The deadlift is an extraordinarily versatile and foundational weightlifting movement. There is perhaps no other movement that stimulates so much muscle at once.
However, the type and weight of the bar can drastically change the exercise for you. Different bars target different muscles and unless you know the weight of the bar, you will not know how much you are lifting.
Table of contents
- Which Bars Are Used For Deadlifting?
- What Is A Deadlift Bar?
- Deadlift Bar Weights
- How Much Does A Powerlifting Deadlift Bar Weigh?
- How Much Does An Ohio Deadlift Bar Weigh?
- How Much Does A Texas Deadlift Bar Weight?
- Why Bar Weight Matters
- Why The Bar You Use Matters
- Do I Need A Deadlift Bar?
- How Do I Choose The Deadlift Bar For Me?
- Final Thoughts
Which Bars Are Used For Deadlifting?
Since deadlifting is essentially just lifting anything off the ground, any bar can be used for deadlifting. But the bars most commonly used for deadlifts are:
Trap Bars AKA Hex Bars
What Is A Deadlift Bar?
It may seem strange to have a bar solely made for the purpose of one lift, the deadlift bar is the most optimal tool for deadlifting.
What set a deadlift bar apart from a regular bar is that it has lower tensile strength. The lower strength means it can bend more.
While you are deadlifting this means the weight plates are leaving the ground at different points of the lift, reducing sticking points for the deadlift.
The other defining factor of these bars is that they often have very aggressive knurling. The aggressive barbell knurling improves your grip but can be very painful to use.
Deadlift Bar Weights
Let’s take a look at the most common bars used for deadlifting and their respective weights:
How Much Does An Olympic Deadlift Weight?
The standard Olympic bar will weigh 20kg or 44 pounds. The women’s version of the Olympic bar will weigh 15 kg or 33 lbs.
These bars can be used for deadlifting but are designed to be used for Olympic lifts like the power clean. Since these movements are so explosive, the bar has lots of whips to help keep momentum.
How Much Does A Trap Deadlift Bar Weigh?
The hex bar or trap bar is a unique bar defined by its hexagonal shape. The shape allows you to stand in the bar so that you are directly in line with the weight. The trap bar has a number of benefits and uses but it is most commonly used for the trap bar deadlift.
Since trap bars are specialty bars, there is no standard for their weight. Depending on their brand and type, they can weigh anywhere from 20-80 pounds. F
For a better breakdown, check out my trap bar weight guide.
How Much Does A Powerlifting Deadlift Bar Weigh?
Powerlifting bars are the best of the best when it comes to deadlifting. These bars are the standard for powerlifting competitions.
The two most common bars are the Ohio Deadlift bar and the Texas Deadlift bar. These two bars get their names from the states where they were manufactured. These are also two states with a tremendous powerlifting history.
How Much Does An Ohio Deadlift Bar Weigh?
The Rogue Ohio Deadlift bar is of course made by Rogue Fitness and weighs 20kg or 44lbs. This is the same weight as a regular barbell, but the Ohio Deadlift bar has the added benefits of a smaller diameter and longer shaft.
The increased shaft length of the Rogue deadlift bar allows for more bend while the smaller diameter makes it easier to get a good grip.
How Much Does A Texas Deadlift Bar Weight?
The Texas Deadlift Bar is made by Texas Power Bars. Texas bars have a great reputation in the fitness industry for their impressive durability and quality.
A texas bar weighs 20kg 0r 44lb, the same as a standard barbell.
What distinguishes the texas power bar from its competition is its increased length. It has longer sleeves than the Ohio deadlift bar.
Why Bar Weight Matters
For your personal training, you have to be aware of exactly how much you are lifting. Especially as you start to get more advanced, adding weight to the bar will get harder and harder. You need to be meticulous in your tracking to see real progress.
Why The Bar You Use Matters
The deadlift will change drastically depending on the bar you use.
With an Olympic bar or a Deadlift bar, you can expect to heavily work your lower back along with your glutes and hamstrings. Other muscles will of course be worked, but these are the main movers.
Meanwhile, the lift changes with a trap bar. A trap bar deadlift will result in more quad activation with less emphasis on the lower back muscles.
Do I Need A Deadlift Bar?
Getting a specialized deadlift bar can be a significant investment. If you are a serious powerlifter that is serious about competing then you should be using an official deadlifting bar to get the best feel for what it will be like in competition.
The other situation where I think it makes sense to get a deadlift bar is if you are highly advanced and want to continue making progress on your deadlift. The benefits of deadlift bars become more apparent among lifters who are using elite amounts of weight.
However, for most people including home gym owners, I think that a regular barbell will work just fine. As I already mentioned, the benefits of using a deadlift bar only really come into play when you are lifting extreme amounts of weight. If you are still in the beginner-intermediate, you will really not get to see that much return for the money you put into the bar.
I think that it would be more for more beneficial to get another specialty bar for your home gym to enhance your training. The best deadlift bar will really only help with your deadlift. But bars like the trap bar, swiss bar, and safety squat bar add much variation and stimulus to your training.
How Do I Choose The Deadlift Bar For Me?
If you are going to start deadlifting, these are the factors that you should consider:
What Do I Want Out Of The Deadlift?
If you are simply deadlifting to increase your powerlifting total then you should of course go with a deadlift bar recommended by the global powerlifting alliance or the international powerlifting organization.
If you are just doing it for hypertrophy, then I would recommend the trap bar. These are great specialty bars that prevent injury and can be used for a number of things besides deadlifting.
Finish Of The Shaft and Sleeve
Most people overlook the finish of a barbell, but the finish impacts the knurling and durability.
Generally, the best choice is to get a barbell that is bare steel since this means there is no coating on the knurling which could potentially blunt it.
For your deadlift bar, you are going to want an aggressive knurling. Generally, I think that the best overall knurling is volcano knurling due to its balance between grip and comfort.
Tensile Strength (TSI)
As we have already broken down, you want a lower TSI for a deadlift bar so that it has more bend when you lift it off the floor.
As a basic rule, you are going to want a bar that has 110k TSI or lower.
If you are serious about deadlifting and powerlifting, you should heavily consider taking the jump and getting a proper deadlift bar.
The increased bend provided by bars like the Ohio bar and Texas bar can really make the difference as you get stronger and stronger.
Yes, deadlift bars are 20kg or 44lbs.