In this article, I will be discussing what to look for when getting a bench press bar and also recommend some of the best deals on the web for getting a good bar.
The standard CAP 84″ bar is perfect for a beginner. The price is excellent (you will not even find a used bar that affordable), it weighs a legit 45 pounds and is 7 feet long. Safely supports up to 250 pounds.
- The York Barbell set is great for someone who is starting a home-gym. York produces high-quality gym equipment. With 300 pounds of weight included with the bar, this is an amazing price for the quality of the bar and weight.
- For the serious lifter, a Texas Powerbar is a must-have addition to your home gym. They can be quite expensive so unless you are planning on benching 315+ pounds or deadlifting much more than that, a standard York barbell will workfine.
Proper Bench Press Bar Weight and Proportions
Frequently, bench press bars are sometimes called “olympic” bars. This is a bit of a misnomer as the bench press is not an olympic lift; as a result is no such thing as an olympic bench press bar.
Bench Press Bar Weight
You may wonder why I am being so picky over whether the bar is an olympic bar or a standard bench press bar. Olympic barbells weigh 44.1 pounds (i.e. 20 kilograms) whereas many standard American bars weigh 45 pounds.
The 1-pound difference is not very much, but if you want to know the exact weight of your bar, you will have to weigh it to be sure.
With that said, a lot of cheap barbells do not weigh 45 pounds. They might not even weigh 44 pounds! If you bought your bar as part of a discount barbell set it could literally weigh anything. A lot of times these bars can weigh as little as 35 pounds, but will often fall anywhere in between 35 and 45 depending on the manufacturer.
The only way to get an exact weight is to weigh your barbell. If you are looking to buy a legit barbell, the bars recommended below all weigh 45 pounds.
Bench Press Bar Proportions
All standard bars should be 7′ (84″) long. A lot of times you will see 5′ bars advertised as bench press bars. This is just an outright fabrication; any 5′ bar can only be used for lifts like curls and will not support any serious amount of weight.
Bench Press Bar Maintenance
If you get a high-quality bar like the ones mentioned above, it should last for a long time. However, you want to make sure that you take good care of your bar.
The number one mistake that people make is leaving weight on the bar that is racked on a bench press. Even light weight results in a low-grade strain on the bar that can result in some permanent bar bending.
What many people do not know is that all barbells are not created equal. If you put too much weight on a barbell (even if it has plenty of space for it), it can permanently bend or even break in a dramatic fashion.
Even a high-quality bar will have a very slight bend when 225 pounds or more is loaded on the bar and the bar is racked in the bench. This presents no problem during a workout. However, if you leave that weight on the bar every hour of every day, over the course of a few weeks the bar can bend and weaken. Be sure to unload your bar after each workout.