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View Full Version : Why put the plates on the barbell "backwards"?



berfles
12-11-2007, 09:59 PM
Probably a dumb question, but it's one I've never understood. Usually when I watch videos of lifts, the plates are all on so the smooth back side is facing out on the barbell, and the part with the brand and such is facing in. Why is this? I thought maybe it was to have a better surface for putting the collars on, but every plate I've ever owned as been fine the other way.

BFGUITAR
12-11-2007, 10:07 PM
It really doesnt matter lol.

berfles
12-11-2007, 10:25 PM
It really doesnt matter lol.

I know, I just wondered why just about EVERYONE does it this way.

Supremacy
12-11-2007, 10:44 PM
There's actually a theory to that.

Supposedly, by placing the "brand" side inwards, that makes the center of gravity easier to control; thus, making your benching slightly easier.

Don't know if this is true, but a bodybuilder filled me in one day at the gym. Too lazy to google this to confirm.

Detard
12-12-2007, 01:37 AM
When I trained with a Joe Peacock last year he put all his plates with the brand name facing in. I thought it was the cool thing to do so I started doing it. Now it's a pet peeve if they arent all facing in.

Fuzzy
12-12-2007, 04:30 AM
I just put the plates on... half could be fcing in or out.

McVein
12-12-2007, 05:07 AM
There's actually a theory to that.

Supposedly, by placing the "brand" side inwards, that makes the center of gravity easier to control; thus, making your benching slightly easier.

Don't know if this is true, but a bodybuilder filled me in one day at the gym. Too lazy to google this to confirm.

A bodybuilder AND a physicist?:read:

drew
12-12-2007, 05:11 AM
Because it's the right way to do it.

:)

Rusty
12-12-2007, 05:13 AM
It's just the way it's done.

KingWilder
12-12-2007, 05:58 AM
I've never thought about it, but it's just always seemed right

smokinHawk
12-12-2007, 06:37 AM
because it is unspoken law you must do it that way with them facing in, or you will be branded a newbie who doesnt know anything about lifting.
i do feel like they stack a little better inwards.

-Superman-
12-12-2007, 08:09 AM
I put it with the label out so I can see how much I am lifting.

zen
12-12-2007, 09:18 AM
I've never thought about it, but it's just always seemed right

same here.
now, next time I go to load a plate, I'm going to have a huge emotional conflict about how I always took plate directions for granted, and I wont be able to lift. Thanx alot berfles. :emo:

berfles
12-12-2007, 09:25 AM
same here.
now, next time I go to load a plate, I'm going to have a huge emotional conflict about how I always took plate directions for granted, and I wont be able to lift. Thanx alot berfles. :emo:

:hello:

Bohizzle
12-12-2007, 09:25 AM
cuz it's the right way to do it. and I've also heard (which might actually make sense) so that the person on the other side of the bar can make sure ur both adding the same weight to the bar.

Andrew

borracho
12-12-2007, 09:39 AM
I put it with the label out so I can see how much I am lifting.

You do it so you can or or so others can see how much? If you're lifting it you should know what you're lifting.

...just a thought.

berfles
12-12-2007, 09:54 AM
cuz it's the right way to do it. and I've also heard (which might actually make sense) so that the person on the other side of the bar can make sure ur both adding the same weight to the bar.

Andrew

I suppose that makes sense, especially since I've never worked out with anyone else in my life. That could explain why I never understood why people would purposely put them on backwards.

HahnB
12-12-2007, 09:57 AM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.

Guido
12-12-2007, 10:06 AM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.DING DING DING DING DING! We have a winner!

berfles
12-12-2007, 10:10 AM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.

That makes sense too. I just always picked them up and flipped them around in the air before putting them on.

I guess I'm unnatural :(

Hatred
12-12-2007, 10:35 AM
Cause that's how I learned in HS.

Maybe cuz it's easier to pull em off?

fpr
12-12-2007, 12:30 PM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.


Yep, he's right. LOL, can't believe after doing it for so long none of you realized that. :windup:

whiteman90909
12-12-2007, 12:59 PM
They look thicker, and therefor cooler.

berfles
12-12-2007, 01:55 PM
They look thicker, and therefor cooler.

They do look better that way. I'm too stubborn to change though. Unless I was having problems loading the bar, then I might change. For now I'll be the "dumb" one and do the opposite!


HahahAHAHAHAHA!

*coughs*

dday
12-12-2007, 02:48 PM
If you're stacking 45 on top another 45 no big deal either way but if you but a 45 on then a 35 and 10 all with the label out they don't stay together very well and wobble. If they wobble they slide and walk down the bar if not collared. If you put them face in they stick together and don't wobble and make racket.

BTW I lift by myself so I never collar weight incase you're wondering.

berfles
12-12-2007, 02:54 PM
I lift by myself and use collars for certain things, like deadlifts. Actually mainly just those I guess, but only because I got lazy. I always used them on every lift because I have a power rack so I don't have to worry about dumping the weight, but lately I get annoyed by putting collars on.

