Wondering how much the bar weighs? Cut to the chase of how much you are lifting at the gym with this list of barbell weights.
Going to the gym usually means turning off your brain and letting the body take the wheel.
But there are moments where you need to fire up the calculator between your ears to assess how much weight you are actually pushing or pulling.
And this starts with having a clear idea of how much the barbell you are using weighs.
How Much Each Barbell in the Gym Weighs:
- Olympic barbell – 20kg (44lbs)
- Powerlifting barbell – 20kg (44lbs)
- Standard barbell – 6.8kg to 11kg (15-25lbs)
- Trap/Hex barbell – 20kg to 25kg (45-55lbs)
- EZ curl barbell – 10kg (22lbs)
- Multi-grip barbell – 20kg (44lbs)
While Olympic and powerlifting barbells are consistent in weight, specialty bars can vary widely in weight and length.
In this guide to barbell weights, I’ll go into depth on how much each bar weighs, what influences the weight, and more.
Let’s jump right in.
The Different Kinds of Barbells
Barbells vary in wide by width, type of steel, and activity.
The most common bar weight is 20kg or 44lbs, but there are barbells that can weight as little as 10kg and specialty barbells like trap bars can weigh as much as 30kg or 66lbs.
Although a barbell is simple in design, the shape and weight of each barbell influence the function.
For example, an EZ curl barbell is significantly lighter than a powerlifting barbell. It’s also shorter, which brings the weight closer to your center line, allowing you to lift more weight.
In this article, we will take a look at the full lineup of barbells you see in the gym, and detail how much each type of barbell weighs so you can have a clear understanding of how much weight you are actually lifting.
It will also help you to use the bars more effectively.
Let’s jump in.
How Much Does Each Bar Weigh?
Olympic barbells are the most popular bars in the gym for their durability, strength, and flex in the bar.
The Olympic barbell is the most commonly used bar in the weight room.
(And no, the “standard barbell,” despite what other articles on this topic on the interwebs claim, are not the “standard.” More on that in a bit.)
Because they are designed for dynamic and ballistic movement, they have “whip” in the bar that makes them ideal for Olympic lifts like clean and jerks.
They are also built to take a punishment, as they need to be able to handle being dropped from height loaded with weight plates. Which makes them extremely ideal for commercial settings.
Men’s Olympic bars are made of steel, and have the following dimensions:
- Length: 7.2ft (2.2 meters)
- Weight: 20kg (44lbs)
- Grip width: The middle of the bar is 28-29mm and features knurling for added grip.
- Sleeve width: The sleeves where plates are loaded are 50mm and are designed to help weight plates and bumper plates slide onto the barbell easily.
- Tensile strength: The steel tensile strength ranges from 100,000 psi from lower-end bars up to high-grade bars that have a tensile strength of over 200,000 psi.
Women’s Olympic barbells are similarly built, but are slightly smaller in dimensions compared to the men’s version:
- Length: 6.6ft (2.01 meters)
- Weight: 15kg (33lbs)
- Grip width: The middle of the bar is 25mm and has the same knurling pattern as men’s bars.
- Sleeve width: The sleeves are 50mm thick to allow plates to be loaded quickly and without rubbing the inserts on the weight plates on the bar.
- Tensile strength: Tensile strength starts around 60,000 psi and the best Olympic barbells for women tend to have a tensile strength of around 190,000.
Powerlifting barbells are made for the big three lifts (squats, bench, deadlifts) and are stiffer than Olympic bars.
Even relatively experienced users won’t immediately recognize the difference between an Olympic and powerlifting barbell.
They have the same relative length. But they differ in terms of the flex found in the barbell, which allows them to store elastic energy, which helps lifters gain momentum through a heavy lift.
See also: 6 Best Powerlifting Barbells for Lifting Big
Olympic barbells also have sleeves that rotate very smoothly to help lifters get under a bar during explosive lifts. With powerlifting bars, the plates won’t spin as smoothly on the bushings.
