Barbell Education and Etiquette

15-07-2019 Cecily Sadowski

We've seen a lot of people confused about the different types of Eleiko barbells we have in UnScared and the rules of etiquette that surround them, so here's a post to remedy that! In this quick article, we'll discuss the different types of barbells for different lifts. If you're training at UnScared, just remember to be respectful of the equipment, use clips and ask your coach if you're unsure about anything!


  1. (Men's) Olympic Weightlifting Barbell 

Specifically designed for cleans, jerks and snatches, these barbells are more "bendy" than other barbells, allowing a bit of a spring to help you out whenever there's a sudden change of direction (with the dip of a jerk for instance). The rotational mechanisms in the collars are also more advanced, ensuring a smooth turnover in your cleans. The men's version of this barbell has a patch of knurling in the centre of the barbell to help with gripping in the front rack. Olympic lifting barbells don't have a rubber ring around the collar so they are easily distinguishable from the CrossFit barbells. Olympic lifting barbells should be kept in the lifting area, so if you use these bars elsewhere please return them after.

  1. Eleiko Powerlifting Barbell 

Being far more rigid and with more pronounced knurling, these barbells are ideal for deadlifts and benching. While these bars still turn, the rotational mechanism is less important in powerlifting movements and therefore less efficient. Using these barbells for Olympic lifts is thus unadvisable as it would be at best inefficient and at worst put you at risk for injuries. The rim on the collar of these bars is narrower to provide more room for weights and to make them stand out from other barbells. Powerlifting barbells should be kept in the lifting area and returned there after use.

Extra Pic

  1. (Women's) Eleiko XF (CrossFit) barbell 

CrossFit being a mix of different disciplines the barbell reflects the same. Less bendy than an Olympic lifting bar but more than a powerlifting bar, and with the rotational mechanisms also being somewhere in between, they are the perfect concession. You can tell the CrossFit barbells apart due to the distinctive black rubber ring around the collar.

  1. Eleiko Technique Barbell

Being lighter than regular barbells at 5kg or 10kg, these bars are perfect for technique work. They aren't quite as strong as regular barbells however, and have a max load of 20 or 40kg respectively. You can find a reminder of this max loading on the collar of the bar, which also serves as the distinguishing characteristic.



The easiest way to tell men's and women's barbells apart is their size. Men's barbells are taller due to a longer sleeve and are also thicker with their 28mm diameter instead of the 25mm diameter of a women's barbell. However, if you are ever unsure about which barbell you're using, you can simply check the sicker at both ends of the bar to see the type and weight of the barbell.



We train with some of the best equipment out there, so please give our barbells the respect they deserve.

  • Please never drop an empty barbell as it will damage it. It is ok to guide a weighted barbell from above if it has 5kg CrossFit plates or 10kg oly plates on it or more. Never blindly drop a barbell but guide it down for everyone's safety. 
  • Be sure to clean your barbell after use! To clean off chalk use the Eleiko brush (5) which can be found at the vertical bar racks and in near the platforms. If you have inadvertently put blood, sweat and/or tears on the bar, please ask the coach for some disinfecting spray. Just make sure you don't get any liquid near the rotational mechanisms in the collar of the barbell to keep them turning smoothly.
  • Always use clips whenever you are lifting. It is a small effort to put them on but they can prevent unnecessary injuries. Some of the smaller oly plates can double as clips, please ask your lifting coach about this. 
  • Please ask before you borrow a bar. It is usually fine to borrow a bar from the lifting area if you are in the CrossFit class or vice versa, just make sure you ask the coach and return it to its original spot after.

To summarise: please check the sticker at the end for both the barbells type and the barbells weight and feel free to ask the coach if you are unsure. Clean up after yourself, be respectful of the equipment and always use clips. Thanks for coming to my TEDx Talk on Eleiko Barbells. 

Cecily Sadowski

About Cecily Sadowski

Cecily is a Weightlifting and CrossFit coach at UnScared and has a background in competitive swimming. As the youngest member of the full-time coaching staff, she is also responsible for part of our injury management, event organisation and member retention. 

Leave a comment