Barbells are long, straight metal bars with sleeves on the ends to hold weight plates. The two types of barbells are standard and Olympic. Olympic barbells are a little more than 1 inch thick in the middle with 2-inch, rotating sleeves. They are 7 feet long and weigh 45 lbs. The entire length of a standard barbell is 1 inch thick. They are between 5 and 6 feet long and weigh between 15 and 30 lbs. Most standard barbells can hold up to 200 lbs., but Olympic barbells can handle loads over 800 lbs.

Benefits: Some exercises are designed to be performed with a barbell. Barbells allow you to lift more weight. A barbell holds more weight than a dumbbell and is safer to use with heavy weights, since you control the bar with two hands, not just one.