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How Much Does A Barbell Weigh?

olympic barbell

Olympic bar

So how much does a barbell weigh? The first thing to know is simply, what kind of a barbell is it? Meaning, is it a standard bar or an Olympic bar. When I started lifting weights consistently a few years ago, I had no idea. I bought a standard size barbell and was stymied and confused when the plates I had didn’t fit it. They were Olympic-sized plates.

What’s the difference? The diameter on the sleeves, for one. Standard size plates have a one inch hole, with slight differences in calibration (and rust!). Olympic size plates have a 2″ hole, to fit the two inch Olympic bar.

Now, as to the weight. My standard bar weighs 33 pounds. I’ve seen bars in the Crossfit gym where I teach kettlebell classes that weigh anywhere between 29 and 34. Their Olympic bars weigh 45 pounds, and that’s the standard.

The other thing to keep in mind is that there are women’s Olympic barbells. The only reason I point this out is because they look very similar, but they’re not. I loaded up a lady’s bar with 400 pounds for deadlifting once. The gym owner ran over screaming because the bar only weighed 15 lbs and he didn’t think it could support more than 135.

It wouldn’t have worked for barbell back squats either.

I know, I know, I’m not sure how I loaded it up without realizing it, either. But I did!

So how much does an Olympic bar weigh?  45 pounds

Anything else: test it out. It seems harder to be sure.

There are also thick barbells out there–I currently lift with an axle that weighs 75 pounds, but you’ll know when you run into one of those!


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