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The Benefits Of Thick Bar Training


Thick bar training has been used for years however isn’t something you generally see every time you pop into your local gym. Today I want to explain just a few benefits of adding thick bar work into your current program.

Let’s start with “What is Thick Bar Training?”

Thick bar training is exactly how it sounds, performing exercises with a bar/handle that is thicker than your average 2.8cm bar. Depending on the range of equipment at your training facility you will see that there is a wide array of options when it comes down to bar thickness, they can range all the way from 1-3inches (Sometimes even thicker) and come In many different bar styles. You also have the option of using something like Fat Gripz which is a rubber attachment that makes any bar you work with instantly thicker.

Benefits of Thick Bar Training

  1. Thick bar training improves strength and neutral drive through the hands and forearms which respectively transfers to competitive sports. Just think, if you have a greater level of strength through the hands and forearms you are going to be far more efficient in any sport requiring you to hold, catch, grab or squeeze. For example, in martial arts if you can hold the opponents wrist, ankle, arm etc with a higher level of force then chances of them breaking a submission are far less likely. Another way of looking at things in more general terms is that if your grip strength is limited then you will never be able to utilise the full strength potential of your prime movers. For example, in Powerlifting your back, core, hamstrings, glutes etc may have the strength to deadlift 180kg however if your grip is weak the lift would be close to impossible to perform in competition as straps are not commonly permitted.  This same notion can be applied to many different sports.
  2. Helps with tendinitis issues through the elbow that impact things like golf and tennis. Because the muscles through the hand and forearms are stronger the stress on tendons and ligaments is reduced therefore making things like elbow and wrist pain less likely.
  3. Thick bar training can also help with faster strength gains, this is because a thicker grip creates a slight instability therefore forcing the body into higher levels of motor unit activation. With this higher level of activation a greater amount of fast twitch fibres are stimulated which results in quicker progress towards your strength based goals.

All in all adding this style of training into your current routine can help a great deal with breaking through a plateau, preventing future injury or even taking your strength to a new level.

Remember the body needs change on a regular basis, adding different exercises, rep ranges, training styles etc can be the difference between achieving your goals and making no progress at all.

If you need help with your training &/or nutrition then take a look through my personalised training options for more information on how I can help or email me -


Written by: Jordan Metcalfe