How Much Does a Barbell Weigh?

Ever wondered how much a barbell really weighs?

Barbells come in various types, with weights ranging from as light as 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) for technique bars to as heavy as 135 pounds (61 kg) for specialty bars like the log bar.

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of each type and their specific weights to help you better plan your workouts.

Standard Barbells

Standard barbells are a popular choice for many fitness enthusiasts, particularly those who have home gyms or are just starting their strength training journey.

These barbells are known for their versatility and accessibility, making them a staple in many workout routines.

Standard barbells typically weigh between 15 to 25 pounds (7 to 11 kg).

They are less rigid than Olympic barbells, which means they can bend slightly under heavy loads, making them suitable for lighter, more casual workouts.

This flexibility can be beneficial for beginners who are still learning proper lifting techniques, as it reduces the risk of injury associated with lifting heavier weights.

One of the primary environments where you’ll find standard barbells is in home gyms.

Their manageable weight and size make them easy to store and use in smaller spaces, unlike their larger and heavier Olympic counterparts.

Additionally, because they don’t require the same level of robust support as Olympic barbells, they are often more affordable, making them an excellent option for those looking to set up a home gym on a budget.

In terms of uses, standard barbells are incredibly versatile.

They can be used for a variety of exercises, including bicep curls, shoulder presses, and light bench presses.

This versatility allows users to perform a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment.

For those focused on building muscle tone rather than maximum strength, standard barbells provide enough resistance to see significant fitness gains without the need for additional, heavier equipment.

Olympic Barbells

Olympic barbells are a cornerstone of serious strength training and are a common sight in commercial gyms around the world.

Known for their durability and capacity to handle heavy weights, they are essential for anyone looking to perform Olympic lifts, powerlifting, or other advanced strength training exercises.

Men's Olympic barbells are the standard in most gyms.

These barbells weigh 44 pounds (20 kg) and are 7 feet (2.2 meters) long.

They are designed to withstand heavy loads, often supporting weights well over 500 pounds.

This makes them suitable for exercises like deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.

The length and weight of these barbells provide stability and balance, which is crucial when lifting heavy weights.

Women's Olympic barbells are slightly shorter and lighter, weighing 33 pounds (15 kg) and measuring 6.5 feet (2 meters) in length.

They are designed with a slightly smaller diameter, making them easier to grip for individuals with smaller hands.

This makes them ideal for female lifters or anyone who prefers a lighter bar for technical lifts.

Despite being lighter, women's Olympic barbells are still incredibly sturdy and can handle substantial weights.

Junior Olympic barbells cater to younger lifters or beginners who need a lighter and shorter bar to practice technique.

These barbells weigh 22 pounds (10 kg) and are 5.5 feet (1.7 meters) long.

They allow novices to learn proper form and technique without the strain of heavier weights.

Junior Olympic barbells are also useful for rehabilitation exercises where lighter loads are required.

The differences between men's, women's, and junior Olympic barbells are designed to cater to varying needs and capabilities.

Men's barbells, being the heaviest and longest, are suitable for most standard lifts and can handle extreme weights.

Women's barbells, while slightly lighter and shorter, provide a balance of strength and ease of use, particularly beneficial for technical lifts that require precision and control.

Junior barbells offer a manageable option for beginners to learn and practice safely.

Specialty Barbells

Specialty barbells are designed to target specific muscles and improve lifting techniques, offering unique benefits that standard and Olympic barbells cannot provide.

These bars come in various shapes and weights, each tailored for particular exercises and fitness goals.

The Trap (Hex) Bar is a favorite for performing deadlifts and shrugs. It typically weighs between 45 to 60 pounds (20 to 27 kg).

Its hexagonal shape allows you to stand inside the bar, which helps maintain proper form and reduces strain on the lower back during lifts.

This design is particularly beneficial for those new to deadlifting or those with back issues.

The Safety Squat Bar is another specialized piece of equipment, weighing around 60 to 70 pounds (27 to 32 kg).

Its unique design, which includes padded shoulder rests and handles that extend forward, significantly reduces strain on the shoulders and back.

This bar is excellent for squats, allowing lifters to maintain a more upright posture and reduce the risk of injury.

The EZ Curl Bar, which weighs between 15 to 25 pounds (7 to 11 kg), is specifically designed for arm workouts.

Its curved shape allows for a more natural grip, reducing the strain on wrists and elbows during bicep curls and tricep extensions.

This bar is a staple in many arm training routines due to its ergonomic benefits.

The Swiss Bar, or Multi-Grip Bar, weighs between 25 to 45 pounds (11 to 20 kg) and offers multiple grip options.

This versatility makes it ideal for various pressing and rowing movements, providing a different stimulus than traditional barbells.

The multiple grips can also reduce strain on the wrists and shoulders, making it a valuable tool for those with joint issues or seeking to vary their training.

The Cambered Bar varies significantly in weight, typically ranging from 45 to 85 pounds (20 to 39 kg).

It is often used for squats and bench presses, where its curved shape allows for a greater range of motion and reduced shoulder stress.

This bar is particularly useful for lifters who have shoulder mobility issues or are looking to change the dynamics of their lifts.

The Log Bar is a staple in strongman training, with weights ranging from 60 to 135 pounds (27 to 61 kg).