I didn't think they'd wobble less in either configuration though, as both sides have a flat spot to "stick" together.

arnoldsclone
12-12-2007, 03:27 PM
I simply cannot beleive this thread made 2 pages lol!

btw at my gym the weight look the same on both sides, we have the rubber coated bumpers, which i happen to like.

mickyjune26
12-12-2007, 03:48 PM
i hated those rubber ones at first, but now I like them. that's all.

berfles
12-12-2007, 03:53 PM
I simply cannot beleive this thread made 2 pages lol!

btw at my gym the weight look the same on both sides, we have the rubber coated bumpers, which i happen to like.

Neither can I :)

Jorge Sanchez
12-12-2007, 03:54 PM
I love the rubber coated plates. They're much nicer.

Paul Stagg
12-12-2007, 04:12 PM
LOL. This may be the best example of bodybuilding mythology I've ever seen

Look up the rules of powerlifting and how the bar should be loaded, and you'll find the answer.

Sensei
12-13-2007, 09:46 PM
cuz it's the right way to do it. and I've also heard (which might actually make sense) so that the person on the other side of the bar can make sure ur both adding the same weight to the bar.

Andrew
My father was an OLer and that's the way I was taught.

Bako Lifter
12-13-2007, 10:03 PM
When I was a freshman the seniors told me to put them on that way.

Keith
12-14-2007, 08:27 AM
2 pages?!

Is there really a proper answer for this? I never cared how they went on. Sometimes label would be in or out..

Guido
12-14-2007, 10:27 AM
2 pages?!

Is there really a proper answer for this? I never cared how they went on. Sometimes label would be in or out..
Yeah. Look 3 posts up. And it does make a difference whether you have them all in or all out as opposed to however haphazardly you decide to put them on there. The center of gravity changes if they are not symmetrical, which can have an impact on whether you make or miss a lift, especially if you are at the edge of your limits.

Keith
12-14-2007, 10:40 AM
Yeah. Look 3 posts up. And it does make a difference whether you have them all in or all out as opposed to however haphazardly you decide to put them on there. The center of gravity changes if they are not symmetrical, which can have an impact on whether you make or miss a lift, especially if you are at the edge of your limits.

Mine are symmetrical and I understand how it can be thrown off if you mix them up. I should have made it clear that I was talking about switching them up at different times, not on the same exercise.

Guido
12-14-2007, 11:01 AM
They had this same conversation at T-Nation not long ago.

http://www.t-nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do;jsessionid=187921270F2813CBADD99EC6CD7ED13E.hydra?id=1797800

Once again, for the record, plates face IN.

North
12-14-2007, 12:37 PM
I think I do it facing in but i'm not sure now

Keith
12-14-2007, 01:04 PM
They had this same conversation at T-Nation not long ago.

http://www.t-nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do;jsessionid=187921270F2813CBADD99EC6CD7ED13E.hydra?id=1797800

Once again, for the record, plates face IN.

That conversation has most people saying in but don't really have a reason for it. In competition, they need to be visible for the judges to see, but what's the reason for the 'ALL plateZz muzt faCe INn' theory?

Guido
12-14-2007, 01:06 PM
That conversation has most people saying in but don't really have a reason for it. In competition, they need to be visible for the judges to see, but what's the reason for the 'ALL plateZz muzt faCe INn' theory?As stated earlier, easier removal/handling of the plates for loading/unloading the bar.

Phenom
12-14-2007, 04:41 PM
I like the "label facing in makes it easier to balance" idea. I never really thought about it, but it does make sense. But really the difference would be so slight that it's not really a big deal. I think HahnB's explaination is right though.

nddillon
12-15-2007, 12:39 AM
Mine face out...only because if I leave them on there and it rains and the humidity is high in my gym the surface rust causes them to stick together if they are facing in.

Sidior
12-15-2007, 12:41 AM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.

I was waiting for someone to say this. Reading the random theories in this thread cracked me up though lol.

bjohnso
12-15-2007, 07:22 AM
I do it so the smaller plates (10s, 25s) have a large flat surface to be pressed up against. That way they won't have room to wobble in the depression of the 45lb plate.

Also, I think it looks cool.

Jorge Sanchez
12-15-2007, 08:27 AM
I like the "label facing in makes it easier to balance" idea. I never really thought about it, but it does make sense.

No it doesn't. Putting the weights facing out actually puts more weight towards the ends of the bars. Most of the weight on a plate is on the flat side, not the lip. But like you said, the difference is negligible.

In the end it doesn't really matter.

Sidior
12-15-2007, 11:58 AM
No it doesn't. Putting the weights facing out actually puts more weight towards the ends of the bars. Most of the weight on a plate is on the flat side, not the lip. But like you said, the difference is negligible.

