At some point while changing plates during a squat workout, everyone has asked themselves; how much does that bar actually weigh? Well, keep reading to find out.
How much does a squat rack bar weigh? Not all barbells are the same and can have different weights. Barbells that fit on a squat rack have to be at least 6’ or longer. The vast majority of barbells on a squat rack will be 6’5 or 7’2 long. Those bars weigh 15kg/33 lbs. and 20kg/45lbs respectively.
For more details and ways to discover the likely weight of your bar, keep reading.
What type of bar is on the squat rack?
Not all bars on a squat rack are the same. Barbells are available in a variety of different lengths and thicknesses. Different bars have different weights. That means the bar in your specific squat rack could weigh anything. There aren’t really any regulations for sizes and weights for barbells in a normal gym.
Does that mean there is nothing I can say about how much the bar in your squat rack weighs? No, I can’t give any guarantees but I can take a reasonable guess.
Are you looking for a good barbell that fits on your squat rack? Click here to find my favorite home gym bar.
While there are no regulations for bars in a normal gym, there are very strict regulations for bars used in official weightlifting competitions. That means the weight of those barbells is very predictable.
Most barbells aren’t officially certified since those are much more expensive than ‘normal’ barbells. That means they don’t have to follow the same strict rules and could have different weights. However, most other barbells are based off of those certified ones and will be pretty close in weight.
The fact that it’s on a squat rack already tells us something as well. The two hooks the bar rests on are about 49” apart. That means the barbell has to be at least 50” between the collars to fit on a squat rack. This means that any barbell under 6’ won’t fit. So, we can already forget about any bar that’s shorter.
There are barbells available in 6’, 6.5’ and 7’2. Those would all fit on a squat rack.
7’2 bars are official (or very similar) men’s Olympic weightlifting bars.
6’5 bars are official (or very similar) women’s Olympic weightlifting bars
How heavy are barbells?
You can already find a post on the weight of different barbells on this site. For the full story with all the details, click here.
|Type||Weight (kg)||Weight (lbs.)||Length (mm)||Length (in.)||Diameter|
|EZ curl bar||12-20||26-44||1194-1384||47-55||28|
|12" log bar||40.8 - 61||90-134||2050||80.7|
|10" log bar||31.75-34||70-75||1905-1955||75-77|
|8" log bar||23-24||51-53||1778-1803||70-71|
|Competition collar (IPF)||2.5|
As you can see the Olympic barbells for men and women are 20 and 15 kg respectively. These will be the most common barbells in any gym. The vast majority of barbells will be one of those weights. When you go shopping for barbells, probably 85% of all the barbells you’ll see for sale will be based off of the women’s or men’s Olympic barbell.
While it’s possible there is a 6’ barbell on your squat rack it won’t be very common. There are just not that many available and they barely fit on the squat rack. Also, it’s hard to say how heavy a 6’ barbell is. Since there are no official standards for this length of bars, manufacturers don’t have anything to follow. That results in manufacturers doing different things which means many 6’ bars have different weights.
An easy way to find out how long, and therefore how heavy, a barbell is, is to hold it vertically next to your body.
You know how tall you are so you can compare the length of the bar to yourself and get an indication of how heavy the bar is. This is not a fail proof method but it can help you get an indication.
Of course the most reliable way to find out how heavy your squat bar is, is to take it to a scale. Almost every commercial and even home gym will have a scale. So if you want to be very precise in knowing how much total weight you lift, that’s the way to go.
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.
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.
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