Its large, cylindrical shape and side handles are designed for pressing and lifting in strongman competitions.

The Log Bar’s challenging grip and bulkier form provide a unique training stimulus, enhancing grip strength and overall power.

Technique Bars

Technique bars are lightweight barbells designed specifically to help beginners practice their form and technique without the risk of lifting heavy weights.

These bars are invaluable for those new to strength training, as they provide a safe and effective way to learn proper lifting mechanics.

Technique bars typically weigh between 5.5 to 15 pounds (2.5 to 7 kg).

This light weight allows beginners to focus on their form without being overwhelmed by the heaviness of a standard or Olympic barbell.

By using a lighter bar, new lifters can perform exercises with better control and precision, reducing the risk of injury that can occur from improper technique.

The primary purpose of technique bars is to teach and reinforce correct lifting form.

Whether it's for squats, deadlifts, presses, or Olympic lifts, mastering the basics is crucial for long-term success in strength training.

Technique bars are perfect for this, as they allow for repetitive practice without the added pressure of heavy weights.

This repetitive practice helps develop muscle memory, ensuring that the correct form becomes second nature before progressing to heavier weights.

In addition to their use in teaching proper form, technique bars are also beneficial for rehabilitation and recovery.

Individuals recovering from injuries can use these lighter bars to gradually rebuild strength and improve mobility without overexerting themselves.

The controlled, lighter movements can aid in the healing process while still providing a workout.

Another key advantage of technique bars is their adaptability.

They can be used by people of all fitness levels for various purposes.

For instance, experienced lifters might use technique bars to refine specific aspects of their lifts or to warm up before tackling heavier weights.

Their versatility makes them a valuable addition to any gym, whether for beginners learning the basics or advanced athletes fine-tuning their performance.

Smith Machine Bars

Smith machine bars are a unique type of barbell integrated into a Smith machine, a piece of equipment that guides the barbell along fixed vertical paths.

This design offers a distinct lifting experience, providing both safety and support, which is particularly beneficial for beginners and those focusing on specific muscle groups.

Smith machine bars typically vary in weight, ranging from 15 to 45 pounds (7 to 20 kg).

The weight difference depends on the machine’s design and the presence of a counterbalance system.

A counterbalance system involves additional weights or pulleys that offset the bar’s weight, making it feel lighter and easier to handle.

This feature is particularly useful for beginners who may not yet have the strength to handle the full weight of a standard barbell, allowing them to perform exercises with proper form and control.

One of the most notable features of Smith machine bars is the guided movement.

Unlike free weights, which require the lifter to stabilize the bar, the Smith machine’s fixed path ensures that the bar moves straight up and down.

This stability is advantageous for performing exercises like squats, bench presses, and shoulder presses, as it reduces the risk of injury by preventing lateral movement.

Additionally, the machine often includes safety stops that can be set to catch the bar if the lifter cannot complete a rep, adding an extra layer of safety.

The counterbalance system in Smith machines can significantly affect the lifting experience.

For example, a Smith machine with a heavy counterbalance may make the bar feel almost weightless, allowing lifters to focus purely on the movement without worrying about the bar’s weight.

Conversely, machines with a lighter counterbalance provide a more realistic lifting experience, similar to using free weights but with added stability.

Smith machine bars are especially useful for isolating specific muscle groups.

The guided path helps maintain proper form, making it easier to target particular muscles without engaging stabilizing muscles as much as with free weights.

This can be beneficial for bodybuilders looking to maximize muscle hypertrophy or for rehabilitation purposes where controlled movements are essential.

Other Specialized Bars

In addition to standard, Olympic, and specialty barbells, there are other specialized bars designed to address specific training needs and provide unique challenges.

These bars can enhance your workout routine by targeting different muscles or improving specific aspects of your performance.

Axle Bar

The Axle Bar, also known as a fat bar, weighs approximately 20 kg (44 lbs).

Its most distinguishing feature is its thick handle, which is significantly larger in diameter than a standard barbell.

This thick grip challenges your grip strength and forearm muscles more than a regular bar, making it an excellent tool for building hand and wrist strength.

The Axle Bar is commonly used in strongman competitions and training, where grip strength is crucial for events like the farmer's walk, deadlifts, and overhead presses.

Incorporating the Axle Bar into your routine can improve your overall grip strength, which is beneficial for enhancing performance in various lifts and daily activities.

Bamboo Bar

The Bamboo Bar, which weighs around 6 pounds (2.7 kg), is specifically designed for stability training.

Made from bamboo or a similar flexible material, this bar is used with bands and lightweight plates to create an unstable load.

This instability forces the lifter to engage more stabilizing muscles throughout the body, particularly in the core, shoulders, and hips.

The Bamboo Bar is often used for rehab and prehab exercises, as well as for improving muscle coordination and balance.

It’s particularly effective for overhead presses, bench presses, and squats, as the constant need to stabilize the bar enhances neuromuscular control and strengthens smaller, often overlooked muscles.


Understanding the different types of barbells and their specific uses can significantly enhance your workout routine and ensure you achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

From standard and Olympic barbells to specialty and other specialized bars, each type offers unique benefits tailored to various training needs.

Incorporating the right barbell into your regimen can improve your technique, target specific muscles, and elevate your overall strength training experience.