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You want to get a good workout in, but you also don’t want to look like a fool at the gym. Not knowing something simple like the answer to the question, “How much does the bar weigh at the gym?” falls into this category.
So how much does a barbell weigh? The most common barbell you will find at the gym weighs ~45 lbs (20 kg). There are also women’s-specific barbells that weigh 33 lbs (15 kg). Furthermore, specialty barbells, such as hex bars and safety squat bars, can weigh up to 70 lbs.
As a seasoned trainer, I can tell you the more important question is what type of barbell should you use? Picking the right type of barbell for your workout is essential. For example, using a hex bar to learn the Olympic lifts will be disastrous.
You may be thinking, “This sounds more complicated than I thought. I’ll stick to the weight machines.” Don’t worry, I’ve been in your shoes. I know what it feels like to grab a random bar and hope I’m using it correctly and not looking foolish.
In this article, I’ll provide the lifting bar weight for any kind of barbell you may find in your gym. You will learn descriptions of each barbell, so you know the right one to use for your next workout.
You can also find barbell recommendations for those interested in purchasing their own.
The Basic Parts of a Barbell (Barbell Anatomy)
Before we discuss the different types of barbells and how much the bars weigh, here are some basics you should know. Understanding the anatomy of a barbell can help you visualize all the components contributing to the gym bar weight.
The sleeve is the outer portion of a barbell where you load the plates.
The shaft is the inner portion of the bar that connects the sleeves. It’s where the lifter places their hands.
A big difference between barbells is the diameter of the barbell shaft. While most barbells have a straight shaft, specialty barbells can be slightly curved, hexagonal, or even in the shape of a ladder.
The knurling is located on the shaft of the bar. It is a rough cross-sectional pattern that helps the lifter grip the barbell better.
Knurling will be located in different places depending on the barbell.
These are the three main components found on every barbell. Now let’s look at the different types of barbells you may encounter at your local gym and which one you should use. And if you’re still wondering, “How much weight is a barbell?” I’ll provide the answer to that, too.
Different Types of Barbells and How Much They Weigh
How heavy is a barbell? The chart below provides the barbell weight in pounds and kilograms for various types of barbells.
|Type||Pounds (lbs)||Kilograms (kg)|
|General Purpose Bar||~45||20|
|Men’s Olympic Weightlifting Bar||~45||20|
|Women’s Olympic Weightlifting Bar||~35||15|
|Training/Technique Bar||5.5 – 15||2.5 – 6.8|
|Specialty Bars (i.e., Hex Bar)||10 – 70||4.5 – 31.8|
Olympic barbells are generally accepted as the standard barbell in most fitness facilities. Generally, these bars are 7’ long, have a 28 mm diameter shaft, weigh 45 lbs (20 kg), have sleeves that rotate, and accommodate weight plates with a 2-inch insert.
Technically, a standard barbell has a 1-inch diameter shaft and sleeves, spin lock collars, and a substantially limited weight-bearing capacity. These are an overall type of barbell, but there are more specific types.
A general-purpose bar like the Rogue Fitness Ohio Bar is the standard issue bar you will find in nearly every gym. If you’re asking yourself, “How much does a gym bar weigh?” the general-purpose bar is the one you should be most concerned about.
This bar is ~45 lbs (20 kg) and ~7 ft long (86.6 inches) with a 28 mm diameter shaft. The knurling on this bar is medium. It will help you hold onto the bar when lifting heavy weights but won’t rip your hands to shreds if you’re doing high-rep barbell workouts.
This bar can be used for heavy, low-rep powerlifting and Olympic lifting or lower-weight, high-rep CrossFit-style training. It is meant to be the workhorse of barbells in your local gym and is designed to take a beating.
Men’s Olympic Weightlifting Bar
Men’s Olympic weightlifting bars like the REP Fitness Gladiator Olympic Barbell are ~45 lbs (20 kg) and ~7 ft long (86.6 inches) with a 28 mm diameter shaft and medium knurling.
To the naked eye, there is only one difference between the Olympic weightlifting barbell and a general-purpose bar — a center knurling. You can order an Olympic weightlifting bar from some manufacturers without the center knurling, making it indistinguishable from a general-purpose bar.
A significant difference between a general-purpose bar and an Olympic weightlifting barbell is that an Olympic weightlifting barbell is designed to whip, or bend, with the weight for ease of use when performing the snatch or the clean and jerk.
Women’s Olympic Weightlifting Bar
The general-purpose bar and Olympic weightlifting bar both have what is called a “women’s” alternative.
Women’s Olympic weightlifting bars like the Rogue Fitness Bella Bar 2.0 are ~6.5 ft long (79.13 inches) with a 25 mm diameter shaft and medium knurling (depending on which type of bar you get). These bars generally come without a center knurling.
How much does this barbell weigh? Unlike men’s Olympic weightlifting bars, women’s bars weigh ~35 lbs (15kg).
