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Using a barbell for weight training is certainly not a new concept! In fact, barbells were introduced to gyms for fitness routines dating back to Europe in the mid-1800s.
When you think of weightlifting, the outdated image of the carnival strongman may come to mind. He’s mustached, wearing a short unitard, and easily hoists a barbell full of weights high over his head while he smiles, clearly not struggling at all.
Thankfully, times have changed. While there are undoubtedly many people who can hoist large amounts of weight over their heads, that’s not the goal of your average fitness enthusiast!
Barbells are a great way to train for strength. Period. Barbell squats, presses, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts are simple and incredibly effective exercises.
Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or you’re upgrading your existing fitness equipment, you may find yourself inundated with options. Luckily, our Archon fitness and health professionals team is here to help you think through all your options and choose the proper equipment to reach your fitness goals.
The barbell is a staple of all gym equipment. Versatile and simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive, the barbell is commonly used in strength and resistance training.
Barbells typically weigh around 45 pounds without any weight. Weight disks can be added on either side of the barbell in increments of 5 pounds, up to 55 pounds.
Barbells are ergonomically friendly and adjustable. Their adjustable nature allows small increases in stress that are applied to your whole body. This means real gains in size and strength with consistent workouts.
Over time, the barbell has been “improved” upon. The introduction of the EZ Bar means you have choices to make, and we are here to help you think through what’s best for your fitness goals.
EZ Bar Basics
The EZ Bar is used just like a barbell, except it doesn’t look like the straight-lined bar you may be used to. The EZ Bar is shaped like a zigzag letter M and was designed to take the stress off your wrists when doing bicep curls.
The most significant difference between the EZ Bar and the straight bar is their weight. The EZ Bar is lighter, coming in at around 25-30 pounds versus the straight bar’s 45 pounds.
The EZ Bar isolates your triceps and biceps and allows you to do more focused and precise work on this muscle group. The zigzag grip design of the EZ Bar protects your elbows and wrists from the joint damage that can come from heavy arm workouts.
Several applications allow you to incorporate variety and effectiveness into your arm training when using an EZ Bar. The versatility of the EZ Bar is certainly one of its many selling points.
The Archon Fitness Cerakote EZ Curl Bar is a specialty bar that provides superior protection and performance with brass bushings. The undulating handle allows you to activate your biceps and triceps for those toned and strong arms you work so hard for.
Our Cerakote finish contributes to your long-term enjoyment, as this top-of-the-line coating increases resistance to rust, abrasion, and provides hardness for extra protection.
Exercises Using the EZ Bar
There are any number of exercises you can try using the EZ Bar. We always recommend slow, steady movement. Don’t do any of these exercises too quickly, because using the wrong form with the EZ Bar can be worse than doing nothing at all. Keep focused and remain slow and steady.
Preacher Curl with an EZ Bar
- Place the curl bar on the bar support with a lighter weight than you may normally use for standing curls.
- Sit at the preacher bench and drape your arms over the angled pads to grab the angled grooves.
- Sit snugly, so your armpits are resting on top of the pads. Roll your shoulder back so that your arms take the brunt of the weight.
- Slowly curl the bar up to the top of the pads, holding the bar on the first pair of angled grooves. Squeeze at the top and slowly return to the start position.
- Load the bar with the maximum weight you can lift to do about 5 reps in perfect form. Use small plates, about 5 pounds each. Perform a set of bar curls to failure – the point where you cannot get another rep without cheating.
- Put weight down and immediately remove a plate from each side.
- Pick weight up again without any rest and execute another 5-6 reps, again going to the point of failure.
- Put down the unit and strip off another plate. Pump out another 5-6 reps.
- Continue this process until you’re just using the bicep curl bar weight and pump a final, super slow 20 reps of bar curls.
Reverse Grip EZ Bar Curl
- Grab the curl bar on the first angled grooves with a reverse grip – meaning your palms face down. Your knuckles should be up toward your biceps.
- Keep your elbows at your sides. Don’t let them travel outwards.
- If you have forearm pain, it’s likely because you’re letting your elbows come out to the side. Lower the weight and double-check your form. Remember – slow and steady!
Straight Bar Basics
You’ll notice right away that the straight bar looks different from the zigzag EZ bar. It’s straight. That may seem like a simplification, but it’s true!
The main difference between the straight bar and the EZ Bar is their weight and the hand positioning you can utilize for different exercises.
To decide which bar is right for you, think about your goals. People with prior wrist or elbow injuries or any bone or joint problems may find the EZ Bar is a better fit. The EZ Bar works for smaller muscle groups, while the straight bar activates your entire body for maximum strength training and definition.
Our Archon team of fitness professionals can help you think through your options and help you find the bar that will work best to achieve your goals.
The Archon Fitness Black Zinc Olympic Ball Bearing Bar is engineered for home, competition, and commercial use. Engineered with 4 elite ball bearings, 2 brass bushings, and 4 lock pins, our bars bring durability that withstands punishment.
Exercises Using the Straight Bar
As always: slow, steady, intentional, and controlled movement is best. To stay injury-free, center yourself and concentrate on your exercise and movement before engaging. Effective exercises mean you will see results faster.
- Start with your arms locked and the bar above your chest.
- Press your shoulders into the bench. Plant your feet on the floor. Squeeze your glutes.
- Bend your elbows to lower the weight to your chest, then press back up to the start.
Pro-Tip: If your chest muscles are strong but you’re weak in your shoulder stabilizers, it will be tough to lift a serious amount of weight on the bench press. Try the single-arm dumbbell press to help build your shoulder stabilizer strength.
- Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, bending your knees only slightly.
- Bend at the hips until your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Pull the bar up to touch your stomach, and then lower the bar with control.
- If you find that you’re moving your upper body to shift the bar, your weight is too heavy.
Pro-Tip: Start position is important! Initiate the row by setting your shoulder blades. To do this, pull your shoulder blades back and down by squeezing the muscles between them and expanding your chest. Let your elbows follow through to your sides. Hold the weights – don’t pull them. This engages your lats and will help you get a better contraction in the muscle.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grasp the bar with your hands positioned outside your legs.
- Lift the bar by driving your hips forward. Keep a flat back.
- Lower the bar under control.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking to build raw strength, the deadlift is a surefire go-to. Technique is essential and critical to success in this exercise.
Using these exercises with strength and control will show you incredible results over time. For more information or to learn how to best use our equipment, contact Archon Fitness. We are here for your success.
The Archon Difference
Archon is way more than an online retailer for workout equipment. We are a fitness company staffed by a team of passionate professionals dedicated to healthier bodies and healthier minds.
We provide a wide selection of only the highest-quality equipment and offer free shipping on almost all items. When you purchase a piece of workout equipment from us, our relationship is just beginning. Ideally, we start a dialogue.
We want you to know how to effectively and safely use the equipment so you see the results you’re expecting. Communicate with one of our trainers about the equipment you’ve purchased, and let us design a workout for you that will help you meet your fitness goals.
We are here for you. We want you to succeed. Whether you’re just beginning your journey toward fitness or you are well on your way to healthier living, you are important to us. Check out our website and start your relationship with Archon – TODAY.