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What Are Barbells?

Barbells are used with free weights for weight lifting and power lifting. Essentially the barbell is a metal bar, with weights attached either end. It can be used in different weight lifting exercises from the squat to the bench press.

What do you need?


The metal bar is usually 4 to 7 feet long and comes in two types of thickness, the standard thickness and the Olympic model which is thicker. Olympic bars are the types you will find in most gyms.


This is the name used to describe the round weights that you attach to either end of the bar. Make sure that the ones you buy are suitable for the size of bar that you have as well as


These are the clips that secure the plates to the bar. Again make sure they are suitable for the size of bar that you have.


This is important as you will need to store your plates. If space is an issue look for one that is upright.

Weight Bench

Look for one that can incline or decline so that you can work your muscles out at different levels.

What's the Right Barbell for You?

There are a number of different barbells, what is right for you is dependent on the exercises you want you do.

Fixed Vs Adjustable Barbells

Fixed barbells are just that, the weight is secured to the bar and usually come in increments of 5 or 10 pounds. They are a good idea if you are a novice and you don’t have to really do anything to set them up but for advanced weight lifters they won’t provide you with the variety you will need.

Olympic Vs Standard Bars

Olympic bars are designed to hold up to 350 pounds and are usually 7 feet in length. They tend to be favoured by advanced bodybuilders but some people do generally just find the wider grip more comfortable. The standard bar is around 5 feet in length and can be used by all levels.

EZ bar Vs Straight Bar

The EZ bar has a zig zag shape to it. Both types of bar allow you to lift the same weight but the EZ bar is better for you if your wrists need more support. In addition it tends to be shorter which means you can quickly see where the centre is and get the grip position right. When lifting weights on an EZ bar you can hold your wrists at a slight angle to help prevent wrist pain.

Rubber Encased Weights Vs Cast Iron Weights

Cast iron weights can work out cheaper so are the choice for many. Rubber coated weights are iron weights covered in rubber. This rubber helps prevent the weight from chipping and reduces the chance of your floor surface getting damaged.

In Summary

In an ideal world, if you're really into your strength workouts and enjoy using barbells, then you'd buy a number of different ones so that you can do various workout exercises in comfort. Having multiple barbells also means you can leave weights on some and then set up another one for a different exercise! If you are interested in buying multiple bars, why not call us on 01494 956765 and we can look at a discount to make the purchase a little less painful.