How Heavy Is a Bench Press Bar? Barbell Weight 101
The bench press is one of the most popular exercises in the gym. It is a compound exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. The exercise involves lifting a barbell off a rack and lowering it to the chest before pushing it back up. However, the weight of the barbell can vary depending on the type of barbell used.
So, how heavy is a bench press bar? The standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. This is the weight of the bar without any weight plates attached to it. The standard barbell is 7 feet long and has a diameter of 28-29 millimeters. The barbell is also marked with knurling, which provides a better grip. In this article we'll cover the different types of bars and their weights, let's jump in.
Types of Bench Bench Press Bars - Standard Barbell, Olympic Bar, Curl Bar
Bench press bars are an essential piece of equipment for any weight training regimen. They are used for a variety of exercises, including the bench press, shoulder press, squat and as a deadlift bar. There are many different types of bench press bars available, each with different weights, lengths, and features. If you are looking to choose the right one, perhaps for your home gym, read on!
Standard Bench Press Bar
The standard bench press bar is the most common type of bar used in weight training. They typically weigh around 45 pounds and are usually 7 feet long. This type of bar is typically used for general weight lifting, ideal for bench and is suitable for most exercises.
The Olympic Weightlifting bar is designed for Olympic weightlifting and is suitable for exercises such as the snatch and the clean and jerk.
There are many different types of specialty bars available for weight training. These bars are designed to target specific muscle groups or to provide a more comfortable grip. Some examples of specialty bars include the curl bar, swiss bar, trap bar, safety squat bar, and power bar.
Choosing the Bar
When choosing a bench press bar, it is important to consider your goals and the exercises you will be performing. If you are a beginner, a standard bench bar is a good choice. If you are an experienced lifter or plan to compete in Olympic weightlifting, an Olympic bench press bar may be more suitable.
Standard Bench Press Bar Weight
As mentioned, he standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. This is the weight of the bar without any weight plates attached to it. The bar is typically seven feet in length and has a knurled handle to provide a better grip.
The bench press bar designed for females weighs approximately 33 pounds (15 kilograms). This bar is lighter than the standard male bar and is designed to accommodate the differences in upper body strength between men and women.
It's important to note that the weight of a bench press bar can vary depending on the gym or competition. Some gyms may have bars that weigh slightly more or less than the standard weight, so it's always a good idea to check the weight of the bar before lifting.
Dimensions and Materials
The standard bench press bar is approximately 7 feet long and made of steel. The length of the bar can vary slightly depending on the brand and model. The diameter of the bar is typically 28mm, although some bars may be thicker or thinner. The sleeves of the bar are where the weight plates are attached and are usually 2 inches in diameter.
The collars towards the end of the bar are the part that keeps the weight plates in place and prevents them from sliding off during use. Collars can be either spring collars or lockjaw collars. Spring collars are the most common type and are easy to use, while lockjaw collars provide a more secure fit.
The shaft of the bar is the part that the lifter grips during use. The shaft is usually knurled to provide a better grip and prevent slippage. Some bars may also feature a center knurling for added grip during squats.
Generally a bar is made of steel, with American steel being the most common. The type of steel used can affect the weight and durability of the bar. Some bars may also feature a chrome or zinc coating to prevent rust and corrosion.
In terms of size, the standard bench press bar weighs 45 lbs, although variations in weight exist. The Olympic bench press bar, for example, weighs 55 pounds. The weight of the bar can also be affected by factors such as the material used, the length and diameter of the bar, and any additional features such as weight capacity.
Overall, the dimensions and materials of the bench press bar can have a significant impact on the lifter's performance and safety. It is important to choose a bar that is appropriate for the lifter's skill level and goals, and to always use proper form and technique during use.
Types of Grips and Knurling
There are different types of grips that can be used during the bench press, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. The grip width can range from narrow to wide, and the hand position can be pronated (palms facing away), supinated (palms facing towards), or neutral (palms facing each other).
Narrow Grip: A narrow grip involves placing the hands closer together on the barbell. This grip targets the triceps more than the chest and shoulders. It also reduces the range of motion and can be useful for lifters with shoulder issues. However, it can put more stress on the wrists and elbows.
Wide Grip: A wide grip involves placing the hands wider apart on the barbell. This grip targets the chest more than the triceps and shoulders. It also increases the range of motion and can be useful for lifters who want to improve their bench press strength. However, it can put more stress on the shoulders and may not be suitable for lifters with shoulder issues.
