Barbell Etiquette Reminders

by Arena Ready on May 15th, 2015

This week's regular seasonal reminder about avoiding gym funk prompted one of our coaches to ask me to please also re-post reminders for barbell etiquette.  So here it goes! 

A few friendly reminders regarding barbell use and etiquette in the gym.  A few items can go a long way for helping to keep the barbells spinning well (and lasting a long time), and you and your fellow athletes safe.  We're fortunate at Arena Ready to have mindful and courteous athletes/members, but a little reminding never hurts anyone.

First, regarding the barbells and bumper plates themselves:
  1. Please do not drop an empty bar, or allow a loaded bar to skip into the wall or pull-up rig.  It breaks the bearing/bushing thereby rendering it unable to spin during the lifts (snatches, cleans, etc), and the latter presents some major safety issues for our athletes.  What's the big deal about the bars spinning you may ask?  Try snatching or cleaning with a cheap bar from a commercial gym and let me know how that goes for you (kidding, don't actually do that).
  2. Wipe off any blood, skin, excessive sweat, etc with a disinfectant wipe immediately after barbell use.  If you notice you're bleeding during a workout please tend to it ASAP before continuing the workout - there is Bactine spray and bandages under the gym desk (and athletic tape on top of the desk), just let a coach know you need them and we're happy to help.
  3. Put the collars (AKA "clips") on for all your lifts, and load the heaviest plates on the inside.
  4. Use as few plates as possible.  I know it's fun to load seven 10s on each side, but it makes you look like a noob - so please roll out the bigger plates when you take your jumps in weight.
  5. Dropping a bar from overhead loaded with just a pair of 10s will eventually bend and break the 10s, so please refrain from doing so.  If you have a bar loaded with just a pair of 10s then lower it to thigh-level under control and then drop it.
  6. The Olympic weightlifting kilo plates and accessory equipment on/near the platforms should be used for only that - Olympic weightlifting on the platforms.
  7. There is an Eleiko competition bar on the floor next to the weightlifting platforms.  If you have competed in a national-level Olympic weightlifting meet then feel free to use it for your lifts.  If not, please leave it alone (yes, it's supposed to be stored lying flat on the floor like that).  If I see it leaning against a wall vertically, racked in a squat rack, stored on the wall racks with the CrossFit/Rogue bars, or being used in a CrossFit WOD my head may actually explode and the gym will thus be closed indefinitely.    
Second, regarding lifting the barbells in class with your fellow athletes:
  1. Don't ghost ride the bar.  We drop the barbells like ladies and gentlemen at Arena Ready.  Control it down or follow it with open hands and settle it on the first bounce.  People who ghost ride bars in CrossFit are like people who drive big ass trucks in order to compensate for lacking in other areas.  They should wear T-shirts that say "My ghost riding barbell expresses what my lifts cannot."
  2. During a strength session or barbell class try to avoid walking directly in front of someone taking a big lift.  It's distracting and shows poor form.  Safety-wise please also avoid walking next to, or directly behind, someone taking a big lift.  In CrossFit WODs the etiquette is a bit different, since we often have to quickly transition between different movements - in this case we simply ask that you be a good neighbor and look out for one another.
  3. High five or fist bump your fellow athletes when they hit a PR.  Or clap.  Or cheer and shout.  Or have them hit the PR gong.  Or all of the above.  After all this is supposed to be fun, and we're lucky enough to have a bunch of cool and interesting people to train with and become better.
Any questions?  Feel free to ask away or pick our brains at the gym.  We are always happy to help and I'd rather you ask us than wonder if something is acceptable or not.

Happy lifting!
Sad face.  It can be avoided and you have the power! 
This post also provides a nice segue...

WOD for 05-16-15:

For Time:
Run 1000m
3 Rounds of:
10 Power Clean & Jerk @ 135/95 lbs
15 Toes-to-Bar
Run 1000m

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