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Old 11-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
Tom Brown III
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Default Large Bar Diameter and O-lift training.

I’m fairly new to Olympic Weightlifting and just starting to put together a minimalistic home gym. Short term goal is simply to learn the lifts with proper technique. My current-commercial gym (really great community) doesn’t permit dropping weights. I was told by the owner that, “It’s all about CONTROL, Tom. If you have to drop the weights then you’re not in CONTROOOOLE”

However, he was nice enough to give me one of his spare bars which I'd like to use in my garage until I can save for a Pendaly Nexgen HD. It’s nothing fancy – hex nut/sleeves, but it cleaned up nice and after a little SAE20 oil it spins quite nicely. The only issue is that the bar diameter measures around 32mm. I gather that it’s better suited for power lifting rather than O-lifts.

As my hands are fairly small my primary concern is potential injury. Not surprisingly, it's more difficult to get a hook grip around this bar compared to the 28mm bars at the gym. Secondary concern is ingrained mental and/or muscle memory that might be hard to overcome down the road when I transition to a smaller bar. Has anyone had experience training for O-lifts with a larger diameter bar from the standpoint of injury or subsequent difficulty transitioning to a smaller diameter bar? Would it be better to just train as I can at the gym until I can get a proper bar?


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Old 11-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
Blair Lowe
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Better to train now than not to.

Once you come into a better bar, you'll feel the difference and can adjust.

Back in Colorado, I tried to use whatever bar was the slimmest and spun the best. No idea what it was. It worked.

Same thing when I was at the Crossfit in Central CA. Another no name bar. Still it was better to lift with something.

Having gotten used to lifting with the Pendlay, Eleiko and DHS bars, it's hard to want to go back to the Rogues at my buddy's. Standard rogue bar. We have some generic bars we use for the regular barbell lifts (squat, press, dead) that seem to spin ok. Ok enough to use if need be or show noobs with.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
Whit Matthews
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Man I am in the EXACT same boat. I found a bar for $30 at a thrift store when I was trying to get a home setup together, and it's a power bar that's about 32mm. It has OK spin considering what it is, but I'm saving up for a real bar, probably a Pendlay. I debated on whether or not to just wait on even starting o-lifting until I got a real bar, and in the end I decided if I take the risk of waiting until I get a good bar, I may lose interest and never get a good bar. I'm now 2 months into training and I'm working up to some pretty decent weights, and I'm SO glad I decided to just go for it. Yeah, hook grip's a pain in the ass, and yeah, I'm probably missing out on the benefit of good whip, but I've completely fallen in love w/ the lifts and now more than ever I'm focused on saving up for a good bar.

long story short, go for it!
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:40 PM   #4
Tom Brown III
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Thanks Guys, for the encouraging words.

I took your advice and began using the bar over the weekend. I can only hook my index finger around my thumb on the bar, whereas with the 28mm bar I can easily catch my middle finger too, but it feels sure enough. At any rate it's not really a problem at the (low ) weights I'm currently working with.

Hopefully I'll have the chance to post some Snatch and C&J video for critical advice soon,

Thanks again!
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
Whit Matthews
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To be honest I went almost 2 months without doing the hook grip at all, until I heard some advice somewhere that you really want to be using it from the get-go to really get comfortable with it, so I force myself to use it despite having a big bar. It only took me a week or so to get comfortable with it. I'd say if it really feels awkward on the big bar, ditch the hook till you get a 28mm, if you can get away with it.
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