Portada de Cuanto pesa una barra olímpica, post de blog de Sportech Fitness

How much does an Olympic bar weigh?

Do you want to buy an Olympic bar but don't know which one to choose? Do you know the difference between an Olympic bar and a standard bar ? In this post you will find everything you need to know about Olympic bars, an essential object for training many bodybuilding exercises such as deadlifts , squats or bench press .

Having good material when doing bodybuilding exercises is very important. The Olympic bar is a very versatile tool , essential in any home gym or conventional gym. Today we will answer the most frequently asked questions such as: how much do Olympic bars weigh, how many types of bars exist , how we can clean them or where they can be stored .

Olympic bar with plates in gym

Measurements of an Olympic bar

Olympic bars are those bars created by and for competition . These follow the official measurements and weights , all of them sharing the following characteristics:

  • Weight of an Olympic bar : The official weight of an Olympic bar is 15 or 20 kg which, together with the plates, will add up to the total weight lifted during the exercise.
  • Length of an Olympic bar : Olympic bars generally measure 2 and 2.2 meters depending on the category in which they compete, although over the years other shorter versions have appeared.
  • Diameter of an Olympic bar: It is a characteristic that also varies depending on the category in which it is competed, however, the most common thing is that the bar has a diameter of 28 mm , with the width of the sleeves at the ends being 50 mm . In lower categories the bar is usually narrower, around 25 mm .

However, today some bars that do not meet the lengths stipulated for the competition, but do meet the diameter, are called Olympic bars , so they can only be used with Olympic discs.

Official measurements of an Olympic bar

Olympic bar: What is it for?

An Olympic bar has various functions . Not only does it serve for weight lifting, focused on the sport of weightlifting , but also using different variants and adding or not adding different weight plates, it also serves for:

Functional training: Olympic bars can be used in functional training, although in shorter and lighter versions than those used in weightlifting. The designs of these bars are typically more versatile and may come with additional grips or overlays for added comfort and safety during training.

Improve flexibility and mobility: There are Olympic bars specially designed for stretching and mobility exercises. They are thinner and lighter bars to facilitate grip and movement during exercises. Other common characteristics in bars intended for this purpose are different non-slip textures , curves or ergonomic shapes , etc.

Resistance training: Since these workouts seek to perform exercises with a greater load or additional weight, a standard Olympic bar can be used , such as those used in weightlifting. One of the practices to train resistance with an Olympic bar can be, for example, performing many repetitions of an exercise while putting little weight on the bar.

One of the exercises that can be done with an Olympic bar

Olympic bar vs standard bar

The main difference between an Olympic bar and a conventional one is that, as we have already mentioned, the Olympic bar follows specific measurements and are compatible with Olympic plates , and conventional bars do not.

While an Olympic bar has a length of 2.20 or 2.00 meters and a weight of 20 or 15 kg , a standard bar weighs around 5 or 10 kg and measures about 1.8 meters. The reason why using Olympic plates is not viable on a conventional bar is because of the difference in the diameter of the ends.

In addition to size, Olympic and standard bars also differ in load capacity and the materials they are made of. The former are normally made of very resistant steel that helps them support up to 500 kg . Conventional bars, on the other hand, are normally made of less resistant materials such as iron or other types of steel, which means that they can only support up to 150 or 200 kilograms. 

Visual difference between an Olympic bar and a standard bar

Olympic bar with plates:

Although there may be people who only use the weight of the bar itself to train and do exercises, the most common thing is that users insert weight discs into them to increase the load.

Weight plates are a type of circular plates with a round hole in the middle, which are placed at the ends of the Olympic bars. They come in different sizes and weights and are used to increase the resistance of the bar during exercise. Weight plates come in standard increments such as 0.5kg, 1kg, 2.5kg, 5kg, 10kg, 15kg and 20kg, allowing you to adjust the load based on strength level and training goal .

The combination of an Olympic bar and discs allows great versatility and progression in strength training. With it you can perform a wide variety of exercises such as: Olympic lifts (snatch and clean and jerk), squats, deadlifts, bench press or shoulder press, among others.

It is important to mention the need to properly secure each disc with locks or collars to prevent them from slipping during exercise and ensure the safety of the user.

