EP.108 | How to Unload Your Bar Safely

Hopefully you've never been the source or victim in the following scenario...


-You grab a barbell and set it up for squats

-Bar is fully loaded (assume 315 lbs for this example)

-You begin to deload the bar, removing one 45 lb. plate at a time

-You slide off the first two on one side, and begin to grab the third

What's wrong with this scenario?

Well, let's just say that if you strip the weights off the bar like this, you are in for a rude awakening.  Deloading all three 45 lb. plates on one side of a 315 lb. barbell is not going to end well.


Taking all three 45 lb. plates off the one side is going to fling the bar violently, sending it in an unpredictable trajectory.  Remember, there's 135 pounds of weight on the other side!    The last thing you want is to give you or your workout buddy a concussion.

This simply should never happen, no matter how tired or how rushed you are.  Pay close attention.  The safest way to unload a heavier bar is to remove one plate from each side at a time.  Although it's not the quickest way, it's the safest.


Like many incidents in the gym, many are preventable.  Unawareness, carelessness and ignorance are among the top reasons why things go wrong.