Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gear Tips - Plate Loading the Deadlift Bar

Loading a heavy bar on Deadlift day can be tricky without this one little tip.
Loading the Bar on Deadlift day can be a little tricky without this one little tip.
Ahh...Deadlift day.  There is something alluring about picking up really heavy loads.  And the Deadlift is one of the most foundational and functional movements in the books.  Every time you pick something up off the ground, be it a tire, a barbell, a kettlebell or even household items in your daily routine all point back to the movement of the deadlift.

As the load gets heavy, it can be a chore to load the bar with plates or bumpers.  Whether you're hitting a max at 405/495 or jumping in weight from set to set, adding weight can get a little sticky sometimes.  Since all the big plates are the same diameter, sliding them on one after another doesn't work well.  And if you are using bumper plates it's even worse as the rubber in the bumper does not slide well against a rubber floor like most gyms have.  We've seen folks recruit others to help lift one end of the bar as the other slides the plates on.  That's all well and good unless you are training alone.

+Jeff Rice over at Flower City CrossFit showed me this simple trick years ago and not only does it make loading and unloading bars a breeze, you can do it alone and with what you've already got in your gym.
Want to see how a 2.5lb steel weight plate can make deadlift day easier?  Read on.
This inexpensive tool has one little known use.

Enter the 2.5lb steel weight plate...  Every gym from the commercial facility to the Garage Gym should have a stack of 2.5lb and 5lb steel plates.  We wrote a blog post on how important the steel weight plate is to your training.  If you don't have a small stack of steel plates, get them.  They are super affordable.

So when it's dead lift day and after you get the first set of 45s on the bar, wedge two 2.5lb steel plates [ridge side up] under the 45lb bumpers you just put on the bar.  One on either side.  Now, roll the barbell up on to the steel plates.  The ridges will keep the bar in position and the 1/2" thick plate lifts the bar just high enough off the ground that sliding any other plates on is a snap.

Simple ideas are sometimes the best ones - thanks Jeff!

Hammerhead Strength Equipment is an equipment manufacturer outfitting commercial facilities and garage gyms with functional fitness equipment all over the US and beyond.