How much does a bench press bar weigh?

You will typically find that an empty barbell on your local gym’s weight bench weighs 45 pounds or 20 kilograms.

However, there also are lighter and heavier versions available, such as 35-pound bars for women or 55-pound bars for powerlifting.

Types of barbells at the gym

There are different barbell options for strength training depending on your gym to help you with specific lifts and workouts. Here’s what you need to know about each bar type:

Standard Barbell

barbell bench presses

The standard barbell in most cases, is a steel pole, which you find on most bench presses in commercial gyms and gyms at school for chest training.

The bar is typically seven feet long, rigid and weighs 45 pounds. The bar is a combination of smooth and textured sections, with textured sections around the central area to show you where proper hand placement is located.

There is a small notch on both sides that stops the weights from sliding to the center. The ends may or may not be threaded to take spin-lock collars to hold weight plates on.

The entire barbell has a 1-inch diameter of the bar, which is smaller than an Olympic bar.

Weight of the bar: 45 pounds

Olympic Barbells

The standard Olympic bar is similar to the standard bar, with a few slight variations.

The bar is typically seven feet long and weights 45 pounds. Olympic weightlifting bars are made from stainless steel.

The entire barbell has a 2-inch diameter of the bar, which is one inch larger than the standard barbell, and allows you to load the Olympic weight plates.

Weight of the bar: 45 pounds

Women’s Barbell

In some commercial gyms and CrossFit gyms, you’ll find 35-pound women’s bars, which are thinner, lighter and slightly shorter (about 6.5 feet) versions of your standard barbell.

The bar has a thinner shaft which can sometimes better fit a female lifter’s smaller hands instead of a traditional bar. The thickness difference isn’t always obvious visually but is obvious to regular gymgoers and advanced lifters when lifting.

Weight of the bar: 35 pounds

Other types of barbells

You also will find specialty bars in the gym, depending on your gym. The different barbell types at the gym help you with specific lifts and workouts.

Hex bar/Trap bar

hex bar dealift

The hex bar is a four-sided barbell that is shaped like a trapezoid. When you use it, you’re standing inside of it and lifting with your arms at your sides. Exercises that use a trap barbell are typically more leg-driven including the deadlift, squat and loaded carries.

Some hex bars also offer low and high handle choices. The neutral grip handles allow you to pick the bar up easier for each of your lifts.

Weight of the bar: 45-75 pounds

EZ Curl bar

Curl bars are mainly designed for bicep curls but can also be used for skull crushers and upright rows. The unique curved bar shape allows you to grip the bar while alleviating pressure on your wrist and elbow joints.

It is a lighter and smaller bar. The bar looks like a wave with a curled area in the center.

Weight of the bar: 10-30 pounds

Deadlift bar

woman doing deadlift

The deadlift barbell is almost identical to the traditional barbell, but there are usually slight variations. For example, deadlift barbells tend to give a little when lifting up off of the floor and it is usually a little longer than standard barbells and squat bars.

Weight of the bar: 45 pounds

FAQs about barbells

You need to add up the total weight of the plates on the bar and then add an additional 45 lbs to that number to find out how much your bench press lift on the bar actually weighs.

Use the bar that best fits your lift in the gym you are at. A standard barbell may be all your gym has for the bench press, which is perfect for most lifters.

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