Is it really necessary to clutter and smash the floor?

Posted: May 4, 2015 in From my vantage point
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No, not returning the dumbells, barbells, kettlebells, or any equipment back to their proper place after using them is not necessary and is not a good habit. It shows poor breeding on the part of the user. Strength Coaches would instruct users about proper gym behavior but they are not their to clean after the trainees. It is actually a part of training to put back equipment to their proper place. When it comes to dropping dumbells on the floor, it is also not necessary. Decades ago, when I had the privilege of helping out as an attendant in the gym of an esteemed bodybuilder, I noticed that rerack-weightspeople would treat the equipment in his gym with care. As I looked deeper, I realized that those who treat the gym with respect, respect themselves. They want to improve, and they are there not to show off. It shows on how they train. They do their training more efficiently and after their set, they put the dumbells and barbells back to their rack. It is usually the teenaged newbies who are noisy and busy looking at themselves in the mirror. There were no smartphones at that time so no selfies then. The big and strong guys are usually resting after squeezing out every rep of their last set, preparing for another set. And even if they are exhausted, they would still put things back to where they found them. When I was studying in university, I trained in a few other gyms. I observed that each particular gym had its own aura and the people in it displayed a common attitude, but of course there are always those who stand out both in the bad and good sense. But what I noticed is that those who are rowdy, those who annoy, and those who do not put things back from where they got them, have some insecurities. Those who treat the equipment and facilities with respect are more at peace with themselves. They do not seem to be bothered too much with trivial matters.   Fast forward to a around four to five years ago. I saw a video on Youtube of a world famous athlete doing his weight lance-liftstraining. He was well known for his track record of winning several titles in cycling. Now he is well known for admitting to cheating by doping but with Performance Enhancing Substances or not, he must have trained harder than most athletes in his sport. In the video, he was training hard in the weights room. It looks like a garage gym. The video describes his weight training routine and naturally, a lot of people would copy how a great athlete trains. It is a good video especially if you know what to look for to emulate and what not to. There was a small part wherein he intentionally dropped the dumbell to shift to his other side. And after the exercise he threw the dumbell to the area where it seems to be kept. Considering that the gym is probably his, it is in a ground floor, no harm was done in that small bit. And then it happened- a few days after I saw the videos, I noticed some of the athletes training in the gym, where I work, drop the dumbell after their set. After a few warnings, it happens again. And again. They seem to think it is cool. Hey, if a world class superstar athlete trains like that, it might just work for them right?? Well, first, you have to train with such focus and intensity blocking out distractions. The intensity is that high that only the elite guys are willing and are able to tolerate the punishing routine. It is not in dropping the dumbells that made him superhuman. It is in the uncomfortable, painful, harsh but systematic and efficient training. What the nobs think is that it is cool to thrash things around, make noise and be heard, be seen training really hard with those, uh… 10lb dumbells, oh… sorry, 20lbs… They seek attention. But since it is painfully difficult to train with discipline so as to excel in competitions, they would rather gain instant attention by making loud noise by intentionally dropping dumbells after each set. As if to say the louder the heavier they lifted, hang medals on their neck and giant trophies on each hand. That would make them feel so smug. But is it the right thing to do? Would it make them better athletes? Would it make them better, respectable persons? Chen-Xiexia-WeightliftingThere is an area in gym where dropping weights is allowed and that is the lifting platform. And again, dropping weights here is being misused. The lifting platform is there to minimize damage to the plates, the bar, and the floor when the bar is dropped. Are you supposed to drop the bar? When practicing the cleans, snatches, and their variants, it is important for the lifter to know how and when to release the bar and let it drop. When a lift is missed, then the lifter should escape from being crushed by the falling bar. This is done by releasing the grip and letting the loaded bar drop to the platform. Of course, the platform should be clear from plates, collars, phones, other other lifters so that the plates won’t bounce at an angle and turn into a heavy projectile. So make it a good habit to keep the lifting area neat. It minimizes injuries due to carelessness.   Another way to look at it is think that the gym is yours and you worked really hard to be able to buy all the equipment, you would maximize the lifespan of the equipment as well as their use.   Some lifters drop the loaded bar after every rep. Even if they are doing sets of 5 reps or more. This is not needed. A five rep set means that the lifter still has a lot of strength to hold on to the bar, well at least after the first rep. Personally, I would prefer to try to not to drop the bar not unless I am about to miss a lift or is unable to safely control its descent. And its better to train to have successful lifts, not missed lifts. This develops better grip as well as mental strength. crossfit-horrible-form-246x300 For explosive lifts like barbell cleans, barbell snatches, and also heavy overhead lifts, good technique is emphasized rather than load. This is for safety reasons. It the lifter is attempting a new personal best, better do it on a platform clear of any clutter so that if needed, the barbell can be released safely. Forcing these lifts to the point of failure increases risks. It is not very productive to try to do more than 8 reps of a very heavy load but dropping the bar to avoid the eccentric part of a clean or jerk or snatch just to delay fatigue and squeeze out a few more reps. It would be better to train with very heavy load, do with the best technique that you can, and when your technique is not as good as it should be before you reach your target rep, better lower the bar and rest. Very heavy load means you can do probably from 1 to 5 reps. Broken-liftA lot would probably not agree with me about my opinion. They have their own opinion and I have mine. What matters is that is it based on something useful, positive, creative, and helpful? Or is it just to feed an ego that is out of place? Training the body has to have the right mindset. Training the body with proper outlook and discipline also strengthens the mind and character. When doing something, always ask yourself why. Continue doing it if it helps you to Train Better, Live Better!

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