Its all money!
I think we could all agree that counting up a barbell can be tedious.
You’re loading your barbell, staring at it, counting on your fingers (and toes), counting again, adding, subtracting, questioning your higher education, looking around for an calculator, calling over a few training partners…
“How much weight is on my bar?”
It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you see 4 quarters you know it’s $1. No need to add 25+25+25+25. You see 4 quarters as a common unit that you recognize immediately and understand its value. Barbell Math is like counting money. Think of your barbell and the weights on each side as a picture or a complete unit.
Step one is knowing what each width of plate weighs. From skinny to thick is 10,15,25,45 pound plates. Think of these as coins. The bar itself is a 45# “coin”
The three easiest pictures to identify are,
bar with 25s, equals 95
bar with 45s equals 135
bar with 45s and 25s equals 185
If a person is using a 35# bar then simply see the money and subtract 10.
There are lots of ways to get load a bar but if we start with the largest weight possible and identify the unit then it’s easy to add less common weights.
A bar with 25s is 95. Add 2.5s and its easy to come up with 100, if it’s a ladies bar then it’s 90.
When you are building to a heavy, a max, or to a certain weight, its helpful to exchange lighter plates in favor of heavier plates so that you can create these identifiable “pictures.” Filling your bar with 15’s and 10’s on your barbell can get messy and confusing. Not to mention, bigger weights just look cooler on your bar. Ladies, if you get up to 125 or more for a back squat, throw those big wheels on that bar! No body likes to carry around a pocket full of change
Most Common Barbells
Using a 35# bar? Just subtract 10.
Bar + 25’s = 95
Bar + 25’s + 10’s = 115
Bar + 45’s = 135
Bar +45’s + 10’s =155
Bar + 45’s + 25’s= 185
Bar + 2-45’s on each side = 225
Bar + 2-45’s + 2-25’s = 275
Bar + 3-45’s on each side = 315