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Barbells: Olympic, standard and EZ curl bars

Barbells are heavy. Math does not make a man grow huge muscles. It makes him smart. I prefer muscles to math. But math is needed to weigh barbells.


Weights. 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.

Here:I figure out how much different barbells weigh. This is possible while recovering from my last workout.

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.

Curls with Olympic barbell and 10 pound plates

Olympic barbells are an important kind. They are versatile. They are heavy. They are a main way a lot of strength athletes are strong.

Athletes:Football players, rugby players and competitive weight lifters all focus on Olympic barbells.

Weight:Olympic barbells are supposed to weigh 45 pounds (20.4 kg). This alone is a good lift.

However:Sets are sold where the Olympic barbell weighs less, such as 40 pounds (18.1 kg). These are typically 7 feet long (2.1 m).

Not equal

Discrepancies. 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. Anything less would be a serious ripoff.

Caution: exclamation mark

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.


EZ-curl barbells are meant to be used for biceps curls and reverse biceps curls. In exercise theory, these are considered isolation exercises.

Thus: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.

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.

Bizarrely: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.

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


Directions. How can you weigh a barbell on your own? Take a bathroom scale. Put the end of the barbell on it so the barbell is vertical. Subtract your weight from the total.

1. Put 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

Conversions. I always notice the pounds (lbs) and kilograms (kg) numbers on the plates. The kilograms numbers are a bit less than half the pounds.

So:I put together a chart of the standard conversions on barbell plates. Pounds and kilograms are used.

Table. This table shows the figures in pounds on barbell sets to the figures in kilograms. Some countries use pounds of kilograms. 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).

Dollar signs

Olympic barbell set. Sports Authority sells Olympic barbells. Years ago I bought an Olympic weightlifting set at Sports Authority for my home gym.

Cost:The set was advertised as a 300 pound set and it was built by Cap barbell. It cost about $170 USD.

Length:The Olympic barbell is the correct length for a barbell (around 7 feet) and it weighs 40 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

Plates. 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.

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.

Note:I usually use the larger collars for my workouts. Do whatever works for you.


Weight comments. 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.

So:This comes up to just 295 pounds. It seems to work for muscle-building though (check my pictures).

Powerlifter with no shirt on

An investment. An Olympic barbell is a great investment.
It is inexpensive
and you can get huge,
amazing bodybuilder muscles.


For a dedicated lifter, you can spend some money on an Olympic barbell, train for 10 years, and be in astounding shape. No gym fees. It is cheap and simple.

Scroll down: a solid chest

Muscle size. Barbells often yield the biggest muscle size and strength gains. They are key to a bodybuilding routine. Lift heavy, get big.

Barbell, Dumbbell

Clean weights. If you are like me, you do not like cleaning things. I prefer to eat and lift things—not clean them. Weights sometimes need cleaning.

How to Clean Weights

For lifting heavy, barbells are excellent. Most strength athletes focus on Olympic barbells. Any barbell can help us gain strength. Olympic barbells are the heaviest.