How much does the barbell weigh?

The main apparatus of weightlifting is the barbell. It includes the area gripped by the athlete and supports the immense load of disc weights on either end. For men’s competition, the bar is 2.2 meters (7.2 ft) long and weighs 20 kilograms (44 lbs). For women’s competition, the bar is 2.01m long (6.6 ft) long and weighs 15 kg (33 lbs). The grip section also has a smaller diameter on the women’s bar than the men’s. 

What disc weights are used in Olympic weightlifting?

The discs used in Olympic competition are either rubber plastic (10kg-25kg) or metal (0.5kg-5kg). 

Their weights and colors are as follows (pounds are approximate): 

  • 25kg (55 lbs): red 
  • 20kg (44 lbs): blue 
  • 15kg (33 lbs): yellow 
  • 10kg (22 lbs): green 
  • 5kg (11 lbs): white 
  • 2.5kg (5.5 lbs): red 
  • 2.0kg (4.4 lbs): blue 
  • 1.5kg (3.3 lbs): yellow 
  • 1.0kg (2.2 lbs): green 
  • 0.5kg (1.1 lbs): white 

Discs are loaded identically on either side of the bar in order to ensure the bar is perfectly balanced at the center.


Weighing 2.5kg (5.5 lbs) each, a collar is placed on either end of the bar to secure the weight discs. The weight figure listed for a lift includes the weight of the discs, bar, and collars combined.  


This is the surface on which lifts are attempted. It is square and measures 4 meters by 4 meters (13 feet, 1 inch by 13 feet, 1 inch). Athletes must stay completely on the platform when attempting a lift. 

Other equipment

The following optional equipment may be used/worn by weightlifting athletes during competition:

Weightlifting belt

Provides lower-back support during the lift. Must be worn outside the athlete's clothes can be a maximum of 12cm in width.

Protective equipment

Bandages, tape and certain knee braces/sleeves may be worn to mitigate injury.


The use of fingerless gloves and palm guards is permitted to protect the hands.


Similarly to other Olympic sports like gymnastics and track and field (shotput), chalk is often used by weightlifters in order to eliminate moisture and help the bar rotate freely in the grip of the hands. Chalk is provided by the competition officials and is available just beside the platform.