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  1. #1
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    Default Advice after repeatedly dropping barbell

    Sorry for the long post, but allow me to offer a brief history so as to give you enough information to allow you to provide sound advice.

    I am 54 and lifted heavy off-and-on into my 30's. At 52, after a 20 year layoff and thoroughly weak, fat, and miserable, I decided to build a home-gym for me and my older boys and start lifting again. I purchased a cheap 7' Olympic bar and about 1000 lbs. from Academy and we (me and my boys) started lifting. Over time, the sleeves on my cheap bar separated, so I had a friend weld them to the bar and we continued on (we only do power-lifts, so no real problem with lack of rotation). I rapidly advanced in strength but unwisely pushed myself alongside my 20-something aged children and ultimately incurred a shoulder injury. In the meantime, as we're always upgrading the equipment in our home-gym, I purchased a new bar, a CAP OB-86PB (w/bushings). Shortly thereafter, as I was slowly working back up in weight on the flat-bench and using the NEW BAR warming-up, I inexplicably dropped 255 lbs. fully-extended on my chest (I was blessed to only be bruised badly and had to lay-off for only a few weeks). Though I've always used a suicide grip (it seems so much more comfortable and stable for me), I was using a standard grip the day I dropped the bar because the NEW BAR seemed so unstable in my hands. Incidentally, I've never dropped a bar (used hundreds in gyms in previous years), or in my recollection, ever remotely came close to dropping one during my earlier lifting experience. At any rate, the next home-gym upgrade was a power-rack and I have lifted inside ever since and also went back to using my old cheap, welded bar. Also, it may be important to note: my boys, who regularly rep in upwards of 300lbs. on flat-bench, have never experienced a problem with the bar I dropped, the CAP OB-86PB.

    Fast forward a year. Contrasting exercises seem to have strengthened my shoulders and I don't have many problems with that anymore. A few weeks ago, my boys slightly bent my cheap. welded bar squatting/dead-lifting with near 500lbs. So, wanting to upgrade, I ordered a Rogue West Side Power Bar which should arrive later this week. Today, knowing I have the protection of the power-rack and assuming the drop with the CAP OB-86PB was an anomaly, I opted to bench with it (CAP OB-86PB, the one a dropped before and hadn't used since) instead of the old bar. I reasoned that the coming Rogue Westside will be my new bar and so it would be wise to use the CAP as it has similar specs (bushings, 29mm, etc) and will prep me for the Westside. During warm-up, starting with 135lbs., I un-racked the bar and just like a year earlier it felt unstable, as if the weight was shifting suddenly. However, I ignored this and cautiously moved ahead using the suicide grip until I got a little heavier, then being afraid, I reverted to a standard grip. At 285lbs. (which is not extremely heavy for me) I un-racked the weight, concentrating on my grip, and suddenly and explicitly dropped the whole bar again; it even sprained my left thumb rolling out of my hands (so, though I generally use a suicide grip, both times I dropped this bar I was using a standard grip). Thankfully, my PowerTech rack caught the weight, so no harm whatsoever to my person except my confidence. Needless to say, this FLIPPED me out. I finished my workout with my old, cheap, slightly-bent, but welded bar using a suicide grip.

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem is? Is bar-rotation a problem and have others heard of anyone having problems with certain bars rotating suddenly and the feeling of shifting weight? Are some people more apt to drop the bar with a standard grip as opposed to a suicide grip (I know, this seems like a stupid question)? Could this be an issue with a particular bar? Do you think this may be a wrist or grip problem (I have 8" wrists but I do wear wrist-wraps for support as I had a wrist injury heavy lifting in my 30's. I also regularly use Fatgripz while curling to strengthen my grip)? Moreover, my boys have told me that I do tend to shake (I don't notice it though) when I lift heavy, could this be, at my age, a CNS problem? Of course, lifting lighter weights seem to pose no problem, as I seem to be able to easily control the bar. I'm really making strength gains right now and am within months of my immediate goals; I hate to back away from progressive overload at this point.

    Any thoughts or advice would be highly appreciated as my new Rogue bar will be in later this week and I am tentative about using it.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Have you checked the CAP bar to make sure there is minimal side to side play with the bushings?
    Just beginning:
    Bench 2RM 135#
    Deadlift 1RM 315#
    Squat 185# 4x5 (going up)
    OHP 92# 3RM

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    Default

    I don't think it's moving side to side (what would I look for?). In fact, I don't think the bar is defective at all, but I, personally, sense movement when I un-rack the weight with it, so it might just be me. My boys have never had any problems with it. I suspect that it's a wrist/grip issue. However, with that said, I do have the cheap Olympic weights and the center hole doesn't always fit snugly on the bar. Could this translate into sudden shifts in weight?
    Last edited by biblebound; 04-09-2015 at 01:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Trusted Advisor Doug's Avatar
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    Hi, take a read of the information in the link below for correct hand positioning and spacing

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru9.htm
    Doug

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    Nice i really like your post

 

 

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