T Nation

Gym Idiot - Unloaded Barbell by Taking All Plates Off One Side

I was doing some front squats in the rack next to someone who moved all the plates off the bar at once and the bar flew across the room and landed right next to me. I was livid. I am thinking of training at home completely now. Anyone else experience anything like this at the gym.

I was going for a max overhead press, at the time, and some bro thought it was a good time to grab a quarter off the rack. In doing so, as I began the ascent, it brushed his shoulder and caused the weight to spin and me to drop the weight to my shoulders… I called him a fucking cunt and threw the barbell down.

Training in a home gym is cool and all, I do it, but I also enjoy going to commercial gyms a few times a week.

I train at home and have been sabotaged by myself. I’ve spaced out before and un-racked and extremely unevenly loaded bar.

Idiots are out there everywhere, sometimes even in my 1 person gym :joy:


The level of stupid i saw in most commercial gyms caused me to say fuck it and do a garage set up.


Look at that. Someone has prompted my favourite story!

So I’m at the gym. Some very strong guy is squatting. Some not so strong guy is squatting next to him using his ego.

The not so strong guy unloads entirely from one side and tips the bar. Sheepishly, he says to the strong guy “that was embarrassing”

In the most nonchalant manner you have ever seen, the strong guy replies “Not as embarrassing as your squat” and continues going about his business.


it really depends on the rack. I was at a shitty gym once and unloaded after 225 on flat bench… the thing flipped simply from taking 2 plates off one side. that’s just bullshit from bad equipment.

1 Like

The racks at my gym are basically an inch from the collars. I still never unload more than one plate from each side at a time.


This was pretty much my thoughts. Who the fuck leaves 40kg on one end of an otherwise empty barbell? That’s not shitty equipment, that’s gravity.

1 Like

I surprisingly have never seen this happen. At the Y I work at people regularly unload 3-4 plates from 1 side before doing the other, and it’s never once flipped. I’ve only seen like 5+ plates flip on YouTube.

that’s a quality rack

I’ve not seen this in a while.

Then again, most of the guys at my gym only do bicep curls in the squat rack and only put a 10 KG plate on each side, so it’s physically impossible for this to happen.

Dude at my gym was doing kettlebell swings and lost his grip while swinging it up. It flew few meters before him. Should someone stand on its way, they could have been killed or at least hit really hard.

Also a huge mirror at my gym is shattered. I don’t even want to guess, what happened, but I assume if the same thing happened to an actual person instead and not to a mirror, they would really not like it.

I’ve been the idiot who’s unracked only one side. Knowing full well what happens. I guess I was just rushing one day and completely forgot about how gravity works.

1 Like

Most bars and racks allow for 2 plates on one side and empty on the other side and no tipping. I think 3-0 flips pretty much everything. However, you can have a larger differential if there are plates on both sides (ie. 4-1 might not flip).

Pretty much the only things that affect this are the weight distribution of the bar itself and the distance between the j-hooks. If your j-hooks are very close together or the bar is lighter than normal, you can push the bar all the way to one side and then load the collar that is next to the j-hook first. Your fulcrum on the seesaw is the j-hook next to the loaded collar. If you keep the lever arm between the loaded collar and the j-hook short, you can load 2-0 as long as your bar is standard weight.

I never did that, but always faced a wall for fear that could happen

This is what I do with deadlifts - or jack the bar up right on the barbell collar (which works really poorly with a deadlift bar)

One of my pleasures in life is watching newbs unload a bar after deadlifting and getting a fright when the bar jumps at them after trying to unload anything more than 1 plate from one end.

I assume this is the same for other people and they are hoping to see the bar whack me in the face but instead it just kinda floats there.

Right, this is what I expect from most gyms but ya just never know.