T Nation

Major Noob Question: Telling Bar Weight


alot of people add the weight of the bar when telling how much they lift. alot of people in fact. i never do. so am i wrong?


Yup. It's not like the bar doesn't weight anything. You're lifting the plates plus a 45lb bar, so it's silly to not include the bar.


Depends on what you mean by wrong. It doesn't matter if you add the weight of the bar or not (unless you're competing in a powerlifting competition), as long as the amount you put on it keeps on increasing over time. I used to think that the weight of the bar doesn't count, so whenever I record the amount of weight I use in my training log, I don't count the weight of the bar due to habit and for consistency, but if someone asks me how much I lift then I just add 45lb to it.


if u using a beginers hollow bar, then no. an olympic barbell- yes


so, i thought my deadlift max was 320, but it is actualy 365? this is going to take some getting used to.


Yes, you should add the weight of the bar.

Aside from the fact that you now have the actual weight, there are the facts that:

1) You will have clear communication with other people, both in terms of their understanding what you are saying and your relating what they are saying to your own experiences, and

2) For purposes of understanding what is going on as you change weights.

Suppose for example that a plan advises you increase weight by 5%, whether set to set or week to week or what have you.

Ignoring the bar, you would figure this as 5% of 50 lb, or only 2.5 lb.

Doing it correctly and counting the bar, you would figure it as 5% of 95%, which is almost the same as 5% of 100 lb, which means you would figure it as 5 lb.

A quite different result, especially if it is supposed to be a week-to-week addition. The error would add up fast and completely screw the program.


yes it is 365 with the 45lb bar. I bet seeing 365lbs on paper really psychs you up instead of 320lbs!


Expanding on the subject a little:

The reported weight for leg presses ordinarily does NOT account for the weight of the sled. Just the way it is. If a person says he leg presses so many pounds, he is talking about plates only.

The reported weight for exercises on Smith machines generally figures the bar at 45 lb regardless of the fact that it generally is not. E.g. if someone refers to using 225 on the Smith, they mean 2 plates per side. The actual weight might be more like 205 (will vary according the machine) but no one or essentially no one counts these that way.

Lastly, even though screw on collars typically weigh 2.5 total per set, they ordinarily in bodybuilding or general conversation they are not counted. However if they are added deliberately for the sake of their weight, when one usually uses spring collars, then it is acceptable to count them.


Always add the bar. Weight is all inclusive!