EP.91 | Will Leaving Heavy Weight On Your Bar Bend It?
Fact or Myth?
Does leaving weights on your bar cause your bar to BEND?
The answer may not be as straightforward as you think, as there are a multiple factors to consider.
*For the sake of this article, we are going to assume that the barbell is being left in a SQUAT RACK*
The Short Answer:
Yes. If you leave a barbell loaded in a squat rack, your barbell will eventually bend over time.
This is NOT something that will happen overnight, but if you have the habit of leaving weights (particularly heavy weights) on the bar, then it can cause the bar to bend.
“Bars shall not be stored with weights loaded, especially in a rack or similar device as this could eventually cause the bar to bend.”
If you have been in the weightlifting game for a minute, you would know that Eleiko makes arguably the best Olympic Weightlifting barbell in the game, so if it's worth mentioning on their competition barbells, you probably should take note.
The Yield Point
The yield point is important to mention when speaking on bar straightness and the potentiality of bending. What is the yield point? Per Ivanko: the point at which the bar bends where it will not come back to straightness again.
Get familiar with your barbell manufacturer's warranty! In most cases, you may not be so lucky with getting a replacement if your bars begin to bend. Just take the weight off so you don't have to worry about it.
Easy to Prevent
Take the weight OFF! It's not rocket science. Don't be the guy who leaves his bar loaded. The next lifter may be shorter and need to adjust the J-cup height, need less weight, etc.
Not only is it creating more work for the next user, it can cause the bar to bend in the long run. If you plan on hitting some cleans and/or snatches, a bent barbell is going to give you problems. Ask anyone who trains in the Olympic lifts.
When someone leaves a fully loaded bar in your rack
Although it sounds like common sense, under no circumstances don't ever let the barbell itself be the first point of contact when dropping!! The plates/discs must be the first point of impact!!
For example, I've witnessed an athlete bailing on a box squat, where they simply let the bar fall off their back. The result was a bent-ass barbell due to the impact on the box. No bueno! Ivanko's analogy is having someone step on your back with just their foot versus them wearing a high heel. They'd feel quite different right?
Another example I can share is when my friend sent me a barbell from their gym where the sleeve had literally popped off! This was certainly due to the repeated empty bar drops over and over again and other abuse. This should never happen.
Again, make sure to read through your barbell's warranty a few times to familiarize yourself with the fine print.