T Nation

Barbell Collars

In most gyms I’ve belonged to, just about none of the serious guys put collars on the olympic bar - for bench, squat, deadlift, at least. Nor do I. I tend to do it on the E-Z bar, especially if it’s going over my head, because it is less stable. I’ve never come close to having a problem with plates falling off an oyl bar. I’ve even been to places where you had to bring your own collars if you wanted them, or buy some from reception.

[I say “collars”, but would prefer spring clips any day.]

Of course, I’d prefer anyone who is new to use collars, if they might fail to balance the bar. Especially if they’re nearby me.

But occasionally you see someone who clearly knows what they are doing, who takes the time to use the collars/clips. It makes me wonder why. It’s just second or two’s effort, of course: does anyone have any horror stories to share about events which have changed their outlook on this?

Of course, my favourite bizarre sight is seeing someone use collars on the kind of Smith machine where the bar is fixed parallel to the floor … if there’s a danger of those plates falling off, that’s going to be the least of your worries :-).

I use them for DLs if I’m doing more than singles, just because I don’t like the plates moving around on the bar when I set the bar down. I’ve never had any plates fall off or anything, I just like to keep them feeling tight to each other and balanced.

[quote]HG Thrower wrote:
I use them for DLs if I’m doing more than singles, just because I don’t like the plates moving around on the bar when I set the bar down. I’ve never had any plates fall off or anything, I just like to keep them feeling tight to each other and balanced.[/quote]

Exactly, though I do it for all exercises, except for maybe shrugs. I just don’t see why not to. Besides, better safe than sorry, I think. It takes only a second to put them on, and there’s really no downside to them.

I prefer spring clips, too.

The only downside to them is if you’re bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.

You’ve seen someone dump the plates? I’m thinking that must create one hell of a whip on the bar: enough to rip your shoulder off. Better than suffocating, I guess.

[quote]anonym wrote:
I just don’t see why not to. [/quote]

Hmm. I guess that comes down to the “leave your attitude at the door” thing: do REAL MEN bother with collars? :slight_smile:

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
The only downside to them is if you’re bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym. [/quote]

So you saw a guy pinned under the weight and let him deal with it? Why didn’t you help?

It could simply be how they were trained and it’s a habit that stuck. Not a bad idea really and perhaps even a courtesy to your fellow lifter, like you mentioned, it only takes a moment extra.

I don�??t use them for bench presses, but I do for just about everything else, for two reasons: first, my gym is gigantic and has a huge collection of plates and bars, and some of the oddball bars and plates fit together pretty loosely. Second, my knees get really unhappy when a plate shifts

i’m with anonym, why would you not. adds a small layer of safety that doesn’t take more than a couple seconds to do.

Some exercises are hard to keep perfectly balanced at all times and at my gym the plates slide really easily. One time I forgot on only the one side and during a set of squats the plates slided, I only noticed as the one side became much harder.

When you say you see someone who clearly knows what they are doing and still uses collars and you wonder why, well I wonder why you don’t understand that. And I don’t think you can judge someone’s manhood on whether they use collars or not.

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
The only downside to them is if you’re bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.

So you saw a guy pinned under the weight and let him deal with it? Why didn’t you help?
[/quote]

Where in that post did you see him mention he saw someone trapped and didn’t help? He said he saw it happen, he didn’t say if he helped or whatever happened. Wow, I’m amazed how some people make such dumb assumptions.

[quote]rinkamd wrote:
Chickenmcnug wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
The only downside to them is if you’re bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.

So you saw a guy pinned under the weight and let him deal with it? Why didn’t you help?

Where in that post did you see him mention he saw someone trapped and didn’t help? He said he saw it happen, he didn’t say if he helped or whatever happened. Wow, I’m amazed how some people make such dumb assumptions.[/quote]

Read it again? He said “bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.”

This implies that he personally witnessed someone reach failure on the bench press with no spotter and had to let the plates fall to the floor.

If i knew how to highlight in this forum i would do it to make the emphasis.

Your dumb assumption that I am making dumb assumptions is the assumption that is dumb. assumption!

ive been lifting for seven years and use collars for everything, and here is why:

when i used to lift in high school, as is the case with every gym, there are a lot of fucking idiots walking around. one day a kid was bench, some guy walked into his bar while he was pressing it, causing him to lean to far one way, making the plates fall off on one side and then the weight crashing down on the other, on the guys foot that bumped into him, breaking his foot.

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
rinkamd wrote:
Chickenmcnug wrote:
LankyMofo wrote:
The only downside to them is if you’re bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.

So you saw a guy pinned under the weight and let him deal with it? Why didn’t you help?

Where in that post did you see him mention he saw someone trapped and didn’t help? He said he saw it happen, he didn’t say if he helped or whatever happened. Wow, I’m amazed how some people make such dumb assumptions.

Read it again? He said “bench pressing and you reach failure with no spotter. Can’t lift the weight back up with letting the plates fall to the floor. It’s never happened to me (and I hope it never does) but I’ve seen it happen in my gym.”

This implies that he personally witnessed someone reach failure on the bench press with no spotter and had to let the plates fall to the floor.

If i knew how to highlight in this forum i would do it to make the emphasis.

Your dumb assumption that I am making dumb assumptions is the assumption that is dumb. assumption![/quote]

The guy benching had collars on, you idiot. How could he let the plates fall to the floor. Stop thinking you’re smart, ‘‘oh mi gawd your dumb assumptions are dumb’’ bla bla bla.

Yeah I don’t use them on any exercises with the exception of three plate and above deadlifts as the plate tend to shift as I not-so-gently let them hit the floor. I guess I have always liked the idea of being able to dump the plates on the bench and squat, even though I’m sure it would be nothing less than a complete clusterfuck if I were to attempt it.

I put clamps/collars on the bar no matter what I do. I just don’t like the idea of having plates move while I am lifting regardless of the lift.

I really don’t see any correlation between level of skill and use of collars, but I am sure some of you have.

I use them on every exercise. Remember some idiot could bump into you and cause issues. I have seen too many people who thought they knew what they were doing only to look over later as plates go flying off the bar, making a huge noise and making the lifter look like clueless.

[quote]PF_88 wrote:
Some exercises are hard to keep perfectly balanced at all times and at my gym the plates slide really easily. One time I forgot on only the one side and during a set of squats the plates slided, I only noticed as the one side became much harder.
[/quote]

I guess you could make it a virtue of needing more “core” effort … :slight_smile:

Fair enough. If I thought the plates were going to shift during a squat, I’d certainly do something about it. Having said that, I was in a place recently that had no spring clips, only collars with a grub screw. They seemed much more trouble than they were worth.

It’s certainly not a big deal.

[quote]
And I don’t think you can judge someone’s manhood on whether they use collars or not.[/quote]

What I do, and what some others seem to do, are quite different things.

I’m still interested to know if anyone has ever tried dumping the plates during a throat-crushing bench press, or seen it happen. Or whether it’s just a kind of urban myth.

Heard of it but never seen it happen or done it myself. I had failed on the bench press before without a spotter, but the weight was light enough for me to roll it down my chest and just use my legs to help me sit up.

And what the fuck gym makes you buy collars from the reception or bring your own, I feel that really dumb of the place.