Despite the name, these bars are not just for women. For young athletes and people with small hands, the women’s bar has a smaller shaft diameter that allows for better grip while training.
If your training partner has smaller hands or you don’t have much space to work within your home gym, a women’s bar may be a great alternative. These barbells do not take up as much space and are just as strong as their 45lb (20kg) counterparts.
Check out our Bella barbell review, where we discuss more of its pros and cons and who it’s good for.
Powerlifting bars like the Rogue Fitness Ohio Power Bar are ~45 lbs (20 kg) and ~7 ft long (86.6 inches) with a 28-29 mm diameter shaft and aggressive knurling. These barbells also feature a center knurling to help keep the bar in place during squats.
Barbells designed for powerlifting are designed NOT to bend when lifting weights. In other words, they do not have a whip or bend like the Olympic weightlifting barbell.
Due to the heavy nature of the powerlifting exercises, powerlifting barbells have a high maximum weight capacity, with most manufacturers boasting 2000+ lbs weight tolerance.
Specialty bars are used for specific purposes, such as a safety squat or deadlift-specific barbell. How heavy a specialty barbell depends on its structure, specifications, and intended use.
As the name implies, a deadlift bar, like the Titan Series Deadlift Bar from Titan Fitness, is specific to the deadlift. It is 7.5 ft (90.6 inches) in length, has 27-28 mm diameter shaft and aggressive knurling, and comes with a good amount of “whip” or flexibility.
But how much does a deadlift bar weigh? A deadlift bar weighs 45 lbs (20 kg), just like any other Olympic barbell.
The sleeve length of a deadlift bar tends to be shorter (about 15.5 inches to 16.25 inches). The whip of the bar is great for powerlifters to help take the slack out of the bar before they begin an aggressive drive. The aggressive knurling prevents the hands from slipping while moving heavy weight.
Squat bars generally have larger features. A squat bar, like the Rogue Squat Bar, is about 7.8 ft (94.48 inches) long and has a 32 mm diameter shaft and medium knurl.
The knurling on a squat bar extends throughout the shaft to allow for better grip across the upper back. This bar has no whip, which helps create a more stable lift. The large diameter shaft makes for a more comfortable weight distribution across the upper back.
And how much does a squat bar weigh? A squat bar is heavier than Olympic-sized barbells and deadlift bars. It weighs 55 lbs (25 kg).
Bench Press Bar
The bench press bar, like the Yukon Bar from Titan Fitness or the Rogue Fitness CB-4 Camber Bar, has a slight bend with larger features. The bar is about 8 ft (96 inches) long, weighs 60 lbs (27.2 kg), and has a 32-38 mm diameter shaft, aggressive knurling, and no whip. These bars also have a center knurling.
Bench press bars have a bend along the shaft to allow for better upper-body stability during the bench press. The bend in the bar, which ranges from 4-6 inches, allows the weights to sit slightly lower and creates a lower center of gravity for easier lifting.
The bend in the shaft also helps alleviate the pressure a regular straight shaft places on the wrist.
The video below discusses the benefits of benching with a cambered bar like the Rogue one linked above:
As the name indicates, this barbell is used to develop the triceps. It weighs 22 lbs (10 kg), is 2.8 ft (34 inches) long, has a 25 mm shaft diameter, and has medium knurling.
The tricep barbell, like the Titan Fitness Triceps Bar, is little more than a square with two parallel handles within the square. It is designed to ease discomfort on the wrists and forearms when doing tricep extensions.
EZ Curl Bar
An EZ curl bar like the Rogue Curl Bar is designed to minimize wrist and forearm discomfort while performing the bicep curl. It weighs 30 lbs (13.6 kg) and is 4.5 ft (54.5 inches) with a 28.5 mm diameter shaft and multiple knurling patterns along the bar.
The EZ curl bar is made for curls but also serves as a great tricep extension bar.
Trap Bar (Hex Bar)
A trap bar like the Titan Fitness Olympic Hex Weight Bar is the only bar you will ever need to step into to use. The bar weighs 44-60lbs (20-27.2kg), is 4.6ft (56 inches) long, has a 28mm – 34mm diameter shaft for the handles, and has medium knurling.
This bar is used for various movements ranging from squat jump training, deadlifts, shrugs, and bent-over rows.
Camber bars like the Titan Fitness Cambered Bench Press Bar have a slight bend along the main shaft. They come in different variations for bench, squat, and multi-grip applications.
These bars weigh 45 lbs (20 kg), are about 7 ft (84 inches) long, have a 28 mm diameter shaft, and have medium knurling.
These bars have a slight bend to provide an additional range of motion. The slight bend also helps decrease the center of gravity, which makes lifts like the squat easier to balance.
Bamboo bars like the BandBell Bar offer less rigidity but just as much benefit to your lifts. They weigh 6 lbs (2.7 kgs), are 6.6 ft (80 inches) long, have a 38 mm (1.5 inches) diameter, and have no knurling.
