You know that feeling you get when you realize that you just discovered the best ______ (insert thing) you've ever had/used/tasted/etc…?
Feels pretty cool, right?
For me, I knew:
- That my wife was the greatest woman I had ever met when she showed up to take me to the airport after a couple days of knowing me with a bag of Chick-Fil-A biscuits.
- That Game of Thrones was the best television show ever created after the very first episode.
- That Nickelback was the best band since Creed. Oh wait, we're talking about the best things…
Anyway, the list goes on and on, but you know what else I discovered…
That the Intek ModF bar was the best trap bar that I had ever used.
And it's really not even close.
Well, the original Intek Functional Trap Bar is pretty awesome too – I reviewed it here – but the updated ModF bar takes the cake, in my eyes.
In this review, we'll take a look at what makes this bar so amazing, how you can use it in your training, and whether or not I think it's worth the price tag.
- Intek ModF Bar Overview
- Design & Construction
- Intek ModF vs. Competitors
- Is is Worth the Price?
- Pros & Cons
- Full Rating
In case you're wondering, ‘ModF' stands for ‘modular functional', and it's true… this bar is both modular and functional.
Why make a modular bar, you might ask?
Primarily two reasons:
- It increases the weight capacity of the bar, and;
- It saves money on shipping.
When Intek first came out with the functional trap bar, weight capacity and shipping costs were the primary drawbacks. That bar was spec'd at a 600lb recommended weight capacity and shipping costs were nearing $200 depending on destination.
By redesigning the bar to be modular, Intek increased the weight capacity and they shaved money off the shipping costs. In fact, this bar is priced the same as the original functional trap bar ($595), but the ModF bar includes free shipping.
So now you're getting a higher quality bar for less money to the consumer. Sounds like a win/win to me.
In my opinion, there is simply not another trap bar on the market that offers the same functionality and versatility. While it's true that there are other open-ended trap bars and rickshaws, all of which are less expensive, they cannot match the ModF bar in terms of practical use. See the below section for a comparison of options.
Let's get into it…
Frame Material: 2×2 square tubing
Frame Dimensions: 84″ long and 29.75″ wide (measured from front to back)
Weight: 65 lb
Weight Capacity – 700 lbs minimum
Handle Design – Dual knurled handles (slightly angled)
Sleeves – Olympic-sized and powder-coated
Assembly Time: 5 minutes or less
As mentioned, the primary distinguishing factor of this bar is its modular design. When you receive the bar it will be shipped as two separate pieces in one box. These two pieces are connected in the front center through the use of a steel insert and four bolts. It's very easy and quick to assemble – simply slide the two pieces over the steel connector and use the provided bolts to fasten together. It's recommended that you crank the bolts hard to ensure a tight fit. There is also an optional roll bar attachment that is bolted over the center for comfort on certain lifts (more on this below). The roll bar is sold separately for $52, which includes free shipping to the lower 48.
On the back of the frame is a section where you can attach a separate straight piece that will enclose the bar. This is easily done by inserting the back piece into the allotted holes and sliding a pin into them to secure it. The main reason to attach the back piece is for additional rigidity and weight capacity.
The bar itself weighs 65 lbs and it's constructed using 2″ square tubing throughout the frame. Corner gussets measuring 10.75″ in length help to increase the strength of the bar, along with the handles themselves. The welds on the bar are clean and very well done across the entire bar. In terms of bar strength, Intek recommends a max weight capacity of 700 lbs when in the open position. While a weight capacity recommendation has not been explicitly stated for the enclosed version, Intek has not discovered any failures with weights well in excess of 700 lbs.
A common question I receive on this bar, as well as the original trap bar, is how well the bar balances. Rest assured, it balances very nicely, even without the back piece attached. If you do find the bar tilting a bit forward when in the open position, you can move your hands very slightly towards the front and it will balance perfectly. The bar will naturally tilt forward when resting on the ground, not unlike many traditional trap bars on the market. This is inconsequential really, as you can easily bring it to parallel with minimal effort.
