June 20, 2011
Daniel Hersee says using equipment with an increased diameter can improve strength and reduce injuries.
Old-time strongmen knew all about thick-bar training and used it to great effect, but it’s been forgotten in modern times. Recently, there has been something of a rebirth of thick-bar training, with National Football League teams, Army Special Forces, Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters and powerlifters using thick bars to help make significant strength gains.
Thick bars are simply barbells, dumbbells and pull-up bars with a thicker diameter. A standard barbell, dumbbell or pull-up bar typically has a handle with a diameter of about 1 inch. A thick bar will often have a diameter of more like 2.5 inches. Some look more like truck axles, and if you’ve ever picked one up you will know that it feels completely different. Thick-bar training simply means using a thick barbell, thick dumbbells and a thick chin-up bar in your usual training program.