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Strength Shop – Original 2028 Olympic Bar



FGUK has no affiliation with Strength Shop.
What follows is an honest, unbiased review.
Feel free to skip to the sections below if you’re on a time limit.

Strength Shop Original 2028 Olympic Bar



1. Background

2. Delivery/Condition on Arrival

3. Technical Specifications

4. Build Quality

5. Ergonomic Rating

6. Adaptability

7. WOW Factor

8. Longevity

9. Price

10. Final Verdict



Ok, most of us aren’t Kirk Karwoski, Ed Coan or the Kazman himself. We like to lift more than the general population, but we certainly aren’t in the top 5%! Here’s when this relatively cheap, robust, near immortal barbell really comes into its own. Sit down, pin your ears (or eyes) back and take heed of this review 🙂

It was June 2015. My funds were near depleted. I’d just graduated from Physio school, secured rent on a room with a 12×12 foot piece of concrete outside and was feeling ready to conquer the life! The world was my oyster. What was my priority you ask?

To buy a squat rack, barbell and some bad ass weight plates, as I could now invest all my spare time into getting jacked n’ tanned. I told myself, ‘surely the more weight I can lift, the more the job opportunities and girls will come flocking to my feet’. I figured this was a bullet proof way of securing my place at the top of the social hierarchy.

I managed to scrape together just enough funds to grab a brand new squat rack on hire purchase. The weight plates? I grabbed them cheap from a local gym that was closing down. The barbell though…

I researched. Seconds, hours, days went by. ‘Should I go all in? An Eleiko bar maybe? An Ivanko bar?! Or even a rare as rocking horse 💩 Werksan? All the pro’s use them, so maybe that was the secret to god like gains?!’ These bars showcased such engineering prowess over their cheaper – mass produced rolled steel counterparts. Holding tensile strengths up to 10million tonnes (well, in my head anyway!) – they were second to none!

Reality soon kicked in. There was no amount of getting a loan to cover the cost of one of these epic strength building bad boys.

Here’s where I took a punt. The Strength Shop 2028 bar! The specs were far less than any of the previously mentioned. It sold for nearly a whole fifteenth less than the world renowned bars.

But fast forward 10 years and this bar is still going strong. It’s a bit rusty here and there, but the sleeves still spin freely and there’s no bend to the bar whatsoever. All it’s had is the odd wire brush scrub and the occasional dab of light weapons oil over it and it’s stills serving its purpose with pride, strength and humility.


Delivery/Condition on Arrival

I remember the day well! The DPD delivery driver quietly cursed me underneath their breath as they had to carry the secure cardboard tube that housed the barbell about 40 metres to my door 😊

The cardboard tube was strong and heavily taped up.

Some handy slicing with a blunt Stanley knife opened it up, and there inside lay perfection! It was solid, with no chips, bends or random easter eggs laying inside. It arrived as if it had just come off the production line.



Technical Specifications

Weight: 20kg
Length: 2.2m
Shaft: Steel
Shaft diameter: 28mm
Distance between rings: 810mm
Loadable sleeve length: 405mm
Centre knurling: Yes
Knurling type: Coarse
Sleeve type: Steel Bushings and needle bearings
Recommended max load/rating: 250kg max suggested load, with a 700lbs steel tensile rating (PSI: 186K)
Warranty: 6 months


Build Quality

The sleeves run smooth, the knurling doesn’t rip your hands apart but it is sharp and coarse enough to help with your grip. Our bar has handled up to advertised 250kg (and more) without permanently bending. The black oxide finish looks very cool, and is still in place to this day.

There’s not much about the build quality on Strength Shop’s official website, so you’ll have to go off our anecdotal experience here.



Ergonomic Rating

The knurling on our bar is equal and suits well for supporting the bar on the back during those heavy squats. This obviously has the centre knurling found on most powerlifting spec’d bars. The weight of the bar itself is even, sitting straight on the back unloaded.

The 2028 refers to the width of the shaft itself, sitting at 28mm. This means that it’s good for deadlifts as well as squats and bench presses.

Most gym bars sit around the 30 or 32mm mark, making it slightly more challenging to grip for deadlifts. Although this can be viewed as positive as it will improve your grip strength, there’s many other exercises that you can do to gain a vice like grip. Consider something like the Mirafit Rolling Handle.




It’s a barbell. It doesn’t need to be adaptable. If you’d like adaptability, then perhaps consider something like a decent safety squat bar (of which we will be reviewing in the near future).

Whilst on the topic of adaptability, although this is considered a multi-purpose barbell, I’d personally steer clear from dropping this like a weightlifting bar though as this doesn’t have the flex and impact resistance of said weightlifting bars. I suspect they would be permanent malformation occurring when dropping the heavier weights from height.



WOW Factor

Hmm, meh. How could a barbell have the WOW factor?

I guess it could have some cool logo on the end sleeves, multi coloured main shaft, or perhaps diamond encrusted knurling? Or I guess it could carry with it bragging rights of brand name itself, like Elieko, Werksan, Ivanko etc.


* This barbell however doesn’t need the WOW factor to be good at its job!



Ten years and it’s still as good as it was the day it slid out of the tube!




Ten years ago, it was pretty much unheard of to grab a barbell capable of handling up to 250kg for anything below £350. I remember this was around £99 on sale at time of purchase, with free delivery and it’s currently sitting at £129.99 with free delivery to mainland UK.

For a bar that’s lasted ten years of use and abuse, with the odd smattering of oil and wire brush scrubbing for maintenance, that’s a bargain!




Total rating: 3.57/5

Should you:

  • Avoid
  • Consider
  • Shortlist
  • Buy it NOW!

The total rating is not truly reflective of the high quality of this cheap barbell. To clarify, FGUK will not get any commission for any sales of this barbell. Bearing this in mind, we still highly reccomend that if you’re low on funds and in the market for a decent barbell that can handle all the major power and gym lifts, this is the one for you.

Grab one below today 😊

Strength Shop – Original 2028 Olympic Bar

Or find similar options at Amazon and check them out for yourself.


Now that we’ve gone over the basics.. it’s time to pay the bills and send the shameless plugs!

Fancy some gym equipment getting delivered straight to your door at lightning fast speeds? There’s some quality gear and an incredibly consumer friendly returns policy on most products at Amazon.

See our disclosure page for further information on our affiliates.


Until next time, all the best! Signing out.




Whilst not writing for FGUK, Tim works as a Physiotherapist, Personal Trainer and is a Retired Ammunition Technician with the British Army. In his spare time Tim enjoys engaging in a whole variety of sports, spending considerable time with his little rascal of a dog, relaxing with his friends and family, but most of all.. geeking out on all things fitness!

*Timmy’s Top Tips
‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!’

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Happy browsing 🙂

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