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BARBELL - BUY, CONSIDER or AVOID? Budget Home Gym Reviews | Personal Trainer Tokyo Titan

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

There are many products available for home gyms and garage gyms, so it can be hard to know which ones you should buy. In this tiny room in a small house in the middle of Tokyo, I’ve collected a lot of training equipment and built quite an impressive home gym. In this series, I’m going to review all the home gym products I’ve purchased based on cost, effectiveness, versatility, and practicality, and tell you which products you should buy, which products you should consider, and which products you should avoid.


  • Cost

  • Effectiveness

  • Versatility

  • Practicality

  • Verdict


A barbell and plates are the type of homegym equipment you buy when you start to get serious about training. This 10 kg barbell came in a set together with plates of a wide range of different weights for a combined total of 140 kg. As an entire set, these products cost me ¥38,000.

For cost, I rate them 3.5 stars.


Barbell exercises form the core of a good training program. If you want to make big changes to your physique and strength in a short amount of time, then barbells and plates are the way to do it. With a barbell and plates, you can perform compound exercises to train multiple muscles at the same time. You can also place a heavier load on your muscles than you can with other equipment, and you can change the weights in smaller increments.

If you're loading up both sides of the barbell, then you can change the weight in increments of 2.5 kg, and if you're loading up just once side of the barbell, you can change the weight in increments of 1.25 kg. This allows for very accurate weight selection for the exercise and rep range you're performing.

For effectiveness, I rate them five stars.


While there isn't quite as much choice as with dumbbells, with a barbell and plates, there's still a lot of exercises you can perform. You can train every muscle in your body numerous different ways, just by changing how you hold the barbell, how you move your body, and how you resist the weight. You can even load up just one side of the barbell to perform exercises like T-bar rows and Meadow rows.

For versatility, I rate them 4.5 stars.


When you start buying barbells and plates, that's when storage and space really starts to become a problem for home gyms. And while you can perform exercises just using the barbell and plates, to get the most out of them, it's best to also buy a power rack and bench, and these will end up costing more money and take up more space.

However, this particular barbell does have a saving grace. For every client I've had over the years, the 20 kg Olympic barbells you find in a commercial gym, when first starting up, they're just too heavy for exercises like the overhead press. But with a 10 kg barbell, it gives you much more freedom with the rep ranges you can perform, even for exercises that you can't load up very heavy at first.

For practicality, I rate them two stars.

The Verdict

Now it's time for the big question: should you buy them, should you consider them, or should you avoid them?

While it pains me to say this, when building a home gym, a set containing a barbell and plates is a product you should consider. Yes, you can do really effective training with them, but they're on the more expensive side of home gym equipment and they take up space. And to get the most out of them, you will need to buy a power rack and bench, which costs even more money and takes up even more space.

Unless you're a powerlifter, you don't really need a barbell and plates, especially if you've already got a good set of dumbbells or powerblocks. So if you have the extra money and space, absolutely, purchase a barbell and plates. But otherwise you can give this product a miss.

For effective training, right from the comfort of your own home, contact Tokyo Titan!

I am Tokyo Titan, an internationally-ceritified bodybuilding specialist fitness trainer and nutritionist. Using advanced bodybulding techniques, I help my clients create the body they want in a short amount of time. I provide fitness and diet coaching, both online and at my private gym. My private gym is 4 minutes walk away from Omori-machi Station in Ota-ku. Customers can choose either in-person or online coaching, or a combination of both, allowing for effective training that suited to your needs and shcedule.

As a native-English bilingual Japanese speaker, I can also provide lessons in either English or Japanese. If you want to improve your language skills and your body at the same time, then contact me now!


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