It is not uncommon in the fitness industry to classify a barbell as a men's or women's bar. The distinction between these two is based on the weight and length of the bars. Despite being categorized by gender, these bars can and ARE used interchangeably by either. Using a bar that is more suitable for your comfort will improve your workouts and keep you safer.
For the sake of our conversation, we'll use the traditional category names of Women's Bar and Men's Bar.
Differences of the Women's bar
Weight: First and foremost, the weight: Women's bar= 15kg (33 lbs.), Men's bar= 20kg (44 lbs.). It is lighter than a traditional bar.
Length: A Women's bar is also shorter in length. The Women's bar is 6.5ft (a traditional bar is appx. 7.2ft). This shorter length can come in handy for those who need a barbell in more compact spaces or need a lighter warm-up starting point.
Sleeve: The shorter overall length also impacts the loadable sleeve as it is shortened to 12" from the traditional 16.4". The downside to using a bar of this length is that you can load fewer plates, mainly bumper plates.
Shaft Diameter: Lastly, the bar also has a smaller shaft diameter of 25mm. A traditional bar will have a range of 28-32mm.
With these differences listed, you can still find Olympic bars for every need. In fact, Troy recently released a Women's Cerakote Olympic Bar [AOB-1200C]. You can read more about the AOB-1200C here.
What does this all mean? The truth is, what we call a "Women's Bar" is simply just a bar designed for individuals who need a thinner and lighter weight bar. A lighter bar will be more practical to a user who is still building up their strength and requires a lighter starting point. As such, this is an excellent bar for learning the fundamentals of the weightlifting technique.
The most important decision factor to keep in mind when choosing a barbell is how well it suits your workouts while keeping you comfortable enough to feel safe.
At Troy Barbell & Fitness, we design barbells for all types of users and if the Women's Olympic Bar sounds like the right bar for you, be sure to check out the new Troy Women's Cerakote Bar or the VTX Women's Olympic Training Bar.