How Much Does An Olympic Barbell Weigh? The Answer Might

Over the past 20 years, many of my beginner weight training clients ask me about the Olympic barbell weight

An Olympic barbell for men weighs 44lbs (20 kg) and is 72 ft (22 meters) long with 196 inch (50 mm) sleeves

While an Olympic barbell for women weighs 33lbs (15kg), is 6’6 (201 meters) tall with 196 inch (50mm) sleeves

We compared over 100 Olympic barbells here and put over 40 hours of research into this guide

However, there are other special barbells that have different dimensions, shapes and sizes

Competition Olympic Bar Standardization Do Olympic barbells come in different weights? Specialist olympic barbell weightsThe Bow BarbellThe Cambered BarbellThe Hex BarEZ BarTricep BarOlympic Bar Weight: Final Thoughts

Competition Olympic Bar Standardization

The original version of the Olympic bar came in 1928 when Berg designed the rotating sleeve bar

The Olympic bar for women was introduced in 1996 and the color markings were introduced in 2000

The men’s bar shaft diameter is 28 mm (11″) for legal bars for competition, but for general training the bars can be 28 to 32 mm (11-125″)

The length of the sleeves (loadable section of the bar) are typically 163 inches (415 cm)

The women’s bar shaft diameter is 25 mm (1″) and it weighs 33 lbs (15 kg)

The sleeves are usually 126 inches (32cm) long

You can see the difference with some of the barbells I have in my gym below (men’s is blue; women’s is yellow)…

Although the term ‘Olympic Barbell’ is an umbrella term to describe all barbells to the original Berg design (7’2 with 2″ rotating sleeves), not all Olympic bars are competition legal

Men’s bars must follow the knurling guidelines and be within legal weight tolerances

Women’s bars do not have a center knurl, but they must adhere to strict weight tolerance guidelines

If you look at the image below, it is a side-by-side comparison of the men’s and women’s Olympic barbells

Both of these bars are competition legal

The men’s bar is longer There is no center knurling on the women’s bar – there is on the men’s bar The sleeves are longer on the men’s bar

Do Olympic barbells come in different weights?

You can get shorter barbells (5′, 6′) that are lighter than the more common 7′, 20kg bars and 6’6, 15kg women’s bars

The longer answer is that while you can get these bars, they are not league legal

They are very useful and popular in training circles – I have several 6′ bars in my own gym

The weight of this depends on the diameter of the shaft, so my 6′ bars are 30mm shaft and weigh 16kg each, but there will be a little movement in this number either way

You can find the full difference between standard barbells vs Olympic barbells here

However, there are many different types of specialist Olympic bars, as we will discuss in the next section

Specialist Olympic barbell weights

On occasion, you’ll see a barbell that has ‘Olympic’ in the title, but it’s actually a special bar

The link with the Olympic barbell is the 2″ rotating sleeves, but beyond that they are not the same

They will usually be a different length or shape

It is usually more than 90″ long and weighs up to 25 kg

It is mostly used for squats and is especially popular in Powerlifting circles

It is not a commonly seen bar in commercial gyms

Another specialist bar referred to as an Olympic barbell is the ‘cambered’ bar

These are bars with an inverted central section that allows for an increase in range of motion when pushing or rowing

Most cambered bars will weigh around 18 kg

One of the most common specialist bars you’ll see around is the Hex bar – sometimes known as the ‘trap’ bar

This is a mainstay of many gyms – popularized by the bodybuilding movement of the 1970s and beyond

An EZ (or curl bar as it is sometimes known) is much shorter than a straight barbell and comes in around 10-125kg (22-275LB) depending on the length of the bar, sleeves, and diameter

Tricep bars are very common in gyms around the world

They are much shorter than most barbells, have a box-section design, and allow for a neutral grip of the bar

Like the EZ bar, they usually weigh 10-125kg (22-275LB) depending on the length of the bar, sleeves and diameter

Olympic Bar Weight: Final Thoughts

In this post, I’ve (hopefully) cleared up any possible confusion about Olympic barbell weights

There is a lot of difference depending on the length, shape, style etc

But when it comes to the Olympic weightlifting barbell, there is no ambiguity it must adhere to very precise regulations

Olympic bars for men must weigh 20 kg and women must be 15 kg

For more information on Olympic bars, check out our post on ‘The Best Olympic Dumbbells for Weightlifting and Powerlifting’

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