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What Size Barbell Do I Need?

Are you shopping for a new barbell but don't really know what you're looking for? Do you find that the options online have you lost and confused? If you are currently wondering, "What size barbell do I need?", then you've come to the right place.

Comparing a seemingly endless selection of barbells can be an intimidating task, especially if you aren't sure what you're looking for. In this guide to barbell sizes, we will identify the different criteria you should be considering when shopping for a new barbell.  

Whether you are new to lifting, looking to upgrade, or just want to lift a little heavier, Tru Grit has the perfect selection of premium barbells for your strength training needs.

Speaking of needs, let's take a look at what your needs have to do with finding the perfect size barbell for you, whether it’s a women’s Olympic barbell, men’s Olympic barbell, standard barbell, or some other variety.

How Heavy Should My Barbell Be?

 Generally speaking, how heavy your barbell is will depend on two crucial variables. The first variable is how much weight you can lift right now. If you are still in the early stages of your weight lifting career, then you will probably want to aim for a lighter barbell.

Starting with a lighter barbell is good for a multitude of reasons. For one, you can use a lighter bar to focus on form and technique without having to worry about whether or not you can actually lift the weight.

Additionally, starting with a lighter barbell is helpful for building confidence. It is so much more rewarding to stack more and more weight onto the bar as the days and weeks go on. Try starting with a lighter barbell, and remember you can always upgrade to a heavier bar later should you see yourself improve rapidly.

Why Starting With A Lighter Bar Makes More Sense For Beginners

While weight lifting is all about getting stronger, it is also an exercise that takes time to develop the proper technique, muscle mass, and stamina in order to truly push yourself to your limit. Starting too heavy can be dangerous, and while you can always add more weight to a lighter barbell, you can only take so much weight off before you realize it is the barbell itself that is too heavy.

As we alluded to above, determining which bar you should buy, whether it’s an Olympic barbell vs standard barbell, will not simply be decided by how much weight you can currently lift. Determining the proper barbell for you will also be decided by what your weight lifting goals are.  

For example, if you are interested in toning muscle but not necessarily building mass, then a lighter bar at greater reps will help you do this. On the other hand, someone who is looking to bulk up should look to a heavier barbell with more weight and focus on strength training exercises that build muscle like power cleans and deadlifts.

What Size Barbell Should A Woman Use?

The 35 lb Olympic barbell from Tru Grit is the ideal barbell for women. This women’s barbell features a 25mm bar diameter for added strength, which promotes minimal flex for maximum whip. The Olympic barbell, which fits IWF qualifications, also features a deep knurl pattern that is designed to be coarse but never abrasive or sharp, so you can keep your grip and focus on the exercise at hand, from deadlift to bench press.1 

What Size Barbell Should A Man Use?

Most men, even those who aren't practiced bodybuilders, should seriously consider the 45 lb Olympic weightlifting bar. 45 lbs with bumper plates weighs a little more than the biggest bag of dog food you can buy. Additionally, the 45 lb bar sold by Tru Grit is an IWF certified Olympic bar, making it the ultimate training tool whether you are a competitive lifter or a novice athlete.2 

Even men who are new to lifting should be able to handle this weight without sacrificing form or picking up bad habits. The benefit of buying a 45 lb bar is that it's an investment in the future. You typically only need one barbell as they tend to last a very long time. Don't let the weight intimidate you; it's not as heavy as it sounds.

What Is A Good Barbell Weight For Beginners?

For those who are new to weight training, a 15 lb technique barbell is the ultimate way to get your feet wet. In fact, this type of bar helps you learn how to get your feet squarely planted underneath you as you develop the ultimate weight lifting technique for all barbell exercises.

Plus, this bar serves as a fantastic option for anyone looking to supplement their workout with curls or presses as the lighter weight and smaller diameter make it a great bar for lighter weight exercises.

How Do I Know What Size Barbell To Buy?

When deciding which barbell to buy, you need to take stock of your fitness level, your fitness goals, and your commitment to lifting. If you are uncertain about whether lifting is the right exercise regimen for your needs, then beginning with a lighter bar is a great way to introduce yourself to the rigors of lifting. 

If you are able to, we recommend seeking expert advice from a trainer or physical therapist before buying a barbell. Someone who can take stock of your physical condition and identify your fitness needs will be a great advocate for determining what kind of barbell you need. The idea when buying a new barbell is to set yourself up for maximum success by finding the perfect intersection of your current fitness level and your future fitness goals.

What Is My Fitness Level?

If you are new to lifting, then starting off with the heaviest possible barbell is probably not the best decision. Especially when starting a new type of workout like lifting, everyone wants to believe that they are going to easily fall into a new routine.  

Lifting is hard work, and it takes dedication and grit, especially when you are first starting. You are going to have days where you are tired and sore, and you are going to need to push through. It's going to be these days when you may need to scale back on the amount of weight you're stacking, so when in doubt, go a little lighter than you otherwise would.

If you're just beginning your lifting journey, then we recommend going with a lighter barbell like a 15 lb technique barbell or a 35 lb barbell. If you know that you are in this for the long haul, then go ahead and go with the 45 lb Olympic bar, as this will be the bar you eventually progress to. The only caveat to starting with the 45 lb bar is this:

Be sure you can do all the exercises you are planning on adding to your regimen with the barbell and at least a bumper weight plate on each side. The barbell needs some kind of weight attached to it in order to be used properly. The best way to do this is by testing a standard 45 lb barbell with hi-temp bumper plates at a local gym.

What Are My Abilities?

Don't think that just because the Tru Grit 45 lb Olympic bar is listed under "Men's Bars," that it is somehow exclusively for men. Likewise, just because the 35 lb Olympic bar is listed as a woman's bar doesn't mean that it is exclusively for women. Buying a barbell is a personal choice, and you just need to be real with yourself about what you can and can't handle.

The best barbell for you is the one that will offer you a challenge without being too cumbersome or intimidating. Remember, lifting is an activity that has the highest efficacy when practiced consistently.

Talking yourself into a heavier barbell may not be the best choice, especially if it is going to cause you to feel discouraged and prevent you from executing your regimen. It is far better to work your way up to a heavier barbell rather than starting at the heaviest possible bar, and not having the ability to adjust the weight using bumper plates as you get stronger. If you are still wondering, “What are bumper plates and are they necessary?”, it is important to note that this is another aspect to consider when choosing a barbell that is right for you.

From Beginner Bars To Advanced Bars, Tru Grit Has You Covered

Tru Grit's selection of barbells may be listed as "Training Barbell," "Women's Barbell," and "Men's Barbell," but try to think of them more as "Beginner," "Intermediate," and "Advanced."

Thinking of the three weight classes of barbells available at Tru Grit in these terms will help you to accurately identify which barbell you need, so long as you are being honest about your abilities and your goals. If you aren't sure about where you're at with your fitness level, go experiment at a gym or work with a certified trainer. If you are straddling the line between one category and another, we recommend going heavier instead of lighter.

For those who aren't sure if lifting is the long-term solution, go with a lighter bar and add more weight. For those who are committed to the journey of lifting for life, go as big and heavy as you can safely handle.

Let's Get You Lifting

By this point, you should have a pretty good idea about what barbell you need. Remember, honestly assessing your needs and abilities is a crucial first step in deciding what size barbell you need.

If you are still a little lost, remember that trying different barbells at your local gym is a great way to find the perfect size. After trying a few different options, come back to this article and see if your perspective has changed regarding which barbell size you need for future success with your new lifting regimen.

For any other questions, connect with our team at Tru Grit, and we will help you identify the perfect barbell for your needs. Now, let's get lifting!


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