Mammoth \ mam·moth \ ˈma-məth \
Noun: Something immense of its kind
Example: American Barbell is a mammoth in the barbell industry.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say that American Barbell makes some of the finest barbells around.
Their craftsmanship is exceptional, their bars have a true uniqueness, and they offer something for everyone at multiple price points.
A few months ago I posted my review of their $250 Grizzly Power Bar, which garnered a high rating from me based on value and overall construction.
This Mammoth bar is on the other end of the price spectrum, priced at $550, but with it comes a number of higher-end offerings.
Is it enough to overtake the Grizzly Bar on the whole, price considered?
Read more to find out.
American Barbell Mammoth Bar
The Mammoth Bar from American Barbell is an absolute beauty, but its awesomeness extends much further than looks.
This bar offers an outstanding spec profile that promises to deliver supreme performance, both on the platform and against oxidation. As you’ll read in the review, American Barbell has gone beyond the status quo to deliver a truly original barbell shaft. Their unique fingerprint has been stamped on the knurl as well as the sleeves, bringing no doubt that this is their bar, made right here in the U.S.A.
Let’s have a look at the specs, and then we’ll break this bar down to see how it stacks up.
Bar Weight: 20kg
Shaft Diameter: 29mm
Knurl: Medium Knurl
Center Knurl: Yes – Same Pattern
Knurl Marks: Powerlifting
Shaft Coating: Stainless Steel with Cerakote Finish
Tensile Strength: 210,000 PSI
Bar Length: 86.5″
Distance Between Collar Faces: 51.5″
Loadable Sleeve Length: 16.25″
Sleeve Coating: Hard Chrome
Made in: USA
If there’s one thing I advocate for, it’s having options when it comes to equipment. During a time when it was cool to put out aggressive power bars, American Barbell put out medium-cut power bars. This against-the-grain mentality not only led to some other companies to do the same, but it’s become the American Barbell signature, in a sense.
Having an aggressive power bar is great – I love them on deadlifts and low bar squats. Owning a medium-cut power bar is great – I love them on bench and non-low bar squats. Access to both though, is even better, as you can rotate based on lift in order to maximize performance and cater to your deepest powerlifting desires.
The American Barbell Mammoth Bar, like their others, offers a less aggressive knurl that has a surprising amount of bite. When you use this bar, you’re likely not going to immediately look at your hands to see if you ripped a callus. It’s just not that type of bar. What you will find, however, is a bar that provides a great grip without the sharpness.
In my opinion, this knurl is more aggressive than the Grizzly Bar. The Mammoth Bar offers a more pointed knurl that has seemingly been rounded off some to blunt the edge. The Grizzly bar, on the other hand, is much more of a volcano, where the points have been pitted to reduce the bite. The points-per-square-inch ratio between the two is similar, putting them both near the top of the greater power bar list when it comes to the number of physical touch points. Given the slightly more aggressive knurl though, I prefer the Mammoth bar to the Grizzly Bar.
As I mentioned above, the American Barbell Mammoth Bar goes way beyond the status quo when it comes to a bar’s shaft. Normally a barbell shaft will feature a steel or a finish singularly. That is, you buy a bare steel bar, a stainless steel bar, a cerakote bar, etc…
This bar takes it to a whole new level. Not only do you get a stainless steel shaft, which is amazing by itself, but American Barbell put their cerakote finish on top of it. Now, some will say this overkill, and I don’t necessarily disagree, but I think it accomplishes two things:
The first is that it provides a simply unmatched resiliency against oxidation. Both stainless steel and cerakote are amazing by themselves at fighting off rust. Combining the two is almost unfair. The issue with many purely Cerakote bars is that if it’s scratched, it will expose bare steel underneath, which will lead to isolated rust. With this bar, however, any scratch in the cerakote is only going to expose another supreme rust fighter.
The second thing is that the cerakote takes away from some of the aggression of the knurl. As the picture above showed, the profile of this knurl is more pointy in nature. By filling in some of the depth of this knurl with an applied cerakote coating, it reduces the bite enough to maintain that American Barbell signature. Looking at the Rep Fitness Stainless Power Bar, that knurl is basically flat – that’s the main contributor to it being more medium in feel. If the American Barbell Mammoth Bar was stainless steel only, my suspicion is that it would border on aggressive given its pointy, albeit blunted, tops.
As for the rest of the shaft, it comes in at 29mm, which is perfect for a power bar. The tensile strength is 210k, putting it in the sweet spot, in my opinion, for a power bar. For reference, the Grizzly Bar offers a 190k tensile strength, which is still perfectly acceptable, but obviously less than the Mammoth Bar.
The center knurl measures 5.0″ in length, and it offers the same pattern as the rest of the shaft. The additional center knurl coverage is a nice feature, as most other power bars are shorter. The total length of the shaft is 51.5″, which is in-line with IPF specs, along with the rest of the bar.
As I always point out on my bar reviews, the knurl termination points (start/stops) on the American Barbell Mammoth Bar are fantastic. They’re very clean, super tight, and completely meaningless ultimately when it comes to performance. BUT, it’s a real testament to the workmanship of this bar, and in my opinion, it’s not something that should be discounted.
Best sleeves in the game? I certainly think so.
American Barbell has another signature feature on their bars… unlike a friction welded sleeve, which virtually everyone else does, American Barbell utilizes a recessed weld on the collar. Not only do they function perfectly, but they look incredibly beautiful and totally unique. Seriously, there’s nothing like it, and it’s another testament to their craftsmanship. The Grizzly Bar, for comparison, does not offer these recessed welds.