While these bars are very light, they can hold up to 300 lbs (136.4 kg). They are designed to weeble and wobble while lifting to build stability around your joints. The bamboo bar is equally amazing and humbling.
Check out our full review of the BandBell Bamboo Bar.
Safety Squat Bars
Safety squat bars like the Rogue Fitness SB-1 squat bar are one of the largest specialty barbells on the market. They weigh ~70 lbs (31.8 kg), are about ~7.5 ft (92.5 inches) long, have a 25mm (1 inch) to 38 mm (1.5 inch) diameter shaft, and have no knurling.
Safety squat bars are designed to minimize the discomfort of a barbell resting on your back by adding a thick foam pad fixed in the center of the bar. The sleeves are lowered to decrease the weight's center of gravity for better balance. Two handles jut out from the main bar to provide ease of use for those with shoulder mobility issues.
Training or technique bars like the REP Fitness Technique Bar are much smaller than all the other bars mentioned. They range in weight from 5.5 lbs (2.5kg) to 15 lbs (6.8kg), are 4.25 ft (51 inches) to 6 ft (72 inches), have a 22.2 mm to 28 mm diameter shaft, and have light to medium knurling.
As the name indicates, these bars are meant to practice form and technique without the cumbersome weight of the others. They’re designed to tolerate 40-200 lbs, so that you won’t be doing any maxes with these bars.
These barbells are great for helping beginners learn proper form and fitness veterans warm up the correct muscles appropriately.
Looking for more barbell recommendations but don’t have a large budget? Check out our favorite budget barbells.
My two cents, if your training facility doesn’t carry any specialty or technique bars, you won’t be missing out on anything.
If, on the other hand, you’re building a home gym, have a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, and want bragging rights for the “most decked out home gym,” buy them all.
Do You Count the Weight of the Barbell When Figuring Out How Much Weight To Lift?
When counting how much weight is on the bar, you factor in the lifting bar weight. For example, if you’re using a general-purpose 45 lb (20 kg) barbell and add a 45 lb (20 kg) plate on either side, you are lifting 135 lbs (61.36 kg).
How Much Weight Do Clamps and Collars Add to a Barbell?
In my 20+ years of resistance training experience, I have never accounted for the weight of the clamps or collars. Generic clamps and collars that you will find in every gym weigh, at most, .5 lbs (.22 kgs) each. You would only add those to your max if your rival says their max is the same as yours and you want to edge them out by a pound.
Competition collars DO add a significant amount of weight and should be accounted for when counting up your weight on the bar. Some International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)-approved collars can weigh ~5.5 lbs (2.5 kgs) each, which would add up to ~11 lbs (5 kgs) on your bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do All Barbells Weigh 45 lbs?
Most barbells you will find in a commercial gym setting weigh about 45 lbs. Once you deviate from the ~7 ft long (86.6 inches) and 28 mm diameter shaft dimensions, you can assume the weight has changed. Shorter barbells generally weigh less. Longer barbells weigh more. Oddly shaped bars, like a hex bar, vary in weight.
How Much Does a 7 ft Standard Barbell Weigh?
The average barbell weight for a 7 ft barbell is about 45 lbs or 20 kg.
Is A Barbell 44 or 45 lbs?
A regular barbell weighs 20 kg or 44.1 lbs. The industry standard for those who use the imperial measurement system is to round up when accounting for the bar's weight in pounds.
Why Is the Barbell 45 lbs?
As legend has it, barbells and plates were originally created around the 1920-1930s in Europe and designed to weigh 20 kgs to simplify the math. The collars, or clamps, were designed to weigh 2.5 kgs each. If you had a 20 kg bar, two 20 kg plates, and two 2.5 kg collars, you could easily determine you were lifting 70 kg.
The United States also wanted to get in on the barbell action but uses imperial units, which are 44 lbs. This mental math is not as easy, so the manufacturers rounded up to 45 lbs to help out us meatheads with our math-ing.
So how much does a barbell weigh?
The standard barbell weight for Olympic-sized barbells is ~45 lbs (20 kg). They stand ~7 ft (86.6 inches) tall and have a 28 mm diameter shaft and medium knurling.
The second most common barbell, the women’s barbell, weighs ~35 lbs (15 kg), stands ~6.5ft (79.13 inches), has a 25mm diameter shaft, and has medium knurling.
Specialty barbells like safety squat bars and hex bars come in different shapes, lengths, and diameters. They can weigh anywhere from 10 to 70 lbs.
No matter how you choose to train, there is a barbell that is right for you and your needs. The best advice I can give you is to go out and try them all. Determine which style keeps you returning for the sweaty goodness we call resistance training.
Stay sweaty, gang.
About The Author
Trevor Bridges has a BS in Health and Exercise Science and has been training folks how to move pain-free and get stronger for over a decade. He is currently experimenting with different training programs that will make him most like Captain America. When he is not running his gym or creating content, you can usually find him playing with his dogs and praying for shorter summers and longer winters.