A dumbbell bar (or dumbbell handle) is one of the first pieces of home gym equipment that people purchase.
These spinlock bars are great for beginners as you can add/remove weight plates without needing to invest in a full dumbbell set. They are also much more budget-friendly than an adjustable dumbbell.
My first piece of equipment was a spinlock dumbbell bar with 15kg (35lbs) worth of weight plates.
Anyone that has trained at home and also trained in a commercial gym will inevitably know that the weight of a bar can be significantly different. A 7ft, Olympic barbell as an example will weigh 45lbs, yet a 5ft, 1-inch barbell will typically only weigh around 20lbs.
The same is true for dumbbell bars. Therefore, in this article, we’ll cover how much a dumbbell bar actually weighs and also how much weight it can hold. This will hopefully help you to select the best option for your specific needs!
What Is a Dumbbell Bar?
If you want to create a gym at home, you’ll likely notice right off the bat how expensive gym equipment can be. This is especially true if you were to buy a set of dumbbells at different weights which are currently very expensive. A dumbbell bar is very similar to a barbell.
These “specialty” bars allow you to create your own dumbbells by adding (and removing) weights.
Instead of having to purchase several sets of different dumbbells to get different weights (which is an end goal for many to have a fully complete dumbbell rack), you can buy dumbbell weight plates instead.
This allows you to get various different weights onto the dumbbell bar without having to spend as much money on your at-home gym equipment. (Another benefit is that they take up less space as well.)
Dumbbell bars will be available in both 1-inch and 2-inch diameters, with different weights per different size. Each dumbbell bar size is better for certain types of workouts.
The 1-inch dumbbell bar is preferred for doing workouts that are perpendicular to the floor. Since these bars are smaller, it’s recommended not to use over 10 lbs of weight on them. If you plan to do some heavy lifting, 2-inch dumbbell bars are a better choice. They can typically hold up to 150lbs.
You can also get commercial-grade dumbbell bars which can hold noticeably more weight upward of 225lbs (not that most people are pushing this weight in a home gym).
Finding a good quality dumbbell bar shouldn’t cost you a lot of money, but you shouldn’t skip out on quality. A good quality bar will be better for holding heavy weights. If you skip on quality for a good bargain, the bar likely won’t last as long as you were hoping.
How Much Do Dumbbell Bars Weigh?
If you want to know how much you’re really lifting at the gym, you need to consider the weight of the bar as well. A lot of people forget to include the dumbbell weight when determining how much weight they are lifting. The bar does add weight to your workout, however, the amount of weight it adds depends on the brand.
Most training dumbbell bars weigh between 5lbs and 10lbs when they don’t have weights on them (ie, are unloaded).
Every bar will be slightly different depending on which brand makes it. A good rule of thumb is that thinner bars that are approximately 1-inch in diameter weigh less than 5lbs, and thicker bars with a 2-inch diameter range from 5lbs – 10lbs.
However, this is the weight range for a standard dumbbell bar. If you begin looking at different types, you will notice the weight increases by a lot. For example, the average Olympic dumbbell bar weighs approximately 10-15lbs.
How Do You Determine the Weight of a Dumbbell Bar?
The easiest way to find out how much a particular dumbbell bar weighs is by getting the information directly from the manufacturer.
If you are purchasing a dumbbell bar, the weight should be listed. Most companies provide the information on weight directly on their website for customers to find, but if it’s not listed you can contact customer service to find out more.
However, if you have an old dumbbell bar or are buying a used one from someone who doesn’t know that information, you can weigh the bar yourself for exact weight measurement. All you need to do is step on the scale holding the dumbbell bar. Record the weight and then weigh yourself again without the dumbbell bar.
Subtract your weight from the second measurement from the first number you got to determine how much the dumbbell bar really weighs. This is the easiest way to figure out how much the dumbbell bars at the gym weigh as well.
Are Dumbbell Weights Exact?
If you want to know the exact weight of what you’re lifting, you may be surprised to know that dumbbell weights aren’t always accurate. Dumbbell weights are often close to what is listed, but slightly under or over the weight, depending on the brand and type of dumbbell.
One of the most common types of dumbbell weights is the hex, which is a 6-sided weight. These often come with a rubber coating for protection, but not all weights will have it. These weights are the most inaccurate. They typically have a variance of within 5% of the weight that has been listed.
Rubber dumbbell weights are most accurate, as they are usually within 2% of the weight. These can be found with round heads or 8 to 12 sides. They are typically better quality than the hex dumbbell weights.
If you are working out at a gym that uses urethane dumbbells, these weights will also be within 2% of the listed weight. These are similar to rubber weights, but slightly better quality. They are often found at clubs and gyms with more luxuries.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that metal weights can feel heavier and in most cases, they are heavier than the listed weight.
A dumbbell bar is a classic type of dumbbell that allows you to load plates onto the bar. These went out of popularity due to the increased availability of fixed weight dumbbell sets and adjustable dumbbells due to these options being more convenient.
Dumbbell bars are however making a comeback. Barbell handles have been adjusted so that the sleeves are longer without the bars themselves being longer, which means the dumbbells can hold more weight without being obstructed by the length of the dumbbell.
With all the different types of dumbbell bars though, it can be difficult to know how much they weigh, which is important when factoring in how much you actually lift.
Dumbbell bars weigh between 5lbs and 10lbs depending on the barbell design and brand manufacturing it. A hollow rod dumbbell handle will weigh less than 2lbs, a standard 1-inch dumbbell bar will weigh up to 5lbs and a 2-inch Olympic dumbbell bar will weigh between 5lbs and 10lbs.