WARNING! This video does contain language that may be offensive to some. If you don't want to hear it, don't press play. Otherwise, enjoy this entertaining but informative video.
We drop weights. Sometimes hundreds of pounds are sent crashing to the floor. While this is at times warranted, let us explain why we want you to learn how to control your weights.
- We gain eccentric control and strength by lowering weight. This is obvious in the squat and press but sometimes lost in the deadlift when the weight is dropped.
- We learn how to manage our training environment. By learning to control weight, we gain strength, skill, and the ability to keep things safe by not letting bars skip and bounce all over the gym.
- WE PRESERVE THE INTEGRITY OF OUR EQUIPMENT. Bars and plates are VERY expensive. We've retired many plates due to damage accumulated by repetitive dropping.
- Keep in mind dropping from overhead is more abusive than dropping from the hang. Also, lighter bumper plates are less sturdy. They bend and break. If you want 45 pounds on the side of the bar, it's better to have one single #45 plate than 3/#15 plates. Generally if the load is light, it makes more sense to lower the bar to the floor.
Now you may be asking yourself…."Why do I see so and so constantly dropping a lift during a workout?" Let us explain and hopefully we will clear up most of the "muggy middle." While strength training, we will all lower the weight to the floor. The only exceptions would be when we are squatting a max lift and can't get up. The alternative is to have a spotter but if you find yourself unable to stand, you must let the bar go off the front or back. We may also lose control of an overhead squat in which case it would be acceptable.
Olympic lifting presents a unique situation where lowering the weight may be difficult. That's ok. Learning to lower heavy weight is difficult but there is an art to it and you should treat it like a skill. So…..when working with sub-maximal loads, we will learn and practice how to lower the bar safely and effectively.
The last situation that is probably the most difficult to manage is lowering the weight during a conditioning workout. We are pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We have to often make some judgement decisions. The last rep of an exhausting set of deadlift is often dropped. The last rep of a set of thrusters is often dumped from overhead. Multiple repetition Olympic lifts can wear out the grip and are extremely tiring. We realize we can't prevent all dumping and at times, it's the right call. However, with practice and awareness we will develop better fitness and spend less money replacing equipment. We understand the situation and only ask that when you can, please try to lower the bar. You won't lose time and there will be benefit to it.