Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar vs Texas Deadlift Bar – The Best Deadlift Bar?
Nowadays, it seems like there is a different kind of bar for almost every exercise or style of lifting. The training benefits behind using different barbells are often debated and this is very much the case with the deadlift bar, which can make it difficult to know if you should even use a deadlift bar before you even get to trying to find the best deadlift bar for your training.
This article will outline exactly what a deadlift bar is, why or why it shouldn’t be used as well as helping you to buy the best deadlift bar by comparing to of the most popular deadlift barbells available: The Rogue Ohio deadlift bar and the Texas deadlift bar. Feel free to use the table of contents to skip ahead if you just came for the deadlift bar recommendations.
What is a Deadlift Bar and How is it Different from a Standard Barbell?
As you may have guessed, or at least I would hope you have, a deadlift bar is a barbell that has the sole purpose of being used for deadlifts. The question is what makes it better for deadlifts than a standard Olympic barbell?
The main performance difference is the amount of “whip” you get when deadlifting with a deadlift bar. By “whip”, I’m referring to how much the barbell bends as you lift it off the ground. By having a barbell that bends more as you pull up on it, you essentially decrease the distance that you must lift the weight from the ground.
Often, with a deadlift bar, the bar will bend enough to allow your hands to be a good couple of inches higher before the weights break the ground. This reduction in range of motion is likely to lead to slightly heavier weights being lifted by most people.
The video below shows this difference:
Physical Differences Between Deadlift Bars and Standard Bars
The last section explained the main performance difference between a deadlift bar and regular barbell, but what physical changes cause the deadlift bars to bend more?
There are a few key differences you will usually see between the two types of bar.
Firstly, a deadlift bar is going to be thinner than regular bars. The majority of deadlift bars are 27mm thick, which is 1-2mm thicker than powerlifting bars.
Deadlift bars also rely on shifting the weight plates further away from the middle of the bar to further increase “whip”. This is done by increasing both the distance between the sleeves as well as increasing the length of the bar as a whole.
As you can see, all the changes made to a deadlift bar are done so in an effort to make the bar bend more at the start of a deadlift.
Rogue Ohio Power Bar vs Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar
Just to give you a rough guide to the differences between standard power bars and deadlift bars, I have taken our favourite powerlifting bar, the Rogue Ohio Bar and compared the specifications to the deadlift version of the same bar.Finally, Rogue mentions the knurling on their Ohio deadlift bar is slightly more aggressive than their power bars. This makes sense as having a better grip on the bar is going to improve deadlift performance, which is the main aim of the bar.
As you can see from the image above, the main differences between the two bars is in the various lengths. The deadlift bar also doesn’t feature a centre knurling as it has no need for one due to the fact it shouldn’t be used for squats.
Who Should Use a Deadlift Bar?
This is a big question that is quite often the topic of many forum and video comment section debates. To me, the initial answer doesn’t need to be complicated:
If your sole aim is to lift more weight from the ground, then you will likely benefit from using a deadlift bar.
The complexity and nuances come into play when you examine a lifter’s reasons behind wanting to deadlift more.
For example, a lifter who wants to lift more weight in order to increase lower body strength and muscular development could be inhibited by using a deadlift bar. Sure, the weight will be heavier, but the reduced range of motion could detract from the recruitment of lower body muscles.
On the other hand, somebody that would like to get used to locking out heavier weights without adding bands, chains or changing the mechanics of the deadlift movement too much could benefit from the use of a deadlift bar.
Like a lot of other tools, I think the deadlift bar can have its’ place in a lifter’s program as another variation that can be used alongside your other lifts to build a more well-rounded athlete.
The one group of people that most certainly should make regular use of a deadlift bar are powerlifters or strongman competitors where a deadlift bar is use during their competition days. If your federation uses a deadlift bar on meet day, you must get used to using one in the gym.
On the other side of that coin, lifters in federations like the IPF, where very stiff bars are used, will want to limit their use of deadlift bars. This is especially true as you get closer to competition.
Remember, specificity is key.
What is the Best Deadlift Bar?
There are a few popular choices on the market for deadlift bars. For this article, I have taken what I believe to be the two best deadlift bar choices when considering build quality, value and bar performance. They also happen to be the bars I have most experience with so the comparison between the two is much fairer.
Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar vs Texas Deadlift Bar
Before offering a comparison and suggestion on the best bar, I have included a short individual review and some specifications on each bar individually:
The Rogue Ohio Bar
Rogue has become a firm favorite of mine for lifting equipment and they should certainly have the knowledge available to build a superb deadlift bar. After all, they put a lot of effort into researching and creating their showpiece competition bar, the elephant bar, which has become a big part of the Arnold Classic Strongman event every year.
Using what they learned from building the elephant bar, which can’t be purchased, Rogue has come up with a strong competitor in the deadlift bar market with their Rogue Ohio deadlift bar. The bar has been modelled after their popular, and Barbell pursuit’s best barbell winner, the Ohio power bar.
As with most Rogue barbells, there is a choice of finishes for their deadlift bar: raw steel, zinc plated and now colored cerakote finishes. The zinc plated and cerakote are slightly more expensive, but it does offer protection from oxidation and the cerakote can be ordered in four colors. However, raw steel feels much better in the hands, but it requires more bar maintenance. The choice here is yours.
The materials used in the deadlift bar are very similar to those used in the power bar. The shaft is built to a tensile strength of 190k psi and the same bronze bushings are used inside the sleeves.
The bar does feature an aggressive knurling, which I definitely prefer for deadlifts, but it isn’t too sharp since the points of the knurls are concaved like a volcano. This pattern allows the knurling to be aggressive and grippy without tearing into your hands.
Finally, the deadlift bar comes without a center knurling, as I mentioned earlier. There is simply no need for a center knurled section on a deadlift bar because a center knurl is there to provide grip on your back during squats. You should not be squatting with a deadlift bar.
Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar Specs
Length – 90.5”
Weight – 20kg
Diameter – 27mm
Capacity – info not available
Tensile Strength – 190,000 psi
Shaft Material – steel with optional zinc plated finish
The Texas Deadlift Bar
Manufactured by Buddy Capps, the maker of the ever-popular Texas power bar, the Texas deadlift bar is another excellent option for this speciality bar. As was the case with the original power bar, the build-quality on the Texas deadlift bar is great: the finish on the steel bar is zinc oxide as standard and the knurling is very deep cut. The bar also features bronze bushes inside of the collars, which are constructed from one piece of material.
Unlike the Texas power bar, there is no centre knurling on the bar, which is pretty much standard practice with deadlift barbells.
Texas Deadlift Bar Specs
Length – 90.5”
Weight – 20kg
Diameter – 27mm
Capacity – 1500 lbs.
Tensile Strength – 186,000 psi
Shaft Material – steel with zinc coating
Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar vs Texas Deadlift Bar Comparison – Which is Best?
We have discussed each bar individually and can say with certainty that both would be an excellent choice for your deadlift bar. However, there has to be a winner here, so we have taken the main features of each bar and presented them in the table below:
Dist. between sleeves
Bare or Zinc coated
As you can see from the table, in terms of specs, the bars are quite similar on paper. However, I lean towards the Ohio bar as my favorite for a couple of reasons:
It can usually be had for a cheaper price than the Texas bar.
I prefer the concave style knurling, which is aggressive and grips very well without ripping into the hand’s skin.
With that in mind, the Barbell Pursuit’s recommendation for the best deadlift bar currently available is the Rogue Ohio Deadlift Bar. You can click the link below to view and purchase the bar directly on Rogue’s website.