T Nation

Does the Bar Count?

If you’re telling someone what you squat etc, do you count the bar?

I’ve always thought the Oly bar weighs what the Oly bar weighs and as it weighs the same everywhere it shouldn’t be counted.

On the other hand, logic dictates that if you’re moving the bar it does count so it should be counted (but if you’re using spinlock weights presumably you only count the weights and not the dumbbell).

Of course, counting the bar adds almost 50 lb to your lift so it looks much more impressive which is probably the most compelling reason of all!

Any thoughts?

if you lift it, it counts.

Yes, you count the bar.
That’s part of the weight you’re lifting.

I don’t know about you but when I squat I lift the bar as well – so yes I count it.

I suppose on lifts like squats, dips, chins you could also add your bodyweight since your lifting most of it. If a guy weighs 50 lbs. more that me and can do the same number of chins than that would mean he is stronger.

mig

Of course you count the bar, thats how they arrive at the common figures of 135, 225, 315 etc. Certain bdywt strength evals use a percent of your bdywt example: pushup you are lifting your body but not your arms so they say 75-80% etc. So in the example of the chins yes if you weigh more than the next guy and do more reps you are obviously lifing more weight. and are stronger but strength is relative if the lighter chinner does more reps it may be argued relatively he is stronger tham the heavier chinner relative to his weight. In a lift like the squat you only count the bar and weights but technicaly you are also lifting a percentage of your bdywt.

[quote]migman40 wrote:
I suppose on lifts like squats, dips, chins you could also add your bodyweight since your lifting most of it. If a guy weighs 50 lbs. more that me and can do the same number of chins than that would mean he is stronger.

mig

[/quote]

I agree with all of the excersises you mentioned except for the squats.

I guess technically you’re squatting part of you body weight, but that can vary so much depending on the size of the person and where he/she carries the weight (for example, you’re not lifting your calves when squatting).

I would say that generally, one wouldn’t count body weight in lifts such as squats, deads, cleans…

Just like you don’t count your arm weight when benching.

I guess you’re not lifting your forearms when doing pull-ups either, but for some reason, it seems to make sence to add in your body weight, or say something like “BW + 50 lbs” or “180 lbs BW + 50 lbs”, where as you wouldn’t say you squatted “BW + 300 lbs”.

I guess it would be more significantly difficult to do pull-ups or dips when you gain 10 lbs than it would be to squat.

Yes of course you count the bar. Go to any powerlifting web site to read what the various records are and you can bet your bottom dollar they are including the weight of the bar. Yes the extra 45lb does make your stats look better than if you don’t include it and whats wrong with that youre lifting it after all. (Bottom line is most people aren’t so humble as to detract the weight of the bar when they quote their max lift, the world doesn’t work that way).

[quote]
I guess it would be more significantly difficult to do pull-ups or dips when you gain 10 lbs than it would be to squat.[/quote]

After gaining about 40 pounds I can’t do one pullup, or even a slow negative. Dips dropped to about 8 max. My squat has improved a lot though, so I’d say your right about this.

It’s funny, you know, my question looks much dumber when I see it in writing than when I was thinking about it.

Thank you all for the clarifications.

On the positive side, my bench, squat, dead etc just went up 44 lb.

Best of all, my frat curl doubled!!

Not only do you count the bar but if you’re using heavy locks you count those as well. If you’ve got 10 pound collars that counts towards the total weight.

[quote]Xvim wrote:
Not only do you count the bar but if you’re using heavy locks you count those as well. If you’ve got 10 pound collars that counts towards the total weight.[/quote]

Yea, I got that realization at my first meet.

I told them I wanted to try 315 for my next attempt, and when I went up to the bench and there wasn’t three 45lb plates on each side. They were using two 5lb clamps.

I was only 16, and a bit shy so I just asked “That’s 315, right?”. The guy looked at me like “How dare you question our math!”

I missed that lift, but I wanted to try 3 plates on each side anyway, just for the looks of it.

lol, i actually know a guy who adds his own bodyweight to the total when he tells people how much he squats. that 300 pounds is a lot less impressive if you know it includes all 160 pounds of him. by his standards im closing on a 600 pound squat.