When it comes to weightlifting, the bench press is a quintessential exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, it’s crucial to understand the weight distribution and mechanics of the bar to maximize your performance and avoid injury. One of the common questions that arise is, “How much does the bar weigh on a bench press?” In this comprehensive article, we will delve into this topic, provide accurate information, and offer tips to help you excel in your bench press journey.

In Detail Brief for the Weight of the Bar on Bench Press

Understanding Standard Barbell Specifications

Before discussing the specific weight of the bar, it’s important to familiarize ourselves with the standard barbell specifications used in most gyms. A standard barbell is typically 7 feet (2.13 meters) long and weighs 45 pounds (20 kilograms). The bar’s diameter is around 1 inch (25 millimeters) and is designed to accommodate Olympic-sized weight plates with a 2-inch (50-millimeter) center hole. These specifications are commonly followed in powerlifting and weightlifting competitions worldwide.

The Weight of the Bar on a Bench Press

Now, let’s address the question at hand: how much does the bar weigh on a bench press? As mentioned earlier, the standard weight of a barbell is 45 pounds (20 kilograms). However, it’s essential to note that not all barbells weigh the same. Some gyms may have lighter training bars, typically weighing 35 pounds (15 kilograms), which are specifically designed for beginners or individuals with limited upper body strength. These bars have a smaller diameter, making them easier to grip for those with smaller hands.

Apart from the standard and training bars, there are also specialty bars available in some gyms. For instance, the “women’s bar” typically weighs around 33 pounds (15 kilograms), making it suitable for individuals who prefer a lighter starting point. Additionally, some powerlifting bars can weigh up to 55 pounds (25 kilograms) to provide additional challenge and resistance for advanced lifters. These bars often have a higher tensile strength, allowing for heavier loads.

Determining the Total Weight on a Bench Press

To calculate the total weight on a bench press, you need to consider the weight of the bar in addition to the weight plates loaded onto it. Let’s consider a scenario where you have a standard 45-pound (20-kilogram) bar and two 45-pound (20-kilogram) weight plates on each side. In this case, the total weight on the bench press would be:

Weight of the bar (45 pounds) + Weight of the weight plates (45 pounds + 45 pounds) = 135 pounds

Similarly, if you were to use a training bar weighing 35 pounds (15 kilograms) and had two 25-pound (11-kilogram) weight plates on each side, the total weight would be:

Weight of the bar (35 pounds) + Weight of the weight plates (25 pounds + 25 pounds) = 110 pounds

It’s important to remember that the total weight will vary based on the combination of weight plates you choose to load on the bar.

Tips for Proper Bench Press Technique

Now that we have addressed the weight of the bar on a bench press, here are some additional tips to help you improve your technique:

1. Warm-up adequately:

Prioritize a thorough warm-up routine to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout session. This helps reduce the risk of injury and allows for better performance.

2. Focus on form:

Maintain proper form throughout the exercise. Keep your back flat against the bench, your feet planted on the floor, and your grip width comfortable and stable.

3. Gradually increase the weight:

Progression is key in strength training. Start with a weight that challenges you but allows for proper form and control. As you become more comfortable and stronger, gradually increase the weight in small increments.

4. Engage your core:

During the bench press, your core muscles’ stability is essential. By bringing your belly button closer to your spine, you can tighten your abs. By doing so, you’ll maintain your balance and prevent an excessive arch in your lower back.

5. Breathe properly:

Practice proper breathing techniques during the bench press. Inhale deeply before lowering the bar and exhale forcefully as you push the weight back up. This breathing pattern helps maintain intra-abdominal pressure and stability.

6. Maintain control and range of motion:

Lower the bar under control, allowing it to touch your chest slightly below the nipple line. Avoid bouncing the bar off your chest, as this can lead to injuries. Push the bar back up using a smooth and controlled motion, fully extending your elbows at the top.

7. Utilize a spotter:

Having a spotter while performing heavy bench presses is highly recommended, especially when lifting near your maximum weight. A spotter can assist you if you struggle to complete a rep and help ensure your safety.

8. Incorporate accessory exercises:

Strengthening the supporting muscles involved in the bench press can enhance your performance. Include exercises such as dumbbell presses, push-ups, dips, and rows to target different muscle groups and improve overall strength.


Understanding the weight of the bar on a bench press is crucial for effective weightlifting. While the standard barbell weighs 45 pounds (20 kilograms), it’s essential to consider the variations in bar weight depending on the type of bar used. Remember to calculate the total weight by adding the weight of the bar to the weight plates loaded on it. Focus on proper technique, gradually increase the weight, engage your core, and breathe correctly to maximize your bench press performance. By following these tips and maintaining consistency in your training, you can achieve your strength and fitness goals while ensuring safety and injury prevention.


Shakir Hasan is a fully qualified personal trainer and award winning writer, with a decade’s worth of experience under his belt. He has helped hundreds of people to meet their dietary and fitness goals, writing exercise and nutrition plans to suit any and every requirement. Shakir founded ThisIsWhyIamFit as a way to share his vast knowledge of exercises, diets, and general fitness advice.

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