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How Much Does that Bar Weigh?

The official International Weightlifting Federation weight of a men's bar is 44.1 lbs (20 kg). Your bar probably doesn't weigh this. Many home Olympic weight sets use bars that weigh between 30 to 45 pounds. For example, the bar in one of the TSA weight sets sold by Sports Authority and others weighs about 35 lbs (15kg). Even the bars at your gym may not be the standard 44.1 lbs. For that matter, your gym may even have bars that have different weights, especially if they acquired them at different times. This is not really a problem, as long as you are aware of it. The best way to find out of course is to actually weigh the bar.

Also note, weight plates can vary by a pound or so. Try to use the exact same weights plates from one workout to the next if possible. While this easier to do at home, it can be difficult at a gym, so at the gym try to use the same brand and style when possible.

And while on the subject of measurements, the official International Weightlifting Federation diameter of plates is 450 mm (17.72 inches). Many home gym weight plates are much smaller in diameter. This can make a huge difference when deadlifting since it lowers the bar to the ground. And a single inch lower in starting height can easily feel like adding 30 to 40 pounds to a 300 pound deadlift. Again, if you're just training for strength, this can be a good thing as it increases range of motion on your lift. Just be aware of the difference when comparing to others.

This is also one of the reasons people like using the trap bar: (also called a Hex Bar)  to do so called "deadlifts." The handles provide a higher starting height that can easily add 60 to 80 pounds to their lift. The trap bar also moves the center gravity from in from of your ankles to over your heels, which also makes it easier to lift. Moving the center of gravity to over the heels reduces the core strength needed to do the lift, making it more of leg exercise and less of a core exercise. People forget that the deadlift is really a core exercise posing a leg a exercise. To do it properly requires a strong back, shoulders, and abdominals. Doing them on a trap bar changes it into more of a leg exercise, therefore, you really shouldn't call it a deadlift when done on a trap bar. Not that doing it on a trap bar is a bad exercise, it's just not a deadlift and won't give you the same benefits that a deadlift will. If you buy a trap bar, make sure it has handles two sets of handles: One set raised and the other set at bar height. This will allow you to do a wider range of exercises than a bar with just the high handles. The weights of trap bars generally vary from about 45 to 60 pounds.

Trying to figure out what plates to load on the Bar?
Check out the free online Barbell Calculator
doctorAs with any nutrition or exercise program, always review them with your doctor to ensure that they don't interact with or are contraindicated by any medications or medical issues you may have. If you haven't trained for a while, start out slow and go easy. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, blood sugar problems, or any heart issues, you shouldn't do this program as it is very strenuous.
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