How much does a trap bar weigh? And how to do hex bar deadlifts!

I remember the good ol’days when a barbell was your only choice for squats deadlift and bench. How things have changed, google anything fitness related and you will find rigorous strength training courses, be inundated with dietary advice and receive a generous helping of “bro-science.” Well, it turns out that some of the shiny new toys our modern gyms have to offer might be worth a second look.

It just so happens to be the case that for most of your weightlifting requirements, a trap bar is an excellent tool for the job. You may have seen one in your gym, or you might have heard someone talk about how easy it is to perform a balanced deadlift or shoulder raise with them.

If you’re familiar with this type of bar and want to find out how much it weighs, then scroll down to find out how much a trap bar weighs …but for those of you giving it a curious look and wondering how on earth you use this thing, then you’ve come to the right post.

In this report, we’ll be talking everything about trap bars. Of particular interest is a frequent concern: How much can a trap bar weigh? In the long run, you’ll be confident enough to give it a go.

What’s a Trap Bar?

Not to be confused with a curl bar,  a trap bar (or hex bar as it is also referred to) is a diamond or hexagonal shaped weightlifting tool invented and patented by Al Gerard, a competitive powerlifter. He made the hex bar to offer weightlifters with lower back injuries a secure way to do deadlifts and shoulder raises.

The bar gets its distinctive name from the trapezius muscles, the muscles connecting your shoulders to your neck. It’s these muscles the bar was initially invented to train, along with shoulder shrugs.

The design of the bar comes in a hexagonal or diamond shape and is composed of an assembly of bars which are bent and welded into place.

After completion, the shape then can lie flat on a plane. To put things into perspective, a trap bar consists of the following:

  • Bar stock: This is the diamond or hexagonal shape made from bars welded together. The shape is sized such you could stand at its center when weight lifting.
  • Coaxial Stub-bars: These are the coaxial projections in the bar stock which are utilized to hold the weight plates in place. The majority of trap bars have two of these.
  • Handles: These are welded inside the of the hollow bar. You use these handles to lift the entire trap bar setup, with or without the weight plates.

Deadlifting with a Trap (Hex) Bar

Deadlifting is a sort of exercise that will require you to lift a loaded barbell off the floor up to your hips while your spine is completely straight, then lower it back into the floor.

The deadlift is ideal for building core stability as it targets all of your core muscles including those located on your waist, buttocks, hips, and lower back. If you wish to improve your balance and posture, having a go with deadlifting will certainly get you going.

This is exactly what the hex bar is essentially meant for. It’s the exercise most mass muscle builders prefer for adding muscle slabs in their upper and lower bodies. This is what contributes to their impressionable physiques.

It’s an exercise that needs you to lift a trap bar loaded with weights off the floor, lift it to your hips, then lower it back into the floor. Each one is done with your spine completely straight.

You, therefore, develop a more stable heart because your core muscles are included when doing the deadlifts. These include muscles on your hip, waist, buttocks in addition to lower back. A well-balanced posture and balance are therefore kept in you.

How Much does A Trap Bar Weigh?

Hex bar with load

Traditional Gerard trap bar weighs the same as a barbell – 45 lbs

Unlike straight barbells, trap bars improve your balance, meaning you are less likely to have one of those scary deadlifting accidents. It is also designed to completely eliminate the barbell’s annoying tendency to hit your knees on the way up.

Ok, enough beating around the bush, How much does it weigh?

The weight of this trap bar on your gym depends mostly on its kind. Of these, there are primarily 3 types in many gyms. The Gerard trap bar, the conventional trap bar, and the extra-large (XL) trap bar.

The Gerard trap bar weighs in at 20 kgs (45 lbs), just like an Olympic barbell. The conventional type weighs approximately 13.3 kgs (30 lbs), which is 2/3rds of the weight of a Gerard trap bar. And lastly, the XL trap bar weighs in at 25kgs (55 lbs) and can rack a staggering 225 kg (approximately 500 lbs).

The majority of the hex/trap bars in your fitness center will be Gerard bars and weigh 45 pounds, but you should ask or measure which you have. If you aren’t too certain, you can go the old school way and measure its weight, as long as you own a gym scale (every gym should have one).

Why you’d use a Trap Bar rather than a Straight Barbell

There are two popular tools you can use when it comes to deadlifting. One is the Trap bar, and the other is the normal straight barbell. If you are new to deadlifting, you might be better off starting with a trap bar, here are some reasons why:

It’s Safer

Unlike straight barbells, trap bars improve your balance, which means that you will be less likely to get fall over and get hurt. Additionally, the bar never comes close to your knees, unlike a conventional barbell deadlift.

You Maintain Better Balance

The trap bar is intended to place the weights closer to your body, therefore increasing balance and reducing interference. And with greater balance, comes increased security.

It Helps To Straighten Your Lifts

The trap bar’s design makes it very easy to lift in an upright position, which makes you lift the weight vertically rather than sideways. Since you have the ability to lift the bar in line with your ankles, you’re able to decrease the tension exerted on your lower spine.

Allows for Comfortable Shrugs

Since the trap bar includes a hexagonal or diamond design, the bar won’t ever get to touch your chest or thighs, which makes for greater ranges of motion. And there is also the benefit of having less strain placed on the backbone.

How To Properly Use A Trap Bar

700 pound hex bar deadlift

700-pound Hex bar deadlift with a XL trap bar (click the picture to see the video)

You have understood how much the trap bar weighs, and what it’s all about, and you need to have a spin on this apparently amazing exercise tool. You’re now thinking about how to use it without breaking a bone. Here is how:

  1. Load the trap bar with weights that are manageable (if you are a beginner)
  2. Step in the bar with shoulder and feet slightly apart
  3. Grip on the trap bars handles firmly with both hands
  4. Keep a straight back, slightly bend your knees, hips lowered, look straight ahead and keep up the torso
  5. Lift up the trap bar off the floor up to your hips
  6. When the bar reaches your hips, you can then lower the bar back to the floor
  7. You can repeat this sequence, and after you get comfortable can add more weights

What Are The Benefits When Deadlifting With A Trap Bar?

Hex bar deadlift

All your efforts won’t be in vain as you stand to gain a lot by using the trap bar for deadlifting.

  • It’s easy to learn
  • You can lift heavier weight
  • It’s safer – it’s center of gravity is always in line with your shoulders
  • There is less strain on the spine
  • Increased muscular hypertrophy
  • Shorter motion ranges

Which Trap Bar Should You Buy?

Well, if you are a beginner I would recommend you start off with a standard Gerard, Olympic Style 2-inch trap bar. The one I would recommend you can get from Amazon [amazon text=here&asin=B004X1674A]. It’s reasonably priced, carries up to 750 lb of weight and gets the job done.

Some Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a newcomer to the gym or a seasoned vet who wants to rack up the weights and get ripped, I definitely recommend adding the trap bar deadlift to your leg and shoulder workout routine. It’s easy on your spine, great for beginners, and much easier to get the form of a trap bar deadlift right, when comparing to a regular or sumo deadlift.

Unlike the straight barbell, the trap bar can help you become more balanced because it keeps the weight closer to your body. As a result of this, it is also the safe choice if you are a beginner as it prevents you from raising the weights unevenly.

Moreover, the trap bar itself is strong and robust. The XL version can handle a staggering 500 lbs, and if you are doing a trap bar deadlift at that weight, be sure to comment on this post and include a link to your video!


Leave a Comment: