When you reach your natural best in lifting, you need to take extra efforts and a technical approach in order to improve your weightlifting ability further. At this stage, it becomes important to be aware of every small detail about your exercises and gym equipment in order to be able to make the necessary changes.
When you are through with your novice gains, you start making progressions in small increments. Thus, if you are doing bench press, it becomes important that along with being aware of the calibration of the weight plates you should also know the standard bench press bar weight or the weight of the bench press bar you are using.
What Will I Learn?
How much does a standard bench press bar weigh?
If you go to a commercial gym, you would rarely find a standard bench press bar in their setup. But if you want to add one to your home gym it is available to buy from some brands.
You should be opting for a standard bench press bar only if you already have a stack of standard 1-inch hole plates in your basement gym. As these bench press bars are 1-inch in shaft diameter only, these cannot take as much load as an Olympic bar.
Though the standard bench press bars are a rarity these days, you must know the weight of the bar as close as possible just in case you have to buy one or work out with one at a club.
There are 5ft and 7ft bench press bar. A typical bench press bar is 7ft long and rackable, but there are some standard bench press bars that are just 60 inches in length.
The standard bench press bars are not used in competitions or formal sports meets. Thus, there is no standard set for the standard bench bar weight.
Standard bench bar weight for a normal 7ft bench press bar is around 20 pounds (in Kg it is 9 Kilograms) and a typical 5ft bench press bar weighs 14 pounds (6.35 Kgs). Though the actual weight may vary as per the make and product, you can consider this weight for calculations.
The standard bench press bars come with plain or threaded shafts. The threaded shaft can be used with a nut lock to secure the weight plates in position.
There are some brands that make 6ft long bar. The standard bench bar weight for this type of bar is around 17 pounds. The most popular bar in this class is CAP barbell RB-72 which weighs 16.6 lb (7.5 Kgs).
How much does an Olympic bench press bar weigh?
There are many differences between the Olympic bench press bar and a standard bench bar, but the prime difference is that you can load 2-inch hole Olympic weight plates on the Olympic bar. And the Olympic bar is heavy compared to a standard bar.
The Olympic bar has 2-inch shafts at both ends, which enables you to load the Olympic weight plates. Both the sleeves are installed on the needle bearings so that these can rotate.
There is a collar at the end of each loadable shaft that limits the loadable length. In between the collars, the mid part of the bar is 28mm (1.1 inches) in diameter. The part has diamond knurling all over to provide a better grip.
All these elements contribute to the weight of the Olympic bar.
The Olympic bars are used in all the competitions and the international weightlifting federation has issued some guidelines for the bars used at the competitions. In order to make the bars suitable for competition, almost all the manufacturers make bars that meet the guidelines.
Most of the 7ft long Olympic bars from any brand weigh 44 lb which is 20 Kilograms in Kg, which is the typical weight for a bench press bar used at a competition for men. Some Olympic bench press bars that are made for women weigh 33 lb (15 kgs) to meet the IWF guidelines.
All the popular brands make the 7ft long Olympic bar using steel with a tensile strength of 215K PSI. The dimensions are also the same, thus as a result the weight of these bars are similar.
Apart from the typical 7ft long rackable bench press bars there are some shorter versions of them. There are 6ft long and 5ft long Olympic bench press bars available in the market.
The 6Ft long Olympic bench bars weigh between 25 to 35 pounds (11.3 Kgs to 15.9 Kgs). One of the most popular bars of this type, the Rogue C-70 shorty is made using 195k PSI steel and weighs 35 pounds (15.9 Kgs).
Commercially available 5ft long Olympic bench press bars weigh in between 20 to 30 lb, the 60-inches (5ft) long bench bar from CAP barbell weighs 25 pounds (11.3 Kgs)
There are some specialty bench bars that offer natural grip. One such example is the Rogue multi-grip bar MG-1 version 2.0. This bar has multiple 1.25-inch grips that would allow you to workout with a grip and wrist position resembling push-up grip. This bar has a length of 82 inches and weighs 39 pounds (17.7 Kgs).
How do I know how much my bench bar weigh?
There are more than one ways to know how much the bar at your gym weighs. Here are few things you can check to know the bench bar weight.
- Side cap: Check the side cap on the barbell. Most of the branded barbells have a side cap installed are the end of sleeves that indicate the specs of the bar. You can read the weight written on the side cap.
- Weigh the bar: Every gym has a weighing scale. It may not be suitable to weigh a long bar exactly, but you can get a very close number. Put the bar vertically on the scale, support it with a touch as gentle as possible, read the weight on the scale.
- Other information like the length and type of the bar can give you a fair idea about the weight of the bench bar especially if it is an Olympic bar. For example, if it is a 7ft Olympic bench bar, then it is most probably 44 pounds in weight.
Is it necessary to know the bench bar weight?
When you are an intermediate or advanced level lifter or anyone who is past novice gains, you might need to progress in increments as small as 2.5 pounds. To be able to do it correctly you must know the weight of your bench press bar to avoid incorrect loading and resulting injuries or slowing of the progression.
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