T Nation

Gym Superstitions

Do you folks have any? Mine are:

  1. I shake out my right and then my left leg 3 times each before sets of squats. It’s a rain dance of sorts to appease the gym gods. :slight_smile:
  2. Plates must face in!!!

Can’t think of any of my rituals now (it’s just one of those things that happens at the moment), but every time I hear that “plates facing in” thing being a gym superstition, I just laugh. Hey, it’s functional! It’s a lot easier to load and unload a plate when the numbers (and hence the lip) faces in.

I always load a bar with the numbers facing out, just to be different. Also, I kinda chuckle to myself knowing that the veteran lifters think I’m a newbie for doing it.

Yeah, the plates facing in makes sense 'cause they’re easier to grip. Screw with people’s heads and put one in and one out sometime or put a 45 on one side and a 35+10 on the other. I’m sure someone will say something to you. Its just wrong!

Hyok, are you trying to initiate the downfall of society? Are you some kind of anarchist? That is total blasphemy! LMAO!!

My gym has the Iron-grip plates, with the handles in them, and I always have to line up the holes, on each side and across the bar, just seems to keep the weight more harmonious, very Zen.

I actually find this topic really interesting. I have read that some coaches actually recommend developing rituals. It is supposed to help the athlete visualize and get in the ‘zone’. I’ve noticed that before doing my squats while I’m under the bar just about to lift off I step up and down twice on each foot. Also, before doing cleans, while I am squatting on the floor with the bar in hand before getting into position I roll the bar back and forth three times. If I don’t do these things it will bother me to the point of interfering with my set. Kind of strange.

If you want to screw with people, you can do what my partner and I do. He’s much stronger, so instead of stripping the bar down to add a 45 on the inside, we just slap them on top of whatever I was using. Almost got our memberships pulled for that one.

Before a set of cleans I hold on to the bar and kick my feet in the air a few times. Before a set of power rack jerk presses I roll the bar around on the rack a few times.

For whatever reason, I always give my arms a couple of shakes before my set. I usually do this before every exercise, however it’s more habit than superstition.

If a girl is benching and wearing loose shorts, before attempting to do a set of my own, I like to pretend to tie my shoes and see if she’s wearing underwear. It’s just good luck.

two main ones and yes I know they are stupid, one is the plates have to be the same kind or brand on each side(the gym I go to has like 10 different brands of each plate so that can be a pain) the other is when I use those spring collars (squats, deads mainly) the grip part has to be faceing up on each side ('cause the wts. going up)

I really dont have any rituals or habits but Rafael I love your reply haha.

Hetyey - I don’t think using the same brand of plates on each side of the bar is stupid at all. I have no idea how tightly regulatd the manufacturing process of weight plates is. For all I know, brand A’s “45” pound plates weigh 46 pounds and brand B’s “45” pound plates weigh 43 pounds. By using the same brand on both sides, it seems that you give yourself the best odds of having truly equal weight on both sides of the bar, which (in my best Martha Stewart voice) “is a good thing.”

No superstitions here… gee does that mean I’m superstitious about having no superstitions? This will get you going, nobody at the gym I work out at put the writing inwards. I might start doing it tho to see the reaction.

Just to let you guys know, some of you have superstitions which can play a physiological role -i.e waving bodyparts about before exercise activates mechanoreceptors within the limbs which are one of the bodies feed-forward mechanisms alerting the body of impending activity and starts the release of hormones and catecholamines which allow increases in work capacity

Rafael, that was freakin’ hilarious bro! I have to admit, I do the same thing! Except I don’t pretend to tie my shoes (as I usually train barefoot). But I will position myself in the perfect spot while doing abs or calves so I have a great view. It sure does motivate me to lift a little more! And since there are only a small handful of women at my gym, it doesn’t take much to excite me when I’m there!

As for superstitions, I don't have any. But I do have some patterns of behavior that I follow. When getting ready for a heavy set of squats or deads, I will shake out my legs a few times. In between reps of power cleans, I take a step back, shake out, take a breath, reset myself and then do another rep. I usually put the plates on with the numbers facing the inside. Now, when I did Olympic lifting, we would put the first plates on with the numbers facing in. After that, all additional plates go on facing outward.

I don’t know about a superstition but when I deadlift I always kneel before the bar to strap in. then I straighten my legs and pull the bar to my shins. I get into position count to three and make my initial pull.

I usually pour some rum out for Jobu and sacrifice a chicken in front of the altar(squat rack).

The first plate on each side faces in with the numbers, all the rest face out. When using dumbells if there are any markings on the dumbells both the right and left have to match up perfectly…for example if i’m doing dumbell bench presses and the dumbells have the number “70” imprinted on them then both the right dumbell and the left dumbell have to match that imprint proportionately or it screws up my set