How Much Does a Squat Barbell Weigh? Bars Compared


Trying to figure out how much total weight you’re actually lifting? Sure you can easily add up the weight of the plates. But what does that barbell weigh? Let’s find out.

Many different barbells can be used to squat. The barbell on a squat rack will usually be a men’s (20 kg./44lbs) or women’s (15 kg/33lbs) Olympic barbell. 6′ barbells are also common and weigh 12-15 kg. Safety squat and cambered barbells are much less common and differ in weight per make and model.

TypeWeight (kg)Weight (lbs.)Length (mm)Length (in.)Diameter (mm)
Men's Olympic2044.09220086.6128
Women's Olympic1533.07201079.1325
Powerlifting (IPF)(Men+Women)2044.09220086.6129
6' Barbell12-1526-3318297225-28
Safety Squat bar20.4-31.745-702133-226084-89
Cambered bar22-2550-55243896
32

How heavy all the different barbells are and what you can do to identify which one you have can be found below.


Types of barbells for squats

There are a few types of barbells that are commonly used for squats;

  • Men’s Olympic barbell
  • Women’s Olympic barbell
  • 6’ Olympic “style” bar
  • Safety squat bar
  • Cambered barbell

The first three are by far the most common. The last two are much more specialized barbells for people that are training the squat very seriously. If you go to any gym in the world, you’ll see one of the first three bars on the squat rack.

These are simple straight barbells that can be used for tons of different exercises. They are the workhorses of any gym. If you can only have one in your home gym, a normal Olympic barbell is the way to go.

The men’s and women’s Olympic barbells are called that because they are in official Olympic competitions for the respective genders. They differ a little in size and weight (more on that later). Because they are standardized barbells, they usually have the same dimensions and weight. Even ones that aren’t certified will be pretty close in weight and dimensions that for non-competition training, it doesn’t matter.

Find which Olympic barbell I recommend for a home gym.

Olympic barbell

6’ barbells are sometimes used for squatting. Because they are shorter, it’s easier to fit them into a small gym while still fitting on a power rack. They are a bit shorter than the standard Olympic barbells but still look very similar, just a bit shorter. Since they aren’t standardized, the dimensions and weight can vary more between different makes and models.

Read more about using short barbells in a home gym here

The last two barbells on the list above are much more specialized as already mentioned. A safety squat bar looks like a pretty weird contraption if you’ve never seen on before. It’s a barbell that has weird curves and handles. They get their name from the fact that for most people, squatting with this bar is a bit safer than with a straight barbell.

Safety squat bars have a few benefits;

  • Variation: Exercise variations are always good.
  • Less strain on the shoulders
  • More comfortable
  • More emphasis on upper back and abs.

The safety part of the name mainly comes from the reduced stress on the shoulders.

You can find a reasonably priced safety squat bar here on Amazon

A cambered barbell looks like someone loaded it too heavily and it’s permanently bent. And that’s pretty close although the sleeves are still straight. That way the weight plates don’t slide off.  A cambered bar means the midline of the weight is in a slightly different position than a straight bar. The weight can also swing a little. This requires more bracing and better stability to perform the lift than with a straight bar.

Safety squat and cambered bars are so called ‘specialty bars’ read more about those here.

Check out this Titan Fitness barbell on Amazon.


Squat bar weights and dimensions

Now we know the common types of bars, let’s look how heavy they are. I’ve thrown in the dimensions as well for the barbells that are standardized. Not all barbells are standardized so they can differ in dimensions as well as weight between make and model.

TypeWeight (kg)Weight (lbs.)Length (mm)Length (in.)Diameter (mm)
Men's Olympic2044.09220086.6128
Women's Olympic1533.07201079.1325
Powerlifting (IPF)(Men+Women)2044.09220086.6129
6' Barbell12-1526-3318297225-28
Safety Squat bar20.4-31.745-702133-226084-89
Cambered bar22-2550-55243896
32

As you can see, safety squat bars vary greatly between different makes and models. Putting it on the scale is likely the only way to get an accurate indication of how heavy your specific bar is.


What type of bar is on the squat rack?

Now you know what types of barbell is commonly on the squat rack and what they weigh, you might still not know which barbell you’re looking at exactly.

How can you identify the different types of barbell? The safety and cambered bar are easily identified just take a look at the pictures above and you’ll have a very clear understanding of what they look like.

For the straight barbells, there are a few simple ways you can go about identifying them;

  • You know how tall you are. Just put one side on the floor and hold the barbell next to you vertically (unload all the plates first of course.) How far the bar towers over you (or not) will give you a very good idea of how long and therefore how heavy it is.
  • Take a tape measure to the gym. Yeah it looks a bit weird but you only have to do it once.
  • Ask the owner or staff at your gym. They’ll likely know what equipment they have.
  • Almost every gym will have a scale. Just put the bar on the scale. If you’re in a public gym, ask first. Bringing the scale to the barbell is also a bit easier than dragging the barbell through the whole gym.

Does barbell weight matter?

Does it matter how heavy the barbell is? That depends on the reasons why you’re training;

  • To compete in a competition
  • Compare your strength with strangers on the internet
  • To look better
  • To become stronger
  • To become healthier

If you want to compete in a competition or compare numbers with other people, it’s good to know how heavy the bar is. Because your bar could have a different weight than the one used in the competition. In that case you might not be able to lift the same weight at the competition you thought you could during training. Or maybe you could have gone a bit further than you thought because the bar might be a bit lighter during the competition.

It also helps to train with the same equipment as you’ll be using during a competition because you don’t have to get used to it.

If you’re training to be better/stronger/healthier but you don’t really compete against other people, it doesn’t really matter. For those purposes you’re just competing against yourself. As long as you put extra weight on the bar and you push yourself, the total weight doesn’t really matter.


Related questions

Are all barbells 20kg/45lbs? No, while the vast majority of barbells weighs 20 kg, there are also other weights available. 15 kg bars are also common. Besides officially certified barbells, there are no rules about the weight of a bar so manufacturers don’t have to stick to a certain weight although most stay close to 20 or 15 kg.

Do lifting weights include the weight of the bar? Yes, weightlifting totals include the weight of the barbells. To get the total weight of your current lift, add: All the weight plates on the bar (both sides) and the weight of the barbell itself.

Matt

Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to HomeGymResource.com. I've been going to the gym for about 15 years and am now looking to build my own. In the process I've learned many things I'd like to share with you.

Recent Posts