How much does a barbell weigh is one of the first questions many gymgoers ask themselves when starting to work out with free weights. Understanding the weight of the barbell you are using is important as that needs to be added to the total weight you are lifting. Not all barbells are created equal. Different barbell types come with different base weights. However, all barbells within a specific type wight the same.
The most common type of barbell is the Olympic barbell. However, there are also specialist barbells for heavier moves, such as squats and deadlifts. These barbells weigh more as they require a higher tensile strength.
What are the different types of barbell?
Answering the question of how much does a barbell weigh is more complicated than it seems. There is not just one standardized barbell. Variances in barbell weight exist as many barbells are specialized and built for a purpose. While it is not vital to know the type and weight of barbell you are using, especially for your everyday gym user, it is useful to have an accurate understanding of the amount of weight you’re actually lifting.
Below are the nine different types of barbell and their most common weights.
- Standard barbell: 20kg/44lbs
- Men’s Olympic barbell: 20kg/44lbs
- Women’s Olympic barbell: 15kg/33lbs
- Kids/Technique Barbell: 5kg/11lbs
- Powerlifting barbell: 20kg/44lbs
- Deadlift bar: 20kg/44lbs
- Safety squat bar: 32kg/70lbs
- EZ curl bar: around 5kg/11lbs
- Smith machine bar: from 5kg/11lbs to 10kg/22lbs
How much does an Olympic barbell weigh?
When people ask how much does a barbell weigh, they are usually talking about the Olympic barbell. Olympic barbells are the ones that you’ll find at most gyms. A standard, Olympic barbell weighs 20kgs – or roughly 44.1lbs. So if you are doing free weight exercises such as bench presses or barbell rows, do not forget to add that weight to your plate total. While there is a quality difference between an Olympic and a standard barbell they both weigh the same.
The Olympic bar has to focus on flex, the ability to spin at the cuffs, and how much “whip” to provide. This is why we usually find that these Olympic-standard bars are more expensive. A standard barbell you’re likely to find at a commercial gym will be stiffer and have less spin.
The dedicated Women’s Olympic Weightlifting barbell – this weighs only 15kg (roughly 33 lbs). This is because it is a thinner bar – it would be ridiculous to expect 45kg women to lift on the same bar as 160kg men, and the women’s weightlifting bar is designed to reduce the grip demand on these lifters.
How much does a squat barbell weigh?
Squat bars are a type of powerlifting bar that is designed to remain stiff and reduce whip, but they can handle huge amounts of weight – unlike a standard barbell.
The squat bar is a term we usually hear used for the Texas power bar – a high-quality piece of equipment that also weighs 20kg/44lbs. If you’re planning on lifting huge weights, this is a great choice and the extra price brings serious reliability!
Whip at the bottom of a squat can be a serious problem for powerlifters, where weights can be thousands of pounds.
The safety squat bar is a different piece of equipment, with handles to reduce shoulder strain. These weigh 70lbs or around 32kg. These are heavier because they use significantly more metal. These are a great way to train if you’re getting past injury or surgery in the upper body/arms.
How much does an EZ bar weigh?
The EZ Curl bar weighs different amounts depending on the type you buy. This is because they’re not used for any competitions, so the weight doesn’t really matter – as long as you keep adding weight over time. We’ve seen them range from 5kg to 10kg, depending on the design. Those designed to deal with Olympic plates tend to be heavier since the cuffs are bigger.
How much do smaller barbells weigh?
There are a few other small barbells that are lighter than a standard barbell.
These include the youth weightlifting bar. This is a barbell designed for technique training and usually weighs 5kg at most. These are used for youth competitions and often used in CrossFit boxes for absolute beginners. They allow you to practice technique without worrying about weight.
There’s one more question: how much does the smith machine barbell weigh? This is like the EZ curl bar – it depends on the specific product, and there’s no standard weight. Because they’re supported by the rails, you’re only likely to see about 5-10 lbs of actual bar weight. As with the curl bar, the main thing is that you keep adding weight to it consistently over time.
Barbells are a vital piece of gym equipment. Anybody that lifts weights in the gym needs to understand the impact of barbell weight on their exercises. A standard barbell weighing 20kg might be enough on its own for some people to start lifting. Adding too much weight to the bar increases the risk of injury. Yes, correct form is important in preventing injury. However, being able o answer how much does a barbell weigh is just as vital. Understanding the type of barbell you are using is also important. Picking the right barbell is an important process for making the most of a home gym or sculpting that dream physique at your gym.