Overall, the design and construction quality of the ModF bar is top notch. Here are a few other key design features.
Personally, dual handles are a must-have on a trap bar for the extra versatility. In the case of the ModF bar, the high handle is 6″ above the low handle. By having a dual handle setup, you can perform full range-of-motion lifts as well as partial range-of-motion/block pulls. The high handle also makes it very comfortable to perform cambered squats since you don't have to externally rotate your shoulders as much. It's sort of a mix between a spider bar and a traditional cambered bar.
Both handles are knurled with a flat center ring. The knurling is similar to the original functional trap bar, which I describe as not aggressive, but sufficiently grippy. I actually think this is a really smart move on Intek's part because this bar isn't intended to just pull with. It's nothing a little chalk won't fix anyway. Given the walk-in design and optional enclosure, the center ring is also a nice touch – it's quite useful when getting set up for a lift.
The handle diameter measures 32mm, which is quite a bit thicker than the prior version of 28.5mm. While I do prefer a thinner shaft and I particularly enjoyed the 28.5mm of the functional trap bar, the 32mm diameter isn't offensive by any means. When doing rows, as an example, it's very similar in feel to using a dumbbell since most heavy DB's have a similar diameter. Those with smaller hands may find a thinner diameter to generally be more comfortable, but I don't think it's of major consequence. I don't have large hands by any means, and the 32mm feels totally fine to me. If anything, it helps my grip strength.
Another interesting feature about the handles, which is a carryover from the original bar, is that they're slightly angled. At the front of the bar, the side-to-side distance between handles is 22″, whereas it increases to 27″ on the back side. I personally love this feature for a few reasons. One is that you can vary your grip position (i.e. slightly supinated or slightly pronated) depending on which direction you're facing. Another is that it feels pretty similar to some football/swiss bars, which many people find more comfortable than a straight bar on certain lifts (e.g. presses and back rows). Lastly, it creates additional space for your lower body to clear when performing cambered squats, Zercher squats, etc…
Design Feature #2 – It's Rackable
A rackable trap bar is significantly more versatile than a non-rackable trap bar since you can perform a number of extra movements (Rack pulls, presses, chin-ups, etc…) The Intek ModF bar has a total distance of 6.25″ between the gusset and the collar. This means it's rackable on virtually every rack, if not 100% of them.
Another major feather in the Intek cap is that this bar is both rackable and it has dual handles. Look at most other rackable trap bars on the market like the Rogue TB-1 or the Black Widow Training rackable bar and you'll note that they only have single handles.
It's one thing to have a rackable trap bar. It's another to have a rackable trap bar that is open-ended with dual handles.
Design Feature #3 – Olympic-Sized Sleeves
Olympic-sized sleeves are uncommon among specialty bars. Generally, they're ~1.9″ in diameter, which requires special collars (I recommend Proloc collars, FYI). Not to mention there is a little wiggle between the plate and the sleeve.
The Intek ModF bar utilizes 1.96″ sleeves, which is exactly what you would expect on a traditional barbell. This keeps the plates tighter to the sleeve and of course allows the use of any normal barbell collar. The sleeves measure 15.25″ in length, which is about an inch less than a traditional barbell, but still plenty of room to load over 600 lbs of competition bumpers.
The sleeves themselves are powder coated, which is very common among other specialty bars. I've noticed a couple of areas that are beginning to wear a bit as plates slide on and off. This is completely normal, but I was really spoiled with the chrome sleeves on the original functional trap bar, which I loved. I would love to see Intek go back to those if they can figure it out with the overall design and bar structure. To be clear, this is purely aesthetic.
Lastly, the collars are just awesome. They're laser cut with “Intek” and they just look amazing. This is definitely one of the best aesthetic features of the bar.
