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Let’s Understand The Difference: Standard Barbells And Olympic Barbells.

by | Apr 21, 2023 | fitness equipment, Gym, Health | 0 comments

The barbell is one of the most commonly used equipments in any physical training. Those who train at home go for the most affordable barbells out there to start their training. However, someone serious about weightlifting or thinking of it as a career option needs to understand the difference between a regular barbell and an Olympic barbell.  

Size And Weight Of Olympic Barbells Vs Regular Barbells 

Not all barbells are the same. Also, when we discuss Olympic barbells and standard barbells available, there can be vast differences between the two. 

An Olympic barbell will be different in shape, size, weight and diameter. There is standardised measurement approved by several to ensure the standards of the competition. Hence, there’s a difference between women’s and men’s Olympic barbells. 

All Olympic barbell sets are of consistent sizes and have the same styles as well. 


Many think Olympic barbells and powerlifting bars are the same. However, that is not the case. There’s a difference between them both. Thus, one should refrain from using the terms interchangeably. 


  • Olympic barbells have more loading capacity. It is often 500kg or more. At the same time, standard barbells are 160 Kg in terms of loading capacity. 
  • During squats or lifts, the Olympic barbell spins. You can observe this by closely watching any video of the competition. 
  • Knurling is the grip required to hold the barbells. On a standard barbell, this knurling is defined and easy to recognise. However, on an Olympic barbell, it is much more refined and not noticeable.
  • The next difference is between the whip. The whip is the capacity of any barbell to store elastic energy. In simple words, this refers to how much a bar can bend or bounce back. 
  • Olympic Deadlift Barbells: These have a significant level of the whip to them.
  • Olympic Squat Barbells: These have very limited whip to them.
  • Olympic Bench Press Barbells: These have no whip as they do not bounce back.
  • An Olympic barbell always has a rubber coating, and the bars are colour coded to differentiate from one another. 
  • Standard weights have a 1-inch hole, whereas an Olympic weight has 2-inch holes to it. 

 can We Use Olympic Weight On A Standard Bar?

You cannot do so. No matter how strong your standard bar is, it is not suitable for Olympic weights, and it can do more harm than good. 

To resolve the issue, you can get adaptive sleeves that can effortlessly slide to make the bar suitable for Olympic weight. 

However, do not use Olympic weight on a standard bar without the sleeves. 

Which Bars Should I Purchase While Training At Home?

 Any standard bar has a lot of restrictions. Over time it will start to bend. Soon you won’t have enough space on the bar to add extra plates, and it might not fit your squat rack. 


Olympic bars are there because they suit the standard and can be beneficial. However, they will be on the pricier side of the spectrum, and you will not be able to use standard plates on them. It is best to use them. The spin they provide will elevate your weight training. 

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