T Nation

Olympic Lifting Gym Etiquette

Having trained in a number of gyms, I’ve seen people do some incredibly rude things. I thought I’d throw up some general etiquette rules when doing the Olympic lifts:

  1. Do not stand directly in front of someone doing a lift.
  2. If someone is taking a heavy lift, don’t make noise and don’t take a lift yourself. Wait.
  3. Ask before you try to share a platform with someone.
  4. Share the platform unless its already too crowded!
  5. Don’t load only small plates… if you can put reds and blues on, do so. Its better for the equipment.
  6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar.
  7. Don’t take 5 minute to do anything on a platform if you are sharing it.
  8. If you are using blocks, try not to drop the weight onto them too hard.
  9. Don’t talk about how you are ‘more than strong enough’ to hit a weight. You aren’t if you can’t hit it.
  10. Don’t do anything but an Olympic back squat! Powerlifting squats don’t count, nor do any other variation!
  11. Do not offer coaching or technique advice unless asked or unless recognized as a coach in the gym. Especially do not try to correct a higher level lifter without permission.
  12. Following up on the last… if someone misses a lift, “You’ll get it next time” or “I think you’ve got this” is fine. Telling them what you think went wrong is not unless they ask.
  13. Be positive. This sport has more failure in it than almost any other, and negative attitudes are contagious. On the other hand, positive attitudes make everyone want to lift more.

Number 1 is the absolute worst. I once had someone stand right in front of me and start doing curls.

I’d add:

  1. If your gym has a limited supply of 1kg rule plates don’t just walk over to someone else’s platform and nick them while they have their back turned. At least have the courtesy to ask.

  2. Don’t walk across someone else’s platform. In particular, the small pause between the clean and the jerk is not your cue to quickly nip across. Neither is it appropriate to sneak across while someone has a lift held overhead.

  3. Strip the bar when you’re done. DO NOT EVER leave a loaded bar in the squat rack unless you want to pay for its replacement.

Do not ask a lifter what time the gym closes when that lifter is in the bottom position of a snatch (yes that happened to me!)

HAHAHAHA nice one nolecat, I would have been so pissed

True!

-Dont poke someone who’s about to lift because you want to say hello.
I’m not being a cnut, it’s just let the man lift and wait a couple of seconds.

To walk on someone’s platform right in front of him when he’s about to lift is a current one, fcuking hate that!

-No gay curls in the squat rack!
-No gloves.
-Dont slam an empty bar on the floor.
-Dont ask for a power bar unless you squat 260k or something.
-Leave your bad attitude where it belongs.
-Wash yourself!
-Dont compare your leg pressing to my squats!
-Dont curl, period!
-Dont fcuking half squat!
-Oly lifters snatch and c&j, PL squat bench and deadlift, you’re not one if you dont do it all!
-Dont spot a front squat!

I like to have spotters (2-3) when I front squat heavy. Well I guess more so for backsquat but if the guys are in I’ll ask them to spot. They can help catch the bar from dropping on me…yes I can ditch it but if I ditch it on to my leg I won’t be lifting for months…

I do curls on occasion, f0ck’em. My OLifts and front squat are bigger then most people’s…

I like to use negative reinforcement with my lifters and they are doing great. They’ll get credit when it’s due (PB lifts, heavy squats) but if the lift is crap I’ll tell it how it is. I coach, you do. Don’t argue with me. This isn’t a democracy. It’s communist party and I’m General Mao :smiley:

Lifters I see are generally polite. The non lifters are less so as they don’t have a f0cking clue. I think the worse is people walkinga cross your or behind you or near you to the side as you lift!

Koing

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
5. Don’t load only small plates… if you can put reds and blues on, do so. Its better for the equipment.
6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar.
[/quote]

Good list, thankfully I don’t have to worry about that sort of stuff most of the time, just a quick question on these two points. How exactly is using the bigger plates (reds/blues) better for the equipment? (I might be able to figure this out if I thought about it, but all my brainpower is being used on final exams right now). Also, the standing a bar on it’s end; I’m assuming this is damaging to the bar?

[quote]TheJonty wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
5. Don’t load only small plates… if you can put reds and blues on, do so. Its better for the equipment.
6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar.
[/quote]

Good list, thankfully I don’t have to worry about that sort of stuff most of the time, just a quick question on these two points. How exactly is using the bigger plates (reds/blues) better for the equipment? (I might be able to figure this out if I thought about it, but all my brainpower is being used on final exams right now). Also, the standing a bar on it’s end; I’m assuming this is damaging to the bar?[/quote]

The bigger plates are studier since they have a larger surface area that they hit the platform with. Greens and yellows are pretty narrow, so the same force will create a much greater pressure on them. Basically, the big plates can take a lot more punishment for having the same weight on the bar (so 100kgs is better loaded as 2 blues on each side, instead of 4 greens).

Yeah - in theory standing it on its end can warp it, though I doubt it would with any higher quality bar. I think its more a politeness thing that sometimes irks coaches and owners of equipment when people ignore it. (Thus, I do it even if I am not sure that it -can- hurt the bar.)

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

[quote]TheJonty wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
5. Don’t load only small plates… if you can put reds and blues on, do so. Its better for the equipment.
6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar.
[/quote]

Good list, thankfully I don’t have to worry about that sort of stuff most of the time, just a quick question on these two points. How exactly is using the bigger plates (reds/blues) better for the equipment? (I might be able to figure this out if I thought about it, but all my brainpower is being used on final exams right now). Also, the standing a bar on it’s end; I’m assuming this is damaging to the bar?[/quote]

The bigger plates are studier since they have a larger surface area that they hit the platform with. Greens and yellows are pretty narrow, so the same force will create a much greater pressure on them. Basically, the big plates can take a lot more punishment for having the same weight on the bar (so 100kgs is better loaded as 2 blues on each side, instead of 4 greens).

