EP.100 | BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE...
IF YOU NEGLECT YOUR BARS...
SPRING IS UPON US...
Time to get to work on your beloved bars! Is barbell cleaning and maintenance a part of your normal routine? Maybe it is, maybe not. If are you one who regularly takes care of their gym's fleet of bars, awesome! If you're slacking, don't worry we can help you.
Below you can find helpful, practical tips on how you can get start now... before it's too late!!
With the spring and summer rapidly approaching, it's imperative to take the necessary precautions to keep the rust off and keep your sleeves spinning as intended.
STARTING IT OFF...
Keep your bars as dry as possible! The less moisture on the bar, the better. A damp bar increases the rate of oxidation (rust), thus leaving you with an orange barbell.
Anther good rule of thumb... keep the chalk out of the knurling! Chalk holds moisture extremely well, therefore making it easier for a bar to rust. This is why you sometimes see bars that are rusted only in specific spots.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
The climate in which you live makes an enormous difference when it comes to how often you need to service your bars. Are you in Miami, FL or Las Vegas, NV? In other words, are you in a super humid or a dry climate?
Salt is definitely worth a mention here as well. Why? Salt accelerates the oxidation process because it increases the conductivity of water, ultimately speeding up the rate of oxidation/corrosion. This is why gyms near salt water are even more susceptible to rust. Click here to see EP.90 for more on salt's devastating effects.
Number of Users
Are you in a gym of 20 or 200? How many people are cycling through your bars on a daily basis? The more hands on the bar, the more moisture and more chalk used. Common sense, yet often overlooked.
The spectrum of barbell finishes includes bare steel on one side and stainless steel/cerakote on the other. In other words... zero protection against rust on one side, and the best protection against rust on the other.
Barbells that fall on the left side will require much more maintenance than the right side. This is a crucial factor when it comes to regular maintenance.
Keep your bars off the ground at all costs! Again it seems like common sense, but it's a common offense we see time and time again. Keeping the bars off the ground will minimize the moisture on the bar and keep the chalk/dust out of the sleeves.
If you are choosing between a horizontal gun rack and a nine-bar holder, we'd give the edge to the gun rack. Why? Both sleeves are higher off the ground (less dust going into the sleeve) and cleaning a bar horizontally will result in less chalk drifting down into the sleeves.
Storing your bar in a climate-controlled facility is ideal, however most gyms don't sport this luxury (unless commercialized).
HOW OFTEN TO MAINTAIN
MORE HUMID - minimum of 2-3 times per month
LESS HUMID - minimum of 1-2 times per month
We're big fans of spot-checking bars to see how well they are rotating. It's inevitable that some bars are going to be used much more than others. It just happens.
If you want to go through the entire fleet, simply hit them all once a month to ensure that they are functioning properly.
As we alluded to above, spot-checking can be an effective strategy to keep your bars in tip-top condition. What do we mean? If you see a bar that needs attention, grab it! Simple as that. A bar a day keeps the rust away!
Utilize your coaching staff! Make it a part of their responsibilities to ensure the bars are being regularly brushed, maintained and oiled. It's no secret how expensive bars are to replace.