Olympic bar with plates

How to clean Olympic bar

Olympic bars are mostly made of steel, so it is important to perform thorough maintenance from time to time. This would be the order to properly clean the Olympic bar:

Remove dust and dirt: With a string brush, remove any dirt that may be on the bar so that the following steps are easier to execute.

Clean with disinfectant: Wet a cloth with disinfectant and wipe it over the entire bar, focusing on the grip areas where the hands are placed and the greatest amount of sweat accumulates.

Dry the bar: With a dry, clean cloth, carefully go over the entire bar, paying attention to the wettest areas, to prevent the formation of rust.

How to clean an Olympic bar

Types of Olympic bars:

Olympic bar for crossfit

Crossfit has burst onto the sports scene in the last decade, and the fitness industry has had to adapt to this movement. It is a multidisciplinary sport , where you can do all kinds of exercises , from simple pull-ups to dragging a truck wheel for X amount of time. For this reason, there are specific bars for doing CrossFit, which adapt to all types of exercises to avoid the need for more material.

The Olympic crossfit bar with needle bearings from Body-solid gives the option of putting both Singular WOD discs and Olympic discs with great solvency. Without a doubt, an excellent product for sports that combine several exercises, plus you can choose between the 15 kg bar and the 20 kg bar , depending on your level.

Olympic bars in a Crossfit session

Olympic squat bar

The squat is undoubtedly one of the most repeated movements performed in training, since it can be performed by users of all levels, regardless of their goal. From a bodybuilder to a person who just wants to do body maintenance, the squat will be a good option for everyone since several of the most important muscles in the body are involved in its execution.

Depending on the level, it is safer or less safe to perform the free squat, which is why beginners are recommended to start with this type of exercise on a rack with a bar , such as the Olympic 50mm multi-press from Bodysolid , which will help you in case your strength falters. .

Woman performing squat exercise with Olympic bar

Olympic bar with or without bearings:

Some athletes do better with a bar without bearings , especially among powerlifters . Unlike in weightlifting , where a bar with bearings is usually the best option.

These bearings are placed in the sleeves and serve to ensure that the discs placed on the bar do not move excessively . Among these systems, needle bearings stand out , which are considered the highest quality option. Small needles are used inside the bearing to allow a very smooth, comfortable and fast spin .

The Camo 20 kg Olympic bar from Singular Wod has two bearings at each end so that the movement is as fluid as possible.

Olympic bar bearings

Olympic bar with grip:

A good grip on an Olympic bar is essential to ensure the safety and comfort of users. Without grips, the bar could slip from our hands and fall to the floor and to our feet, causing damage or seriously injuring us.

A good example is the Olympic curl bars or EZ bars, which have a peculiar curly shape. The bar has two curved areas in the region where the grip would normally be made, which allows you to hold the bar with less pronation or supination of the hands, reducing tension on the wrists and forearms and thus reducing the probability of suffering an injury, such as the Evergy Pro Z Olympic Bar.

Olympic bar with grip

Which Olympic bar to buy

When choosing between one Olympic bar or another there is not much mystery, since almost all of them are very similar to each other, but we recommend that you pay attention to some of the aspects already mentioned such as the load capacity, the bearings and the grip of the bar.

For those who are just starting out in this world of weightlifting, the best option is to buy an Olympic bar weighing 15 kg and 2 meters in length, that is, the one used in the women's categories of competitions.

If, on the other hand, you already have some experience in this type of exercise, the bars used in the men's categories will be ideal, 20 kg and 2.2 meters .

It is important to note that there are Olympic dumbbells like this Olympic dumbbell from Body-solid . This dumbbell is practically an Olympic bar but shorter and less heavy (51 cm and 6 kg) and, thanks to the fact that it has the same diameter as an Olympic bar, it can be used with Olympic plates .

Difference between Olympic bars

Olympic bar support

Order is essential in any space, be it your home or work office. The same thing happens with the gym, you have to have the gym well organized and organized so that when someone wants to look for a product they can find it right away. For this function we can count on weight organizers and supports , which help organize the different fitness materials in a gym by blocks.

Bar supports and organizers

It is important to have quality fitness equipment to carry out the activity correctly, comfortably and safely. At Sportech Fitness we work side by side with the best brands in the sector to offer you the best products and the best possible service, so don't hesitate and contact us to start the change!
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¡Gracias Fernando!


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