How To Store Barbells – Keep Your Bar In The Best Condition Possible

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to store barbells.

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, a gym owner, or someone who’s just starting their fitness journey, you’ll find this guide extremely useful.

Proper barbell storage is more important than you might think.

It not only impacts the lifespan of your barbells but also ensures safety in your gym or workout space.

So today, we’ll cover the importance of barbell storage, why it matters, and the differences/benefits of vertical, horizontal, wall-mounted, and floor storage solutions.

Let’s get started!

Importance of Proper Barbell Storage

Barbells, like any other gym equipment, require proper care and maintenance.

The way you store your barbells can significantly impact their quality and lifespan.

Proper storage prevents damage to the barbells, enhances safety in the gym, and prolongs the lifespan of the barbell.

When you load a barbell, you’re careful to ensure the weights are evenly distributed to prevent any imbalance during your workout. The same level of care should be applied when storing your barbells.

Why Proper Barbell Storage Matters

  • Preventing Damage and Maintaining Quality – Barbells are made of metal, and like all metals, they’re susceptible to damage if not stored properly. This damage can come in the form of scratches, dents, or even rust, which can compromise the barbell’s knurling.

  • Enhancing Safety in the Gym – Improperly stored barbells can pose a safety risk. For instance, a barbell left on the floor can cause someone to trip and fall. Similarly, a barbell stored too high could fall and injure someone.

  • Prolonging the Lifespan of the Barbell – Proper storage can significantly extend the lifespan of your barbells. By storing them in a dry, cool place, you can prevent rust and other forms of damage. This means you won’t have to replace your barbells as often, saving you money in the long run.

Common Mistakes in Barbell Storage

  • Leaving Barbells on the Floor – One of the most common mistakes people make is leaving their barbells on the floor. This not only poses a tripping hazard but can also lead to damage to both the barbell and your floor.

  • Storing Barbells in a Humid Environment – Metal and moisture don’t mix well. Storing your barbells in a humid environment can lead to rust, which can damage the barbell and make it unsafe to use.

  • Leaving Weights on the Barbell When Stored – Leaving weights on the barbell when it’s not in use can cause unnecessary stress on the bar. Over time, this can lead to the barbell bending or warping.

Essential Tips for Storing Barbells

  • Cleaning and Drying Your Barbell – Before storing your barbell, it’s important to clean it thoroughly. Sweat and dirt can cause corrosion over time, so make sure to wipe down your barbell after each use.

  • Storing the Barbell Off the Ground – Storing your barbell off the ground helps prevent damage to both the barbell and your floor. It also reduces the risk of accidents. There are many storage solutions available, from vertical racks to horizontal ones, depending on your space and needs.

  • Keeping the Barbell Away from Sunlight – Direct sunlight can cause the metal of your barbell to heat up and expand, which can lead to warping over time. It’s best to store your barbells in a cool, shaded area.

  • Storing in a Dry Location – As mentioned earlier, moisture can cause your barbells to rust. Storing them in a dry location can help prevent this.

  • Unloading Weights Off the Barbell When Stored – Leaving weights on your barbell can put unnecessary stress on the bar, potentially leading to warping or bending over time. Always unload your weights after each workout session before storing your barbell.

Types of Barbell Storage

When it comes to storing your barbells, you have two main options: horizontal storage and vertical storage.

Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and the choice between the two often comes down to personal preference and available space.

Horizontal Storage – Benefits and Drawbacks

man taking barbell off of horizontal storage

Horizontal storage, or a gun rack as they’re usually called, involves storing your barbells on a rack where the barbells lie flat.

This type of storage is beneficial because it evenly distributes the weight of the barbell, reducing the risk of warping.

It also allows for easy access to your barbells. However, a barbell gun rack can take up a lot of space, making them less ideal for smaller workout areas.

RELATED – Can a Barbell Fit in a Car? – A Comprehensive Guide

Vertical Storage – Benefits and Drawbacks

multiple rogue barbells stored in vertical bar holder

Vertical bar storage involves storing your bars vertically, either on a floor stand or a wall-mounted barbell rack.

This type of storage is space-efficient, making it a great option for smaller gyms or home workout spaces.

However, storing barbells vertically can put pressure on one end of the barbell, which could potentially lead to warping over time.

The Debate on Horizontal vs. Vertical Storage

The debate on whether to store barbells horizontally or vertically often comes down to personal preference and available space.

However, it’s important to note that regardless of the method you choose, proper care and maintenance of your barbells is crucial.

This includes regular cleaning and ensuring your barbells are stored in a dry, cool location.

Barbell Storage Solutions

Now that we’ve covered the importance of proper barbell storage and some common mistakes to avoid, let’s dive into the different storage solutions available.

Whether you’re working with a spacious commercial gym or a compact home gym, there’s a storage solution that will fit your needs.

