Bar Fight (AKA Chris is a meathead)

Note: My laptop died this morning so until it is replaced all blogs will be done on my phone.  CS

Some time ago I did something I shouldn’t  have and certainly know better.  I engaged in an ultimately futile internet argument with a person I will likely never meet.

What was the arguement about? Glad you asked, although I hope it doesn’t re-ignite any further arguments.  I’m not out to defend my position just merely lay out my side of things.

The arguement was over my belief and practice of teaching new lifters how to safely drop a barbell. The opposition stated not only is this stupid, but it demonstrates my lack of skills and knowledge as a coach and that guys like me are part of the reason why people hate gyms… know,us bar dropping meatheads.

I tried explaining we don’t drop bars simply to drop them or to make noise and ONLY drop if needed,but she wasn’t having any of it.

I don’t mind views that conflict with my own.  I even intentionally seek out studies and articles that counter my thoughts in order to have a balanced view of things. I believe I’m fair in comparing the merits of each side.

Normally when I run into a person that seems to be disagreeing simply to disagree I ask the almighty question of questions “Do they even lift?”

Based on photographic evidence the answer was a solid no.

So instead of comparing the relative right/wrong of barbell dropping I decided to compare the two trainers involved.  This might provide some insight into why we feel the way we feel.

The other trainer….

Works in a corporate fitness facility. By her own admission most clients are middle-aged or older, sedentary, weight loss and general fitness types.

The gym is not designed for heavy training.

Clients do not pick up loads heavier than they weigh.

General exercise is the pursuit.

She had around 5yrs experience. Does not lift relatively heavy things.

I on the other hand….

Work in an old school gym. 33% of my clients are other personal trainers, other clients are weight loss,aesthetic or performance type clients.  The oldest client is 10 years younger than me.

The gym is designed for heavy training, suitable up to competitive Powerlifting or Strongman standards.

Strength,Weight Loss, Mobility and practical education for trainers are the primary adaptations and pursuits.

Over 25yrs experience (which makes the fact I argued online an even more meatheaded) Lifts relatively heavy things.

Very different experience levels,  situations, gyms and clientele.  What’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for the other.

Since the other trainer doesn’t deal with the same situations I do and has no practical barbell experience she is not entitled to an opinion on the subject.

So why do I teach beginning lifters how to drop a bar? The short answer is barbell wrecks happen and I would rather they have the knowledge of what to do and not need it rather than need it and not have it. The primary objective is to always control the load in a safe manner, but sometimes things happen and you need to know how to escape a bad situation.

There are some choices here.  (1) Find a highly qualified lifting coach to teach you the basic and sophisticated barbell lifts.  You will learn from that persons past mistakes.  (2) Disregard #1 and get injured in a bar wreck because you didn’t know how to abort a lift safely. (3) Always lift with suboptimal loads and fail to reach athletic,aesthetic or hygeinic goals.










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