Barbells are one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment, and there are a lot of different options on the market. However, it can be difficult to know how much you need to spend on a barbell and whether you’re getting good value.
You don’t want to end up wasting your budget by overpaying, so in this guide, we'll help explain the average barbell cost so you can make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- How Much Do Barbells Cost? (Average Cost By Barbell Type)
- Barbells Compared By Price
- Factors That Influence The Cost Of Barbells
- Cheap Vs Expensive Barbells Compared (Is The Price Worth It?)
- Frequently Asked Barbell Cost Questions
How Much Do Barbells Cost? (Average Cost By Barbell Type)
Unfortunately, there’s no standard pricing for barbells, and it can vary a lot. We'll discuss what factors influence the price further in this article, but each type of barbell has a different price range.
There are two main types of barbells, Olympic and standard, and then there are variations on these types. Standard barbells are designed for anyone and vary in length and weight. They come in a range of sizes and are generally made from cast iron or steel. They are designed to take a decent amount of weight but won't be suitable for really advanced lifters.
Olympic barbells are designed for use in weightlifting competitions. They are generally made from stainless steel and built to exact specifications to meet regulations. This barbell style is made to support much heavier loads, but they are more expensive.
The quality, longevity, and functionality will be different for each barbell, and you can expect to pay a very different price for each.
Before diving into the costs of barbells, take a look at our guide to all the different kinds of barbells to familiarize yourself with common terms.
Universal Standard Barbell
This is the standard barbell you’ll find in most gyms. The length varies from 5-7 feet, and the longer they are, the more expensive they are. An average universal standard barbell can handle 250-350 pounds, but a premium model will handle up to 500 pounds. This impacts the price, and the sturdier the barbell, the higher the cost.
Universal standard barbells are suitable for lifters of all abilities, and they're popular for home gyms because they’re more affordable and compact than Olympic barbells. You can pick up a cheap standard barbell for $50-$100, but the most expensive models can be over $500.
Men’s Olympic Barbell
Men’s Olympic barbells have a standard weight of 45 pounds and a 2-inch diameter sleeve for loading and unloading weight plates. This is the barbell used in male competitions, and they're designed to handle cumbersome loads of over 500 pounds.
They're 7' 2" and made from stainless steel, so they're durable, long-lasting, and won't bend easily. If you’re an advanced lifter or training for a competition, then this is the barbell you need.
An entry level men’s Olympic barbell will cost around $150 and will be able to handle up to 500 pounds. A good quality men’s Olympic barbell will be able to handle up to 1000 pounds but will cost $250-$400, and the most advanced Olympic barbell will cost over $1,000.
Related Article - Olympic Vs Standard Barbell
Women’s Olympic Barbell
Women’s Olympic barbells are designed to be shorter and lighter than men’s Olympic barbells. They’re 6’ 6” and 33 pounds, with a 1-inch diameter. This means there’s less material involved in the manufacturing, and they are therefore cheaper than men’s Olympic barbells.
An entry level women’s Olympic barbell will cost $75-$150 and should be able to handle 300-400 pounds. A mid-range women’s Olympic barbell will be able to handle up to 600 pounds and will cost $200-$400, and a premium women’s Olympic barbell will handle up to 1000 pounds but will cost over $800.
EZ Curl Barbell
An EZ curl barbell is designed specifically for curling motions that help develop your upper body muscles. This barbell has a unique curve that limits the pressure on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders and focuses the energy on your chest and arms, so you get bigger gains. They are designed for smaller muscle groups and generally can't handle more than 250 pounds.
EZ curl barbells are generally 4 feet long and have a 1-inch diameter. This means they use less material, but the curved design makes them slightly more challenging to manufacture. You can pick up a cheap EZ curl barbell for $100-$150, but the premium models go for over $500.
Related Article - How Much Does A Curl Bar Weigh?
Triceps barbells are designed slightly differently and have a curved handle section in the middle. This gives you a greater range of motion to isolate your triceps, but they are a lot smaller than standard barbells. This makes them cheaper, but they won’t be able to withstand as much weight as a standard barbell.
You can pick up a cheap triceps barbell for $25-50, but a high-end model will be over $250.
Trap or hex barbells are designed to target your glutes, hamstrings, and back in a more controlled way, removing the strain on your lower back. You use them by stepping into a hexagonal area in the middle of the bar, so you have a controlled range of movement. They’re well suited for those carrying injuries or beginners wanting to improve their form.
Trap/hex barbells are designed for compound lifts and can carry a fair amount of weight, usually 250-500 pounds. The design of a trap barbell pushes the costs up slightly compared to a standard barbell, and an entry level trap barbell will cost $100-$150. A high-end trap barbell could cost you $700-$1000, but it will last a lot longer.
The trap bar in the image below is the Rogue TB-1, and it is by far my absolute favorite on the market. It has the best knurling to make sure you can keep your grip during heavy lifts. Check out the Rogue TB-1 here!
Powerlifting barbells are designed for very heavy lifting. They are used primarily for exercises where the bar sits on your upper back, and they have a rough center knurling that prevents the barbell from sliding down.
They tend to be thicker and more rigid than Olympic bars to allow for heavier weights, and they are often longer. They’re made to handle 500-2000 pounds and are the toughest type of barbell you can buy.
