Barbells are essential in weight training for men and women. Their ubiquitous use makes them necessary in exercises like barbell squats, bench presses, deadlifts, bent-over rows, barbell hip thrusts, etc. As a result of this ubiquitous use, you may want to get a barbell and know what kind of barbells you need regarding their length and sizes. This article will assist you as it will discuss what length barbell you need and other essential tips for buying and using a barbell.
As you may expect, barbells come in various shapes and sizes. The more common barbells have a standard length of 7.2 ft (2.2 meters) for men and ~6.5 ft (1.9 meters) for women. Furthermore, they also come with a 28-29 mm and 25 mm shaft for men and women, respectively. In addition, standard barbells weigh ~44 pounds (20 kg) and ~33 pounds (15 kg) for men and women, respectively.
The length of the barbell you will require primarily depends on the exercise you are using the barbell for. Here are some examples:
If you want to use your barbell primarily for bench pressing, your preferred length should come from the length of the bench rack you will be using. If you use a bench rack with barbell holders, check the distance between the ends of both racks. This will determine how long your barbell should be, as the length of its shoulders should (considerably) exceed this distance. This will ensure that the barbell’s shoulders sit outside both posts. As a result, there will be no disturbance while racking the barbell and loading and unloading weight plates. In cases like this, you are better off with a barbell that is at least 7 ft long. If you are interested in getting a 7 ft barbell, you should look at the Ohio Bar – Black Zinc.
If you are using much older benches with racks only wide enough to fit your head, you can theoretically use barbells of any length, as there will always be space between the bars' shoulders and the rack. However, you should opt for shorter barbells in these cases as it becomes increasingly easy to lose balance the longer the barbell is.
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Your barbell length will be similar to the barbells you will use in modern, wider benches if you will be performing your bench presses on a squat or power rack. This is because most modern racks are 47-49 inches wide, only capable of fitting a 7ft barbell. However, you can use rackable 6 ft bars, like the Rogue C-70S Bar on the squat or power rack. But because the difference in length comes from the barbell’s shoulders, you will be unable to rack as many weight plates on the bar.
💡 Quick Tip: Rogue deep dish plates have enjoyed great reviews recently, so you can opt for them if you are looking to get weight plates for your barbell
Rogue deep dish plates
For barbell squats in a power or squat rack, you are getting similar numbers as the squat rack bench press as you are using the same rack. As a result, your barbell length will be anything around or more than 7 ft long. However, you will also be able to use the 6 ft rackable barbells, but the same limitations will apply as they do while bench pressing.
If you will be squatting with an independent squat rack, your barbell length choice will increase.
This is because independent squat racks feature a 2-piece semi-portable design that allows you to adjust both stands to whatever distance apart you prefer. This means that the rack can fit several barbell lengths. However, for ease of squatting, it is advisable that you set it to lengths that mimic the power or squat rack to make your squatting easier. Doing this will see you needing barbells that are about 7 ft long as well.
💡 Quick Tip: If you want to perform your bench presses on a squat rack, you will also need an adjustable bench to use on the squat rack. Try out the Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
Rogue Adjustable Bench 3.0
Tips on maintaining your barbells
Here are some essential tips that can ensure you get the best of your weight plates:
Store them well after using
It is advisable to adequately store your barbells after using them. Keeping them ensures the barbells remain safe while not in use. As a result, this limits potential damages to only when you are using them. Furthermore, keeping them safely away after using them gives you more space, mainly if you use your barbell at home. Littering the ground with your barbell makes it challenging to move around as you can easily hit it. Various gym equipment, like squat and power racks or machines, have racks where you can keep your barbells after using them.
Keep them away from liquid
Ensuring your barbells do not come in contact with water helps you improve their longevity as it prevents corrosion. Generally, costlier barbells have finishes that prevent rusting longer than less costly alternatives. Despite this, keeping your barbells away from water to ensure their longevity is a common rule.
Use them carefully
It is critical that you use your barbells carefully so that you do not damage it, your apartment, or, worse still, yourself. You should carefully drop the barbell whenever you have to during or after your sets. Costlier premium barbells are typically more durable, but this merely transfers the damage from the barbell to whatever it hits. Besides damaging the floor, the barbell, or yourself, using them carelessly can also cause disturbances in the neighborhood, mainly if you use a home gym.
You can also look to repainting your barbell if it starts to rust. Painting your barbells can give them a brand-new, rejuvenated, fresh look. Painting your barbell is a detail-oriented process, so you have to ensure you make little to no mistakes. You should also get protective gear to prevent the spray from contacting your skin as you spray the barbell.
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