I always get excited when I see a new brand bringing out barbells, especially when that brand is focused on bringing a single quality product out. All too often, I’ll come across brands that are just jumping into the fray for a quick buck, not really having any passion behind their products. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I respect when the ideas of someone who might actually be the end user, drives the manufacturing process.
Weightlifting House is a brand that you might, or might not have heard of depending on what your focus is. Seb Ostrowicz created the brand as a product of living the weightlifting lifestyle himself, that prompted him to start hosting a podcast, which would eventually lead to the production of his line of barbells.
“Weightlifting House was created with the sole purpose of bringing the sport of weightlifting, in all of its forms, closer to the fans. Through two weekly podcasts, training equipment, athlete interviews, weekly news shows, and articles, I intend to give as much back to the sport of weightlifting as I have received.”
If that doesn’t scream real passion, I don’t know what to tell you.
Finding a place in today’s saturated barbell marketplace can be difficult, but I don’t think it’s impossible to create a name for yourself. The House Barbell is made for and specifically marketed to those that are passionate about weightlifting. It carries specifications that are comparable to most high end barbells, at a middle of the road price tag. Perfect for anyone that’s looking for a serious training barbell, but doesn’t want to break the bank or compromise with a lower quality product. The bars were even sourced with the help of Glenn Pendlay, a name synonymous with weightlifting training and equipment. They even ship in the USA from Kansas!
First off – I know it doesn’t make much of a difference, but the Weightlifting House end-cap is probably the slickest in the game. It’s bright, eye-catching, and at least from an aesthetic standpoint, gives the House barbell a look that is uncommon at this price point. Details are scarce on where the bar is sourced from, but I would be lying if I didn’t think all signs led to it being China. I’ve seen dozens of Chinese made bars have the same design cues that the House barbell has, but like I always say, just because it’s made in China DOES NOT mean it’s a bad barbell. Keep in mind, Rogue up until the first Ohio bar, was getting all their steel from over there.
Build quality is tight. Sleeves are secured onto the barbell little to no play in any direction and the knurling is cut immaculately with neat start and stop points. Not to mention the knurl rides all the way up into the sleeves, perfect for those with a wide snatch grip. The websites states that the barbell has a “rust resistant” coating, but it seems to be a typical hard chrome throughout the whole barbell. It should hold up well to scratches, but it’s pretty common to get surface rust on hard chrome, so make sure you wipe down your barbell after use to remove any kind of moisture you might have left on it.
The House barbell is rocking a 201k PSI tensile strength, a little bit higher than what you’ll normally find on training barbells. Honestly, that’s not going to make any kind of difference when it comes to whip or performance, but it’s overall breaking strength should be more tolerant over the years. This barbell should survive abuse from even the heaviest of lifters.
Each sleeve has 16″ of total loadable area for plates. You’ll comfortably be able to load plates on to this barbell without worry. The surface on the sleeves has a slight texture to them to help slide plates on, but make sure you use collars because plates can slide around quite a bit if you don’t.
Personally, I prefer knurling towards the lighter side of the spectrum because I need to be able to use my hands for everything else I do inside of the gym. For me, this knurling feels medium/light and is perfect for my usage. I can go rep after rep without dreading picking up the barbell because my hands were run raw. The tooling is done immaculately which makes for a consistent grip feel from clean to snatch grip. It’s most reminiscent of Rogue’s weightlifting barbells, with just slightly more depth and about the same sized diamond pattern.
Like a proper weightlifting barbell would, there is center knurling on the House barbell. Thankfully, it’s done correctly and is much more shallow than the grip knurling. You can definitely feel it grip your neck or shirt, but it’s not deep enough to actually do any kind of damage when you’re slinging the barbell around. It’s a little more aggressive than Rogue’s or Klokov’s, around the same as Uesaka, and much less than the Eleiko NXG. I have a bar from the first run, but I’ve been informed that the second batch of barbells will have a lighter cut of center knurling.
I’ve seen tons of barbells that spin “fast” with even just a couple of bearings but the issue you’ll see with cheaper bearings is that they’ll spin too freely and over rotate, which can potentially throw you off balance. With 5 needle bearings per sleeve, you won’t have to worry about the House barbell ever getting stuck on you. The shaft of this barbell rotates extremely well within the sleeves and is not only fast, but it moves smooth and consistently. I can usually get the sleeves to start spinning from hang snatches, but with this barbell, the shaft easily rotated through the pull and kept the sleeves from over rotating on me.
Smoothness and speed is on par with even the highest end barbells with the exception of my Uesaka barbell being the smoothest in rotation (but not fastest). If I had to say it was the most similar to anything it would be to the Klokov Competition bar, which costs almost double the price of the House bar.
This barbell was made exclusively for Olympic weightlifting so it’s shaft diameter is 28mm which should yield good whip. Oscillation barely comes into play at the weights I’m working with and while the House barbell doesn’t feel stiff by any means under load, it doesn’t feel as dynamic as other bars I’ve used. Keep in mind that most of the barbells I’m comparing it to are a bit more expensive, but even the lower cost (bushing) variants of those barbells feel a little more “springy”. This could all change anyways as you load the bar with more weight, but at what I’d call intermediate weights, the whip of this barbell is good – but shouldn’t be the main factor when looking into this bar.
At the end of the day it really wouldn’t make a difference for most people. Novices wouldn’t even be moving weight where whip would be a factor, nor would they have the skill to use it. Intermediates might be closing in on weights where you’d notice it, but still probably wouldn’t be able to use it. Advanced or elite lifters would be at the weights where you’d notice it and they would be able to use it.
Pricing is a tricky topic in today’s oversaturated barbell marketplace, but the House barbell can stand it’s ground with it’s stellar build and performance. You can currently pre-order it at a discounted price of $450 (with a shipping charge of $45 to California), but will retail normally for $500. For the money, you’re getting a lot of barbell, plenty to satisfy even the most advanced lifters. It easily performs as well as barbells that cost near double it’s price.
That being said, I still think the they’re treading little too close to Rogue’s WL bar in price. As I mentioned earlier, the marketplace is saturated and there are a lot of great barbells out there. I fear that some people will overlook the House bar for some of the more popular and better established names, even though performance might be similar. Ironically, even Pendlay’s own American Weightlifting Competition barbell is in that same pricing tier. Personally, I think the bar would be perfect at the set price of $450.
I’ll leave you with this: While there are ton’s of great bars out there, the House barbell is a product driven by true passion. It’s something designed and sold by a weightlifter, that is solely targeting fellow weightlifters. Weightlifting House isn’t trying to mass produce it and sell it to the mindless brand followers. So, if you’re a weightlifter that’s concerned with getting the best performance for your dollar, even if it means going with a brand that might not get you street cred. at the gym, the Weightlifting House barbell is for you.
- Excellent build quality.
- Spin is smooth and consistent.
- Knurling, for me, is perfectly done.
- Origin’s aren’t disclosed.
- Shipping cost can get a bit pricey. ($45 to CA)
- Whip could be a little bit more dynamic, just a little bit.
- Pricing is a bit too close to Rogue’s WL bar.
- It’s currently sold out!