Team Invictus Member Meaghan Gallindo Clean and jerk

Weightlifting Dos and Don’ts
Written By Cat Blatner

It’s no secret that accidents happen from time to time when weightlifting. Someone is trying to move heavy iron and, unfortunately, at times little things can go wrong. My goal is to minimize silly errors seen in our classes by addressing some super basic, but at times overlooked, rules when weightlifting.

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Clips for Weightlifting

Clips are there for your safety people! Use them! The last thing you need to worry about while going for a clean and jerk is whether or not the plates are going to stay on your barbell. It can be a serious danger to you as well as your fellow lifters if your barbell isn’t contained, so be smart and clip up!

Don’t Clip Your Bench Press

This is the only lift that I would recommend NOT using clips for. Here is an example as to why this would be. So, let’s say you are going for a one rep max bench and your spotter is having a hard time assisting you out of the bottom of that failed press. If your bar is clipped up you might become a pancake under that barbell, helpless and without an escape route. Now, if your bar DIDN’T have clips, you could slightly tilt your barbell to one side allowing the plates to fall to the floor thus releasing you from captivity.

Unloading Your Bar from a Rack

It is so important to unload your barbell with caution! Now this one is not necessarily a problem for a lighter barbell but most definitely is a problem if you are trying to unload heavy loads. People will make the mistake of unloading one side of their barbell completely and leaving the other side fully loaded. As I said before, this isn’t a problem at a lighter weight, #95 for example, but is a huge safety issue at #255. If you unload one side of your barbell and keep heavy weights on the other side you are creating a very dangerous situation. The barbell could potentially fall towards the loaded side and depending on how much momentum that barbell gets it would be a super unfortunate situation if anyone was standing near! Keep in mind the strong pull of gravity and unload your barbell with care!

Stay Out of the Way!

It’s nice to have confidence in your friends but sometimes we have to be overly cautious. Just because someone isn’t lifting their max weight or struggling, doesn’t mean that things couldn’t go completely wrong. Never walk directly in front of or behind a fellow lifter. Give them space and make sure they have plenty of room to bail no matter what percentage of their max they are lifting!

Keep Excess Plates Away

The beauty of bumper plates is their super rubbery rebound off of the floor. However, this is not so beneficial when you accidentally drop your barbell onto a loose plate randomly placed on the floor. That barbell will kick back in any direction and you will have no control of the situation. It is important that we avoid this accident and clear all plates from the area!

Weightlifting can be dangerous if we don’t take the necessary safety precautions. Please be smart and, if need be, overly cautious! Stay safe and happy weightlifting!

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