T Nation

Very Beginner Question: Weight on the Bar


I am not a troll and I am not challenged, I just don't know how. So my question is, how do you put weight on the bar? Do I put it on the rack and then get the plates I want? I thought I would rather sound stupid on this website than look like a complete idiot at the gym I go to. I kept looking to hopefully watch someone do the set up, but I haven't been so lucky yet.

I tried to Google how to do it, but it just shows me how to do the actual deadlift or squat.

This is an honest question from someone who just doesn't know.


what lift are you concerned with?


Do you mean in order to do a barbell squat?

If so, you would set the empty barbell in the rack, on the notch you want depending on the height of your shoulders, then put on the amount of weight you want for each set.

For a deadlift, you can either set the bar on the floor then put the weight you want on each side by lifting up that end one at a time, or put the bar on a rack at thigh-height, put on the plates you want, then walk it out of the rack in your hands and set it on the floor.


Put the bar on the rack in your starting position and then put the plates on. You don't want to have to hoist up the bar after putting the weight on, although it could make for a good youtube video. :wink:


Thank you everyone, you have no idea how stupid I felt asking. I get that it must be simple, but I just could not in my head figure it out.

I want to try a deadlift and they do have those barbells with the weight already on them, but they are usually being used. That or only the 20lb one is left.

I thought there had to be a trick besides putting the bar on the floor. I just didn't know the etiquette and I know I am new but I just could not bring myself to ask at the gym.

So being shy and new is not a good mix.

thank you!


No real trick to it. It's best if you can put it on the pins first just to make it easier though. No matter what, it's awkward as hell from the floor.

Just so you don't feel like a complete short bus kid, last night I was doing bench lockouts and had a 45 on one side and a 35 on the other and wondered why my left arm was so much stronger than my right. All to say, you can look like a tool for years to come :slight_smile:


One thing to add.

When your loading up for squats or something heavy, load the weight fairly evenly. Dont try and add everything to one side first!



I make sure to have no more than a 45lb. (plate) differential between sides on the bar.


Belle Curvy, I saw one of your original posts I believe. I was impressed with your progress and commitment. Hope everything is still working out for you.


I had a scare like this at my home gym once, if I don't balance my drumset gets crushed by a barbell. :smiley:


You sure have a lot of posts for not knowing how to "put weight on the bar."

I'm still baffled how you were confused, too. I mean, really.

Guess what I'm saying is: post less, do more.


in a typical squat rack it takes more then 2 plates one way or the other for it to tip over, it also takes more then 4 25 pound plates before you cant do t-bar rows without the back coming off the ground coincidentaly....

I know this from experiance... the t-bar came up and wacked me in a very inconvient spot.... that ended that training day.....


For deadlifts, I normally lower the power cage pins and load the bar with 45s there, then lift it down onto the floor. The other option in to put the bar on the floor, put a 45 on each side, and then roll the bar onto a set of 2.5lb plates, then load the rest of the weight. the 2.5lb plates lift the bar just enough to provide clearance.


Well I used the squat rack to load the bar and it worked! I put on 25lbs and I did quite a few. A gentleman came over to speak with me and mentioned I had some balance issues and he also showed me how to use dumbbells to do the deadlifts. He also showed me goblet squats where I can also use dumbbells.

Thanks again for the help. It really did help. I did use the suggestions and I did it. Thank you.

p.s. and I met a person who was very helpful