Barbells with non-rotating sleeves and other 'old school' gear

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
I've noticed with the current lockdown situation in the UK and the lack of availability of exercise equipment for sale that a number of sellers on eBay and other outlets have started selling locally-manufactured barbells etc. albeit with very rudimentary construction (presumably to keep costs down).

I've seen weight discs of flat milled steel (must be a nightmare to pick up from a flat floor) and oly-sized barbells with welded-on sleeves. I'm wondering if 'niceties' such rotating sleeves make that much of a difference to people doing squats, bench press and deadlifts (I wouldn't dream of using them for the Olympic lifts).

Some of the equipment on sale is kind of pleasingly old-school (read: 'rough and ready') and might appeal to old-time strength enthusiasts. Has anyone been tempted by some of this type of kit?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I'm wondering if 'niceties' such rotating sleeves make that much of a difference to people doing squats, bench press and deadlifts (I wouldn't dream of using them for the Olympic lifts).
I have a thick bar that’s basically a two-inch length of pipe with collars welded on. I confess to never having thought about the fact that it doesn’t have rotating sleeves. I deadlift with it. So I’ll guess you’re right that, for powerlifting, most of us could get by alright without those niceties.

-S-
 

SMalishev

Level 5 Valued Member
I've been teaching myself to weld....

This gives me an idea 😈

There's a video by Mark Rippetoe about his dumbbells and how they are freely rotating in the hand to allow the wrist to not be compromised in exercise. While I think deadlifting with a very fixed bar should be OK, I agree I wouldn't try to do any olympic lifts or curls using a fixed bar. I can visualise it could make squats a little bit harder, but I could very well be wrong too.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
The old fashioned York style "exercise bar" that takes 1 inch plates is pretty old school but it does work.

I've still got one of those, cement-filled discs and all! I've been using it periodically for cleans and presses: You have to actually release and re-grip the bar at the turnover phase in the clean but it's not that hard to learn and, even when loaded collar-to-collar the weight is only about 45kg/100lbs.
 
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