When you think about strength and power training exercises, the barbell, or bench press bar, is often the first thing that comes to mind.
With the interest growing in strength training, gyms have started stocking their premises with different bench press bars.
If you watch whether they are being used, though, you may find them being underused as many people don’t know what they are or how much they weigh.
Bench press bars come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and weights so you can shake up your weight training. In this guide, we will take a look at the 7 different bench press bars and how much each weighs.
This is the bar that most people imagine when you mention weight lifting exercises. These bars are also called power bars and are the bench press bar found most commonly in gyms. They are usually around 7.2 feet long and very rigid; however, they do have some bend when they are heavily loaded.
Their quality varies greatly depending on their build, which means the weight they can support varies. Most power bars are constructed using American steel, but the quality used can mean you could get a bad bar or a great bar. Some steel can bend and rebound – this is called “whip.”
Standard bars have a “knurled” part which is a groove that lets you grip the bar better. The knurling that is found on a cheap bar is typically smoother, which does not allow for a proper grip.
This bar is ideal for traditional power and strength exercises like squat, bench press, overhead press, deadlift, bent over row, and Romanian deadlift exercises. Most of these bars are able to handle a minimum of 272 kg up to 544 kg depending on their build quality. As you become stronger, you may need to invest in one of the following bars, especially for heavier lifting with bench press, squat, and deadlift training.
Weight: 20.4 kg. (bars with thicker grips: 25 kg.)
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This bar is specially designed for weightlifting during the Olympic Games to reduce injuries and enhance performance. They look the same as a standard bar, but are made with subtle differences for dynamics. Olympic bars are made using special steel which increases the amount of spin and whip, making them easier to lift and “catch.” This also reduces arm and wrist injuries.
Weight: 20.4 kg.
This bar is also known as a “hex” bar because of its shape, which is a hexagon. This lets you stand in the center of the bar’s hexagon for deadlift training exercises. This bar makes lifting easier on your joints and the handle position allows you to maintain the correct deadlift position, even when training with heavier weights.
Weight: 20.4 k.
Safety Squat Bar
This is a specialty bar which normally has “arms” coming off the outside of the bar to hold onto. Its covered in a thick padding to allow the bar to rest comfortably on your shoulders and neck. If you have shoulder problems or experience pain when squatting, this is a good bar option for you. This bar also makes you use your gluteus, back, and hamstring muscles more, so it is great for upping your deadlift and squat strength.
Weight: 27-29.5 kg.
This bar, also sometimes called an arched bar, is used for squats. It really works your back and gluteus muscles, much like using the safety squat bar. This bar also helps develop your stability due to the weights swinging, forcing you to hold your muscles more tightly when squatting. This bar should not be used by inexperienced lifters.
Weight: 20.4 kg.
This bar is ideal for upper body training exercises like rowing, pressing, triceps extensions, or curling. The bar has a neutral hand grip that makes using it better for your shoulders. This makes it ideal for those who have shoulder problems.
Weight: 15.9 kg.
This bar is made to let you do a comfortable and safe bicep curl by letting your wrists pronate. A curl bar can also be used for triceps extension exercises. Curl bars are normally shorter and are stored in stands.
Weight: 6.8 kg.
In the end, the bar you select will depend heavily on your goals, anatomy, and experience. The type of bar you choose can increase the fun and enjoyment of your workout and assist you in moving through strength plateaus. Remember to consider what type of exercises you will be doing when considering a weight bench press bar.