The barbell is essential to many resistance exercise, you will almost certainly find barbells in any good gym and are a common favorite for home gyms due to the vast variety of exercises that can be performed with just a barbell. This piece of fitness equipment consist of a long bar with weights on the end of the bar and secured with, either a spring type collar or threaded nut. The length of the bar is not always standard, these lengths normally range from as little as 1.2m to 2.1m, the bar itself can also be seen different diameters but will normally have some form of cross hatch pattern much like a Dumbbell to increase grip.
The are essentially only two types of barbell, those that are fixed and adjustable type barbells where the weight is selected and locked by collars.
Fixed Weight Barbells
A fixed barbell is exactly that, the weight can not be changed, although not ideal for a home user these types of barbells are comman within gym’s and fitness suits. The fitness facility will normally have a range of barbells, likely on a rack for easy selction, the customer can easily choose the barbell weight they need with out changing any weights.
The good thing about these types of weight is that they are safer and easier to use which for a gym will be high on their list of priorities, the customer is not likely to suffer any injuries from changing the weights and the gym environment will not be scatted with loss eight plates causing a hazard and risk to gym users.
The bad pints to raise regarding fixed weight barbells is that they do take up a large amount of space, unless the gym is very small this is not going to be a problem for most fitness facilities however in the home or where the weights need to be changed on a regular basis it is not that practical. This is especially true in places where heavy weights are required, if fixed weights were used, a large number of fixed weight dumbbells would be required making it very expensive. Normally this would apply to body building establishment and gyms or in an Olympic setting or training facility where adjustable weight Barbells would be preferred.
Adjustable Weight Barbells
Much more versatile, a barbell where you can select your own weight make an ideal choice for home users, it’s also possible to see adjustable style barbells in gym’s and fitness suites especially where they have more advanced equipment for resistance training such as a Smith Machine or Power Rack. Weight plates for adjustable style Barbells can range fro small cast iron plates or concrete filled plastic weights on cheaper style Barbells, those that normally used in homes or smaller fitness facilities will be in this style. These weight plates increase in size as we look at the weights used on Smith Machines and Power Racks, these are also not dis-similar to Olympic style weights with the only real difference being the color of the plates.
Variations of Barbells
Olympic Barbells (an adjustable Barbell)
An olympic bar is heavy than most barbells with a set weight and size for men and women, the bars have outer sleeves that rotate. This design enables a weight lifter to perform exercises without inertia effect created when powerlifting exercise being performed and makes it easier for the weight lift to lift and lower the weight under control.
The collars for Olympic type bars can weigh up to 2.5Kg each meaning for Men using a bar with no weight and collars, the starting weight would be 25Kg
Men’s Olympic Bars
A men’s Olympic bar is 2.2 Meters in length and weighs in at 20Kg, the outer ends diameter is measured at 50 mm.
Women;s Olympic Bars
A women’s Olympic bar is 2.05 Meters in length and weighs in at 15Kg, the outer ends diameter is measured at 50 mm.
Olympic Weight Plates
Olympic weigh plates will have set colors according to their weight are are similar to those types of plates you might find on a Smith Machine or Power Rack in a gym.
The colored weight plates are as follows:
Red is 25Kg
Blue is 20Kg
Yellow is 15Kg
Green is 10Kg
White is 5Kg
Red is also 2.5Kg
Blue is also 2Kg
Yellow is also 1.6Kg
Green is also 1Kg
White is also 0.5Kg
EZ Barbells (Normally an adjustable Barbell)
This curl bar consist os a bar with near 45 degree angles to enable the user to take amore natural grip, a very common bar type for performing Biceps Curls and Upright Rows.
Triceps Bar (Normally an adjustable Barbell)
This bar has two parallel bars in the middle of the bar with supporting bars and hand grip between the two bars, this type of bar is almost always used for targeting the Triceps muscles more effectively with exercise such as Triceps Extensions.