deadlifting and bar thickness

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deadlifting and bar thickness

Postby tylerm » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Did deadlifts for the first time today. Starting bending my back on the last set of deadlifts, so I cut it short. This was the first time I have ever done deadlifts (aside from straight legged deadlifts with much lighter weight). I only got 5.5 hours of sleep last night, but I got a better workout than I had thought I would. I used a thicker than standard olympic bar, and my grip was going out more than anything else by the end. First 3x8 was double overhand grip, the heavier sets was one over, one under grip.

What is the standard size olympic bar? All of the bars at my gym are 45lb, not sure on the diameter, but the one I used was thicker and heavier. I was wondering what the weight and diameter difference might be. It looked maybe .5" thicker.

I started with 100lb and did my last 2 sets at 140lb (incl. bar). I know I can lift more than that, because as I came up, I was able to pop it up a bit. I just want to get my back acclimated to the movement, and get my technique down.
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Bar thickness

Postby VeganEssentials » Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:06 am


I believe that the standard for olympic bars (typical gym bars) are 1 1/8" in diameter. However, this does vary slightly. I bought a brand new bar from a fitness store here for my outdoor work, and it definitely is thicker, probably not much by more like 1 1/4 to 1 3/8" as I can definitely feel the difference.

Normally, as long as you can curl your fingers around a bar to where they touch your thumb there isn't much as far as strength loss for holding on (some that's slight, but usually not too much to make a notable difference), but when you get to 2" or more it changes REALLY quickly. For example, I've lifted a 197 lb. dumbbell on a 2" handle, but I have yet to break more than 119 off the ground with a 3" handle because that damned thing is just so big it takes a LOT of work to hold on. Barbells work differently as you can use a mixed grip to hold on and keep the bar from rotating out of your hands, but still, you'll feel a difference in what it takes to hold on, especially if you use a double overhand grip. You'd never suspect that even a quarter inch could make such a difference, but it sure does! Nonetheless, working with thicker bars only makes you stronger and will improve your average sized bar work, so when you're up for it, grab that bigger bar and have at it because it'll pay off later on!

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