In the end it doesn't really matter.
It does matter.

They go with the labels on the inside because that makes loading and unloading the plates easier. Clips are also more secure when against a perfectly smooth surface.

Built
12-15-2007, 12:54 PM
It's a result of the way the plate is picked up. When you pick up a plate you pick it up so the brand is facing away from you, you do this because your fingers can wrap around the lip and make it easier to hold-it's the natural way anyone would pick it up.

If you picked it up with the plate brand facing towards you, your grip isn't nearly as good.

Bingo.

I love it when I see the anal types unloading an entire stack on the leg press to turn around one plate because it was facing the wrong way though. Always makes me crack up. :)

berfles
12-15-2007, 01:13 PM
I guess I really am weird, because when I pick the plates up the brand faces me. If I put them on my weight tree with the brand facing in I'd pick it up "normally", but to place them on the bar with the label in I'd have to flip them around.

jsp2552
12-15-2007, 01:14 PM
Lol, a friend taught me that ages ago. I can't lift when the plates are facing different ways. My mind tricks me into thinking its unbalanced and it will ruin my muscles.

I dont mind so much when the plates are facing outwards. But i guess I dont do that ever.

Interesting question though. I do that, but idk how many other people I see in the weight room do it.

Phenom
12-15-2007, 02:31 PM
No it doesn't. Putting the weights facing out actually puts more weight towards the ends of the bars. Most of the weight on a plate is on the flat side, not the lip. But like you said, the difference is negligible.

In the end it doesn't really matter.

More weight towards the end of the bars should make it easier to balance. Let's say the bar is tilting one way or the other, so it's pivoting around the midpoint of the bar. The center of mass of the left side of the bar and the center of mass of the right side of the bar would be farther away from the pivot point which mean it's harder to spin (higher moment of inertia). At least with my knowledge of moment of inerita and rotation, that's what I think. Any physics buffs want to chime in?

Jorge Sanchez
12-16-2007, 07:59 AM
More weight towards the end of the bars should make it easier to balance. Let's say the bar is tilting one way or the other, so it's pivoting around the midpoint of the bar. The center of mass of the left side of the bar and the center of mass of the right side of the bar would be farther away from the pivot point which mean it's harder to spin (higher moment of inertia). At least with my knowledge of moment of inerita and rotation, that's what I think. Any physics buffs want to chime in?

Well I don't have a physics explanation, but when weight is further from the centre of an object, it makes it feel heavier and harder to control. For example, you can easily pick up and control a 45lb dumbell in one hand. It's much harder to do that with an olympic bar.

You're explanation does make sense, though. I think essentially we are saying the same thing. The weight further out would make it harder to start spinning (which is why you think it's an advantage), but it would also make it harder to stop spinning once it begins (which is why I think it's a disadvantage).

Jorge Sanchez
12-16-2007, 08:07 AM
It does matter.

They go with the labels on the inside because that makes loading and unloading the plates easier. Clips are also more secure when against a perfectly smooth surface.

You're right. But I don't think it makes a huge difference which is why I said it doesn't really matter.

KingWilder
12-16-2007, 09:30 AM
I'm gonna be honest

I didn't see this thread going past 10 posts

Phenom
12-16-2007, 11:41 AM
Well I don't have a physics explanation, but when weight is further from the centre of an object, it makes it feel heavier and harder to control. For example, you can easily pick up and control a 45lb dumbell in one hand. It's much harder to do that with an olympic bar.

You're explanation does make sense, though. I think essentially we are saying the same thing. The weight further out would make it harder to start spinning (which is why you think it's an advantage), but it would also make it harder to stop spinning once it begins (which is why I think it's a disadvantage).

Good point

borracho
12-17-2007, 10:10 AM
More weight towards the end of the bars should make it easier to balance.

Not to really get into a physics convo here, but..for the sake of balance, it should not matter..as long as L & R sides are both facing in/out. if one side was all in and the other was all out, then that would effectively throw it off balance, as one side would have more weight further from the mid point of the bar.

Phenom
12-17-2007, 11:26 AM
Not to really get into a physics convo here, but..for the sake of balance, it should not matter..as long as L & R sides are both facing in/out. if one side was all in and the other was all out, then that would effectively throw it off balance, as one side would have more weight further from the mid point of the bar.

Yeah, the weight will be correctly balanced, but changing which way all the plates face will make it harder or easier to spin.

Weight further from the pivot point makes things harder to turn.

Think of it like this, a 5lb ring and a 5lb disc are at the top of a hill, if they both start rolling down, the disc will make it to the bottom first.

Or like this, how hard is it to wobble a 45lb dumbbell? How hard is it to wobble the 45lb bar?

Having the plates label in would make it easier to keep stable, but like Jorge said, once you lose control you're probably fcuked because it'll be harder to stop it from spinning once it's started.