We use the barbell in class on a daily basis. It can be used as an implement to build strength or conditioning, and we use it to do just that - notice the difference between Part A and Part B of our workouts? It is versatile and the results are proven. In my opinion, it is the most useful piece of equipment a gym can have.
If you're new to CrossFit and didn't play a sport at the prep or collegiate level, the barbell may be something that you haven't used before. That's totally fine because we're here to teach you how to use it! That being said, there is a certain level of respect that we give this (and every) piece of equipment. Below is a short list of things you should know:
Know how to load and unload the bar.
Do not be that guy or girl who puts every single 10 pound plate on the bar while working up to a heavy lift. The 45 pound plates may look scary or not be an appropriate opening weight for you, but guess what? After you've put four 10s on each side (that's eight plates totaling 80 pounds), you're probably ready to put a 45 on each side (two plates, 90 pounds) on your next set. Worse than looking ridiculous, hogging all of the small plates on your bar leaves very few for the other people in class to use. Be considerate.
More important than knowing how to load the bar correctly is knowing how to unload it. After working up to your new 1RM back squat do not pull all of the weight off one side of the bar. Doing this will turn your bar and rack into a giant-metal-seesaw-catapult-of-death. Seriously, the consequences of this can put the health and safety of you, your classmates and coaches in jeopardy. I've only seen it happen a handful of times, but it bears repeating: unload your bar one plate at a time, alternating back and forth between sides. (Note: this rule doesn't apply to the deadlift because a bar on the floor doesn't pose the same risk).
Finally, use clips. Always.
This is an important concept because the space where we work out must be safe and it must be conducive to our success. Do not load your bar when the person next to you is in the middle of a lift. Do not lift if the person next to you is in the middle of their lift. Do not talk to someone who is in the middle of their lift. Do not walk, sit or stand in front of someone who is in the middle of their lift (this last one applies especially to the snatch and clean & jerk). Now, in the context of a CrossFit class there is always going to be a little bit of chaos, so I don't expect assembly line precision when 12 people are sharing 5 platforms. The message here is to be aware of your surroundings and cognizant of how your movements impact others around you.
Spotting a lift
We only spot somebody on the back squat and by "we," I mean the coaches at CrossFit 818. On days where we are doing back squats, for intensity or volume, I'm always nervous and hyper-vigilant. There is only one coach and sometimes up to a dozen of students. I don't want anyone getting stapled to the floor, so I need your help making sure that each set is done safely. The takeaway here is to let us know if there is any shred of doubt in your mind that you can complete your lifts. I'd much rather pat you on the back and say, "that was a piece of cake," than watch in horror from a distance as gravity pulls the barbell with you under it towards the ground. Don't let this happen to you.
This is more of a general rule that applies to everything we use, and unfortunately, the one that gets broken on a daily basis. When you are finished, put your bar in the upright rack and put your weights back in the appropriate stack taking care to not make them look like a leaning tower of bumper plates. Do the same with the wall balls and kettlebells as well. I don't come into your kitchen, cook something and then put everything away in a haphazard fashion, or worse, leave everything out. Treat CrossFit 818 like you would a campsite or park, leave it cleaner than you found it.
No kidding though, if this continues I will make you all sing the "clean up time" song that I learned in pre-school while we pick up the stuff that was left out. Then you'll all do burpees. Lulz.
Other Sundry Items
Don't drop an empty bar. Don't step over the bar, walk around it. A little chalk goes a long way. Encourage others. Have fun!
Suz rowing her three co-pilots!
A. 2RM Thruster
B. 3 rounds for time:
21 thrusters (75/53)
Rest 2 minutes
Posted by Commish