This is part of a new blog series: fitness and nutrition product reviews. If you’re wondering why I’m doing this series, or how I’m choosing what to review, what my review standards are, and whether I am involved in affiliate programs for them, head over here for the answers: EV Fitness and Nutrition Product Reviews.
Fitness and Nutrition Product Review:
Bella Bar from Rogue
- EVR (Elsbeth Vaino Rating): 10 DB (out of 10)
Description: (from the product website)
“The Bella Bar is our go-to multipurpose 15kg barbell for female athletes. Designed with versatility in mind, it’s uniquely optimized for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, and/or a CrossFit WOD.
A staple of women’s CrossFit competitions– including events at the CrossFit Games– the 25mm Bella Bar features Rogue signature Dual Knurl Marks with no center knurl, and a hybrid knurling pattern for a firm but comfortable grip on both Powerlifts and Olympic lifts. The bar’s high quality bronze brushings provide a reliable spin, and unlike some lesser women’s barbells, the Bella Bar has enough whip for regular use in Olympic weightlifting.
Made in the USA and built with as much attention to detail as any bar in the Rogue family, the Bella Bar is a women’s weightlifting bar forged on equal ground.”
What I like about the product:
- The 25 mm diameter. I went looking for a woman’s bar after hearing “I don’t like deadlifts” from female clients who are ordinarily eager and excited about their training. In each case when I asked why, it was because they had a hard time holding the bar. We moved to straps, but it still didn’t feel great for many. Then I made the connection: women generally have smaller hands than men. It makes sense if you think about it, particularly for women who are a bit, um, less tall. A 5’2″ woman using a regular 28.5mm bar for deadlifts is about the equivalent of a 6’0″ man using fat grips for deadlifts. You’ll get a great grip workout, but would you really use fat grips for ALL of your deadlifts? Of course not – you’d be losing out on so much posterior chain development. So why do we have people with smaller hands lift with the same diameter bar?
- I also love this bar for men with smaller hands. Or I should say, for those who are man enough to know that their small hands are not a sign of anything other than that they have small hands.
- Since bringing the bar into the gym, every single person who previously told me they didn’t like deadlifts started to love them. Every single one.
- Other than the diameter, the bar is well, great. I have used it myself and with my clients for deadlifts, squats, cleans and snatches. I don’t use it with bench press as often, mainly because I still only have one Bella bar in the gym, and odds are someone else is using it for deadlifts or Olympic lifts, but when I get another, I’ll use it for more bench as well.
What I don’t like about the product:
- The bar weighs 35 lbs, and it seems that my brain is permanently wired with weight math based on a 45 lb bar. This means I sometimes set the bar up for myself or a client with what I think is one weight, but is actually 10 lbs lighter. I even added a piece of red tape in the middle of the bar with “35#” written on it. Adding that tape words pretty well when I’m coaching as I tend to notice it before someone has already done their set, but I keep forgetting when I’m lifting – often remembering on the last set. It kind of amuses me that I am having this simple math issue, I mean, I used to be an electrical engineer! Maybe another sign this was a good career move?
I rarely like something completely. There’s usually something I don’t like about it, but not here. Yes, I complained about the weight, but really, that’s a problem with my mental faculties, not with the bar. It’s pretty tough to have a smaller bar that weighs the same as the larger bar. Yes I did retain at least something from being an engineer.
In fact I like the bar so much that it makes me think of a Tracy Morgan quote from his Tracy Jordan character on 30 Rock:
“I love it so much, I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant“.
(yes, I realize that makes no sense coming from a woman, but I think hilarity prevails.)
How to buy:
Note: For each product I review, I provide links to help you purchase the product should you wish to. In the event that I really like a product, and there is an affiliate program, I provide two links – one affiliate link and one direct link. If I don’t like a product, I will only include a direct purchasing link. If I like the product but there is no affiliate program, I will also only include a direct link (too obvious?).
If you’re wondering about this affiliate stuff, give this post a read. I hope you’ll agree that it’s reasonable that I do this, and that you trust that I value my integrity too much to ever let an affiliate option cloud my judgement. If you don’t support the concept of the affiliate links, but want to buy a product that I’ve reviewed, I have included an affiliate-free link for you.
Other Fitness and Nutrition Products Reviewed: