When it comes to keeping track of your lifting progress, knowing how much a barbell weighs is very important.
You can’t keep track of how much you’re lifting if you have no idea what the starting weight of a barbell is. So, we will break down the different options and look at how much a barbell weighs.
The Quick Answer
Most barbells weigh 45 lbs (20 kg), these will be the ones you see at your gym. They are made of steel with smooth 'sleeves' at each end to slide weight plates onto and are 7 ft in length. However there are many other different types.
Quick Links: The Weights of Different Types of Barbells
To see how much a barbell weighs by type, check the links below to jump to each one:
- Standard Barbell (1" Spinlock)
- Olympic Barbell
- EZ Bar
- Safety Squat Bar
- Trap Bar / Hex Bar
- Multi Grip Bar
- Tricep Bar
What is a Barbell?
For those who don’t know, a barbell is a special piece of exercise equipment used in weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, strongman and more.
It is characterized by a long bar ranging from 4 to 8 feet in length, with the bar itself often having varying diameters.
The outer portions of the bar are designed to hold weighted plates, therefore allowing the user to increase or decrease the overall amount of weight being lifted.
Different Types of Barbells and How Much They Weigh
There are many different types of barbells out there, and how much they weigh can differ significantly from one to the next.
Standard Barbell Weight (1" Spinlock)
5ft bar = 12.8lbs (5.8kg)
6ft bar = 15lbs (6.8kg)
First, we have the standard barbell which has a straight 1" diameter bar and is only compatible with weight plates with a 1" hole. These kinds of bars are often used in body pump studio classes.
Standard barbells are also a common choice for home gyms and will often have a threaded section on either end along with a nut on either end to hold the weight plates in position as you work out. This particular type is called a spinlock standard barbell.
Olympic Barbell Weight
The Olympic barbell is the most common type of barbell you will find in commercial gyms and is usually 7.2 feet in length and weighs 45lbs (20kg).
They can be used for a wide variety of lifts such as squats, bent-over rows, overhead presses, deadlifts, biceps curls, bench presses, and more.
If you are wondering what the difference between this and a standard barbell is, it lies in the sleeves, where the weighted plates are mounted.
On an Olympic barbell, those sleeves are 2" thick and can rotate around the bar. This makes it great for Olympic-style lifts such as snatches and clean-and-jerks.
The rotating sleeve prevents the barbell from rotating in your hands when performing these kinds of lifts as it would be very difficult to hold onto.
This is the most common type of bar that you will come across, partly because this is the required bar weight used by the Olympics and powerlifting federations such as the International Powerlifting Federation IPF, USA Powerlifting USAPL and many more.
Safety Squat Bar Weight
Next up we have the safety squat barbell which isn't as commonly seen in commercial gyms such as Planet Fitness and is a specialist barbell.
If you have any shoulder mobility issues or want to work on your squat from a slightly different position then you may consider trying the safety squat bar.
It comes with padded shoulder rests and two bars that extend out past the front of your shoulders, thus providing you with an easy grip position and is why this bar can be better for you if you have any shoulder issues.
However, due to the extra handles and bends in the bar, it weighs more than a normal Olympic barbell and generally weighs between 60 and 75 pounds (27kg to 34kg).
Trap Bar/ Hex Bar Weight
We now have another speciality barbell that goes by a few different names, hex bar, trap bar or shrug bar.
As you can guess, it takes the shape of an elongated hexagon. This is a specialized type of deadlift bar.
It allows you to stand directly in the centre of the frame, right in the middle of the hexagon, with the weighted plates on either side of you.
Thanks to the handles, you can grip this bar with your palms facing each other which reduces the stress on your grip strength and makes it feel more comfortable.
Generally, a hex bar weighs 54lbs (25kg) but can vary in length which will alter the weight slightly.
The Multi-Grip Bar
Next on the list is the multi-grip bar, often referred to as the Swiss bar. Instead of one long bar, what you get here is essentially a small ladder with rungs, with the weighted plates on either end.
These are often shorter than regular barbells, but can still weigh a good amount, mainly because there are two horizontal bars connected by several more, thus forming the so-called rungs.
These are ideal for many different exercises, especially when it comes to switching up your grip position because you can hold onto the individual rungs at different widths. You can expect the multi-grip bar to weigh anywhere from 35 to 45 pounds.
Tricep Bar Weight
Another type of barbell you may come across at the gym is the tricep bar, which as you can probably tell by the name of it, is designed specifically to do triceps exercises such as skull-crushers being a prime example.
These allow you to change the grip position for various triceps exercises and reduce the pressure on your wrists and focus on engaging your triceps.
They are similar to the multi-grip bars discussed above, but a bit smaller and not quite as complex. Tricep bars normally weigh 22lbs (10kg) but their design can vary slightly which can make the weight more or less.
EZ Bar Weight
Perhaps one of the most useful and comfortable types of barbells that you can use at any gym is known as the EZ bar. The reason why these are so convenient is because they essentially form a shape that looks like the letter W, particularly in the middle.
This allows your wrists and arms to be in various positions other than perfectly straight, which is actually very beneficial because it allows for a more natural grip position when doing various exercises.
Skull-crushers, biceps curls of all sorts, triceps curls, and other such exercises are all great to do with the EZ bar.
Typically, your average EZ bar will weigh 22lbs (10kg) but depending on the exact model, the EZ bar can weigh anywhere between 20 and 40 pounds.
See our breakdown on how much a Smith machine bar weighs if you would like to find out more.
Men’s vs Women’s Barbells
At your local commercial gym, you might find that some of their Olympic barbells don't feel exactly the same to use.
Chances are they have a mixture of men's and women's Olympic barbells which are slightly different.
Men's Olympic barbells are generally 7.2 ft long (2.2m) with a 28mm thick bar grip and weigh 45lbs (20kg).
But women's Olympic barbells are slightly shorter at 6.6ft (2.01m) long with a 25mm diameter grip and weigh 33lbs (15kg).
So if you pick up an Olympic barbell and the grip feels smaller and slightly lighter, then chances are it is a women's Olympic barbell.
Should You Count the Weight of a Barbell?
Some people wonder whether or not they should count the original weight of the barbell without any plates on it. The answer here is yes, you should absolutely count that weight.
After all, if you have two plates on the bar, which equates to 90 pounds, you are actually lifting 135 (because the bar weighs 45).
That means that if you don’t count the weight of the bar, you’re ignoring the fact that you’re actually lifting one-third more! There is absolutely no point in leaving that out!
What About the Clips and Plates?
What you might be wondering now is how much the actual plates weigh that you put on a bar. Sure, there are the classic 45-pound plates that you’ve probably seen in lifting videos.
However, for people who are just starting out, there are much lower weights as well. Plates generally come in several weight levels, including 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, and 45 pounds, with powerlifting gyms often having plates as heavy as 55 pounds.
Considering all of the options there, you can add as much or little weight to a barbell as you please, thus effectively allowing you to start at a level that works best for you.
Feel free to inclue the weight of the clips or collars as some of them can be quite heavy adding as much as 1 pound per clip, so 2 pounds if you have one on each side. It might not be significant, but it’s more than nothing at all.
How Much Does the Barbell at My Gym Weigh?
If we are talking about your local gym, something like an LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, or anything else of the sort, they’ll usually have mens Olympic barbells that are 7.2 feet long and weigh 45 pounds (20kg).
When it comes down to it, there are dozens of different types of barbell and they can all weigh different amounts.
Which barbell you use depends more on your fitness level and the type of exercises you plan on doing than anything else.
But we hope you have found our article useful and can now accurately calculate how much weight you are lifting with our barbell weight guide.