How to scale weight and load a barbell!

This blog post is to serve as a general guide for how to scale weight in a WOD and the correct bar and weight combinations to use! Please consult with a coach if you have any questions. We often program barbell work within a WOD and if there is a more technical movement (like the snatch or clean), you may want to go lighter in weight in a metcon than you would for a strength segment. That way you ensure that you a performing tasks with proper form and not at risk of injuring yourself.

We have three different weight barbells at the gym! You can find an example of each in the picture above! When loading weight onto the barbell, look at the barbell you are using. If you are not putting 15 lbs plates to start, use the 15 lbs bar. Why?

  • It gives you a more accurate feel for the movement. Normally, when you are doing a bear complex, or lifts in general, you are not starting with the bar directly on the floor. The bar is higher up, closer to your mid shin, when you are lifting.
  • By using the proper plate to bar ratio, you prevent the bar from bouncing. Bouncing bar = bar you have to chase. A bar you chase = lost time and energy in a metcon. Lost time = frustration after a metcon. In addition to this, bouncing bars can be safety hazards to yourself and others in class.
  • Dropping a 33-lbs or 45 lbs bar with anything less than 15 lbs, can damage the equipment. With the bumper plates the metal ring can crack and the bar itself can sustain damage. The ball bearings in the bar can get knocked out of whack and the bar itself can bend. Something to keep in mind when using the bar.

In the image below you can see an example of a preferred bar setup! Obviously, this can’t always happen but if we all try to load our bars correctly the equipment will thank us and so will your fellow gym member!