How Heavy is a Powerlifting Bar? A Beginner's Guide

how heavy is a powerlifting bar

So, you've decided to set up your own home gym and dive into the wonderful world of lifting weights. Congratulations! You're about to embark on a journey that will transform your body and mindset.

But before you start pumping iron like a pro, there's something you need to know: not all barbells are created equal. Specifically, when it comes to powerlifting, you'll want to get your hands on a powerlifting bar.

In this article, we'll explore what makes a powerlifting bar different from an Olympic barbell and why it's essential for your strength training endeavors.

First things first, let's get acquainted with the powerlifting bar. This bad boy is the holy grail for powerlifters, designed specifically to handle the extreme loads involved in squatting, bench pressing, and deadlifting. It's a heavy-duty piece of equipment, built to withstand the heaviest weights you can throw at it.

Now, you might be wondering how the powerlifting bar differs from the Olympic barbell. Well, the main distinction lies in their construction and purpose. While both bars may look similar at first glance, the powerlifting bar is generally stiffer, more rigid, and has less whip compared to its Olympic counterpart. This stiffness is crucial when attempting to lift massive weights, as it provides stability and reduces energy loss during the lift.

Now, let's delve into why the stiffness of a powerlifting bar matters. Picture this: you're about to attempt a massive deadlift. You approach the bar with determination, ready to conquer the weight. As you grab hold of the bar, its stiffness becomes your ally. The lack of whip ensures that the energy you put into the lift is transferred directly to the weights, allowing you to lift with greater efficiency and control.

On the other hand, an Olympic barbell with more whip might be advantageous for movements that require dynamic and explosive lifts, such as the snatch and clean and jerk. But for powerlifting, where slow and controlled movements reign supreme, the stiffness of a powerlifting bar provides the stability and support you need to lift heavy with confidence.

Alright, let's talk numbers. How heavy is a powerlifting bar? You’ll often hear that a powerlifting bar is 45 pounds, but here's where it gets interesting. Most powerlifting bars actually weigh 20 kilograms, which is only 44 lbs.

Confusing, right? However, most powerlifting federations use kilograms rather than pounds during meets to follow the standards of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). You know how the US is the holdout on the metric system? Yeah, that’s still a thing in the gym.

The bestselling Barenaked Powerlifting Bar 2.0 is designed to meet IPF specs, which is 20kgs (44lbs). So if you’ve been counting in 45s, your PR might actually be one pound less.

But hey… we won’t tell if you won’t. 😉

The key takeaway here is that you should look at the kilograms when buying a bar.

Now that you're well-versed in the ways of the powerlifting bar, let's touch upon a couple of essential tips for storing and maintaining this valuable piece of equipment. When it comes to storing your powerlifting bar, most people prefer a horizontal position, ideally on a sturdy rack or wall-mounted barbell storage system. This prevents unnecessary stress on the bar and helps maintain its integrity over time. Remember, a happy bar is a strong bar!

However, not all of us have large, open walls with plenty of space for storage. The next best scenario is to invest in a quality vertical barbell storage system, like a standalone floor holder or a combination bumper plate and barbell storage tree. Regular cleaning and maintenance are vital to extend the lifespan of your powerlifting bar. After each use, wipe it down with a soft cloth and mild soap to remove any sweat or debris.

Additionally, applying a light coat of lubricant, such as WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil, every few months will help keep the sleeves spinning smoothly and prevent rust.

Check out our Barbell Cleaning Kit to keep your power bar looking fresh!

Congratulations, dear home gym owner, you're now well-versed in the ways of the powerlifting bar. Remember, this mighty barbell is your key to unlocking new levels of strength and power.

With its sturdy construction, the powerlifting bar can handle the heavy loads you'll throw at it while providing the stability you need to crush your lifting goals. So, embrace the powerlifting bar, treat it with care, and let it be your trusty companion on your strength training journey!