Lifting with a bent bar

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Disco, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Disco

    Disco 11 years a white belt

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    Hi everyone

    At my gym we have the Olly lifting section, complete with our awesome bars under lock and key.

    In another section we have the rest of the gym, which have the squat racks and bench. They also have terrible bars, at least half of them are bent to some capacity. I used to refuse to use these bars, which often meant I couldn't squat/bench when I had planned to, and would sub for front squat or press in the Olly room.

    However the other day I was watching a video series called 'so you think you can squat' and I noticed the main guy was squatting with a bar that was bent. So I was wondering... Is using a bent bar dangerous?
     
  2. Im so Moldy

    Im so Moldy Blue Belt

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    I guess as long as you use the collars you should be fine.
     
  3. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    I only use bent bars. Not by choice, but because literally every single bar at the gym I go to is bent to some degree.

    I just find the least bent one and then don't think of it ever again.
     
  4. Disco

    Disco 11 years a white belt

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    I would be less concerned about weights falling off than uneven distribution of weight when lifting.
     
  5. casperthegst

    casperthegst Blue Belt

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    tell them to get them fixed via heating them
     
  6. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    Wat.
     
  7. casperthegst

    casperthegst Blue Belt

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    if you get the bar hot enough you can bend it back to normal

    or you could get one of those crushing machines not sure what they are called and crush it down then bend it back
     
  8. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    I probably would do neither of those.

    Ever.
     
  9. Keosawa

    Keosawa Black Belt

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    I use bent bars. As long as the bar isn't unevenly bent--and most bars won't be--you'll be fine. It's not going to be misloaded on one side.

    It's not ideal, but it's workable, and I certainly wouldn't change my intended session because of a bent bar. If you're squatting or deadlifting, make sure the camber is arching in the correct way (make sure your bar is frowning, not smiling) before you initiate the lift. Otherwise, it could roll on you.
     
  10. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Isn't a buffalo bar a specialty bar that's purposely bent? So it'd stand to reason that an evenly bent bar isn't a terrible thing.

    I love a quality bar, but you train as best as you can with the equipment that's available to you, or if that's unacceptable, find a place with better equipment or buy your own. Because the alternative is dreaming about equipment you don't have.
     
  11. LegioTitan

    LegioTitan Guest

    I have to say some of the most controlled squats I've had were with a bent ass bar. However it was so bent that it was easy to line the bar up so that it sat well on your back. A slighty bent bar can sort of sneak up on you in working sets and suddenly it's trying to go for a walkabout down your back.

    It's an annoyance for sure but sometimes shit just sucks. Gotta keep going.
     
  12. Disco

    Disco 11 years a white belt

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    Cool thanks for all the input guys
     
  13. The_Duder

    The_Duder White Belt

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    When you apply heat to steel it turns malleable, where you can literally bend it using your hands (use gloves, the heat transfers all the way down the bar). Of course, reheating and letting it cool by rebending it can make it straighter (especially if you use a jig setup), but it reorients the crystal structure of the grains, so the amount the bar is graded for (1000 lbs, or whatever), is now going to be jeapordized. Best thing to do is heat the entire section (not just the location where there is a bend), but maybe 2-3 ft out in each direction, which provides for uniform cooling (allowing the crystals to orient in a stronger pattern naturally).

    Having the bar bent means it underwent strain-hardening, so it will still be able to handle the load it is meant to, it is just not as stable, which was pointed out.

    FYI, I am a structural engineer academically, so I have seen and done these things.

    As mentioned, stability is the the big thing here, so I would be worried about being prone to injury if the bends are too bad.

    /Response
     
  14. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    Bent bars are fine for squatting, as long as your set them up the right way. If you're going low-bar it's actually perfectly comfortable for the bar to wrap around your upper back, and if you're doing high-bar then why would it even matter?

    Pressing/benching with a bent bar isn't cool, but as Cratos said, find the most comfortable bar and use it.
     
  15. AnarchyCamp

    AnarchyCamp Purple Belt

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    Get a few people to complain and they can buy some new ones. You are paying for it.
     
  16. Disco

    Disco 11 years a white belt

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    Already tried complaining. I wrote them a letter with 7 great ideas but they only acted on 1, got pins for the squat rack so I could secure the safety bars.
     
  17. 48mpg

    48mpg Blue Belt

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    ok, so you want to heat treat 20 kg of steel that is ~8' long, with equipment any gym owner/manager has available to them?

    how would the ACADEMIC engineer do this?

    key word academic.

    if you area a gym goer, find the least bent bar & lift with the bar frowning or find another gym. if you have a home set up, take care of your stuff so it lasts.

    everyone wants to get stronger but must realize in real life, outside of the gym, stuff is not perfectly symmetrical with nice handles on it for you to lift. deal with it the best you can
     
  18. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I love that we are now calling it "frowning."
    Your bar has a sad. :(
     
  19. The_Duder

    The_Duder White Belt

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    Blow Torch works very well if you have a friend who is a contractor. Also a buffer after the torching will restore the shine back. I have done this myself.

    But as you mentioned, this is for the gym to do, don't go around taking oly bars from the gym. The story will be hard to explain to the cops.

    Take care of your own stuff, but be aware of safety when dealing with sub-par equipment.

    EDIT: Please don't use a blow torch if you do not know how to use one. I want to stress that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  20. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Unless you personally are a metalworker, it is going to be cheaper and much safer to just buy a new bar. A decent bar is like $300ish.
     

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