T Nation

[Rant] Complaint for Dropping Weights


An hour ago, I was doing deadlifts for ME Lower Body Day (WS4SB).

My training partner and I started with 135x5 and went to 155x5 before I heard a guy on the adjacent power rack say, "That kid's so loud." I then heard a response, "Yeah, I filed a complaint."

Turns out the complaint-filer was an employee of the university gym where I train at. He stated that I was too loud, and he claimed that by dropping them the way I was, I could break the weights.

Side note

I could understand this if I were deadlifting a respectable weight. But, it was 155. 155. One forty-five and one ten per side.

With less than 25% of the weight Kroczaleski is doing on this video, I was dropping the bar like he was.

End side note

I told the employee that I would try to drop them more quietly and with more control.

For 165, I did the first four more quietly, but I lost control of the bar on the last one, so it was louder than the first four. The employee reverted to hardass mode.

He came up to me and said, "Hey, I've warned you once, already. You're too loud, and you might break the weight. Do it again, and I'll write you up."

I wasn't just going to take his crap silently. I asked him whether or not the first four were better. He said they were, but "you're still not lowering it under control. It's not that hard." I responded, "It's actually better if you don�??t lower it under control."

His response? "It's not better for the weight."

Luckily, it didn't affect my performance. I lowered the bar with more control. I did 175x5 last week, so I set 185x5 as my goal, which I was able to meet.

When I finished, I wanted to give the employee some of my thoughts. I told him it wasn�??t fair to give warnings for "mistakes," that is, trying to follow directions and messing up once. I shouldn�??t have used the words "mistake" and "trying" because he seized on those to bring out his excuse of, "Hey, 'mistake' or not, 'try' or not, if you break the weights, it's not my fault, and I will write you up, which I could easily have done." From listening to his response, I could tell that he didn�??t care about the "noise" or even the weights. He just wanted to go hardass on me.

I mean, who files a complaint when the weight is 155?


I suggest you go ahead and use wrist straps for your last heavy sets if that's your weak point. (Of course, work on bringing up your grip strength.)

You're right though. I can understand his concern if you're slamming an expensive olympic bar down in a power rack or dropping dumbbells from shoulder height but you're not going to "break" a 45lb iron plate.


Wait...why couldn't you lower 155 under control?

It doesn't matter if you are dropping 500lbs or 100lbs if you are just dropping it from your waist it's no good.

I can see if it's like knee hight or so b/c thats where it starts putting pressure on your back but even in a meet you have to keep it under control.

At my gym I put the rubber mats under the 45's when I max out and even at 450+ I start lower the bar slowly before it hits the mats.

Hmm that was kinda long to basically say I could agree with the employees.


It's just funny that he's using "breaking the weights" to give you a hard time. Once you let him use that, he ran with it. Look at his first reason that you cited- Too loud.

I mean realy, the audacity of you! To interupt a conversation they're trying to have by lifting in their vicinity is just unforgivable.


First, I'm a pretty laid back gym owner when it comes to the weights making some noise. I love to lift heavy weights and my gym is a performane gym, I know sometimes mistakes happen.
On the deadlifting topic I can relate with you about the weights making a noise when you come down with the weight.

Even if the negative motion is in control.
As a gym owner I get pissed when highschool or college kids are using the dumbbells or plate loaded machines and decide to just let the weight go and drop it for no reason.
If your strong enough to get the weight up then you should be strong enough to set it down in control. I've seen plenty of big guys who have respect for the gym who are able to set some pretty heavy weight down with out noise.

The weights are also very expensive and so are the mats and the concrete under the mats.
I'm trying to be devils advocate for you.. Lift on!!



When I did 165x5, I tried to make the first 4 "quiet," but I messed up on the fifth one and it was louder. That's what I mean by "lost control...on the fifth one."

I wasn't dropping it from my waist (i.e. hands release after lockout). No, if I had done that, the complaint would have for sure been justified, and I wouldn't be ranting. I was dropping the bar similar to how Kroczaleski did in the video I linked to.

Unfortunately, my gym has no rubber mats. If we did, I'd definitely use them.


Thanks for the support, and I'll try to lower it with more control from now on.


Dropping them the way K did on a hard floor w/o rubber mats is pretty tough on both the equipment and the floor. Try a little harder to set the weight down easier.

A lot of beginners think that because the equipment is made of steel that it's invincible. That may or may not be you, but lifting with a bent bar and cracked plates isn't very fun.


I would have said something to you too. Maybe not the way the other guy did, but still. You should always control the weight, otherwise it's just sloppy lifting and annoying as shit. Plus, if you're doing DL's for reps, you get a bounce at the bottom, which makes it less of a 'dead'lift.


Gotta disagree here very strongly. A deadlift without a fairly fast controlled eccentric is a good way to get a back injury. If someone tells you to use a slow eccentric on a deadlift , they have no idea what they are talking about, Gym owner , personal trainers or not. Highlevel lifters use this type of technique sparingly and with submaximal weights. Even then it is unadvisable. The way the guy in the video is lifting is correct. Any slower he would be risking injury.

Gyms should be equipped for deadlifts otherwise it is a crap gym. Olympic lifting is specialist and requires a lot of space and great floors. The same can't be said for deadlifts.

You should use a crap bar for rack deadlifts in the rack though.


No wonder you were given out to if you're dropping the bar like Matt K is doing in that vid.

Yes, it is under control and would be more than enough for a powerlifting contest, but if you're dropping steel plates onto a concrete floor that's gonna make a HELL of a racket.

The gym I train in is a powerlifting gym and we get away with it because we deadlift on a platform with rubber strips designed to soften the impact on the ground. But if I had to lift in a commerical gym (as I do from time to time) I would be, and am, much more careful.


i just go over to the aerobics area and snag two mats, and put them under the plates.. it dampens the noise and nobody has complained about it yet


That sounds like a great solution. I'll try that next week.


I just posted almost the exact same thing on another thread. Bottom line is this, if you lift in a public gym you can't treat it like a private gym. If you can't control your weights and aren't on a platform then you don't get to complain. All gyms have these rules and unless you speak with management about the issue and get the go ahead you get to play by their rules, foo foo gym style rules or not. Your name is likely on a contract saying you agree by these rules so you are in the wrong here whether you like it or not.

And if you can handle 185x5 why were you dropping 155 in the first place?


Both my friend and I have a performance gym.. There is a difference between just dropping the damn weight and a fast/medium controlled eccentric motion. If I see someone using sloppy form on a deadlift and dropping the weight, I'll tell them!! For one If you are an athlete or a weekend warrior it is still annoying when you are trying to train and here some dude screaming and dropping the weight rep after rep.. It kills the concentration of other athletes and regular people.

Second, If you want females to train at your public gym then you have to make it more female friendly. People who want to drop the 35 pound dumbbells and scream like cavemen need to lift at home.

Third, Weights, Deadlift Platforms, Mats, Etc, Etc Equals Money Money Money.... All Gym Owners, Trainers, Strength Coaches are aware of this!!!!