If you're thinking of canceling your gym membership — or just cutting back on visits — in favor of home workouts, investing in a barbell set could be your ideal first step. If you're already been lifting weights for a while, you might already consider the barbell indispensable, given that you can use it to work out your entire body. Barbells allow you to add resistance to so many staple exercises — squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, you name it — and at a higher rate than you can with smaller weights. You can add or subtract weight plates to offer a variety of resistance levels (unlike dumbbells and kettlebells), and add a workout bench and a squat rack (homemade options work) to the mix and you'll be able to do a lot without venturing to the gym.
When it comes to choosing a barbell for your home gym, the easier (and often more cost-effective) approach is to buy a barbell set rather than purchasing each bar and weight plate that you want individually. No matter how much space you're willing to dedicate, your budget, or your weight preferences, there's probably a set that's perfectly suited to your needs. Unsurprisingly, there are multiple pages of options on Amazon alone. If you're searching for a barbell set to add to your home gym setup, here are the best options on the site. (Related: This Mini-Barbell Workout from Kelsey Wells Will Get You Started with Heavy Lifting)
Why choose between adjustable dumbbells and a barbell when you can have both? With this set, you'll get a pair of dumbbells that reach up to 21 pounds depending on how you've configured three removable plates. Thanks to an included foam-padded rod, you can also transition the weights into a barbell of up to 44 pounds. (Related: 10 Amazon Buys to Build a DIY Home Gym for Under $250)
This one is a men's Olympic barbell set, meaning the bar is has thicker sleeves (the outer parts where the plates slide on) and is longer than a standard bar. Specifically, that means it has a two-inch diameter sleeve and a length of just over seven feet. (The diameter is an important distinction, since standard plates have smaller holes and won't fit on this bar.) Another difference: Olympic barbells have rotating sleeves which allows you to use them for Olympic weightlifting moves like clean-and-jerks, rotating the barbell without having to spin the weight as well. The bar and weight plates that make up this particular set add up to 300 pounds.
A lot of lifters use curl bars, which have two curves toward the center of the bar, for exercises like biceps curls, triceps exercises, and rowing exercises and to switch up their grip. This one comes with four 5.5-pound plates and two 11-pound plates, so you can load it with a total of 44 pounds.
Maybe you already have an Olympic bar and just need additional weight plates. In that case, you can buy multiple plates ranging from 2.5 to 45 pounds with this bestselling set on Amazon. And even if you're holding off on getting a bar, there are plenty of weight plate exercises you can do with them in the meantime.
Not everyone's lucky enough to have a garage-turned-home-gym, and the thought of adding a bar and weight plates to your space might give you pause. But with this set, you can keep everything sorted and tucked away in an included storage box. Inside are a bar that can break down into two parts, a set of dumbbell handles, and plates (that fit both) totaling 89 pounds.
This barbell weight set reaches a max of 40 pounds, so it's perfect if you're looking for an option on the lighter-weight side. Several Amazon reviewers report that it's perfect for using during on-demand classes of Les Mills Body Pump, which incorporate light to moderate weight and high repetition.
You'll have to purchase Olympic weight plates separately if you want to load up the bar in this set. Instead, it comes with removable wheels and foot straps to convert it into a tool for doing exercises like ab rollouts or hamstring curls. At about 4.5 feet long, the bar is shorter than most, and you can disassemble it into two pieces to make it even more compact for storage.
On the hunt for fixed barbells rather than bars and plates? This barbell full set comes with 10 different weights ranging from 20 to 110 pounds in 10 pound increments, and a vertical rack to store them on between workout sessions. (Related: The Best Adjustable Dumbbells to Get a Great Workout In at Home)