Open-ended? Dual handles? Rackable? Check, Check, Check. The functionality of the ModF bar is simply amazing. I'd go so far as to say that its versatility is unmatched.
Check out some of the ways you can use the bar below:
One of the distinct advantages of an open-ended trap bar is the ability to perform squat movements. With the ModF bar, you also have the option to attach a rubber roll bar that creates a rounded shelf. This way you're not subjecting yourself to a square tube loaded with weight. Ouch. In use, the roll bar is actually pretty comfortable and it does make a big difference. I would definitely recommend it if you're getting the bar.
With the ModF bar, you can perform:
- Cambered Squats – these feel awesome. One question I received from a few people based on my Instagram video above was whether this was possible for bigger people. I'm 5'8″ so I have a pretty small frame, but there are numerous examples of larger people performing these. Check the end of the Instagram video in the ‘Other Movements' section for an example. You will be limited based on shoulder width (22″) and foot stance/width (~27″).
- Zercher Squats – These also feel great and they add something a little extra vs. a traditional barbell given the camber-like design.
- Split Squats – These are possible with certain enclosed trap bars, but they're infinitely easier with an open-ended design.
When you think of the trap bar the thing that probably pops into your head first is a deadlift. It's one of the best ways to use a trap bar. The Intek ModF bar is not only great for traditional trap deads, but it also improves on other variations and even adds some others.
- Traditional Deadlifts – Lift up to 700 lbs (recommended) when the bar is opened and well above that when closed. You can also face both directions to vary your grip position for added variety.
- Single Leg Deadlifts – These are much, much easier with an open-ended design since there's no back bar to prevent range of motion.
- Seated Deadlifts – This is a cool accessory movement that is made possible with an open-ended design. You can use a traditional bench as your seat – the bar will not interfere.
Carries and Lunges
With the Intek ModF bar, you have a lot of variety when it comes to carries and lunges. The open-ended design allows for several movements that cannot be done with an enclosed trap bar.
- Zercher Carries – This is not possible with an enclosed trap bar, yet it's an awesome variation that really taxes the upper back, among other things.
- Farmer's Carries – The grip position is an added benefit with the ModF bar. Large people may also find the ModF bar is more comfortable on farmer's carries.
- Yoke Carries – With the attachable rubber roll bar, these are very comfortable.
- Traditional Lunges – If you have a long stride, these may not be possible with an enclosed trap bar. With the ModF bar, they're easily accomplished.
- Zercher Lunges – If you're short these may not be totally possible, but they are a variation that's worth noting.
- Walking Lunges – Similar to traditional lunges.
- Traditional Step-Ups – These are incredibly easy to do with the ModF bar… well not ‘easy', but easily possible.
- Zercher Step-Ups – This is a really fun variation of the traditional step up. Height does not play as much a role here as it does with Zercher lunges.
Aside from squat, deadlift, carry, and lunge variations, there are a number of other movements you can perform with the ModF bar.
- Back Rows – These are awesome with this bar, especially with the two grip positions.
- Inverted Rows – Since the bar is rackable, put it on some safeties and you can easily perform inverted rows.
- Presses – Many people prefer angled handles when pressing due to shoulder issues. The ModF bar is a good option for those folks.
- Chin-Ups – Throw this bar on top of a rack and you can perform chin/pull-ups without concern of hitting the back bar.
- Sprint-Outs – Check near the end of the video above for some examples of this. It's a really cool movement to train explosiveness.
- Jump-Outs – Similar to sprint-outs.
There are plenty of other ways that this bar can be used – the utility is limited only by your imagination.
When Intek first came out with their original functional trap bar, MoveStrong also had a version. In fact, the two worked together in the past to produce the bars. the main difference being the MoveStrong Bar wasn't/isn't rackable. Since moving to the modular design, the two bars are now quite different.
As of now, the MoveStrong Bar is priced at $349 without shipping. They're currently running a shipping special, as of this review, for $90. This brings the total to $439, a savings of $156 compared to the ModF bar (shipped).