Neutral Grip: A neutral grip involves placing the hands on the barbell with palms facing each other. This grip targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps equally. It also reduces stress on the wrists and elbows. However, it may not be suitable for lifters who want to lift heavier weights as the grip may not be as secure as a pronated or supinated grip.
The knurling on the barbell can also affect the grip during the bench press. Knurling refers to the rough, textured pattern on the barbell that provides grip. The knurling can be aggressive or mild, and it can be located in different areas of the barbell.
Aggressive Knurling: Aggressive knurling provides a better grip on the barbell but can also be uncomfortable for lifters who have sensitive skin. It is usually located in the center of the barbell where the lifter's hands are placed. This gives a variety of uses as a multi-grip bar.
Mild Knurling: Mild knurling provides a less aggressive grip on the bar but can be more comfortable for lifters who have sensitive skin. It is usually located towards the ends of the barbell.
Exercises with Bench Press Bars
A versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises. Here are some of the most common exercises that can be performed with a bench press bar:
Bench press: It involves lying on a weight bench and lifting a barbell up and down. The weight of the barbell can vary depending on the user's strength and fitness level. Looking to boost your bench? Check out our range of Bench Blasters. Used for the bench press, it allows to increase the amount of weight for a heavier bench press.
- Bicep curls: Bicep curls are an isolation exercise that target the biceps. They can be performed with a bench press bar by holding the barbell with an underhand grip and curling it up towards the shoulders.
Squat: Squats are a compound exercise that work the legs, glutes, and core. They can be performed with a bench press bar by placing the barbell on the shoulders and squatting down. If you need some support for your knees, look no further than our Extreme Knee Sleeves.
Overhead press: The overhead press is a compound exercise that targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. It can be performed with a bench press bar by lifting the barbell up from the chest and pressing it overhead.
Using Weight Plates with Bench Press Bars
Generally weight plates are added to the bar in a specific order, depending on the preference of the lifter. Some lifters prefer to add the heaviest weight plates first, while others prefer to add the lighter weight plates first. However, it is important to note that the order of the weight plates on the bar does not affect the load lifted or the effectiveness of the exercise. [^1]
It is also important to ensure that the weight plates used are compatible with the bench press bar. The standard bench press bar can accommodate weight plates with a 2-inch diameter hole, while the Olympic bench press bar can accommodate weight plates with a 2.5-inch diameter hole. Using weight plates with the wrong diameter hole can cause instability and increase the risk of injury. [^2]
When selecting weight plates, it is important to consider the weight and the material of the weight plates. The material of the plates can also affect the performance of the exercise. Rubber-coated are quieter and less likely to damage the floor, while cast iron are more durable and less likely to crack or break. [^3]
Bench Press Bars in Competitions
In weightlifting competitions, the bench press is one of the three lifts that athletes must perform. The bench press bar used in competitions is standardized to ensure fairness and consistency. According to PowerliftingTechnique.com, the standard weight of a bench press bar in competitions is 20kg (44.1lbs) for both men and women.
The bar used in competitions is different from the ones commonly found in commercial gyms. It is longer, thicker, and stiffer, which makes it more challenging to lift. The bar is also knurled to provide a better grip for the athletes. The knurling is more aggressive than that of a regular bar, which can result in calluses and blisters on the hands.
During the competition, the athlete lies on a bench with their feet flat on the ground and their buttocks, shoulders, and head in contact with the bench. The athlete then lifts the bar off the rack and lowers it to their chest, holding it there momentarily before pressing it back up to the starting position. The athlete must keep their feet flat on the ground, their buttocks, shoulders, and head in contact with the bench, and their elbows locked out throughout the lift. Failure to do so will result in a "no lift."
In competitions, the athletes are allowed to use wrist wraps and a lifting belt, but not gloves or any other equipment that could aid in the lift. The use of performance-enhancing drugs is strictly prohibited and can result in disqualification and a ban from future competitions.
In conclusion, the bench press bar used in competitions is standardized to ensure fairness and consistency. It is longer, thicker, and stiffer than the ones commonly found in commercial gyms, and the knurling is more aggressive. During the competition, the athletes must adhere to strict rules and guidelines to ensure a fair and safe competition.
Choosing Bench Press Bars
When it comes to choosing a bench press bar, there are a few factors to consider, such as the type of gym you are working out in, your personal goals, and your budget.
Most commercial gyms have standard bench press bars that are 7 feet long and weigh 45 pounds (20.4 kg) without any weight plates attached to them. These bars are designed to meet competition standards, handle heavy loads and have a diameter of 28 mm.
