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Most barbells used for squats are 45 lbs. But here are the different types of squat bars and their weight:
- Standard: 45lbs (20.4kg)
- Men’s Olympic: 44lbs (20kg)
- Women’s Olympic: 33lbs (15kg)
- Power Squat: 45lbs (20kg)
- Specialized Squat: 55lbs (25kg)
- Safety Squat:45-75 lbs (20-34 kg)
- Cambered Squat: 35-85lbs (15-38 kg)
I use a standard barbell 97% of the time for myself and my clients.
But if you don’t understand your bar options, you may never reach your potential in the squat. For example, a safety squat bar is a good option if squatting hurts your shoulders.
Read on to learn the weights and purposes of the most common squat bars and some with a specific purpose.
How Much Does A Squat Bar Weigh?
|Bar Type||Weight||Length (inches)||Diameter (mm)||Barbell Sleeve (mm)||Knurling|
|Standard Barbell||44lbs, 20kg||86||25-28||50||Medium|
|Men’s Olympic||44lbs, 20kg||86||28-30||50||Moderately Aggressive|
|Women’s Olympic||33lbs, 15kg||79||28-30||50||Medium – Moderate|
|Power Squat||45lbs, 20kg||86||29||50||Aggressive|
|Specialized Squat Bar||55lbs, 25kg||Up to 95||Up to 32||50||Aggressive|
|Safety Squat||45-75 lbs, 20-34 kg||85-93||38||50||N/A|
|Cambered Squat||35-85lbs, 15-38 kg||82-92||38||50||Only in center|
In the same way, as you’d want to pay attention to the weight plates you’re using, there are so many different kinds of squat bars that you could try out, so it can be hard to know which one to start with.
After this guide, you’ll be better prepared with which bar to choose.
You will see the standard straight barbell at most gyms. It's one of those all-purpose bars you can use for just about any exercise.
The standard barbell weighs 20 kg or 45 lbs.
The standard barbell is about 2.2 meters or 7 ft in length.
The diameter of the standard barbell can be from 1 inch or 25mm to 28mm for the shaft. The barbell sleeve is typically a standard 2 inches to fit most weight plates.
Most standard barbells will have a finer knurling to accommodate all kinds of lifters. The standard squat bar falls into the medium category with a knurling that is just enough to get a solid grip.
What is knurling? Knurling is the cross-hatch pattern on the bar for better grip. It can range from smoother to sharper. I'll call them medium, moderately aggressive, and aggressive.
Men’s Olympic Squat Bar
The Olympic bar is specifically designed so the sleeves rotate. The sleeves are the ends of the barbell where you load the weights. This is so that as you perform exercises like snatches and cleans, the barbell shaft rotates, and the weights stay in one place.
A men’s Olympic bar weighs 20kg or 44 lbs.
Most Olympic bars come in around 86 inches, give or take a few inches, depending on the brand.
The shaft of most Olympic bars has a diameter of 28mm, but sometimes can be as high as 30mm, depending on the brand you find. The sleeve is typically 50mm or 2 inches.
The knurling on an Olympic squat bar tends to lean towards being moderately aggressive, depending on the brand. Sometimes, with training bars, however, they will have a medium knurling to not rip up one's hands.
Women's Olympic Squat Bar
The women's Olympic squat bar serves the same purpose as the men's bar, but with a few small differences.
A women's Olympic squat bar weighs a little less than the men's bar at 15kg or 33 lbs.
Much like the weight is lower for the women's bar, the length is slightly shorter, coming in at around 79 inches.
The diameter is slightly smaller than the men's bar, with most women's Olympic squat bars measuring 25mm. The sleeve of the barbell is 2 inches.
Much like the same men's Olympic bar, the women's Olympic squat bar will range in medium to moderate knurling for a solid grip.
Power Squat Bar
A power squat bar is specifically designed to be a powerlifting barbell for the big 3 exercises of powerlifting. It is a bit stiffer than the previous squat bars I’ve mentioned to accommodate the weight increase used with this bar.
This bar can be found weighing 45 lbs or 20kg, depending on the company you go with.
Much like the standard squat bar, the power bar is about 2.2 meters or 7 feet long.
The diameter of the shaft for the power bar is around 29mm, and 2 inches for the sleeve.
The knurling on a power bar will be aggressive, so you can get a great grip on the barbell when lifting. This is especially useful for squatting to keep the bar pinned to your back.
Specialized Squat Bar
This is a specialized bar that is specifically designed for the squat and for handling large amounts of weight. This is one of the first variations in how much weight a squat bar is.
The weight of a squat bar is typically heavier than other bars, coming in at 55 lbs or 25kg.
To accommodate lifters' ranges of motion, the length of a squat bar can range up to 95 inches to create more room to grab the bar.
Because these barbells are subject to large amounts of weight, the diameter of the shaft is sometimes wider than other bars, reaching up to 32mm.
This squat bar might have the most aggressive knurling out of the bunch, as it has to have a good grip to stay glued to your back during a squat and also be able to hold onto the bar itself.
Safety Squat Bar
The safety squat bar is unlike your standard squat bar as it has padding on the shoulders, and you’re gripping the handles in front instead of the actual bar. This is a good option if gripping a squat bar is hard on your shoulders.
Depending on the brand that you look at, the weight of a safety squat bar will range from 45 lbs to 70 lbs.
Much like the weight of the safety squat bar, the length will vary depending on the brand, with some as low as 85 inches and all the way up to 93 inches.
The shaft diameter is larger than most squat bars. Still, it will vary depending on the brand, but the most common diameter is 38mm or 1.5 inches.
The sleeve diameter is the same as the other squat bars on this list, coming in at 2 inches.
The safety squat bar has no knurling on it as you are not grabbing onto the bar itself. You are holding onto the handles that are in front of you.
For a full guide of the best safety squat bars, check out our full review of the 8 best safety squat bars
Cambered Squat Bar
As we get further into the specialty bars, we hit the cambered squat bar as one to improve your squat technique and strength, among other benefits.
The weights on this bar sit lower than any other squat bars, making it harder to balance the weight. However, it can benefit those struggling with shoulder mobility as you grab it on the sides of the camber and not the bar shaft.
The weight of a cambered squat bar will vary by brand, as some start out at 35 lbs and go up to 85 lbs.
Depending on the brand you are looking at, the length can be anywhere from 82 inches to 92 inches.
The diameter of the shaft is most commonly 1.5 inches, with the sleeve diameter measuring 2 inches.
Most, if not all, cambered squat bars come with no knurling as you grip the sides of the bar. However, some have knurling in the center for better grip on the upper back.
What If The Squat Bar is Too Heavy?
If the squat bar is too heavy, a good place to start would be building your strength using dumbbells or kettlebells. Then you can work your way up to using a squat bar.
Are Squat Bars 45 pounds?
Most squat bars are 45 pounds, but several specialized bars vary in weight from 33 pounds up to 85 pounds.
How Much Does A Woman’s Squat Bar Weigh?
A woman’s squat bar weighs 33 pounds.
Is a Squat Bar Heavier Than A Bench Bar?
While some of the specialized squat bars will be heavier than a bench bar, the standard squat bar and Olympic squat bar weigh the same.
About The Author
Chris Cooper is a certified personal trainer through the NSCA and a massage therapist in New York. He has over 17 years experience blending the two worlds to work with clients in their pursuit to get stronger and move pain-free as they return from injury. He runs his coaching services through CoachChrisCooper.com. You can connect with him on Instagram or LinkedIn.