Meet Me at the Bar(bell)

Hello there my lovelies! It’s Friday afternoon so I’m sure we are all eagerly awaiting Happy Hour, HOWEVER, that is not the bar that I would like you meet me at. I’m talking about our precious barbells which we use on an almost daily basis. The other day when I was coaching an introduction session, the person unknowingly dropped the barbell. Once my face recovered from it’s horrified cringe, I explained why we don’t drop barbells. After the session it occurred to me that we might all need a reminder (or even a first!) crash course on how to best care for one of our favorite pieces of equipment.

  1. Never drop an empty barbell. This can break the bearing/bushing that is inside the barbell, therein causing the spin of the barbell to not work as well. Not as likely, but dropping an empty barbell could also eventually cause some bend to the bar which we also would not want.
  2. Never drop a barbell with just 10# plates on the bar. This is for the same reason as rule number 1, and while YES, the 10’s are absorbing a lot of the shock from the drop, if dropped from overhead or repetitively enough, it can still cause damage (not to mention that this can also break the 10# plates as well).
  3. Wipe down after using. Not only do we want to leave the barbell clean for the next user, but steel can corrode so after using just do a quick wipe down, and if you are chalk monster make sure that you use the wire brush (next to the barbells) to get that extra chalk out of the knurling.
  4. Load your barbell properly. Did you even know that there was a proper way to load the barbell? I didn’t for a really long time. The diagram below details the best ways to (OR NOT TO) load a barbell. 
  5. CLIP IN. I know, I KNOW! You are probably reading this and yelling at your computer screen, “YOU DON’T DO IT EITHER!” Which you’re right, it’s a bad and LAZY habit that I fell into and I’m working on it. You should always clip in for safety and barbell stability. If the plates slide on the bar and become uneven, it will really knock you off balance, you’ll probably miss your lift, and you could really hurt youself. Putting clips on and taking them off takes seconds you guys… (I’m talking to myself here too!), so just DO IT! 🙂
  6. Be aware of your surroundings, and what others are doing.  This applies to so much more than barbells, but always be aware of where you are setting up and what others are doing around you, especially when going overhead with barbells. Also, when completing your reps, don’t “ghost ride” your bar, meaning that you finish that last thruster and just let it fly without guiding it down. Guiding it down is important to prevent a harmful bounce to yourself or to others around you.

Okay, I know… you guys are like, “Man, Coach Holly is such a buzz kill.” And I’m sorry! I’m not trying to admonish anyone, but simply give a friendly reminder that we all need at times.

I think I can speak for practically everyone when I say that lifting heavy is one of our favorite things, so let’s do our best to take care of the equipment which allows us to do so.