Beginners may find standard bars too heavy and difficult to use. In that case, training bars are a great option. These bars are smaller and lighter than standard bars and weigh either 11 pounds (5 kg) or 22 pounds (10 kg).
There are many specialty bench press bars available in the market that cater to specific needs. For instance, a cambered bar has a curved shape that reduces stress on the shoulders and wrists. A safety squat bar has handles that allow the user to maintain a more upright posture while lifting.
Women's bench press bars are designed to cater to the anatomical differences between men and women. They weigh less and have a smaller diameter of 25 mm, making them easier to grip for those with smaller hands. Women's bars typically weigh around 33 pounds (15 kg).
Brand and Manufacturer
The brand and manufacturer of the bench press bar can also play a role in the decision-making process. Some brands may offer bars with unique features or higher quality materials. However, these bars may come at a higher cost.
The cost of a bench press bar can vary greatly depending on the type, brand, and quality of the bar. Standard bars are typically the most affordable option, while specialty bars and those from high-end brands can be more expensive.
In conclusion, when choosing a bench press bar, it is important to consider factors such as the type of gym, personal goals, and budget. Standard bars are a good option for those looking to meet competition standards, while beginners may prefer training bars. Specialty bars and women's bars are also available for those with specific needs. The brand and manufacturer of the bar can also play a role in the decision-making process, but it is important to consider the cost as well.
Safety and Injury Prevention
One of the most important aspects of bench press safety is maintaining proper form throughout the exercise. This includes keeping the elbows tucked in, maintaining a stable shoulder position, and keeping the back flat on the bench. It is also important to maintain a full range of motion, which means lowering the bar to the chest and pressing it back up to a fully extended position.
In addition to form, it is important to be aware of the risk of injury associated with the bench press. Common injuries include strains and tears to the muscles and tendons, particularly in the shoulders and chest. To prevent injury, it is important to start with a weight that is manageable and gradually increase the weight as strength improves. It is also important to use a spotter when lifting heavy weights to assist in case of failure.
Another way to prevent injury is to use proper equipment, such as a bench press station or rack that enables the use of safety arms. Safety arms can catch the barbell in case of failure, preventing it from falling onto the lifter. It is also important to use collars to prevent the weights from sliding off the barbell during the exercise.
Research and Professional Insights
The bench press is a popular exercise that is used to develop upper-body strength, power, and hypertrophy. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the bench press is one of the most frequently used strength training exercises. It is commonly integrated into resistance training programs for sport performance, general fitness, as well as for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) are professionals who are trained to design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for athletes and clients. According to CSCS, the standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. This is the weight of the bar without any weight plates attached to it.
In most commercial gyms, a solid barbell measuring approximately 7 feet long is typically used for bench press exercises. However, the weight of the bench press bar can vary depending on whether it is designed for males or females. For instance, the bench press bar designed for females weighs approximately 33 pounds (15 kilograms).
It is important to note that the actual weight of the bench press bar may vary depending on the make and product. However, the standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms for a normal 7ft bench press bar, while a typical 5ft bench press bar weighs 14 pounds (6.35 Kgs).
FAQ's - How Much Does a Bench Press Bar Weigh?
What is the standard weight of a bench press bar?
The standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. This weight is the same for both men and women and is the most common type of bar used in gyms and fitness centers. 1
How much does a bench press bar weigh at different gyms?
Bench press bars may weigh differently at different gyms, as there are different types of bars available in the market. However, the standard weight of a bench press bar is 45 pounds or 20 kilograms. 2
Is every bench press bar 45 pounds?
Not every bench press bar is 45 pounds. There are different types of bars available in the market, and each bar has its own weight. For example, an Olympic bar weighs 45 pounds but is longer and thicker than a standard bar. 3
How can I determine the weight of my bench press bar?
You can determine the weight of your bench press bar by looking for any markings on the bar. The markings may indicate the weight of the bar or the type of bar it is. If there are no markings, you can use a scale to weigh the bar. 1
What is the weight of a 1-inch bench press bar?
The weight of a 1-inch bench press bar is typically 13.2 pounds or 6 kilograms. However, it is important to note that not all gyms or fitness centers may have 1-inch bars available. 4
What is the weight of a bench press bar in kilograms?
The weight of a bench press bar in kilograms is 20 kilograms. This is the standard weight of a bench press bar used in most gyms and fitness centers. 1