Barbell Etiquette | Carl Raghavan Barbell Etiquette | Carl Raghavan

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Thread: Barbell Etiquette | Carl Raghavan

  1. #1
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Barbell Etiquette | Carl Raghavan

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    I canít stress enough the importance of barbell etiquette. To me, itís more important than table manners. It demonstrates that you respect the weight room and the people around you: that you respect what we are all trying to accomplish. Iíve come up with what I think are the top ten key aspects of barbell etiquette.

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    I canít stress enough the importance of barbell etiquette. To me, itís more important than table manners. It demonstrates that you respect the weight room and the people around you: that you respect what we are all trying to accomplish. Iíve come up with what I think are the top ten key aspects of barbell etiquette.

    Read article
    Although it may fit within the category of Respectful, I would add Aware. I had someone bump into the bar when I was benching, another who was so close to the squat rack that I almost hit him in the head with the bar as I unracked it, and a couple of people were swinging kettlebells so close to where I was squatting that I was concerned about contact. If I have to rerack the bar to have a discussion about personal space when lifting, I am probably not going to be in a good mood.

    Don't remove plates from a loaded barbell unless you know that nobody is using it. Also, never take a plate off one side of the bar. I have left my stuff next to the bench and gone to find a couple of plates or get a drink of water only to find one side of the bar weighing more than the other.

    During a holiday weekend when I was in college, there were only two of us in the gym. My spotter was a college wrestler that I had never lifted with before. After the bar came down to my chest, my spotter who was there when I started the lift was gone. Although there were at least 3 plates on the bar, he assumed that I wouldn't need help and went to the bathroom. Fortunately, I wasn't using collars because the weight was too heavy for me to use the roll of shame. The noise from the plates coming off on one side and the bar flipping was loud enough to attract the attention of people who weren't even on the same floor of the building.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2020
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    "Truth is, most real lifters donít have the time to worry about whatís going on around them."

    Yes! The time or the desire. I've told apprehensive people a million times, nobody cares what you're doing or how much you're lifting. People are NOT watching you.

  4. #4
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    Fabulous article. Shared. Good work, Carl.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2019
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    Hi Carl,

    Quick follow up question to this amazing article:

    I find myself getting into the trap of reading between sets, either an article on this site or something news related.

    Recognizing that I am disengaging from my training, I will turn my phone off (I donít have music and I use a paper log). So, what is a better use of my time between sets that will keep me engaged?

  6. #6
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    Jul 2020
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    Yes, I really wished people could be more disciplined and respectful at the gym.

    Where I live, the gyms do not normally have a weight lifting rack. Most of them have Smith machines. There is a gym in the condo where I live and I asked them if I could put my own rack in there. They agreed and I imported a decent rack, a 20kg bar and one pair of each size of plates, including some for micro-loading and light weight 45cm plates for warming up cleans. There are also plenty of 20kg plates for the Smith machine and some crappy benches on wheels. It is not ideal, but it works ok.

    After every training session, I leave the plates in good order.

    It amazes me how the area looks every time I return. The plates are all over the place. Most of the time someone left plates on the bar. People must be really confused, because they put the smaller plates on the inside and larger plates on the outside and different weights on the different sides. Sometimes plates are leaning against a treadmill on the other side of the room.

    I kind of resigned to this and try not to let it get to me. However, it would be interesting to know what these people are thinking?

  7. #7
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    May 2015
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    Donít make me blush Sully.

  8. #8
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    May 2020
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    Best article I've read on gym etiquette.

  9. #9
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    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by KShedd View Post
    Hi Carl,

    Quick follow up question to this amazing article:

    I find myself getting into the trap of reading between sets, either an article on this site or something news related.

    Recognizing that I am disengaging from my training, I will turn my phone off (I donít have music and I use a paper log). So, what is a better use of my time between sets that will keep me engaged?
    Record your training and watch and critique that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Indiana
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Logan1 View Post
    Don't remove plates from a loaded barbell unless you know that nobody is using it. Also, never take a plate off one side of the bar. I have left my stuff next to the bench and gone to find a couple of plates or get a drink of water only to find one side of the bar weighing more than the other.
    Along those lines:

    Stake out territory by hanging your belt over the middle of the bar if youíre going to step away for a moment.

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