If you watch bodybuilders at the gym, you’ll often find that they use a rather oddly shaped deadlift bar, especially once they get to some more serious weight ranges.
That gym equipment is called a hex trap bar, and before you just load it up for your next set of deadlifts, it’s important to understand how it’s different from a standard straight deadlift bar.
I’ve encountered more than one beginner who made some simple calculation mistakes because they didn’t understand the weight difference.
Three Major Hex Bar Weights
One of the attractions with a trap bar is that they come in different weight ranges, which brings the advantage of not needing as many weight plates.
In most gyms, you’ll find three different trap bars, and you should always check the weight rating on them.
Here’s what you’ll find:
1. 45 lbs (20 kg)
This is the most common one, and it’s the same weight as a standard Olympic barbell. It will allow you to do the same deadlift sets as with a standard bar.
2. 55 lbs (25 kg)
You’ll find these more regularly at gyms these days, and people tend to switch to these before they start adding more weight for their hex bar deadlift.
3. 75 lbs (34 kg)
These are the least common and mainly used by high-performance athletes.
The Most Popular Models Based On Their Weight
Here are the four trap bars we use at my gym, and I’d recommend them for any athlete.
1. ROGUE TB-1 (The Heavyweight)
This is the one for serious athletes and the one I go to most. Unlike other trap bars, this one has two handles that are flush with the rest of the frame.
It simplifies the design, and I find it’s less awkward to handle.
It’s rated at 62 lbs rather than the 78 lbs of the older version, mainly to make moving it into place for your trap bar deadlift a little easier.
2. ROGUE TB-2
The TB-2 is only slightly lighter than the TB-1 at 60 lbs, with the main difference being in the design of the handles.
It has an extra set of raised handles, which some people prefer as it allows them to get into a slightly higher position.
This might be important for anyone with lower back issues who don’t want to go down as far as possible.
3. CAP OB-91HZ (The Standard Option)
This is the closest one to the standard size and weight with 52 lbs.
It’s a slightly cheaper option but still provides you with zinc-plated solid steel, so there won’t be any safety concerns.
One thing to point out, though, is that it’s not as flexible when it comes to the maximum load and number of plates it can hold at any given time.
4. TROY GOT-56
This is the lightest model we use at 43 lbs, and if you’re just starting to use a trap bar after switching from a straight bar, then it might be the best option.
We found that the main limiting factor is the number of plates you can attach, which wouldn’t be more than two on each end plus the collars.
“Deadlifts are a multi-joint movement, which means you recruit several muscle groups to work together. The exercise helps you to build muscle in your legs, back, and the rest of your posterior chain while putting a big strain on your central nervous system, too.”
- Brett Williams, Certified Personal Trainer.
Related Article: How Heavy Is The Squat Bar?
Hex Trap Bar Vs. A Normal Straight Deadlift Bar
When you look at a hex trap bar, you’ll immediately notice that it’s designed for very specific types of exercises. You certainly wouldn’t consider using this for squats or bench presses.
But why does it have that shape, and what advantages does it bring?
1. Better Balance
I strongly suggest you try out one of these with a low weight just to feel the difference. Having the frame of the trap bar around your body allows you to evenly distribute the weight, giving you a much better center of gravity.
That means you’re not fighting the weight pulling you forward and off-balance.
And that has one major effect.
2. Better Targeted Muscle Groups
The deadlift is meant to work your lower back, trapezius muscles , and glutes, but with a straight bar, you’ll also engage your legs and arms to stabilize your body.
It’s not a bad thing, but if you’re trying to isolate certain muscles , then the hex bar will give you much more control.
3. Reduced Risk Of Accident And Injury
For beginners, it’s a great option because hex bars are easy to lift during strength training. You don’t have to focus as much on your balance, and it’s also a lot easier to maintain good posture through the deadlift.
How Much Does A Hex Bar Weigh: My Final Thoughts
Here’s what you’ll find:
45 lbs (20 kg), 55 lbs (25 kg), 75 lbs (34 kg)
If you want to better target muscle growth in your glutes and back to get that dream body, then try switching to the hex bar for your next sets.
Check what the bar weighs and then gradually load it up to get used to the slightly different movement.
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