The long awaited aggressive power bar in stainless steel from Rep Fitness is finally here!
I was actually able to get my hands on this bar before its release, so in this article we'll take a look at the specs as well as my initial thoughts on the bar. I've also included some comparison shots to give you an idea of the knurling relative to other popular power bars.
This isn't Rep Fitness' first time producing a stainless steel power bar. If you read my review of their original version, you know I'm a big fan of that bar. It's fully stainless steel from end-to-end and it offers excellent value at that price point. The downside of that bar to some is that the knurling is fairly passive. I love it on bench press as well as high-bar squats, but I never use it for deadlifts or low-bar squats.
Understanding this, Rep Fitness has spent the better part of a year developing an aggressive version of the bar.
It is more expensive than the original ($379 vs. $269), but it's less expensive than the Rogue Ohio Power Bar (stainless shaft/chrome sleeves) and several other notable options.
Again, this is based on my initial impressions of the bar. I will have a full, thorough review in the coming weeks. That said, I'm confident this bar is going to be a winner.
Going into this, I had the ~$600 Vulcan Absolute Stainless Power Bar (review here) rated as one of the best bars I've ever used. That is still the case today… but as you will see below, the Rep Fitness Aggressive Stainless Power Bar is remarkably similar at $379.
Let's have a look.
Rep Fitness Aggressive Stainless Power Bar
The freshly released Rep aggressive stainless steel power bar is a beauty of a bar. It has an impressive spec profile, it's fully stainless from end-to-end, it has a deeply aggressive knurl, it offers smooth sleeves, and it's priced competitively.
If you follow me on Instagram (@GarageGymLab), you know that I'm downright giddy over this bar. I've been looking forward to this specific bar argulably more than any other bar in my collection. Having used it now a couple of times, I'm optimistic that it's going to be in my regular rotation. In fact, I see it being my daily driver when I'm not actively reviewing other bars. Up to this point, the black oxide version of the Vulcan Absolute Power Bar (different knurl than its stainless sibling) has held that title.
As mentioned, my initial reaction to the bar is very positive. I prefer a more aggressive knurl in general, and this bar from Rep delivers in spades. It's a deeply mountainous knurl that bites in all the right ways. If you're just starting out in powerlifting, you may find it to be a little “extra.” I still don't find it overly sharp, however. When I grip the bar, I'm not offended. It provides an excellent grip that sets in nicely, especially on deadlifts and low-bar squats. Quite the opposite of the original stainless power bar from Rep, I don't see myself benching with this bar a ton since I prefer a less aggressive knurl on that lift. This is just my preference though – this bar is capable of handling each of the squat, bench, and deadlift very well.
When I used the bar for the first time on deadlifts, I came away thoroughly impressed. It reminded me very much of the Vulcan Absolute Stainless Power Bar (see below). The knurl left a noticeable pattern on my hand, but again, it wasn't particularly sharp to me. It similarly felt very secure during low bar squats and it gave me that tactile sensation that I appreciate.
I like it more than the Rogue OPB, the Kabuki Power Bar, and the original Rep Fitness Power Bar v2.
Overall, the Rep Fitness Aggressive Stainless Power Bar is making a very solid first impression. For $379, you're getting a fully stainless steel power bar with superb knurling and smooth sleeves. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
I will be posting my detailed review in the coming weeks, but if you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to drop a comment or reach out to me on Instagram.