Are Gym Weights In Kg Or Lbs In Canada

Are Gym Weights in Kg or Lbs in Canada?

by: raisetbar

When you walk into a gym, whether you’re a beginner or an athlete, one of the first things you might notice is the weights. These essential tools for strength training come in various sizes and, importantly, units of measurement. In Canada, a country known for its multicultural aspects and bilingualism, the question of whether gym weights are measured in kilograms (kg) or pounds (lbs) can be particularly intriguing. 

This is not just a trivial question but one that has practical implications for how individuals engage with their workout routines. This blog post aims to explore the standard unit of measurement for weights in Canadian gyms and delve into the reasons behind the use of either kilograms or pounds.

Are Gym Weights in Kg Or Lbs in Canada?

In Canada, gym weights are commonly measured in kilograms (kg). This aligns with the metric system officially used in the country for all forms of measurement. However, it’s not unusual to find some gyms, particularly those catering to American visitors or specialized training facilities, offering weights labelled in pounds (lbs). Gym-goers should check the unit of measurement at their specific gym to avoid confusion. Additionally, certain speciality gyms, like those focused on powerlifting or Olympic lifting, may offer weights in pounds to align with international competition standards.

Gym Type Common Measurement Unit Reasons for Unit Choice
Commercial Gyms Pounds (lbs) Most equipment is sourced from the U.S.; familiar and standard unit for a majority of clientele
Specialty Gyms Kilograms (kg) Adherence to international competitive standards; equipment often sourced from Europe or Asia
University Gyms Both kg and lbs Serve a diverse student body familiar with both systems; sometimes depends on specific sports programs offered
Private Fitness Studios Kilograms (kg) Often cater to niche markets or elite athletes familiar with international measurement standards
Community Centers Both kg and lbs Need to accommodate a broad demographic with varying preferences in measurement units
Home Gyms User’s preference Dependent on personal choice, influenced by the type of equipment purchased and the user’s familiarity with the unit

The adoption of the metric system in Canada was gradual, and many sectors continued to use the imperial system for several years following the change. This historical context is crucial in understanding why both systems are still in use today. In gyms, especially, the choice of measurement system can depend on a variety of factors including the type of gym, the preferences of the gym’s clientele, and even the origin of the equipment.

Are Gym Weights In Kg Or Lbs In Canada

Weight Based on Gym Types and Equipment in Canada

Commercial Gyms: 

Large commercial gyms in Canada, such as GoodLife Fitness or YMCA, often use weights labelled in pounds. This is partly because many of these chains are international and use equipment that caters to a North American standard, which is typically imperial. Moreover, the familiarity of pounds for a significant portion of the gym-going population in Canada makes it a practical choice.

Specialty Gyms and Athletic Centers:

Gyms or personal fitness trainers that focus on Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, or have a competitive sports training focus are more likely to use kilograms. This is because these sports are governed by international bodies that standardize measurements in metric terms. Athletes training in these environments need to be accustomed to kilograms as that is the standard used in competitions.

Personal Preference and Accessibility:

Some gyms offer equipment in both kilograms and pounds, recognizing the diverse preferences of their clientele. This dual offering can also be seen in gyms located in more culturally diverse areas or in cities with a significant expatriate population.

Considerations for Gym Owners and Users

Gym owners must consider both their clientele and the standards of the equipment they purchase. While importing equipment from the U.S. might bring costs down, it often means the equipment will be in pounds. Conversely, European or Asian imports would more likely be in kilograms. For gym users, the unit of measurement might influence their choice of gym based on what they are accustomed to or what feels more intuitive for tracking their progress.

In recent years, digital tools and apps have made it easier for individuals to convert weights between kilograms and pounds. This has somewhat lessened the impact of the unit of measurement on a person’s gym experience since conversions can be quickly calculated through smartphones.


The question of whether gym weights are in kilograms or pounds in Canada does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, it depends on the type of gym, the origin of the equipment, and the preferences of the gym’s clientele. While Canada officially uses the metric system, the influence of the imperial system remains strong, especially in settings like gyms where personal preference and the international nature of fitness equipment play significant roles. 

For gym-goers in Canada, this means that being adaptable and perhaps familiar with both systems of measurement could enhance their training experience. As Canada continues to embrace its multicultural identity, the flexibility in measurement units in various sectors, including fitness, reflects this diversity. Ultimately, whether a gym chooses kilograms or pounds, the goal remains the same: to facilitate effective and enjoyable workouts for all its patrons.

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