What is the best Powerlifting Barbell? The ISF Power Bar, of course! But can it live up to the hype?
Because we love to be budget friendly here at ISF, we are trying to create a Power Bar that offers the best stiffness and the best knurling, all at the best price. We've been working on this bar now for more than four months and are very pleased with the initial feedback. In our testing of the ISF Power Bar Prototype (205K-210K Tensile Strength, 29MM), we're going right into the trenches, providing the tools of the trade to some of the strongest powerlifters in the North East. We want this bar to handle whatever those heavy hitters can throw down with it, and these guys below can do just that. We have tremendous respect for these guys as Powerlifting is a lifestyle to them, and we are very grateful for the opportunity they've allowed us in testing out ISF Gear and being able to glimpse into their world.
The ISF Power Bar Prototype:
Over at Bergen County Barbell in Paramus NJ, owner Chris Della Fave graciously invited us out to his gym, not once, but twice for some heavy bench press sessions with the 29mm ISF Power Bar Prototype. Chris is a beast of a lifter with meet bests of 1725 Raw and 2777.8 Multi (11th ranked by Total in World as of July 2021.) We needed feedback on the bar from a great group of people, and we got it.
First trip up to Bergen County Barbell we got to have some very strong women lifters test out the bench bar, among them were Kenna Smoak (1075 Wraps), Strength and Conditioning Coach at West Point. She went all the way up to a close grip 175LB bench + 80lbs of weight lifting chains, an impressive lift.
Our next visit up was a great session because not only did Chris get in on the action, heavyweights Mike Skiba and Jenna Rowe of Hellbent Barbell in Bridgeport CT braved a two hour heavy rain soaked drive to get in some lifts. Mike is a seasoned vet when it comes to lifting, the art of strength runs in his blood (2150 Multi). He got into it because of his father, a very strong and impressive lifter himself (1845 meet record, #1 Masters M3 @308 .) Mr Skiba recently commented to us that he "used to be strong." No Sir, you are still very strong and can kick the butt of a lot of lifters half your age!!
As the guys, and lady, warmed up, it was very exciting watching them with the ISF Prototype Power Bar. Jenna got all the way up to a 275LB lift, which is a nice feat of strength. She was commenting during the night about being amazed when she hit a 500lb squat, then hit a 600lb squat, and wondering if 700 could be in the books. It very well could be, she is at a 1330 Multi as of this article date. We wish her luck in hitting that PR.
Jenna's 275lb lift on the ISF Power Bar:
The guys casually warmed up into the mid 400s Raw, all impressive enough, each throwing up a few reps as Chris directed on what to lift. Joining in on the evening festivities was Rob Rivera Jr of Brooklyn, NY, way more than a mortal with his 2150 Raw+Wraps. Rob was an olympic level greco wrestler about to turn MMA Pro before a motorcycle accident ruptured several disks in his neck. Rehab lead him back to hitting heavy weights which then lead into Powerlifting. Between this lifting session and posting of this blog, Rob tore his bicep so he'll be out of commission for a little while. We wish him the best of luck in recovery. Rob commented during the evening that he was the weak one of the group, but his numbers say otherwise, as he reached all the way to a 655lb Multi bench!!
Rob hitting a 655LB bench with the ISF Power Bar:
After warm ups, the guys suited up to blow past what should be humanly possible. Joining Rob in the 600LB club was Mike Skiba, shown below repping out a 635LB monster.
Mike worked all the way up to a 635LB bench with the ISF Power Bar:
The finale of the night culminated with Chris muscling out a whopping 785 lb bench press, a feat likely thought impossible to anyone outside the world of Powerlifting.
Chris hitting a mammoth 785LB bench with the ISF Power Bar:
This was a great night, very glad that ISF got to be a party of it and that everyone was willing to test out (and go heavy) on a prototype barbell. It's really amazing to think that a small group of people can all come together from between an hour and two, braving hurricane like driving conditions, all to lift together. We were very impressed.
We really want to thank everyone who checked out the bar, and we would highly recommend reaching out to both Chris and Mike about training with them. Chris runs his Bergen County Barbell operation training Powerlifters in Northern NJ (Paramus) and Mike runs his Hellbent Barbell Powerlifting gym in Southern CT (Bridgeport.) Both guys know their stuff and can be considered leaders in their fields.
If you're interested in purchasing the ISF Power Bar, you can do so right here.