T Nation

Weird Lifting Superstitions


I was reading the SRC thread and I noticed that people seem really intense about people in their space, moving their things, doing krappy lifts near some serious lifts (The Shithag comes to mind). I was wondering what superstions/borderline OCD behavior other lifters have. I'm not talking about incapacitating things like how some people have to wash their hands 30 times and turn off the lights 5 times. Interesting things to me are:

What do you visualize before heavy sets? Think about Simmons/Coleman watching you with disgust? Kicking sand in the face of the high-school bully? Winning NCAA 100m dash?

How much chalk do you put on your hands? Just some on the calluses? Cover the whole goddam palm? Use a towel? Wrist straps worn in just a certain way?

Do you have to hike up your shorts or socks? Tighten/loosen your shoes? Crack knuckles?

Do you grab the bar exactly the same way? Thumbs near the inner rings? Outer part of your hand touches the bar first? Hell, do you sit on a bench exactly the same way?

I'll share the first one, then let's hear about yours:
Weight plates on a barbell are of the same brand at each stage of a warmup
Troy BB: 45#
plus IronGrips 45's: 135#
plus Keys 45's: 225#
plus IronGrips 25's: 275#

And for christ-sake, the hollow parts of the plates must face inwards. To not do so is almost as bad as a squat rack curl, and will earn you an automatic stereotype from me (no-charge!) as a rookie/loser/dumbass.


The hollow parts of plates face inwards... I learned this a while ago, but never learned why. Any reasons?


of coarse the plate son both sides have to be exactly the same or i wouldnt be able to do a set without it bothering me. i also always have to use the same bar and the same bench at the gym or i feel it throws me off. i also move the bench so it is parellel to the machiens in front of it or i feel like my form is way off for some reason.

before my heavy bench sets i always listen to my cd player and take it off and put it on the left. then i like punch my legs then get in position while breathing intensly.

for squat i always have to shake the bar right before i go under it and unrack it.

thats all i can think of for now


Laces out!

I mean hollow parts out, always out, never in.

I am not really that anal. I prefer the hollow part to be out, but I dont give a shit. I will sometimes even have a 2.5lb plate on one side and two 1.25lbs on the other side which I know some would consider killing me for.


I am very picky about both of these, especially the same brand weight on each side of the bar.


Helga, we could never lift together. You'd drive me crazy with that shit.


because they don't rattle around if you face the hollow parts inwards.

i think the best thing to think about before heavy sets is this:

"somewhere in china, a teenage girl is warming-up with your max."


Yeah I've heard that, and is sounds cool and all... it's just sometimes it isn't true.

Anyway, all I do is envision my physique the way I want it while I lift. Nothing too ocd here I don't think. I usually close my eyes for a few seconds before the lift though.


No way.


I don't think it matters whether the hollow part faces in or out, as long as they all face the same way.

My personal thing, which I'm sure a million people have: when squatting, I unrack the weight, step back, step out, then do this weird little shuffle thing with my feet till it feels right.


My cousin, who is 4 years older than me, almost kicked my ass when I was 13 for putting two 5 lbs. plates on the opposite side of a 10 lbs. plate. Looking back on it, an ass kicking would've been justifiable.

As for what I think about before a big lift, well now days it's the fact that if I don't get stronger I could get knocked the fuck out a lot easier. Pretty motivational.


Wow. I need my clients to read this thread cos they think I am nutty and here I am similar to y'all.

Since forever I have put the side with writing on it inwards and each pairing of weights must match. Why? Cos I want all of the energy of the weights coming into me giving me power. A little eastern mysticism, maybe, but always to the inside.

Also, each pairing of weights must be the same brand. Don't care if i use three brands on the bar but they have to match the other.

And unless I am doing O-lifts, then no collars. If i can't balance the weight on a free weighted lift then my ass ought to be on the idiot safe machines.


Yep. Gotta make sure the footing is right.


I've heard from old-timers that it's bad luck to not have the hollow portion on the inside, but I think there is a practical origin for it--you get a better grip on the plate when putting them on and taking them off. Ie, your fingers can wrap around the edge.


1.Have to wear the same compression shorts every time I squat.

2.When I wear a belt the lever has to be on the right side.

3.When I'm doing a heavy set...near max I always listen to Mother by Danzig. But I won't start lifting until about 1 minute into the song.

4.Have to pull my compression shorts down at my knees and tie my shorts before every set of squats and deadlifts. Picture Nomar when he's at bat.

5.On top of the weights having to match up when I am using clips on the end they have to be the same type. At my gym they have several different kinds all with different angles on the end.

It's no wonder I can't get any of my friends to lift with me.


I would never replace a 10lb with two 5's but the smaller ones dont bother me.

Question for whoever wrote about the rattling. How does it make a difference to the rattling and movement if the hollow part is out or in. They still have the same contact area.


I was extremely superstious when I played sports, so it's only natural that I am when I lift.

-I have to workout with my orange pen. It writes in black ink and the top of it has a smiley face on it.
-I have to have my iPod on my left hip.
-I have to work out in my dirty stinky torn Taylor Made golf hat I found 4 years ago. I absolutely cannot lift without that hat.


Yep, when I do heavy squats I have to listen to Slipknot "My Plague." I'll get in the squat rack with my hands on the bar when the song starts, but won't get under the bar until the song is about 1 minute into it. My buddy is like that with Prong "Snap your Fingers Snap your Neck."


Wow, thanks...now I don't feel as weird. The only thing I do that hasn't been mentioned is rotate the bar toward me (it stays in the same place) before I squat.


Geez, reading this even more I see I have more quirky shit!
I too have to have the same exact plates on the bar! Same color, same size, same angle, same clip, same order!