Yeah - in theory standing it on its end can warp it, though I doubt it would with any higher quality bar. I think its more a politeness thing that sometimes irks coaches and owners of equipment when people ignore it. (Thus, I do it even if I am not sure that it -can- hurt the bar.)[/quote]

Is that true about 2 20’s being better than 4 10’s?? I’d have thought the larger surface area of the 4 10’s combo woulda distributed the weight more evenly?

[quote]Hanley wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

[quote]TheJonty wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
5. Don’t load only small plates… if you can put reds and blues on, do so. Its better for the equipment.
6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar.
[/quote]

Good list, thankfully I don’t have to worry about that sort of stuff most of the time, just a quick question on these two points. How exactly is using the bigger plates (reds/blues) better for the equipment? (I might be able to figure this out if I thought about it, but all my brainpower is being used on final exams right now). Also, the standing a bar on it’s end; I’m assuming this is damaging to the bar?[/quote]

The bigger plates are studier since they have a larger surface area that they hit the platform with. Greens and yellows are pretty narrow, so the same force will create a much greater pressure on them. Basically, the big plates can take a lot more punishment for having the same weight on the bar (so 100kgs is better loaded as 2 blues on each side, instead of 4 greens).

Yeah - in theory standing it on its end can warp it, though I doubt it would with any higher quality bar. I think its more a politeness thing that sometimes irks coaches and owners of equipment when people ignore it. (Thus, I do it even if I am not sure that it -can- hurt the bar.)[/quote]

Is that true about 2 20’s being better than 4 10’s?? I’d have thought the larger surface area of the 4 10’s combo woulda distributed the weight more evenly?
[/quote]

In theory, yeah… but the bar will never land on all 4 at once, no matter how evenly you drop it. (Plates are not exactly the same size, you’ll always drop a little unevenly, etc.) Consequently, one of the plates out of the 4 will always feel more impact force. The bigger plates are just studier all around, so they take more of a beating in a similar situation. Further, if you always use greens and yellows, they’ll take all the beatings in all the workouts from being dropped. The use should be spread out to let all the plates last more.

The other big etiquette reason behind not just stacking small plates is of course using all the small plates so others can’t. As a personal reason, people need to get accustomed to the sight and feel of reds and blues on a bar since no competition will stack greens.

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

7. Don’t take 5 minute to do anything on a platform if you are sharing it.

[/quote]

Guilty

Using all the 10’s and 15’s makes you look like a show off child imo! We all can count, and people might join in and need to warm up, hence why you should use the bigger plates unless there are a shit load of them of course!

Koing mate i hear you!
It’s just i think you cant really injure yourself failing a front squat. Spotters in the back squat is something i understand, although i like the idea of being able to train all alone when necessary. When i fail a squat and this shouldnt happen because you know your strength, i just simultaneously drop the bar and jump forward.

Going for a 1rm in the bench press is the most dangerous thing to do when alone imo!

[quote]Neospartan wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

7. Don’t take 5 minute to do anything on a platform if you are sharing it.

[/quote]

Guilty

[/quote]

Heh… sorry friend. That one was inspired by you originally, true, but it annoys me more when others do it because everyone knows you are slow at everything!

"6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar. "

Is this bad for bars? I do it all the time to unload after deads.

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

[quote]Neospartan wrote:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:

7. Don’t take 5 minute to do anything on a platform if you are sharing it.

[/quote]

Guilty

[/quote]

Heh… sorry friend. That one was inspired by you originally, true, but it annoys me more when others do it because everyone knows you are slow at everything! [/quote]

Oooooooooooooooooooooo. Nasty shot right there. :D!

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
"6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar. "

Is this bad for bars? I do it all the time to unload after deads.[/quote]

Bump. Can some one answer this?

You “O” guys are letting me down.

What’s so bad about stand the bar on end?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
"6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar. "

Is this bad for bars? I do it all the time to unload after deads.[/quote]

Bump. Can some one answer this?

You “O” guys are letting me down.

What’s so bad about stand the bar on end?[/quote]

Well, I asked the same thing earlier in this thread, and Dr. Manhattan said:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
Yeah - in theory standing it on its end can warp it, though I doubt it would with any higher quality bar. I think its more a politeness thing that sometimes irks coaches and owners of equipment when people ignore it. (Thus, I do it even if I am not sure that it -can- hurt the bar.) [/quote]

So there’s your answer. Maybe read the thread a little more thoroughly before you start giving us “O” guys crap :wink:

A thing that REALLY pisses off my coach is to ue a good bar on the squat rack but he has a fair point though. Use the straight non eleiko bars for squating, saves the knurcling.

Koing

[quote]TheJonty wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
"6. Don’t stand a bar on its end to unload plates unless you own the bar. "

Is this bad for bars? I do it all the time to unload after deads.[/quote]

Bump. Can some one answer this?

You “O” guys are letting me down.

What’s so bad about stand the bar on end?[/quote]

Well, I asked the same thing earlier in this thread, and Dr. Manhattan said:

[quote]Dr. Manhattan wrote:
Yeah - in theory standing it on its end can warp it, though I doubt it would with any higher quality bar. I think its more a politeness thing that sometimes irks coaches and owners of equipment when people ignore it. (Thus, I do it even if I am not sure that it -can- hurt the bar.) [/quote]

So there’s your answer. Maybe read the thread a little more thoroughly before you start giving us “O” guys crap ;)[/quote]

That’s what I get for reading and posting on my phone. I miss crap.