Olympic barbell VS standard barbell; Which one is best?

When you are going to purchase a barbell for your daily workout, you may be confused about which type of barbell is better for you. Among the types, in this article, I am going to discuss Olympic barbell VS standard barbell. 

If you purchase the wrong barbell for you, it will not be good for your training. Though Olympic bars and standard bars are very similar, there are some differences. If you know them properly, you can make the right decision. 

Olympic barbell VS standard barbell

The Olympic barbell weight is bigger than the standard barbell. Besides, the diameter of the Olympic barbell weight set is also thicker than the standard bars.  Besides, the price is higher in the case of Olympic bars. 

So, the weight ratings are higher for Olympic bars than standard bars. The weight rating of the standard barbell is not for professional-level people.

Let’s see the key differences between Olympic and standard barbells

Difference in size

The barbells come in different lengths, such as 5, 6, 6.6, and 7 feet if you consider the length. So, the size of a standard barbell is 5, 6, or 7 feet. 

On the other hand, the Olympic barbell can be 6.6 feet for women and 7.2 feet for men. 

Now consider the diameter of the sleeves. Most Olympic barbells come with 48-50mm sleeves. It depends on the industry-standard according to the plate type. 

The diameter of a standard barbell is 25 mm according to the shaft, sleeves, and plates. So, the plate with 2 inches diameter does not fit with the sleeve. 

The strength of the barbells

PSI number means the tensile strength of the barbells. PSI means pounds per square inch. If the bar comes with a higher PSI number, it seems stronger. 

However, if you are going to purchase a barbell for the first time, you should avoid the barbell that comes with 165K PSI. If you have a tight budget, you can try to get one with 180K PSI. 

However, Olympic powerlifting barbell has a higher PSI rating than standard barbells. In addition, a standard bar can handle only 200lbs weight. So, I frankly suggest you take an Olympic powerlifting bar for weight training. 

Barbells Function

Let’s consider the overall function of Olympic lift barbells and standard barbells. Olympic barbells can take heavier weight plates. They are longer, heavier, and more powerful barbells. 

So, if you visit a commercial gym, you will find Olympic barbells there. As you consider the capacity and durability, Olympic barbells are the best. 

On the other hand, standard barbells are smaller, lighter, and easy to manage. It takes less space. Most people choose Olympic lift bars for their features and quality. 

Bar thickness and weight

The thickness of the men’s Olympic weightlifting bar is 28-29 mm. And this thickness of the Olympic weight plate is 25 mm for women.  The steel plates are heavier. 

If you choose a bench press bar, the thickness is slightly more. If you consider some other types of barbells, the Olympic powerlifting barbell is thinner but not thinner like the standard bar. 

Standard plates are thicker and 25 mm with shaft and sleeve length. The men’s Olympic barbells weigh 20kg. And for women, the Olympic weights 15 kg. But the standard weight plate is between 5-12 kg. 

Bar sleeves

The Olympic bars come with 2 inches ends. Besides, most of the Olympic bars come with free rotating ends. The ends reduce torque from weight plates. 

When you raise a barbell and take it above your head, the Olympic bar allows it to rotate to change the weight position. Thus, it reduces torque that keeps your wrists feel comfortable. 

On the other hand, the bar sleeves of the standard bar does not have rotating ends. 


Generally, an Olympic barbell is pricy than the standard barbell. It is made of steel and is heavier and longer than standard bars. Besides, sleeves are also made with better technology.

Which barbell is the better option?

Now is the best time to decide on the Olympic barbell VS the standard barbell which one you should buy.  

If you like to have a quality one with heavier weight and better technology, you should take the Olympic weight bar. It will give you the feel of the gym environment. 

But if you like a lightweight one to shape some of your muscles at home, you can choose standard barbell weight plates. But when you purchase any of them, you should consider several things such as quality, materials, weight, price, brand, etc., to have the best one.


This discussion on Olympic barbell VS standard barbell clarifies which is best for you. You should try one that goes better with you. Olympic size barbell may go better with you like the best barbell. 

But for starting, the standard weight set is good. To learn more, search for standard barbell VS Olympic Reddit. 

From most sides, the Olympic bar is the best. However, if you need a less-weight one for your home gym, you can choose standard bars. 


  • Kelly Clanton

    Hi there! I'm Kelly Clanton. I am an educated fitness coach with a master degree in Sports Education, and more than ​9 years of working in fitness industry. I love doing and teaching fitness because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health back into their own hands. I'm a Mom,Wife, Fitness Instructor at Fitness Instructor.

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