Powerlifting also bars tend to have a thicker shaft that makes it sit better on the shoulders during squats.
- Length: 7.2ft
- Weight: 20kg (44lbs)
- Grip width: 28-32mm (can be slightly thicker than Oly bars)
- Sleeve width: 50mm
- Tensile strength: Quality powerlifting barbells have a tensile strength of over 200,000 psi.
Standard barbells are an excellent choice for recreational gymgoers who wants a lighter bar to use at home.
Although it has the name “standard” in it, these are not the typical bars you will find at your local gym.
Rather, they are designed almost exclusively for home use because of their smaller shaft size (that is usually only designed to handle 100-250lbs of weight) and the narrower sleeves for weight plates.
Standard barbells are used for weight plates that have a 1” insert. The “regular” sized weight plates you see in commercial gyms have a 2” insert, which means that a standard barbell has to be used with standard weight plates. Additionally, a standard barbell has a non-rotating sleeve.
Because a standard barbell is shorter, thinner, and doesn’t have bushings on them, they are much lighter than Oly barbells.
The weight of a standard barbell is a bit all over the place, but here is what you can expect to see with this kind of bar:
- Length: 5-6ft
- Weight: 7.5 to 10kg
- Grip width: 25.4mm (1”)
- Sleeve width: 1”
Trap bars are heavier and often longer than regular bars and are built for doing heavy deadlifts.
Trap bars, or hex bars, are designed for heavy-duty deadlifting.
They combine a neutral grip, variable grip heights, and because the weight is closer to our center of gravity, lifters can often go heavier with these bars. Some trap bars feature both skinny and fat grips for grip versatility.
They are built solid, with some of the best trap bars on the market weighing 60lbs or so (there are a couple that go all the way up to 75lbs, too), and have added steel that makes them heavier than your typical powerlifting or Olympic barbells.
Rogue’s TB-1 trap bar, for example, is 60lbs in weight.
See also: How Much Does a Trap Bar Weigh?
Trap bars also feature lots of sleeve length (up to 16”) so that you can load it up with lots of plates. This extra sleeve length means they are longer, with some of the better bars on the market as wide as 7.4ft.
- Length: 50” to 89”
- Weight: 28 to 75lbs
- Grip width: 1” to 1.8”
- Sleeve length: Up to 16”
EZ Curl Barbells
E-Z curl bars are one of my favorite specialty barbells in my home gym.
They are excellent for recruiting more muscle fiber when doing bicep curls, give you a more natural grip, and they can be used for other exercises like skull-crushers.
EZ curl bars come in a huge variety of shape, knurling and weight. They also come in both Olympic and standard versions to accommodate your 1” or 2” diameter weight plates.
- Length: 32” to 48”
- Weight: Standard EZ curl bars weigh around 10lbs, while Olympic bars weigh 20 to 30lbs.
- Grip width: Varies by brand
- Sleeve width: 1” (for Standard bars) or 2” (for Olympic bars)
Multi-Grip Swiss Bars
A specialty bar that provides lifters a huge variety of grips, multi-grip barbells are usually lighter than Oly and powerlifting bars.
Mutli-Grip bars (also known as Swiss bars), are designed to help lifters use different grips while doing upper body exercises.
With four different options for hand placement, you can do presses, curls, extensions with a hand grip that is most comfortable while also changing the muscle stimulus.
These kinds of bars are awesome for people who have shoulder issues and find a pronated grip uncomfortable.
Designed to be rackable, multi-grip bars vary widely in weight. Rogue’s multi-grip bars are less than 45lbs while there are other bars as heavy as 56lbs.
- Length: 82” to 90”
- Weight: 25 to 56lbs
- Sleeve width: 2” (designed for Olympic plates)
The Bottom Line
One of the best parts of lifting weights is the moments when you level up the amount of weight on the barbell. Adding an extra plate or two, and hitting loads you’ve never hit before is kind of the best!
With this list of barbell weights, you can now go into the gym confident that the weight of the bar and the weight on the bar match what you are trying to accomplish.
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