The Transformer Bar is practically 3-bars-in-one. Using the first lever height, the bar's mechanics act identically to a Duffalo Bar and allows for a similar squat movement pattern as a regular bar. The Transformer Bar also acts like a regular cambered bar, and of course it is a fully adjustable Safety Squat Bar (SSB) with an industry-first adjustable camber angle and lever height. It allows the lifter to control the height of the camber (4 different settings) as well as the angle (variable by 30 degrees all the way around). There are a total of 48 different positional variations you can select. Check out this quick video overview of the Transformer Bar which shows a lifter changing the camber angle/height.
The bar is a must-have for the serious strength athlete and strength facility, meeting multiple needs and purposes and allowing for almost infinite variability in positioning. However, just because the bar allows for extreme settings, we recommend all users read available literature and follow all safety recommendations. Scroll down to the Question & Answer section to learn more and to see if your question has already been answered.
Dr. Kelly Starrett is a CrossFit trainer, physical therapist, author, and speaker. His book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, was featured on The New York Times bestselling sports books list. He is a co-founder, with his wife Juliet Starrett, of MobilityWOD and San Francisco CrossFit, one of the first 30 CrossFit affiliates. Kabuki Strength products are available on the MobilityWOD store.
Dr. Stuart M. McGill is a professor emeritus, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate back pain and enhance injury resilience and performance. He is a contributor to Kabuki Strength.
Eric Cressey is a world-renowed strength coach best known for his work with more than 100 professional baseball players who travel to train with him each off-season at Cressey Sports Performance facilities in Massachusetts and Florida. Eric has a master's in Kinesiology and has published over 500 articles, 5 books, and video content sold in over 60 countries. He specializes in applied kinesiology and biomechanics as they relate to program design and corrective exercise; maximal relative strength development; and athletic performance enhancement.
We are honored and humbled to have professionals and academics of the highest caliber like Dr. Starrett, Dr. McGill, and Eric Cressey endorse and use the Transformer Bar with their athletes, clients, and students. For dozens more reviews from our incredible customers, head over to the review section on this page (scroll down if you are using a smartphone).
A laminated card stock sheet of the above image is included with all Transformer Bar orders. Click here to download a high resolution PDF version of the image.
Position D:1 (back squat)
This position closely mimics a straight bar position while allowing for use of the Transformer Bar handles (you can grab the bar as well if you wish).
Position C:2.5 (front squat)
This position mimics a front squat by shifting the center of gravity forward.
Position B:2 (regular safety squat bar)
This position mimics the traditional Safety Squat Bar position where the weight is slightly front and down compared to the bar on the back of the lifter.
Position A:1 (cambered bar)
This position replicates a moderate cambered bar position.
The weight horn also allows for 4 camber heights. The first one (A) allows for a position similar to a straight bar on your back (due to the height of the pad, the center of the sleeve in position A almost aligns with the center of the center bar). In combination with the 12 camber angles, these 4 heights allow for a total of 36 different positions on the bar. Name one other bar that can be used 36 different ways in a single movement like the squat?
This feature is the bread-and-butter of the Transformer Bar. A proprietary 12-angle bracket allows for 360 degrees of variation (30 degree increments) in angle of the weight relative to the lifter. Why did we do this? So the bar could be used as both a regular cambered bar, and a safety squat bar while still allowing for lifters to experiment and train in ways they’ve never been able to before! Here at the Lab we are constantly experimenting different, more extreme positions of the Transformer Bar and will share with all users what we discover. For now, be aware that you can have a bar in your possession that allows for functions and training methods previously impossible – so be careful and tread wisely! It’s an exiting bar and who knows what uses and methodologies we’ll discover in the future utilizing this bar!
We machine-knurled and bent the handles for maximum comfort and performance. Knurl as deep as the best deadlift bars and a natural curve to allow for and promote maximum lat engagement and core stiffness. Unlike many specialty bar handles of this type, the Transformer Bar has a multi-angle bend in the handle to allow for a comfortable, stable, and powerful position on the lifter’s back and shoulders. Think about it, the shoulders/traps/back area where the bar sits (a specialty bar, not a straight bar) is typically not a flat surface…so why should the bar pad/handles be flat? Short and long answer – they shouldn’t. Almost every user who tries the Transformer Bar for the first time comments on how comfortable and stable the bar feels on their back.
We source the highest density and most durable foam (30kg/m3) that would still allow for a comfortable position on the lifters back. The foam we use is custom cut in-house to fit snuggly into the hand-stitched synthetic leather pad covers we had produced. No carpet under-layer here folks (those with other safety bars will understand). The material choice for the pad cover we feel is the best mix of reliability, aesthetics, comfort, and price that we can offer on this bar. Stay tuned for a genuine leather version to drop as well!
The Transformer Bar was designed in-house at the Kabuki Strength Lab by strength athletes of multiple disciplines. Over the course of a year, we experimented with numerous prototypes until we all agreed on the current version you see today.
