How Much Does A Barbell Weigh? – All You Need To Know About Barbells

how much does a barbell weigh

Contrary to what you must’ve heard, there’s no such thing as a “universal barbell”. There’s no standard size and weight for bars, but there are several types with semi-standard weight, save for the barbells used for Olympic games. But have you ever wondered how much does a barbell weigh without those heavy plates?

Today, let’s talk about all the things we believe you should know about barbells before you try and begin a weight training exercise.


What Is A Barbell?

how much does a barbell weigh

A barbell is a straight metal bar with sleeves on both its ends to hold the weight plates. It is used for weight training exercises. There are two primary types of barbell: Olympic and Standard.

However, there are other types of barbell designed to provide better body alignment and are shaped in such a way that they make your lifting movement more effective. Each barbell type may vary slightly in weight depending on the manufacturer.

What Are The Different Types Of Barbell?

Olympic And Standard

how much does a barbell weigh

Competitive weightlifters use Olympic barbells. These barbells are usually 5-7 feet long and weigh 20-45 pounds. The middle will be marginally 1 inch thick, and the rotating sleeves are 2 inches. You can use only Olympic weight plates with 2-inch center holes with this bar. These sleeves allow the weight plates to rotate as you move the bar.

Why is that necessary? It’s necessary because it relieves your wrists and forearms of the tension caused by the torque of non-rotating plates. Olympic barbells can take on between 800-1500-pound weight plate.

Standard barbells can take on up to 200 pounds of weight. They’re not as heavy as the Olympic barbells, so a lot of people have this type of barbell in their home gyms. A standard barbell’s length is 4-6 feet and weighs 15-22 pounds. The bar is 1 inch thick in its entire length.

Unlike Olympic barbells, the standard bar has no rotating sleeves. You can only use standard weight plates with 1-inch center holes with this bar type.

To see how a front shrug is done using a standard bar, watch this quick video here.

Specialty Barbells

Specialty barbells are designed to make certain weight training exercises easier and safer for lifters to perform. Here are several other types of barbell:

Trap/Hex Bar

how much does a barbell weigh

A trap bar is a barbell with four sides and shaped like a diamond, while a hex bar will have six sides and shaped like a hexagon. Because of their unique design, you can stand in the middle of the barbell with the weight plates at your sides, instead of in front of you or behind you just as where they’ll be if you’re using a straight bar.

Having the weights at your sides reduces tension on your lower back when you’re deadlifting.

Cambered Bar

Cambered Bar

If you wish to do a lot of rows and presses, then you should get the cambered bar. This barbell type is excellent for these kinds of exercises because your range of motion is increased, thanks to the bend in the bar. You get an upside-down U shape before the bar even gets the chance to touch your chest.

EZ Curl Bar

An EZ curl barbell is a type of cambered bar, but it will have angled grips. Many users find angled grips more comfortable. Why? Because the angles on the bar allow your wrists to turn slightly. This creates an alignment that’s more natural.

EZ curl bars are 4-5 feet long, making it more compact than straight bars (Olympic and Standard). If you’re looking at focusing on bicep curls, triceps extensions, and small-muscle isolation exercises, then it’s best to get an EZ barbell.

If you want to know the benefits of using an EZ bar, watch this informative video here.

Thick Bar

If you wish to hold the barbell at thigh level with an overhand grip, as what you do during deadlifts and shrugs, then get a thick barbell. Training with a thick bar increases your grip and forearm strength.

Find out what the benefits of using thick bar are in this video here.

What Are The Parts Of A Barbell?

how much does a barbell weigh

Shaft - the barbell’s middle area which you grab during lifting

Sleeves - also called ‘Collars’; the barbell’s ends where you load the weight plates/discs

Plates / Discs

The plates or discs used in competitions are available in 10 weights and color-coded as such as per IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) requirements:

  • 25 kg - red
  • 20 kg - blue
  • 15 kg - yellow
  • 10 kg - green
  • 5 kg - white
  • 2.5 kg - red
  • 2 kg - blue
  • 1.5 kg - yellow
  • 1 kg - green
  • 0.5 kg - white

But, How Much Does A Plateless Barbell Weigh?

how much does a barbell weigh

As per IWF, a 7-foot barbell for men without the discs must weigh 20 kilograms, while women’s bar must weigh 15 kilograms without the plates.

For home use or commercial gyms, the barbell’s actual weight without the plates or discs varies based on the collars used and/or the manufacturer, but typically, an Olympic bar is 20.4 kg, and the standard bar is 9 kg.

Final Thoughts

how much does a barbell weigh

While it’s tempting to use an Olympic bar as a beginner in weightlifting, it isn’t advisable health-wise. An Olympic bar alone weighs 20 kilos. Make sure your body can handle the weight of the plates on top of those 20 kilos.

Always use the correct plates for your particular barbell. You’ll find adapters from some companies that allow plates to be used for incorrect bars. Avoid those.

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