Working Out

6 Common Barbell Questions That Are Often Asked By Beginners

1. How much does a barbell weight?

The most common barbell that you will find at most gyms will weigh 45 pounds (or 20.41 KB).

If you go to a Crossfit gym you will also see 35 pound bars. They’re also becoming more popular at gyms that have functional fitness sections. These bars are often used by women because they are thinner to grip which is ideal for smaller hands.

Lastly, is the 15 pound bars. This bar is also most commonly found in Crossfit or funtional fitness gyms. These bars are usually meant for beginners or people that may struggle with a heavier barbell.

2. When I am counting the weight do I count the weight of the barbell or just the weight that I put on the barbell?

If someone says that you “I just squatted 150 pounds”, what they are referring to is the weight of the barbell + the weight on the bar. So to figure out how much you are lifting you will first need to know the weight of the barbell you are using. You can usually find this at the ends of the barbell, usually shown in kilograms.

After you figure out the weight of the bar just add that number to the weight that you put on the barbell. That total number is the number you want to use.

3. What exercises can I do with a barbell?

There are many exercises that can be done with a barbell. A few of the most common and best bang for your buck include back squats, deadlifts, overhead press, cleans, snatches, thrusters, bench press and bent over rows.

In addition there are easily dozens of other movements that can be done with a barbell as well. Including lunges, front squats, overhead squats, Romanian deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, good mornings, evil wheels, upright rows, curls, skull crushers, front raises, shrugs, landmines and so many more.

4. Are barbells better than dumbbells?

The true answer is that 1 is not better than the other because only using 1 method will not be maximizing the effectiveness of all tools. Both barbells and dumbbells can be used to replicate a lot of the same movements however each also allows for variations that the other can not do.

Simply put, for best results, train with both. If you only have a barbell or only have dumbbells you can get by for quite a while with some creativity. But we recommend using both for maximal benefits.

5. Should I join a gym that doesn’t have barbells?

No, no, no, no, no! A gym without barbells is a gym that is minimizing your max potential and limiting the path for you to reach your goals.

The barbell is 1 of the best training tools. If you have the option to join a gym with barbells vs a gym without barbells absolutely without question join the gym with barbells.

Just for clarity, a Smith Machine does not count as a gym having barbells. Please stay far away from the Smith Machine. But that’s a topic for another day.

6. What is a hook grip?

Many people are not familiar with the term hook grip. The hook grip is a method of taking strain off of your forearm muscles. It is most commonly used on lifts like Cleans and Snatches. However it can also be used for other lifts such as deadlifts and barbell rows.

As shown in the photo above, the hook grip simply means you wrap your fingers over your thumb. Rather than your thumb over your fingers. This will likely feel uncomfortable at first and will likely hurt. Over time it will begin to feel natural and no longer hurt. Taping your thumb can help.


  1. Shouldn’t that say no no no a gym withOUT barbells is minimizing..

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