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  1. #1
    smathews is offline Senior Member
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    Default Weigh your barbell

    In June, I lifted at a powerlifting push/pull meet, and I remember thinking how much heavier the bar felt at the meet than at home. I attributed it to nerves. Turns out, it was heavier.

    I bought a new Standard Barbell 300 pound olympic set some time back, and have since added various plates to my collection. Today, I weighed the bar. Oly bars are 45 pounds, right? Mine is almost 33 pounds. A 12 pound difference! My "double bodyweight" deadlift last month of 360 was really 348. I have another bar I picked up used. The brand is not stamped on it, but it weighs 41 pounds.

    If you compete in powerlifting, weigh your bars. If I had known how much I was really lifting, I would have changed my opener in the bench press at my last meet. Why could I deadlift weights at home that I missed at the meet? Because I thought I was lifting heavier at home than I really was.

    I'll continue using these bars, because they are what I have, but now I'll add weight to compensate. I bet if you make the investment in a quality bar (Elieko, York, etc.), this does not happen, but with these cheap bars, apparently the weight can be anywhere across the board. Let the buyer beware.

  2. #2
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    I don't compete. I just lift what I have. But for competitors this is a big concern. 12lbs out of specs is huge. How can that much iron be missing from an oly bar? Alot of air bubbles in the manufacturing process? Weigh the plates too. Who knows, if they screwed up with the bar why not the plates too? Does anyone know if DD has stringent quality control with regards to kettlebells? I suspect they do but I have not done any weight checks to confirm this. But then again I just lift what I got - if they be off by a few ounces I not overly concerned..Dennis

  3. #3
    DLS
    DLS is offline Senior Member
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    While not common, there are 35-pound Oly bars out there. A quick Internet search will pull them up. I've seen them a lot in school weight rooms, where a bit lighter bar allows smaller / weaker students to move to free bar exercises a bit earlier than otherwise.

    I'll bet your 33-pound bar is actually meant to be one of these 35-pounders.
    Be well ... Lee.

  4. #4
    smathews is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLS View Post
    While not common, there are 35-pound Oly bars out there. A quick Internet search will pull them up. I've seen them a lot in school weight rooms, where a bit lighter bar allows smaller / weaker students to move to free bar exercises a bit earlier than otherwise.

    I'll bet your 33-pound bar is actually meant to be one of these 35-pounders.
    It came with 255 pounds of plates, marketed as a 300 pound set.

    Ad5ly, the bar is steel. Taking it apart and looking it seems that the difference is in the sleeves. On the 41 pound bar, they are about 1/4 inch thick (just an estimate), whereas on the lighter bar, they are considerably thinner, and have plastic inside. Looks like this bar was never intended to weigh 45 pounds.

  5. #5
    bwwm is offline Senior Member
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    Plates and kettlebells (probably not DD) can be off by a few pounds too. Usually lighter. So if you're short a pound or two on each plate, and you have 10 plates on, that could be 12+ lbs short as well. For grip comps, all promoters are now required to verify the plate weight on a certified scale (post office, etc.). I started weighing some of my plates at the post office. Most were a little lighter, a few were heavier than spec.

  6. #6
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    smathews,

    Jeesh! How could I miss that. I gonna haff to change over to de-cafe coffee if I want to continue to post on the forum. Sorry about the mention of an IRON oily bar. That would be stupid!..hehe! Makes sense how you describe the sleeves. ..Dennis

  7. #7
    smathews is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwwm View Post
    Plates and kettlebells (probably not DD) can be off by a few pounds too. Usually lighter. So if you're short a pound or two on each plate, and you have 10 plates on, that could be 12+ lbs short as well. For grip comps, all promoters are now required to verify the plate weight on a certified scale (post office, etc.). I started weighing some of my plates at the post office. Most were a little lighter, a few were heavier than spec.
    That's not a bad idea. I have an old doctor's office scale, I picked up,and I tested it with a variety of kettlebells. The scale read the weight that was marked on each kettlebell, so I assume that the scale and the kettlebells were both accurate.

    I looked back over my notes for training leading up to my powerlifting meet, and this bar cost me two bench press attempts. I had hit "215" in training several times, and was confident at that weight. I had hit "220" twice (don't laugh!). At the meet, I opened at 195, and it felt heavy, and missed 215 twice. Turns out I was benching 203 at home, and had hit 208 a couple of times. Ugh.

    Several people here, like Steve Friedes and Jack Reape have made comments to effect that it does not matter what you can do in the gym; the records that count are the ones where you step on to the platform and compete. Here's another case in point to demonstrate the truth of this sentiment. Lifting under official rules, with certified equipment- that's the tale of the tape.

  8. #8
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    I believe the women's bar is by regulation supposed to be 35, but of course, yours should have been 45 to go with your set. Personally, I don't like plastic bearings since I do more Olympic-style lifting, and dropping the bar from heights is too much for the plastic bearings and bolted ends. I had one break on me one time. I invested $150 in a good brass bearing, 1500 lb bar with sealed ends, and it has been great. For Olympic lifting, needle-bearing bars are best, but are a lot more expensive, and I felt that it was more than I needed. The brass bushing bars are more common for powerlifting, like the "Texas Power Bar," and tough enough for what I do.
    I've never weighed the bar, but it is guaranteed to be plus or minus .5% if I recall correctly, and reviewers confirmed it was.

    BTW, I don't know how much you know about bars, but usually the useful weight capacity is usually around 60% of the rated capacity. Cheaper bars rated at 600 lbs often bend under 400 or more pounds and become permanently warped. If you plan to lift heavy for any length of time, I would really recommend investing in a quality bar.

  9. #9
    bwwm is offline Senior Member
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    Also if you do any rack pulls with the bar, you'll quickly find out how good it is. Even the good bars might have some problems from rack pulls over time. Obviously depends on how much weight you use and from how high up (or if) you drop it.

  10. #10
    Rog
    Rog is offline Senior Member
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    My 36kg non DD kettlebell weighs 38kg. Whilst I'm getting free poundage, it annoys me as I reckon 36 kg is my 1RM and I can't quite press this 38kg one.
    [SIZE="1"]Currently working ROP with a 32kg for presses, random for swing, 24kg for snatch.[/SIZE]

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