The strength and design of powerlifting barbells make them expensive, and even an entry level model will cost you $200-$350. A mid-range powerlifting barbell will cost $400-800, and a high-end model will cost over $1,250. These barbells are only really used by advanced lifters, so, understandably, they carry a heftier price tag.
See Also - Powerlifting Vs Bodybuilding
Squat Barbells & Safety Squat Barbells
Safety squat barbells (SSBs) help you get the correct form and addresses weaknesses in your squats. They take your shoulders out of the equation, so they’re favored by those carrying upper-body injuries.
For an SSB, the max load can vary. A cheap SSB can only handle 200-300 pounds, but you can get Olympic level SSBs that can hold up to 1,000 pounds.
SSBs have some additional features and padding, and they are more expensive than standard barbells. A cheap SSB will cost $150-200, and a premium SSB can be over $1,000 to purchase.
Swiss grip bars are designed to be used in a variety of exercises with several handles so you can quickly shift positions. They are generally used to train individual muscles like your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
They're also designed to support less weight, and only the high-end multi-grip bars will be able to handle over 750 pounds. You can pick up an entry level Swiss bar for $100-$150, but a durable premium model will cost over $750.
Barbells Compared By Price
Avg Entry-Level Price
Avg Mid-Range Price
Avg High-End Price
7 feet 2 inches
6 feet 6 inches
EZ Curl Barbell
Safety Squat Barbells
Factors That Influence The Cost Of Barbells
Barbells are quite expensive compared to other gym equipment because they are made to handle heavy loads safely. However, they're useful for a variety of exercises and can replace the need for several smaller machines, making them a worthwhile investment in most gyms.
Here are the key factors which influence the price:
Most barbells are made from cast iron or stainless steel. Both of these are strong metals, but stainless steel is preferable because it’s tougher and easier to clean. Stainless steel is more expensive than cast iron, and if you're buying a steel barbell, you'll pay more.
Manufacturers will also apply different protective coatings to the metal to help it last longer. These finishes will help protect your investment but will push the price up.
The barbells used for competitions tend to be the most expensive. This isn't just because of the larger size and weight; it's down to the quality control.
Manufacturers have to be sure that the barbells are meeting all the standards and built to the proper specifications. Taking the time to ensure this consistency pushes the price of barbells up.
More advanced barbells will have better knurling to improve your grip, sleeve rotation to make snatches easier, and bearings that make it easy to load and unload weight. These features push the price up, but they also allow you to lift more weight and get more significant strength gains.
Strength And Durability
The more weight you need your barbell to support, the more tensile strength is required. This is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and is an indication of how much it can bear. A good quality barbell will have a PSI of 180,000 or more, but the higher the PSI, the higher the cost. You'll have to pay more for barbells that can handle heavier weights.
Cheap Vs Expensive Barbells Compared (Is The Price Worth It?)
Cheaper barbells are designed for lighter weights and are usually smaller and less durable. They work well for beginners who aren’t yet lifting too heavy and can even be suitable for some intermediate lifters.
If you’re more advanced or training for a competition, you probably need to invest in a more expensive barbell. Mid-range and premium barbells are longer and more durable, and they allow you to train with competition-grade equipment. You’ll be able to use these barbells comfortably with heavier weights, and they'll last longer than a cheap model.
Some specialist barbells, like safety squat barbells, will help you to improve your form. These are slightly more expensive but can be worth the extra cost to beginners because they’ll help you get the movement right.
All barbells are fairly easy to use, so you don't need to shell out a fortune to get started. Premium barbells offer long-term value because they last longer, but you can settle for an entry-level model if you don't have the money. Try to find a barbell that matches your current strength level to get the best value for money.
Frequently Asked Barbell Cost Questions
How much do Rogue barbells cost?
Rogue barbells can cost anywhere from $200 to $900, depending on the exact specifications. You can check out the complete line of Rogue barbells here.
How much do barbell plates typically cost?
Standard weight plates will cost roughly $1-$1.50 a pound. Olympic weight plates are more expensive and will cost $1.50-$2.50 a pound. Remember that standard weight plates can’t be used with Olympic barbells because of the differences in diameter. Check out our favorite Olympic weight sets to add to your home gym!
How much is the shipping cost of a barbell?
It depends on the exact specifications of the barbell and the distance, but you should expect to pay $40-$60 for shipping. Some brands will offer free shipping or include it in the price.
What is a good price for used barbells?
Used barbells should go for about 60% of the retail price. This means you should be able to get a standard barbell for $50-$100. Make sure you check the quality before buying any used fitness equipment.
Where can you buy cheap barbells?
Most fitness brands have annual sales in January to try and encourage people to buy equipment, so this is a good time to look. You can also look on large marketplaces like Amazon or for second-hand sellers on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist. Used barbells are generally the cheapest in June/July because that's when more people are trying to sell them.
Barbells may all look similar, but there are some key differences between cheap and expensive models. If you're a beginner, then you can save some money with a cheap bar, but as you become more experienced, you'll need to invest in a heavier and more durable barbell that can take the weight properly.
Hopefully this guide has given you some useful information, and you know how much you should be spending on your barbell.
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Last Updated on March 17, 2022