Rogue Fitness Mini Deadlift Bar Jack — Review

© 2015 Peter Free


01 January 2015


Photograph of Rogue Fitness mini deadlift bar jack in pre-lift position. 


Photograph of Rogue Fitness mini deadlift bar jack in hoisted position.

Test conditions — which may not apply to you


I’m at an American APO address in Europe. The rental house has a garage too small for anything but a small car. Consequently, my free weight equipment (such as it is) is upstairs on a fairly fragile wood laminate floor.


Building a (bumper plate) lifting platform in this room is out of the question. Not only would it have to be constructed in place, I would have to deconstruct it to get it out of the room at the end of the PCS. And then potentially face prohibitions on shipping its building materials (wood) back to the States.


Note — bumper plates


Broadly speaking, there is Olympic style weight lifting and everything else. Olympic lifters typically drop the loaded barbell from the point of completion of the lift. Plates designed to take this impact are called bumper plates. The platform that the lifter stands on is designed to resiliently flex with the crash.


Bumper plates typically cost 4 to 5 times more than equivalent iron plates. I don’t own any.


I have also been reluctant to buy commonly sold weightlifting mats for the room, since both of my previous ones left nasty deposits of black rubber even on concrete floors. At present, I am using fragments of carpet and some auto mats to protect the floor from my steel plates. This half-assed approach means that I cannot drop anything.



Rogue’s mini jack is useful for light barbell loadings — but arguably not big guys’ serious stuff


Rogue’s mini deadlift bar jack takes up a lot less space in the home gym than its full sized deadlift bar jack.


I bought mine because the overall cost, including shipping cost to my APO address in Germany, was appreciably cheaper than the big one.


The mini jack works reasonably well for loads of less than 185 pounds (84 kilograms) of plates per bar end. After that, getting the short handle to hoist the bar conveniently becomes problematic.


Rogue’s illustration shows a lifter using his foot to exert enough force on the lever. The problem with that technique is that it is relatively easy to slip off the bar and have the partially hoisted load crash into the floor. On a lifting platform, that’s not a big deal. On a rental home’s wood floors, it can be — even with a rubber mat.


I did test my mini jack to 210 pounds (95 kilos) per bar end and figure some people might be happy with it to that capacity.


Because of the floor damage concern, I cut my use of the jack off at 160 pounds (73 kilos) of plates per bar end.


Another caveat


The mini and regular jacks operate as a welded angle that pivots the barbell through an arc, which moves the bar toward the lifter by a few centimeters. In other words, the jack picks the bar up and deposits it a few inches behind where it started.


This unavoidable characteristic means that you may need more depth (front to back) of mat than you initially calculated.



Nicely constructed


The mini looks and feels solid. It is small and stores conveniently pretty much wherever you might want to put it. It takes up virtually no room.


Rogue Fitness’ service and promptness is outstanding.



All told — I probably should have bought the big version


As impressed as I am with this handy device, I probably should have bought the full size version. The much longer handle would allow more control, when depositing the loaded barbell back onto fragile floors. Both bar ends would also hoist at the same time, rather than having to move the mini from one end to the other.


For people without my floor concern, I would estimate that the Rogue mini jack is very good for working with up to about 365 pounds (166 kilos) of plates plus bar. It is useable up to about 415 pounds (189 kilos) total. Big people, using their feet to operate the mini, could probably go higher.


An impressive product.