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Equipment Outfitting a serious gym. Vendors & suppliers. Devices & equipment

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Old 03-21-2007, 07:53 AM   #1
Mike Gray
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Say kinds,

I've been working on my olympic lifts for eight months now - and more intensively since I started CF - but I've always used a skinny style bar with star nuts. It doesn't flex at all. What kind of difference does it make if you do the lifts with a "proper" bar?

And does it even make a difference for a newbie whose best ever clean was only 78 kilos?

Peace,

Mike
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:13 AM   #2
Paul Findley
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I suspect that your "skinny" bar flexes more than you think.

There is nothing better than the right tool for the job...or in some cases, an even better, more expensive tool for the job :-)

I would, however, not stop doing what your doing for want of a "real" olympic bar and weights. A larger diameter bar may fit better in your hand, working with the standard diameter bumper plates allow for a standard starting position. There are, most likely, other factors I am not aware of.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:27 PM   #3
Victor Cruzeiro
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I'm quite a novice lifter myself, and until recently have been doing cleans with a cheap 32mm bar and metal plates. Like you I hadn't ever cleaned much weight.
A couple of weeks ago though, I invested in a York Olympic bar & some bumper plates and I have to say, it's so much nicer work with good equipment. I love bumper plates and the York bar is so much nicer to use. The narrower diameter is so much nicer to grip (small hands) and the collars spin like a bike. The old bar has a real lack of spin that I felt affected my technique.

That being said, I agree with Paul, don't stop because you don't have the best equipment. I made the sacrifice to invest in a bar and bumpers, but I would have kept cleaning with my cheap power bar regardless. You do the best with what you can afford.

I heard from many sources though, such as Rippetoe, if you're going to spend money on one thing, it should be a good bar.

Just my 2 cents.
Victor
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #4
Veronica Carpenter
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If you really want to get serious with O-lifts, the type of bar you want is one with sleeves that spin. From there you can get by with cheaper bars or spend near a grand if you really want competition quality.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:37 PM   #5
Mike Gray
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Huh.

I had a look at the "real" bars and realized that they're actually a lot thinner than mine - and my plate only "spin" because I don't put them on tight. (On one of my first attempts at a clean a while back I tightened as hard as a could and almost fell over backwards!)

What changes when using a bar with flex and spin? Is it easier or more difficult to get the wieght up and over my head?

Just curious here! And yeah - I'm certainly not going to stop until I have a better bar - I seem to be making some nice progress already! :-)

Mike
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:21 PM   #6
Allison Foreman
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Hi, Mike. Thought I'd add a little insight on why the bars are designed differently. Olympic Training Bars are designed for the ballistic, rotational overhead Olympic movements such as the clean & jerk or the snatch, while weightlifting/power bars are designed for the slower, static motions such as the bench press, squat, and deadlift (nonrotational). The Olympic Training bar carries 28mm grip (men’s) or 25mm (women’s)with the same static test strength – this will product bar “whip” which assists the lifter through completion of the lift. In addition, the sleeves of an OTB must spin more freely to rotate through the 180 degree path of motion from the ground to overhead and prevent the torque of rotating plates, which should remain stationary. The sleeves should move the 180 degrees, not the plates. Needle bearings are used in the internal construction to allow for this spin.
A weightlifting/power bar is actually less expensive to produce than an Olympic Training Bar as the sleeves don’t need to rotate quite as as freely, as the lifts they are designed for are linear and nonrotational. Competition power bars will have a 29mm grip to meet international specifications, but many manufacturers offer a 32mm bar with the same static test strength at a lower price point for training purposes. Many users find the 32mm power bar more comfortable as the wider bar offers less “compression crush” on the pounds per square inch on the user on the pressing motions, but will be less flexible than the OTB. Hope this helps a little bit! Allison Foreman, York Barbell.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:51 PM   #7
David Sailor
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Allison,
A quick question: Is there any downside to using an OTB bar for deadlifts? Thanks, David
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
Veronica Carpenter
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A OTB is fine for regular deads.
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:24 PM   #9
Don Stevenson
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Mike, you can get away with cheap plates and bars for a while but once you lift on a quality bar with quality plates you'll understand the difference and never want to go back.

It's like the difference between a 25 year old honda civic and a brand new maserati. both will get you from A to B but until you've sat in a maserati you don;t know how good life can be (unfortunately I don't own a maserati....yet)

Yesterday I did 75 reps of 60kg clean and push press on a crappy cheap bar with wobbly iron plates. It was always going to suck but it REALLY sucked on that bar cause the ends didn't spin smoothly and the knurling hurt.

Normally I lift on Uesaka or Elieko bars and plates and you can really tell the difference!
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Old 03-22-2007, 05:37 PM   #10
John P. S Shopa Jr
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I've got to just throw in my two cents here.
today I ordered the pendlay crossfit weight set/bar with some blue suede shoes. It may not be a maserati, but the stuff I regularly use looks like its already been through the crusher. I have to wait three days to try it out(shipping), but if it feels anything as good in person as waiting for it does, its gotta be good. I feel like a kid in on Christmas.
The final straw was that the gym on base has octagonal plates- impossible to keep good form at the bottom when they land on a corner. I realized the only way to do what I wanted where I'm at is to buy the right stuff. I will post with pictures when it arrives. OH BOY!
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