a day off of training, or a week off every 12 weeks. One must regularly practice techniques that are meant to improve health, and counter-condition the damaging effects of heavy weightlifting.
Best place to find: Online auctions are usually the best inexpensive sources for a basic barbell. They are also available on other online stores or in most good sport shops.