How Much Weight Can a Bench Press Bar Lift Before It Gets Bent Out of Shape?

It’s a lot of freaking weight. The stress test on this cheap Olympic bar reveals that the straight metal bar can lift an immeasurable amount of weight before it buckles and permanently bends itself out of shape. When it’s just lifting normal plates and the like, Beyond the Press counted nearly 1,500 pounds of weight without the bar breaking.

The last weight test they did? Well, one side was half a ton and the other side was heavier than that (they didn’t know how much), so it’s safe to say that you’ll probably never bend an Olympic bar in your life.

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DISCUSSION

Whoever made that video doesn’t know about bending moments.

A bar like that would sooner fail in bending than in sheer, so the more bending torque you get on each side, the more likely it will fail. Torque is a factor of force (weight) and distance, so if you put all that weight on the far ends of the bar while lifting exactly in the middle, it possibly could fail with the exact same amount of weight.

Yes, I know, that’s not a normal way to attach weights, and it’s not a normal way to lift the weighted bar, but engineers should always consider the worst possible scenario when designing anything safety related.