The original Transformer Bar took the strength world by storm 3 years ago as a completely novel design, allowing for multiple positional variations in the squat using a single, adjustable barbell. It quickly became the industry's premium squat specialty bar and today finds itself in thousands of home gyms, commercial facilities, clinics, and professional/collegiate weight rooms.
The newly re-engineered Transformer Bar is a patent-pending, purpose-built, multi-function specialty barbell which allows for adjustment in the weight's center of mass relative to the lifter's body; changing loading mechanics, movement dynamics, and training effect. It is purpose-built for easy use in both professional (athletic, clinical), commercial, and home gym settings.
With this iteration, our engineering staff went back to the drawing board to address common issues with the original design and make substantial improvements in both usability and manufacturability. This process of continuous improvement, or kaizen, is central to our product and engineering philosophy. Major improvements on the new Transformer Bar include:
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The Transformer Bar features two simple adjustment mechanisms for modifying camber angle and distance from center, for a total of 24 unique angle/difficulty combinations. Durable polyurethane labels on the bar visually indicate each position (camber angle) and difficulty (distance from center). This bar was designed for simple use by individuals that have no prior experience with the bar.
The spring-pin mechanism allows for 6 positions with 30 degrees of variance between them. These fixed positions replicate common squat movement patterns including:
The second adjustment mechanism allows for modifying the position of the weight sleeve, or distance between the center of mass of the weight and the bar on the lifters back. The color-coded label on the weight bracket allows for easy changes to increase or decrease difficulty in any of the 6 common angle positions.
New: Sleeves can now be adjusted from the outside of the bar. Previous iterations required the sleeves to be inserted from the inside of the bracket, requiring the full sleeve to be inserted all the way through prior to locking in place.
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. When designing the bends of the bar handles, we aimed to create something that conformed over the lifter's body in order to provide maximum stability of the bar on the shoulders, with a 12" handle spacing to accommodate as many individuals as comfortably as possible.
The Transformer Bar features a custom injection-molded, high-density foam core that allows for a comfortable position on the lifters back and much improved durability compared to previous iterations. No carpet under-layer here folks (those with other safety bars will understand).
This foam core fits snuggly into the pad cover and both can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement if necessary. The material choice for the pad cover is the best mix of reliability, aesthetics, comfort, and price that we can offer on this bar.
We often get questions about the length of the Transformer Bar's handles. Longer handles (compared to traditional safety bars) allow for improved spinal stability and intra-abdominal pressure due to better lat engagement and a more neutral spine position. Elevation of the elbows and the subsequent external rotation in the shoulders that is typical of short "stubby" handles can decrease your ability to maintain a stacked, upright torso; especially in athletes with mobility restrictions.
The patent-pending Transformer Bar was developed in-house at the Kabuki Strength Lab by athletes of multiple disciplines. The bar is in it's 4th iteration and was purpose-engineered for usability in multiple settings - commercial, team sports, or home use.
The Transformer Bar is popular in team sport settings, allowing for variations in movement patterns while providing the safety and decreased risk of injury that only a specialty bar of this type can provide. The spring-pin mechanism ensures timely adjustment between athletes during team training sessions. Hundreds of collegiate teams and dozens of professional teams across different sports utilize the Transformer Bar - and Duffalo Bar - as a primary substitute for the straight bar in the squat.
In an age of international commerce and manufacturing, it’s exceedingly 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 and sent out across the world to an eagerly awaiting customer. Transformer Bars are shipped securely and compactly in a sturdy, custom box and come with a card hand-signed by the Kabuki Strength employee who assembled your bar.
The Transformer Bar's official load capacity is 1500lbs, although it has been load tested far beyond this figure. The weight sleeves are machined to spec, while the proprietary bracket is laser cut and fabricated in house. As always, if you ever run into an issue with your Kabuki Strength product, please contact our customer service team and they will take care of you.
Wondering how much weight the Transformer Bar can hold? Here's a video of a load test we did on the previous iteration of the bar lifting The War Rig, a 3-ton monster truck built by our very own co-founder Chris Duffin. The current version has been put through an even more rigorous test process.
The Transformer Bar features locking sleeves, allowing for both horizontal and upright storage of the bar in it's ready-to-lift form.
By inserting the sleeves backwards into the brackets, the Transformer Bar easily converts into a compact, 60" x 23" x 8" rectangle for easy transport.
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).
"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"
Is there a warranty on the bar? And do you give military discount?
We have a warranty for manufacturing defects. We do offer a military discount: MILITARY at check out
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.
What are the differences between V2 and V3? My local store has V2 stocked.
The V2 was a version that had a machined end, but it was flat as opposed to rounded, but can still be used for doing soft tissue work. This was only run briefly and it's possible that they have the V1, which has an open end on the flared end.
What version is this? I've seen info on V1 and V2 versions.
This is the V3.
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