In an age of international commerce and manufacturing, it’s rare to find products made right here at home. The Transformer Bar is manufactured using American steel, right here in sunny Portland, Oregon by our skilled metalworkers and machinists. Each bar is hand-assembled in the Kabuki Strength Lab and shipped out across the world to an eagerly awaiting customer. Transformer Bars are shipped securely in a sturdy, custom box and come with a card hand-signed by the Kabuki Strength employee who assembled your bar.
The Transformer Bar is made of heat-treated hardened steel. The weight sleeves are machined to spec, while the proprietary bracket is laser cut and welded in house by our Lab technicians. As always, if you ever run into an issue with your Kabuki Strength product – contact us and we’ll take care of you. Wondering how much weight the Transformer Bar can hold? Here's a video of the bar being used to lift a 3 ton monster truck.
A large difference from the initial version of the Transformer Bar to V2 is the addition of a feature that allows for upright storage of the bar. The weight sleeves now “lock” into place in the weight-horn. This is both a great safety feature and functional feature allowing for upright storage like any other bar! The sleeves also can be rotated inwards to make the bar easier to travel with. It can easily fit in the backseat of most 4-door vehicles, and often times in the trunk!
"The Transformer Bar from Kabuki Strength is our upgrade pick for the best safety squat bar. The Transformer Bar is one of the most versatile specialty bars currently available and is done equally as well." - Coop
"I honestly love it way more than the SSB. The padding is more comfortable, the way the handles sit make it much easier to tighten the back and the adjustments give it a ton of utility." - bigcoachD
"This is a great bar, I would recommend it to everyone"
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Is there a warranty on the bar? And do you give military discount?
We have a warranty for manufacturing defects. We do offer a discount for Military, Police, Fire, First Responders - use code MPFEMS11 at checkout to save 11%.
Is there loose pieces for the ajustement or its all in one piece?
So at each end of the bar is 12-angle bracket allows for 360 degrees of variation (30 degree increments) in angle of the weight relative to the lifter. this allows the bar could be used as both a regular cambered bar, and a safety squat bar among many others. These two cages are locked into place with screws.
Two questions: 1.0 - Is the Transformer Bar available with the genuine leather pad yet? 2.0 - Is it possible to remove/replace the pad cover just in case it does wear thin?
The cover is completely replaceable, but that shouldn't an an issue as the material is fairly durable. After our initial run of the bars we have opted to not have the leather pads just for logistical reasons of sourcing the material and having them made at a location separate from our current one.
How much weight can be put on the transformer bar?
The transformer bar is rated for up to 1500 lbs
Hello, Will you be making more transformer bars? I signed up for updates but would like to know if it will be back in production all together....we ordered the Duffalo Bar as well.
Yes, the Transformer Bar is planned to be back in production at some point. We are working through some manufacturing and production issues prior to releasing it for sale.
How long are the handles?
The handles come out 22 inches from the bar center
I just ordered a transformer bar and what to know the recommend storage method?
It can be stored in a rack, or bar holder. Due to the black oxide finish being only mildly corrosion resistant it is recommended to be stored in a climate controlled dry area.
Are the handles threaded on, or welded to the bar? I do a lot of Hatfield squats and always remove the handles of the SSB bar while doing them.
They are welded.
What is the distance between the two handles? Any idea when these will be available again. Thanks
The distance between the two handles is 12 inches. There is a 1-2 week lead time.
What is the distance collar to collar please?
The distance between the inside of each bracket is 51 inches
How wide is the inner part of the padding? I am a woman and I have a very narrow shoulder width. I'm concerned that the metal part of the handles (beneath the padding) will be outside my shoulders.
The space between the Transformer Bar pads is about 9 inches and the space between the handles without padding is about 11 inches. We have a client here at KSL that is 98lbs with narrow shoulders and she uses the bar often without any trouble.
What is the difference between the Transformer v2 and v3?
There were only a couple of aesthetic changes between v2 and v3, nothing that changed the performance of the bar itself. The angle and length of the handles would be the only thing most people notice.
Hello, I'm looking for a PO quote for one of your transformer bars for my police department gym. Thanks, Sgt Tim
Tim, thank you for reaching out to us. Charlie Ritchie is the head of Tactical Sales for Military/Police/Fire/First Responders at Kabuki Strength. You can always contact her @ email@example.com, but we will let her know to reach out to you.
I am going to be in the your area in May. Can I purchase this bar and pick it up so i dont have to pay shipping?
Absolutely. In the notes section of your order, make sure to let us know you would like to pick up the bar at The Lab when it's completed and list your email address and telephone number in that box. We will contact you when it's ready. Our website will automatically charge shipping at check out, however we can refund it when you pick up the bar. Also, be sure to order ahead. Our bars are popular and sometimes not in stock at all times. Thank you!
Hi, I’m from India and I wanted to know if you ship to India?
Can this bar replicate low bar squats?
Absolutely! On setting 1D, to be exact.
