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Curls with Olympic barbell and 10 pound plates

How much does a barbell weigh? There are several different kinds of barbells: Olympic barbells, standard barbells, and even specialty barbells like EZ-curl barbells. We figure out how much different barbells weigh.

Olympic barbell:Weighs 45 pounds. But some products sold as Olympic barbells weigh less.

Standard barbell:Not standardized, despite the name. They sometimes weigh about 13 pounds.

Olympic barbell

Muscular man holding weight

Olympic barbells are an important kind. They are versatile. They are heavy. They are a main way a lot of strength athletes are strong. Football players, rugby players and competitive weight lifters all focus on Olympic barbells.

Olympic barbells are supposed to weigh 45 pounds (20.4 kg). Often, however, sets are sold where the Olympic barbell weighs less, such as 40 pounds (18.1 kg). These barbells are typically 7 feet long (2.1 m).

Barbell loaded with weight plates

Tip:An Olympic bar weighs 45 pounds. Some Olympic barbells weigh only 40 pounds.

Caution: exclamation mark

Unfortunately, Olympic barbells do not all weigh the same amount of pounds or kilograms. Therefore you will need to weigh your barbell yourself. However they typically weigh between 35 and 45 pounds.

Some are mislabeled. To make matters worse, when you buy a 300 pound weightlifting set, sometimes the bar is five pounds less than it should be. I was expecting my bar to weigh 45 pounds, but it only weighed 40 pounds.

EZ-curl barbell


EZ-curl barbells are meant to be used for biceps curls and reverse biceps curls. In exercise theory, these are considered isolation exercises. They are not critical to overall strength gain. But they can help you get big arms.

Arm MusclesCurls

Weight:One EZ-curl barbell I weighed at 13 pounds (5.9 kg). You can add this figure to the plates to get the total weight lifted.

Standard barbell

Strong and healthy: tips

Standard barbells are typically not found in gyms on the bench press. Instead, these are marketed towards home enthusiasts. They can be noisy to put weights on. Standard barbells are not standard—Olympic barbells are more standardized.

Caution:Standard bars are not good for deadlifting because they do not allow rotation of the weights.

Tip:One standard barbell I weighed also came in at 13 pounds (5.9 kg). It weighed the same as the EZ-Curl bar.



How can you weigh a barbell on your own? One way you can do this is take a bathroom scale and put the end of the barbell on it so the barbell is vertical. Subtract your weight from the final reading. Here are some directions.

1. Put bathroom scale on hard surface.Make sure the room's ceiling is high enough. Otherwise, put the bathroom scale outside.

2. Weigh yourself.Record this number. People interested in fitness have probably done this many times.

3. Weigh yourself holding the barbell.Also record this number. Try not to hit the barbell on a wall or anything.

4. Do the subtraction.Subtract your weight from the total weight. This is the weight of your barbell.


Man thinking: idea

When I lift weights, I used to always notice the pounds (lbs) and kilograms (kg) numbers on the plates. The kilograms numbers are a bit less than half the pounds. I put together a chart of the standard conversions on barbell plates.

Note:We provide conversions for weight plates on barbell sets. Pounds and kilograms are used.

This table shows the figures in pounds on barbell sets to the figures in kilograms. Some countries use pounds of kilograms. If you are talking to someone in another country, this chart can be used to convert the weights.

Table of pounds to kilograms

45    pounds    =   20.4  kilograms
35    pounds    =   15.9  kilograms
25    pounds    =   11.3  kilograms
10    pounds    =    4.5  kilograms
 5    pounds    =    2.3  kilograms
 2.5  pounds    =    1.1  kilograms
 1.25 pounds    =    0.57 kilograms

As an aside, most standard Olympic barbells weigh 45 pounds, which is 20.4 kilograms. Occasionally some cheaper barbells are sold that weigh only 40 pounds, which is 18.1 kg (kilograms).

Tip:The mathematics involved in lifting weights is not the hardest part for most of us. We just standardize on either pounds or kilograms.

However:Knowing these conversions helps when discussing weight lifting with people living in other parts of the world.

Olympic barbell set

Dollar signs

Sports Authority sells Olympic barbells. Recently I bought an Olympic weightlifting set at Sports Authority for my home gym. The set was advertised as a 300 pound set and it was built by Cap barbell. It costs about $170 USD.

The Olympic barbell is the correct length for a barbell (around 7 feet) and it weighs 40 pounds. Many Olympic barbells weigh 45 pounds. I weighed the barbell by standing with it on a scale and subtracting my own weight in pounds.

Opinion:The barbell is of decent quality. It might not be sufficient if you are lifting extremely heavy weights (more than 300 pounds).

Why Lift Weights?


Weight plates for an Olympic barbell

The set included a large selection of plates. Note that these are the Olympic sizing, which is two inches diameter and not one inch like standard ("exercise") plates. Let's review all the plates that the set includes.

2 x 45 pounds:These are the largest plates in the set. If you put these two plates on the bar, you get up to 130 pounds.

2 x 35 pounds:The set also includes two 35 pound plates. These are also useful for heavy exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

2 x 25 pounds:There are also two 25 pound plates. These are useful for many other exercises, and they are a useful size for a dip belt.

2 x 10 pounds:Next we have two 10 pound plates. For very heavy exercises, these would be added last.

4 x 5 pounds:The set included four 5 pound plates, not just two. This may be to compensate for the lack of 15-pound plates.

2 x 2 and 1/2 pounds:Finally, there were two 2.5 pound plates. These are more my size. They are easy to carry and kind of cute.

Collars: weightlifting barbell clips

Collars. The set came with four collars. Two of the collars are larger and easier for me to use. The other two collars are smaller and tighter. I usually just use the larger collars for my workouts.

The total weight of this set was sold as 300 pounds. But it does not exactly measure up to this. The bar weighed 40 pounds, and all the weights together totaled 255 pounds. This comes up to just 295 pounds.


Muscle pictures, arms

Barbells are excellent for lifting heavy. Most strength athletes focus on Olympic barbells. Any of these can help you gain strength. Olympic barbells are the heaviest of the kinds discussed here.

Tip:Barbells often yield the biggest muscle size and strength gains. They are key to a bodybuilding routine.

Barbell, Dumbbell

Also:Weights sometimes need cleaning. You can do this yourself without too much fuss.

How to Clean Weights