The sleeves are finished with hard chrome and, while I would love to see a fully stainless bar, hard chrome is a great sleeve finish. It wears well, it fights rust well enough, and it looks great.
Additionally, the sleeves are smooth – a HUGE plus for me. They’re silky, they’re quiet, and I just love them compared to a grooved sleeve. The sleeves are operated on a composite bushing system, which is an ideal setup for a power bar. The slow spin this generates is perfect for the big 3: squat, bench, and deadlift. They’re affixed with a heavy-duty snap ring and there is no sleeve slop in any direction. You’re getting a very secure and motion-appropriate bar.
Lastly, the loadable sleeve length is 16.25″ – a pretty standard length in the power bar arena. This equates to a load of just over 600 lbs with competition bumpers and a collar. Calibrated plates would certainly result in a higher weight opportunity.
Performance wise, I think the American Barbell Mammoth Bar is excellent. Here are my thoughts since exclusively using the bar for the past month:
- Squats – I’m a bit more impressed with this bar on squats than I am with the Grizzly bar. It gives me a little more stickiness when squatting low bar, and it’s still very comfortable when squatting high bar or in the front rack position. While I’d still probably go with a more aggressive bar for low bar, since I squat mainly high bar these days, this bar will be one of my go-to’s.
- Bench – Amazing bar for bench. I personally prefer a less aggressive knurl on bench press, and this bar fits the bill very nicely. When compared to the Grizzly Bar, I’d grade them about evenly. If you forced to me pick just one, I’d probably still pick the Mammoth Bar despite the Grizzly being a little less aggressive still, but it’s very close.
- Deadlift – I like this bar more than the Grizzly on deadlifts because of the pointier knurl. Again, this bar isn’t going to really dig in, so I’ll not be using it when going heavy, but for volume work or light work in general, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab the Mammoth Bar.
Generally speaking, the Mammoth Bar performs really well. Ultimately it’s a matter of preference with regards to the knurl. If you’re using this bar to complement the more aggressive bars in your collection, I think it’s an amazing option. If you’re using it as a true all-purpose power bar, it may be slightly lacking on heavy deadlifts… again depending on your preference.
Wow – I mean, this bar is gorgeous. I love the gray cerakote. It’s an understated finish in a land full of ultra-colorful cerakote options. One reason I really like the gray is that IF the cerakote scratches (or wears down) anywhere, it will blend in nicely with the underlying stainless steel. This is undoubtedly contrary to the eye-popping colors because the steel would surely stand out.
The overall finish of this bar is highly consistent with the other American Barbell products I’ve seen. In other words, it’s stellar. In speaking to two other readers who also own the Mammoth Bar, they’ve had a similar experience. The cerakote is applied very well – I haven’t seen any areas of material imperfections.
The knurl termination points, as mentioned, are excellent. This absolutely contributes to the overall aesthetic of the bar. The butter smooth sleeves look very nice with the hard chrome and, like the shaft, I don’t see any areas of cosmetic concern. Lastly, the end caps are awesome. These are the same as their other power bars, just with “Mammoth Bar” shown (duh).
All in all, this bar looks great – it stands out among the others on my rack… and the great thing… it’s going to look like this for a LONG time with the cerakote over stainless.
American Barbell Mammoth Power Bar – Pros and Cons
- Arguably the biggest benefit of this bar is its supreme oxidation protection with the cerakote AND stainless steel shaft.
- Overall construction is amazing – tight and smooth.
- The smooth sleeves look awesome and they sound beautiful (i.e. they’re quiet).
- The recessed welds are an absolute thing of beauty. There’s something about these welds that’s just special. I love to look at them.
- The knurling isn’t aggressive, which could be a pro or con. I’ll say that I think it’s more aggressive than the Grizzly Bar by a smidge. The overall execution of the knurl is excellent.
- The overall spec profile of the bar is in the sweet zone for a power bar, headlined by a 210k tensile strength.
- The weight is spot on, coming in at 20.0 kg.
- Aesthetically, the bar looks incredible. As is typical with American Barbell products, they did a great job in this department.
- The $550 price tag is fairly steep depending on your needs and budget.
- You may find yourself wanting a little more bite on the knurl depending on your preference and how you intend to use the bar.
If you’re looking for a premium power bar, the American Barbell Mammoth Bar belongs in the discussion, in my opinion. This bar will most closely compete price-wise with the following bars:
- American Barbell Elite Power Bar – ($450)
- Kabuki Strength New Gen Power Bar – ($599.99+) (review here)
- Vulcan Strength Absolute Stainless Steel Power Bar – ($549.99)- (review here)
When it comes down to it, I think you have to ask yourself how you like your knurl. If you want an aggressive bar, there are better options. But if you like a more medium-cut bar, or you already have an aggressive bar, then I think this is a great option. If corrosion/oxidation resistance is important to you, then this is a REALLY GREAT option. I literally don’t think there’s a better bar on the market that can compete with this Mammoth Bar in that regard.
As for the Mammoth Bar vs. the Grizzly Bar, I think the Mammoth is certainly better overall. Is the price worth it? Only you can answer that, as it will largely depend on your needs. For me personally, the better specs, and the fact I train in a humid garage makes it worth it.
Make no mistake, this American Barbell Mammoth Bar is BIG TIME, just like the name implies.
If you want to read more about power bars or powerlifting equipment in general, check out my ultimate guide to building a powerlifting home gym.
If you have any questions about this bar or power bars in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the American Barbell Mammoth Bar and want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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The bar is loaded,