Sometimes (all the time?) you walk into the gym and immediately notice people doing some weird exercises. Those memes that look like they would have to be staged…well…if you know…you know that in many cases they’re for real.
The same is true for gym equipment. I have legitimately walked into more than one gym (all hotel gyms, to be fair, but you get the point), to find…Shake Weights.
On the surface, the EZ Bar does kinda look a little odd and gimmicky. It’s not a Shake Weight, but it sure as heck doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill barbell.
…but the EZ Bar is legit, alright.
You want to get 1980’s-era Arnold Schwarzenegger biceps, don’t hesitate to load up that curved beast. Even if you have to ask yourself “how much does an EZ bar weigh?” before knocking out your first set.
Table of Contents
The EZ Curl Bar: Overview
The EZ curl bar (“EZ bar” is a uniquely shaped barbell made of solid steel. The average weight of an EZ bar is 10-35 lbs (~5-~15kg), depending on the specific type or brand.
The bar has a unique, “zig-zag” shaft that allows for a number of different grip options. Not only do these different grip options allow lifters to work different arm muscles, but the curved grip is also easier to grasp and feels more comfortable on the wrists.
The EZ bar is most commonly used for these exercises:
- different types of bicep curls
- overhead tricep extensions
- close grip presses (bench, overhead, etc.)
- shoulder front raises
- upright rows
Depending on the exercise, the EZ bar activates the muscles of the triceps, chest, and shoulders primarily.
EZ Bar Grips
There are different ways to hold an EZ bar.
Supinated Grip (underhand grip):
- palms facing upwards
- more emphasis on the biceps
- can use narrow (targeting the long head of the biceps) or wide supinated grip (targeting the long head of the biceps)
Pronated Grip (overhead grip):
- palms facing downwards
- emphasis on biceps, forearms, and outer arms
- used for skull crushers, barbell bent-over rows, and front raises
- palms facing each other
- targets biceps and brachioradialis (a forearm muscle)
- can be used only with the Super EZ curl bar because of the exaggerated angle of the shaft
How Much Does an EZ Bar Weigh?
Regardless of type, EZ curl bars are made of high-grade solid steel with either a stainless steel, chrome, zinc, or Cerakote finish. They have textured knurling for an “easier” and more stable grip. However, the weight of the bar itself can vary from type to type.
It is important to know the weight of the EZ bar you’re using because its weight will be very different from the standard size and shaped barbells used for other exercises. The selection of plates you need to load up on an EZ bar to perform curls with 95 pounds will look a lot different than simply throwing on a couple of 25-pound plates like you would on an Olympic-sized barbell!
So…how much does an EZ bar weigh?
Most Common EZ Bars and Weights
Weight: 10-15 lbs
Shaft Diameter: 25mm
Best For: Budget buyers
Weight Capacity: <200lbs
- threaded or smooth sleeve
- adjustable collars for locking the weight plates
- best for 1″ plates
- smaller and lighter than Olympic bars
- no rotation
Weight: 16-35 lbs
Shaft Diameter: 28-30mm
Best For: Most people
Weight Capacity: 300lbs+
- compatible with 2” Olympic-sized plates
- some of them can be used on a squat rack (the ones that are 71-75”)
- have rotating sleeves
- thicker, longer, heavier, and pricier than other curl bars
Weight: 17-20 lbs
Shaft Diameter: 25-28mm
Best For: hammer curls and skull crushers
Weight Capacity: 200lbs+
- mostly designed for 2” Olympic-sized plates
- the shaft has more exaggerated bend and curve
- bushing sleeve rotation
Weight: 10-110 lb, with 10 lb increments
Shaft Diameter: 30mm+
Best For: globo gyms
Weight Capacity: 110lbs+
- have already fixed rubber discs on the ends
- you can choose between different weights without adding weight plates
- no rotation
- most expensive
The Benefits of EZ Curl Bars
So why exactly should you use an EZ bar instead of a “normal” barbell? The reasons are numerous! To start, if you use one, you get to look like this guy!
Wait…looking like him isn’t quite enough of a reason for you? Fair enough…here are a few more benefits you might be interested in!
A 2018 study compared the differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl. The results showed that EZ bar bicep curls activate these muscles more than dumbbell curls. The study also compared EZ bar curls to straight-bar barbell curls, and they delivered similar results (although one could argue that the EZ bar curls were still “better” since they are generally more comfortable to perform).
However, EZ curl bars are lighter than most Olympic-sized barbells. A study showed that using moderate loads for muscle development can be considered more efficient. Evidence suggests that achieving comparable hypertrophy with heavy load training requires more sets compared to moderate loads. This not only consumes more time but also increases joint-related stresses and the risk of overtraining.
Easier to Target Primary Muscles
Longer barbells (such as an Olympic bar) require more core strength to stabilize the body during lifting. As such, and especially when the weight gets heavy less muscle can be used directly for the targeted muscles/muscle groups. In contrast, the EZ bar is easier to balance and requires fewer stabilizing muscles, allowing you to better concentrate on working the primarily targeted muscles more effectively.
More Comfortable on the Wrists
EZ bars are ergonomically designed. Their curved shape promotes ergonomic alignment from the upper arms down to the hands. This can help with preventing injuries as it’s more comfortable on the wrists. Also, it’s suitable for those with limited wrist mobility.
Also, certain exercises targeting the biceps (such as the dumbbell concentration curl) can contribute to thoracolumbar kyphosis. Instead, the EZ bar preacher curl provides proper positioning of the cervical and thoracic vertebrae and maintains stability in both the thoracolumbar region and the humerus while achieving the desired elbow flexion.
Improves Elbow Stability
The EZ bar can increase elbow stability. Because it targets the brachialis muscle, exercising with this bar may influence the varus/posterolateral rotatory stability of the elbow. A stronger brachialis muscle means a more “stable elbow”.
Permission to Curl – Granted
You have to admit, the EZ bar scored a lot of points today. Those who came solely for the answer to the question “how much does an EZ bar weigh?” probably got a bit more info than they bargained for!
Truth be told, if you’re doing CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and/or Powerlifting, there aren’t a lot of workouts where curls (or anything involving an EZ bar, really) are programmed.
Although, even Powerlifting coaching legend Mark Rippetoe has granted his blessing for you to do curls every so often.
With that blessing, there really isn’t any reason not to add a (seriously cheap) curl bar to your home or garage gym setup. Who knew a 10-35-pound curved piece of steel could be so much fun?!
Now that you can provide an expert opinion to the question “how much does an EZ bar weigh?” you should brush up on hex bar and various bench press bar weights. By doing this, you will be much smarter than any of your friends…I promise you!