Having used the original functional trap bar extensively and now the ModF bar, I can confidently say the ModF bar is superior. It can hold more weight, it's rackable, it can be opened or closed, and it's not that much more expensive in the long run.
I think the MoveStrong bar is nice, but I can't recommend it over the ModF bar based on its fully-shipped price and functionality deficiencies (when directly compared).
Intek ModF Bar vs. a Rickshaw
Another possible option for people looking for an open-ended design is a rickshaw. Edge Fitness was one of the pioneers of this bar and now Titan also has a version. The Edge Fitness version is $300 shipped while the Titan Fitness version is $181 shipped.
While these rickshaws are very versatile pieces in their own right, they do lag behind the ModF bar quite considerably in terms of functionality.
The rickshaw is not rackable, it cannot be used for squat variations, it has a shorter loadable sleeve, and it only has one handle height, to name a few
If you're just looking to perform deadlifts, carries, lunges, etc… the rickshaw is a good budget-friendly option. If you want maximum functionality, the ModF bar is the clear winner.
Let's face it – this bar isn't the cheapest option out there. In fact, it's one of the most expensive, priced at $595.
Do I think it's worth it?
Yes, I do, but only if you plan on utilizing its full functionality. Otherwise, you're likely better served buying a traditional trap bar or one of the cheaper options like a Rickshaw.
Consider this example: The Rogue TB-2 trap bar, which is a very popular choice, is $482 shipped to my door in North Carolina. That's a savings of $113 vs. the Intek ModF Bar.
In this example, ask yourself if the extra $113 is worth all the additional versatility of the ModF bar. I personally think it is, especially in the long run.
There are some other traditional trap bars out there, like the Cap Mega Hex Bar, that are priced well below the Intek bar. In those cases, it may be more difficult to give the nod to Intek given the price gap… unless, again, you intend to maximize the functionality of the ModF bar.
Here's my down and dirty: If you have the budget to support it and you see yourself using the bar in a variety of ways, I think the Intek bar is the way to go. if you don't see yourself using the bar in a variety of ways and/or you don't have the budget to support it, there are other options out there that will serve you very well.
- The ModF bar is the most versatile and functional trap bar on the market.
- The modular design allows for an open or enclosed bar.
- There are two handle heights, which allows you to play with different elevations and ranges of motion.
- The handles are angled, which gives you additional grip functionality and also provides a comfortable position.
- The handles are knurled (also possibly a con – see below) and the center ring is useful when setting up for a lift.
- The bar is rackable, which greatly adds to its versatility.
- With olympic-sized sleeves, you don't need to use special collars.
- Overall construction quality is very high based on welds and general craftsmanship.
- The bar can hold a minimum of 700 lbs.
- The bar is expensive at $595 (free shipping). If you see the value in the additional versatility, I think it's worth it. If you're just looking for a trap bar to deadlift with, you're probably better off buying a cheaper bar.
- The handles are 32mm, which may be too thick for some people's liking. I personally don't mind it, even with small hands, but I did prefer the 28.5mm handles on the original bar.
- The knurling isn't aggressive. If you like a lot of bite on your pulls, you may find this to be a little mild. As someone who does prefer an aggressive knurl, I've found that chalk satisfies my needs.
The Intek ModF bar is easily one of my favorite bars. In fact, it may be my favorite. Its design and overall versatility make it the king of the trap bar, in my opinion. I personally use it multiple times a week.
If you're in the market for a trap bar, I think this deserves to be a strong contender. Yes, it's expensive, which may immediately price some consumers out… but if you have the budget to support it, I can't recommend it more highly. It's just that awesome.
Read here for my general thoughts on the benefits of a trap bar.
If you want to read more about trap bars or powerlifting equipment in general, check out my ultimate guide to building a powerlifting home gym.
If you have any questions on this bar or trap bars in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own this bar and want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
The bar is loaded,