Barbell Storage Racks – What They Are and Why You Need Them

Barbell storage racks are specifically designed to hold your barbells securely when they’re not in use.

They come in a variety of designs and sizes, allowing you to choose one that best fits your space and the number of barbells you have.

A good barbell storage rack not only organizes your space but also protects your barbells from damage.

It keeps your barbells off the floor, preventing scratches and dents, and it also makes it easier for you to access your barbells during your workout.

Wall-Mounted Racks vs. Floor Racks

When choosing a barbell storage rack, you’ll come across two main types: wall-mounted racks and floor racks.

cerakote rogue bars stored in horizontal barbell holder

Wall-mounted racks are attached to the wall, keeping your barbells off the floor and saving valuable floor space.

They’re a great option if you’re working with a smaller space, like a home gym.

However, keep in mind that you’ll need a sturdy wall to mount the rack, and you’ll also need to consider the height at which you mount it for easy access to your barbells.

traditional vertical storage solution

On the other hand, floor racks are freestanding and can be placed anywhere in your gym.

They often have a larger capacity than wall-mounted racks, making them a good choice if you have a larger collection of barbells.

However, they do take up more floor space, so you’ll need to consider that when planning your gym layout.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Barbell Storage Rack

When choosing a barbell storage rack, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few:

  • Size of your space – Measure your space before purchasing a rack to ensure it will fit. Consider both the floor space and the wall space (if you’re considering a wall-mounted rack).

  • Number of barbells – Make sure the rack can accommodate the number of barbells you have. If you plan to expand your collection in the future, consider getting a larger rack.

  • Type of barbells – Different types of barbells may require different storage solutions. For instance, if you have an Olympic barbell, you’ll need a rack that can accommodate the larger barbell length.

  • Material and build quality – The rack should be sturdy and durable enough to hold your barbells securely. Look for a rack made of high-quality materials that can withstand the weight of your barbells.

  • Ease of assembly – Some racks may require assembly. Check if the rack comes with clear assembly instructions and all the necessary hardware.

Special Considerations for Different Types of Barbells

Just as there are different types of storage solutions, there are also different types of barbells, each with its own unique features and considerations when it comes to storage.

  • Needle Bearing Bars – Needle bearing bars are a type of Olympic barbell. They’re designed for smooth rotation, making them ideal for Olympic weightlifting. When storing these bars, it’s important to store them horizontally to prevent damage to the bearings.

  • Bushing Bars – Bushing bars are another type of Olympic barbell. They’re known for their durability and are commonly used for powerlifting. Like needle bearing bars, bushing bars should be stored horizontally to prevent unnecessary stress on the bushings.

  • Non-Sleeved Bars – Non-sleeved bars, such as standard barbells, don’t have rotating sleeves. This makes them less susceptible to damage from vertical storage. However, horizontal bar storage is still recommended to prevent warping.

RELATED – Bushing vs Bearing Barbell – An In-Depth Guide

How to Maintain Your Barbell

Proper maintenance of your barbell is just as important as proper storage. Here are some tips to keep your barbell in top shape:

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent the buildup of dirt, sweat, and oil, which can lead to rust.

Use a soft brush and mild detergent to clean your barbell, and make sure to dry it thoroughly before storing.

You can also use a barbell maintenance kit for more thorough cleaning.

Dealing with Oil Accumulation

Oil can accumulate in the knurling of your barbell over time. This can make the barbell slippery and unsafe to use. To remove oil, use a brush to scrub the knurling gently.

You can also use a mild detergent or a specialized barbell cleaning solution.

Preventing and Dealing with Scratches

Scratches can expose the bare metal of your barbell, making it more susceptible to rust.

To prevent scratches, always store your barbell off the ground and avoid metal-on-metal contact.

If your barbell does get scratched, you can use a rust remover to clean the area and then apply a thin layer of oil to protect it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Barbell Size Should I Look for When Purchasing One for My Home Gym?

When it comes to setting up a home gym, determining the right barbell size is crucial. Before making a purchase, consider the most common barbell sizes at the gym. These typically range from 20 to 45 pounds for beginners, and 45 to 55 pounds for more advanced lifters. Choosing a barbell size that aligns with your current fitness level will ensure effective workouts and help you achieve your fitness goals.


Proper barbell storage is more than just a matter of organization—it’s a crucial aspect of maintaining the quality and longevity of your barbells, as well as ensuring safety in your gym or workout space.

Whether you choose to have your barbell stored vertically or horizontally, or even with a wall-mounted or standard squat rack, always remember to clean your barbells regularly and store them in a dry, cool location.

Remember, a well-maintained barbell is not only a joy to use but also a testament to your commitment to fitness and health.

So, take the time to store your barbells properly and enjoy the benefits for years to come.

If you’re looking to expand your barbell collection, check out our barbell buying guide for tips on choosing the right barbell for your needs.

Until next time,


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