Take Care of Your Equipment: Barbells

Figure 1

Taking care of our gym equipment is essential to keeping Eximo safe and efficient for our athletes. We all have a responsibility to wipe down our equipment, clean up our weights, and leave the gym in good condition for the next class. One of the most essential pieces of equipment in the gym is the barbells, and so they deserve special attention. 

Keep the bars clean. Keeping the bars clean is important. Even metal can corrode over time. Sweat, skin, and even blood…

[Editorial note: …blood… *cringe* ~Meghan]

…can wear a bar down. Make sure you wipe down your bar with a disinfectant spray after you’re done using it.

An Inside Look. Have you ever seen what’s inside a barbell?

Figure 2

The inside of a barbell contains bearings that allow the bar to rotate when you lift it. Dropping an empty bar damages the bearings. In addition to being costly to replace, if those bearings break then the athlete is responsible for making that spin happen when they lift, which makes your lift a lot harder.

[Editorial note: I’m looking at you Clean and Jerks. ~Meghan]

Dropping loaded bars is acceptable because the plates act as shock absorbers.  However, there are times to be careful dropping even weighted bars. Dropping a bar from overhead with just a pair of ten pound plates can eventually break both the bearings and the plates.

Loading and unloading the bar correctly There’s a right way and a wrong way to load and unload your bar.

Loading your bar. The best way to protect the bars is to use as few plates as possible. Load the heaviest plates on the inside. Too many smaller plates is hard on the barbell, and hard on the smaller weights.

[Editorial note: But … I look like a bada** with five 10’s on each side… ~Meghan]

[Post-Editorial note: *deadpan stare* ~Erica]

[Post-Post-Editorial note: *salutes* Yes, Coach. ~Meghan]

So don’t be afraid to roll out the bigger plates if you need them.

Unloading your bar. It can be really easy to forget about dropping an empty barbell after a tough WOD, but it’s just as important to protect the barbell while unloading the bar, too.

Here are some simple tips for unloading the bar:

  1. Clear off one side of the bar first. You may want to roll one end of the bar up on a five-pound plate. This acts like a jack that props the weights up off the ground allowing for easier unloading.
  2. Stand over the plate and slide the weight to the edge of the bar. Don’t slide the weight off completely yet (because the empty end of the barbell will hit the ground and do damage to the bearings). Once the weight is at the end of the bar, gently pop the weight off of the bar and rest the end of the barbell on the floor.
  3. Unloading the other end of the bar can be done one of two ways:
    1. Tip the empty side up and let the weights slide off the end onto the ground, or
    2. Watch this video (How to Load & Unload a Barbell, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-cwyf2K_LU)

[Editorial note: *at 2:20* You mean… I can just… *face palm* ~Meghan]

[Post-Editorial note: *nods sagely* ~Erica]

Keeping our barbells in good condition keeps our athletes safe and the barbells spinning (which helps them last a long time). Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.



WOD – Workout of the Day


Figure 1: https://memegenerator.net/instance/75288399/taken-meme-i-dont-know-who-you-are-but-if-you-drop-an-empty-barbell-i-will-find-you-and-i-will-make-

Figure 2: http://www.crossfittyler.com/coach-corner/for-the-love-of-the-barbell

EASIEST Way to Remove Weight Plates After Your Deadlifts (Quick Tip), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaDC0meiUtw

How to Load & Unload a Barbell, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-cwyf2K_LU


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