Bodybuilding and powerlifting require a surprising amount of math.
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Not only do you have to keep track of sets and reps but also figure out how much weight you should lift.
Especially if you are trying to figure out how to start, say, a PPL routine.
And you can’t always just toss some plates onto a bar and add together how much everything weighs because different bars have different inherent weights!
Unless you have your own bar, of course.
However, if you know what style of barbell you’re using, then you’re on track to know exactly how much the bar weighs.
So, have a list of barbell types and their weights.
If you’re not sure which type of bar you’re using then I have you covered, too.
|Men's Olympic||20 kg / 44 lbs|
|Women's Olympic||15 kg / 33 lbs|
|Powerlifting||25 kg / 55 lbs (total)|
|EZ Curl||10-30 lbs|
|Trap or Hex||25 kg / 55 lbs (total)|
|Smith Machine||0-25 lbs|
Olympic Bar Weight
Chances are, if you’re using a barbell in a good gym, the average bar is going to be an Olympic bar.
They are called such because they’re made to the competitive weightlifting standards used by the Olympics and other powerlifting competitions.
If you’re using plates with a 2″ mounting hole, whether you’re bench pressing or deadlifting, you’re using an Olympic bar.
Men’s Olympic Bar
Most Olympic bars are called men’s Olympic bars. They are 7.2 feet (2.2 meters) long with a grip 1.1 inches (28 millimeters) in diameter. They weigh 44 pounds, or 20 kilograms.
Women’s Olympic Bar
There’s a smaller version called the women’s Olympic bar. This version is slightly shorter, being 6.6 feet long with a grip 0.98 inches in diameter and weighing 33 pounds.
That’s 2.01 meters, 25 millimeters, and 15 kilograms respectively.
Powerlifting Bar Weight
The International Powerlifting Federation has strict rules about which bars can be used for their competitions.
The length and grip size has some wriggle room but the bar weight doesn’t. Every powerlifting bar has to weigh 44 pounds and use two 5.5 pound locking collars for a combined weight of 55 pounds before adding plates.
Standard Barbell Weight
Though standard Barbells have “standard” in their name, they are not actually made to any certain standard. Instead, that refers to the bar’s ability to hold standard plates with a 1″ hole instead of Olympic plates with a 2″ hole.
Because of this lack of standardization, you’ll have to look up your specific barbell’s weight.
Generally, though, they are typically lighter than Olympic bars and weigh between 12 and 20 pounds.
The problem with EZ curl bars is they are not beholden to any standards. It’s a wild west of lengths and weights.
The average EZ curl bar weighs 15 to 20 pounds, though I’ve seen them anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to figure out the individual model of the EZ curl bar used by your gym.
Tricep Bar Weight
Tricep bars take the inward angle of the curl bar and turn the grips parallel to each other, so you can perform hammer curls and tricep extensions with a barbell.
Most tricep bars weigh 22 or 24 pounds, though there’s at least one model that weighs 12 pounds.
Take that parallel grip idea and widen the central area enough to fit around your body and you have a hexagonal trap bar.
These are often used for shrugs (to train the traps) and deadlifts because they move the center of gravity where you are, not in front of you and your delicate shins.
Trap bars let you get into position without rounding your back. In fact, they were invented by powerlifter Al Gerard to help avoid back injury.
Because they were invented by a powerlifter, most trap bars are made to IPF regulations and weigh 55 pounds with the locking collar, 44 pounds without.
Smith Machine Bar Weight
So, Smith machines are in a funny place when it comes to the bar’s weight.
That’s not all they’re funny about; in fact, I don’t recommended them for most people.
But they’re good for rehabilitation, which is a time when you really need to know how much weight you’re pushing.
First of all, they can range from 15 to 25 pounds. You can find out the bar weight from a sticker on the machine itself.
If you lift the bar so it’s halfway between the top and bottom position, let go, and the bar drops, then you need to factor in the bar’s weight.
However, if the bar stays in place when you let go, the bar is counterweighted by the machine.
In that case, it doesn’t matter if the bar weighs 15 or 150 pounds. To your body, it’s effectively weightless!
Just use the plate weights to figure out how much you’re lifting.
Some barbells are made to international standards. Others, especially ones called “standard” barbells, are up to the manufacturer’s whimsy.
If you’re using a men’s Olympic, powerlifting, or trap bar, then you can count on the bar weighing 44 pounds without the locking collars and 55 pounds with them.
Women’s Olympic bars are lighter, at 33 pounds.
All of the other barbell styles are even lighter. EZ curl and “standard” barbells can weigh from 30 pounds down to 10.
And if you’re using a properly counterweighted Smith machine, that bar practically weighs nothing!
If you’re unsure of how much a certain bar weighs, here’s an easy way to figure it out:
Grab the bar, trundle toward the nearest weight scale, and weigh yourself carrying the bar. Then drop the bar to scare some Planet Fitness gymgoers and measure yourself again.
See all that lost weight? That’s how much the bar weighs!