EP.64 | 3 Ways to Increase the Life of Your Barbell Without Breaking the Bank!

Hey everyone!  Daniel here from Bar Shield USA.  Today's installment of #BarTipTuesday will be in a slightly different format, an article from Adam of Garage Gym Lab.  Adam ditched the globo gym scene a few years ago to begin his very own home gym, and now he provides valuable feedback and reviews to the community to help them make their selections!  Let's dive in.

Enter Adam:
#1 Bar Storage

Where are your barbells stored?  Are they in a climate-controlled gym or a gym that is continually exposed to the elements?  Depending on the climate that you live in, this could pose an immediate threat to your barbell(s). 

Climate-controlled gyms are an ideal setting for barbells because there is less moisture in the air, resulting in less rust.  Unfortunately, Weightlifting and Cross-training gyms rarely are climate-controlled because the financial cost is too great.  On the other side of the coin, a gym continually exposed to humidity will increase the rate of oxidation (rusting) quite dramatically.

Being mindful of where you store your barbell can help mitigate this issue to some extent.  At the very least, keep the barbell OFF THE GROUND.  Doing so will help keep some moisture off the bar.  9-Bar Holders and Gun Racks are two of the most popular storage options, but a climate-controlled room is best.

#2 Removing Chalk

Do you brush down your bar after use?  Don’t be the guy who leaves loads of chalk in the knurling.  When chalk is left in the knurling (rough, grippy part) of the bar, you are opening the door to rust right away. 

When chalk is caked on and LEFT ON the bar, it holds moisture (aka your sweat) much more easily.  The result is the bar rusting on that particular part of the barbell only.  We’ve seen bar after bar rusted out where people grip for their deadlift, clean, snatch, etc.  Simply using a stiff nylon bristle brush after use can reduce the risk of oxidation.

#3 Don’t Drop When Empty!

DON’T DO IT!!  At some point, most of us are guilty of dropping an empty barbell.  Even if it’s from your shin or knee, you still shouldn’t be dropping them when there’s no weight on the sleeves.  Why?  

For starters, it makes a horrendous rattling sound when it hits the ground.  Most multi-purpose barbells out there have washers, snap rings and other hardware inside the sleeve that helps hold the sleeves in place so they don’t slide off. 

The drops WILL start to add up over time, ultimately getting to the point of popping off (Yes, I’ve seen this happen).  In addition, dropping an empty bar poses a risk of damaging the hardware inside.  A bent washer for example, may cause the bar’s sleeves to not spin correctly.  And if you try to go replace the hardware or barbell through your manufacturer, they may not be so kind.

And back to Daniel:

Adam offers three fantastic ways that you can help increase the longevity of your barbells.  The best part?  At a minimal cost.  Make sure to give him a follow on Instagram to stay up to date with new equipment coming out or if you need some help or advice!  If you want to take it a step further to help prevent rust and/or restore the spin to your bars, take a look at our barbell maintenance kit here.

Tune in every Tuesday for more Gym Maintenance and Weightlifting Technique tips. 

Check out the kit