How Much Does A Barbell Weight? Broken Down By Barbell Type

Written by Daniel Mesa
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gym barbell

The barbell is an essential piece of gym equipment used in almost every major exercise for weight training. In fact, you could build incredible strength and a fabulous physique using JUST a barbell and some weight plates.

But if you are new to strength training, you may feel overwhelmed by all the different types of barbells and how to incorporate them into your workout.

For each type of bar you use, you should be aware of how much it weighs so you can accurately track your strength and keep making progress. Let’s go ahead and break it down bar by bar:

Types Of Barbells

There are several different types of barbells. All have different weights and purposes.

Standard Barbell

standard barbell

The standard barbell weighs 45 pounds. It is what you find at most commercial gyms. It is also the most common choice for home gym owners as well. Standard bars are great for lots of exercises including:


  • Weight: 20 kg or 45 pounds

  • Length: 7’2

Olympic Barbell

Olympic barbells look and feel very similar to standard barbells. The main difference though is that an Olympic barbell has rotating sleeves.

The sleeves are the part of the barbell located on either end where the weight plates sit. The benefit of rotating sleeves is that they help conserve force on explosive lifts.

Since Olympic lifts are very dynamic and require lots of torque, the Olympic barbell is used for these.


  • Weight: 20 kg or 45 pounds

  • Length: 7’2

Women’s Barbell

Women’s bars are lighter, shorter, and smaller in diameter compared to a traditional barbell. These bars can be especially useful for beginners since the smaller diameter makes them easier to grip.

On top of that, many prefer the women’s barbell for movements such as the curl where balancing a larger bar can be cumbersome.


  • Weight: 15 kg or 33 pounds

  • Length: 6’5

Trap or Hex Bar

trap bar

The trap bar, also known as the hex bar, is a unique barbell that allows the lifter to stand inside. The advantage to standing in the bar is that lots of the strain on the lower back is removed when deadlifting.

The trap bar variation of the deadlift also heavily targets the legs which may be preferable depending on your training goals.


  • Weight: 25-70 Pounds

  • Length: 7’2 (Can vary)


Find the best trap bar

After years of testing, we assembled a master list with the best trap bars for every home gym owner

EZ Curl Bar

ez bar

The EZ curl bar is smaller and has curves along the shaft. The curves along the bar make the grip especially ergonomic and remove lots of strain from the wrists compared to a straight barbell.

The EZ bar is typically used for isolation exercises that target the arms. Common gotos are skull crushers for the triceps and cheat curls for the biceps.


  • Weight: Can vary by type of EZ bar, Between 10-30 pounds

  • Length: 3′ (Can vary)

Safety Squat Bar

saefty bar

The safety squat bar has two arms protruding from the bar that goes on top of the lifter’s shoulders. The advantage of these bars is that they distribute across the upper back more evenly when doing back squats.

The change in weight distribution makes it easier to maintain balance and get a deeper squat. For most people, safety squat bars are a good starting point for squatting since it limits the pain from holding a bar on your back and corrects most balance issues.


  • Weight: 60-70 Pounds

  • Length: 7’5 (Can vary)

Swiss Bar

swiss bar

The Swiss bar, also known as the football bar, has a ladder going up the middle with a number of grip variations. The neutral or slanted grip options limit wrist strain and provide variation for lifts like the overhead press and bench press.

Besides presses, these bars are also commonly used to do heavy bicep hammer curls.


  • Weight: 35-55 Pounds

  • Length: 6’8 (Can vary)


Find The Best Swiss Bar

After weeks of testing, we have compiled a list of the best swiss multi-grip bars on the market

Tricep Barbell

The tricep barbell is similar to the Swiss bar much smaller and with only one neutral grip variation. The narrow, neutral grip makes the bar very useful for tricep extensions.


  • Weight: 20-40 Pounds

  • Length: 3′ (Can vary)

Smith Machine Bar

smith machine bar

This may not be a free-moving barbell but it is still important to know the weight of the bar for your lifts. The Smith machine allows lifters to do many of the same barbell exercises with added stabilization from the machine.

While a nice option for beginners. lifters should strive to learn the technical and eventually be able to do free-weight barbell movements.


  • Weight: 30-55 Pounds

  • Length: 7′ (Can vary)

What About Collars and Clips?

weight colllars

To keep the weight plates from sliding around, some clips and collars are usually placed at the end of the barbell to lock the weight plates in place.

If you are new to the gym you may be wondering how much these weigh and if you should include that weight in your calculations.

The weight of these clips or collars is marginal at best (< 1 pound). I would not bother tracking the weight of these.

Types of Weight Plates

Just like there are different types of barbells, there are also different types of weight plates that you will encounter.

In a typical commercial gym, you will run into weight plates in the following sizes: 2.5 lb, 5 lb, 10lb, 25lb, 35lb, and 45lb. If you go to a powerlifting gym, you may also run into 55lb or 100lb plates.

These plates are usually hexagonal or circular. For lifts that involve touching the ground with the bar, you will want to opt for the circular option.

The vast majority of plates that you will find will be thin, metal, and black. However, you may also see colorful plates that have a thin plastic coating. These plates are known as Olympic plates or bumper plates and are usually used for CrossFit or Olympic lifts since they tend to absorb being dropped from heights better.

What Kind Of Exercises Can I Do With A Barbell?

The are lots of exercises you can do with a barbell, here are a few broken down by muscle group

  • Chest: Bench Presses

  • Shoulders: Shoulder Presses

  • Bicep: Curls

  • Triceps: Tricep Extensions, Skull Crushers

  • Back: Row, Deadlift

  • Legs: Squat, Romanian Deadlift, Deadlift


Whichever bar you are using, it is important to know exactly how much you are lifting so you can track your progress.

Do not be scared to experiment with different types of bars. After all, these barbells are just tools for you to meet your health and fitness goals. As you gain more experience, you will learn what feels good for you and your body.


Are all barbells 45 pounds or 20kg?

Standard or Olympic barbells are all 45 pounds/2o kg. Specialty bars like the trap bar can vary.

How much does a normal barbell weigh?

45 pounds or 20kg

How much does a bench press bar weigh on its own?

45 pounds or 20kg

Are all bench bars 45 pounds?

All standard or Olympic bars are 45 pounds.

How heavy is a bench press weight?

The bar itself is 45 pounds. Weight can be added to bar using weight plates in increments of 5 pounds.

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