T Nation

Capacity of Oly Bars?

 Jaberocs recent post of "Which oly bar?" got me wondering about the bar I am using. I got it used and it appears pretty new, still has sharp knurling and finish is good. I am guessing it is a cheapo that comes in the basic 300# starter oly sets. I dead lift 395 and the bar bends some. 

Any idea how much weight this bar is good for? What happens if the bar is overloaded? Does it just bend or could it break? Thanks for your feedback.

Most bars bend a little when they’re loaded at +400lbs. I sincerely doubt you will ever bend or break a bar unless you abuse it. The flexibility of a bar is dependant on its intended use. Oly bars are springy, power lifting bars are stiffer.

Typically those bars are rated around 600, but they will usually bend if you get 545 or more and are bouncy.

I’ve never seen one break, only bend.

They can break. Saw that once, broke off at the point where the sleeve actually meets the smaller part of the bar. Pretty freaky. Luckily it happened on a deadlift so the guy wasn’t actually ``under the bar’’ when the weight came crashing down.

[quote]robo1 wrote:
They can break. Saw that once, broke off at the point where the sleeve actually meets the smaller part of the bar. Pretty freaky. Luckily it happened on a deadlift so the guy wasn’t actually ``under the bar’’ when the weight came crashing down.[/quote]

My friend Terry did this while deadlifting at some gym years ago. A section of the bar actually flew across the room and stuck in the wall. The bar broke near his left hand which was luckily, underhand grip.

Thanks guys, I guess I have no worries until about 5 and a half bills and at age 49 it may take awhile. 500 at 50 would be cool!

My understanding is that most bars do not break from simply being loaded with too much weight. Instead, they break when they are dropped with a heavy load or otherwise jerked in a manner that doesn’t commonly happen except in oly lifting.

Here is a good article from Ivanko on the subject of bar strength and breakage:

www.ivanko.com/article5.pdf

I also use one of those standard oly bars that come with 300lbs of weight. My squat is a little over 400, and the bar bends at that weight, but not severely. My clean is 250+, and it seems to work fine under that load as well. It has never scared me.

However, if I were actually strong, I’d probably go buy an eleiko or something. Better safe than dead.

This is also informative:

www.ivanko.com/article6.pdf

Thanks Jebs. The Ivanco articles are very informative. I don’t drop the bar onto the pins or floor and don’t lift enough to worry about the bar (yet).

[quote]Jebs wrote:
This is also informative:

www.ivanko.com/article6.pdf[/quote]

The article on bending the bar was really interesting. i always wondered why there aren’t bailouts on racks that allow the plates to touch first on the dump. I thought it was interesting how they said it?s a myth that leaving plates on the bar will bend it.

This article goes into it a bit further
http://www.ivanko.com/products/html_stuff/bar_strength.html

I though this analogy was interesting: ``you can take a 100 pound woman. Is she stepped on your back barefoot, it would probably feel good (depending on the woman!).

However, if she were wearing spiked high heel shoes, it would probably feel like hell. The reason for this is that at the end of a small area she does not weigh 100 pounds - she might as well weigh 2,000 pounds.

This is a very important factor when we talk about how bars bend because when a bar falls and hits a small area, like pins through a power rack, it might only have 400 pounds on the bar but if it drops 3 feet and hits that pin, perhaps the blow is equal to 5,000 or 10,000 pounds. This is the way almost all bars are bent.’’

It’s very cool see a nEleiko ‘flex’ a bit when you see guys C&J 145Kg+. You also get 3 plates!

I’ll be there soon :smiley:

Koing

i seen a cool video in anatomy class similar to the weight load thing. I normal person weighing about 175 pounds, when jumps in the air and lands puts about 2000 pound of force down through the bones of the legs. i thought it was interesting