Hey ISI Athletes!
Today’s topic is a discussion on gym etiquette and gym safety. As the number of members at ISI grows, so does the need to reinforce proper gym safety.
If you read no further, please remember to at least use common sense while at ISI. We are always available to politely remind any and all who need a common sense refresher.
In light of the few close calls we’ve had at the box and the MANY individual reminders we’ve been giving, it appears it’s time for a discussion on dropping weights and other gym objects.
How & When Should You Drop Weights?
Barbells – these should never be dropped without bumper plates on either side. Ever. Period. Not even from 2 inches off the ground. If you have a physical limitation keeping you from being able to set it all the way down, please let a coach or other athlete put it down for you. But ultimately if you are about to perform a WOD with a decent amount of weight of any kind, we expect that you have the physical ability to bend down (still using good form) and set the bar all the way down on the floor.
Barbells with “small plates” on the sides
also should NOT be dropped. This includes the small, metal, filler plates, 10#, and 15# bumpers.
Not only have we had 90% of the plates that we’ve had less than 6 months break already, but this is also a BIG safety hazard. Bars with light bumpers bounce when dropped (even from chest level). You aren’t going to make many friends smashing the shins of the athlete next to you.
Here’s the last thing (for now) we’ll say about this.
There are a few circumstances that warrant an athlete to drop the object they are lifting. Number one on the list: to prevent an injury or prevent an emergency from occurring. This is where common sense should take over. If you are back squatting and something doesn’t feel right (your back, knee, etc.) ditch the bar in the appropriate manner and live to lift another day. This goes for whatever object you are lifting. If you feel your body, or another trainees’ body is in danger, drop the object to help prevent an emergency.
If you are experienced with lifting and dropping gym objects, there is another circumstance to review. I’m sure many of you have seen athletes drop a barbell with plates (25# plates or higher) and then pick it right up again to continue their set of repetitions. This tactic is used to conserve energy and muscle strength. The lowering of an object is known as the eccentric portion of the given movements’ range of motion. This is the time when the muscle is under the greatest tension and stress. To relieve some of that tension and stress, some athletes will forgo lowering the object (barbell) to the ground, and instead drop the weight from it’s elevated position.
That being said, there is a difference between doing this strategically to conserve energy and just never knowing HOW to do the second half of a lift. You’ve learned how to safely pick it up, you need to know how to safely put it down!
Dumbbells – these should not be dropped from any height that is above your knees. They have the tendency after hitting the ground to jump in random directions. We have seen many close calls during workouts where an athlete will finish an overhead press and let their dumbbells fall from the sky without any regard to where they will land. Your workout time is of no concern to the person you may hit with your dumbbell. Follow your dumbbells to the ground just like you follow your barbells to the ground.
Kettlebells – these should not be dropped from any height. Unless you are preventing an emergency, kettlebells should be lowered to the ground in a controlled motion. There is a proper way to begin your swing, and a proper way to end your swing. Letting go of your kettlebell mid-air is not part of that process.
We are striving to provide our athletes with the best quality equipment and MORE OF IT to keep up with our growing roster of athletes! But when every new piece of equipment is only replacing something that was broken carelessly, we will never get ahead.
This is YOUR box! We want you to feel at home, comfortable, and PROUD to call ISI your box and that comes through people respecting it as their own.
All of this being said, you’ll see the new “House Rules” go up soon at the box along with the BURPEE PENALTIES that WILL be enforced. While it will be fun to shout “BURPEES!!!!” at someone, we hope for the sake of your safety, your equipment, and your box, that we don’t have to!
Quick heads up: other points that will be listed and attached to Burpee penalties will be:
-Chalking your entire body and the entire gym.
-Not putting your equipment away (there is no “I’m leaving it for the next class”)
-Showing up late to a class…50 Burpees will be a great warm up if the class has already started the programmed warm up for the day
Now go work hard and work smart.