Does the center piece of the V3 have a reference notch on '1' as shown in THE TRANSFORMER BAR POSITIONAL MATRIX? I would like to purchase one for my unattended gym, as well as get a large scale printup of the matrix but without a reference notch I fear the only thing it wil be used for is rack pulls.
Great question! Yes, there is a reference notch on the end of the center bar. The bar also comes with a laminated, card-stock printed sheet with the positional matrix and common positions.
Would this breakdown small enough to put in the trunk of my car
It depends on the width (and depth) of your car's trunk. The sleeves can be rotated inwards which reduces the length of the bar to 56". The bar will easily fit in the back passanger seat area of most 4-door cars.
How much weight can the bar hold in pounds?
We've load tested it with over 1,200lbs. Also, there's this; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arAar0dMzxU
What’s the diameter of the sleeve on the transformer bar?
The sleeve is machined to a standard 2" (50mm) olympic diameter.
I have a half rack with weight storage and 45lbs plates that leave about 3 inches when unracking. Am I going to be banging into the storage plates with the transformer bar at the most forward setting?
The measurement between the inside of each of the brackets on the transformer bar is 52 inches, so as long as you have clearance for that you should be good!
Do you ship to Hawaii
We do indeed!
Can I pick up my order?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a pick up
I was wondering if I choose the financing with Klarna would I be able to pay he balance off early or am I locked in to 6 months of payments? Thank you for your time.
You can pay the balance off early just like you would on a credit card.
Hi! After shoulder injury & surgery from a car accident, I won't be able to low bar squat for a while. Normally I carry the bar super low on my back and I'm a pretty bent over squatter. Things like SSB force me to an upright position, and if I pull on the handles to shift the weight backwards, it's basically like a mid-back exercise, doesn't really resemble a normal low bar squat. Question is, is there a setting on the Transformer Bar that should be able to make me mimic the mentioned, bent over low bar squat form? Thank you very much in advance! Have multiple products from you already, and love all ofthem.
Because the Transformer bar is adaptable to 48 different positions, you may be able to play around with the setting until you find something that replicates the movement pattern you are describing. A traditional SSB or cambered bar is fixed, and like you said using the handles to push/pull into a different position isn't very effective. Stay strong and we hope your rehab goes well so you can be back to 100% asap!
Hi Is there a newer version of the TRANSFORMER BAR coming soon or should i go ahead and buy the v3?
We have no active plans for a newer version of the Transformer Bar anytime soon, so you should be save to purchase the current V3 version.
How much weight can the the bar actually hold?
The bar has been tested and is regularly used by some elite lifters with over 1000lbs of load. The weight brackets have also been tested in their most extreme position (at a 90 degree angle with sleeves at maximum distance from center) with over 2000lbs. The Transformer Bar is an American-made, purpose-built, high quality bar and is able to handle serious weights. Happy squatting!
I am interested in ordering your transformer bar and i was wondering if there is a pro team discount from Kabuki strength. Thanks Vaughn
For team pricing please contact email@example.com
Can this bar mimick the lowbar squat? I can’t low bar with a straight bar, but I can lowbar with my cheap “bow bar”. I’d like to buy a “nicer “ version of my bow bar (your Dufallo bar), but this transformer bar replicates your dufallo bar, is this correct? For low,bar squats with no elbow pin would you recommend the dufallo, or transformer?
Yes, the 1D position on the Transformer Bar is similar to a regular low bar back squat. As to which bar we recommend, it really depends on your goals and needs. The Duffalo Bar is a great training bar for the squat as well as the bench press, however you can't beat the versatility of the Transformer Bar. Keep in mind that you can also do front squats with a Duffalo Bar! You honestly can't go wrong with either one.
Hi there, i live in Malaysia and the shipment costs are nearly as much as the bar itself. So i can only afford one bar. Which would you recommend ? The Transformer or Duffalo Bar? I am currently a novice (squatting only 100kg and weigh 80kg) and don't seem to have any back or shoulder injuries. Thanks! Colin
I would recommend the Duffalo bar as it can be used for a greater variety of lifts. You can use it for all squatting and pressing variations and while the transformer bar affords you a lot of adjustability in how you're loading the squat, it is also only usable for the squat.
What is the preferable setting for good mornings on the transformer bar?
That really depends on your personal prefrance/limb-torso length. Starting with the Back Squat setting then progress to the Saftey Squat Bar setting would be a good place to start.
I have been able to purchase some gym equipment that was in a fire. One of the pieces is a Transformer bar. It cleaned up well but the padding is a bit scorched and smells pretty bad. Are these pads sold separately, and if so how much. Thank you.
Hey! Sorry that happened to you! We'd be glad to work something out to get you a new pad cover. Email "firstname.lastname@example.org" and they will hook you up - I'll tell them to expect you!
Like other safety squat bars, can this stay on your shoulders even without holding onto the handles? For instance for single leg work while holding onto a bar in front for stability. Thank you.
The ability of the bar to balance on your shoulders without hands on the handles depends on the setting used. Certain settings require the lifter to hold onto the handles, particularly those where the weight's CoG is shifted posteriorly.