The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Oly barbells, function of sleeves - newb

    Hey all,
    I'm looking at buying a first olympic barbell and am trying to understand how the sleeves allow the weight plates to rotate freely. Sleeves means the same as collars, right?

    From what I know, the inner side of the barbell is built up where the weight plates rest against, just like in a standard barbell, to stop the weight plates sliding towards your hands, so why then is an inner sleeve necessary?

    The outer sleeves are designed to rotate freely but I don't understand how this forces the weight plates rotate. If the collars are removed, won't the weight plates be allowed to rotate freely anyway?

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  3. #2
    student of the game Runty's Avatar
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    You're wording is a bit confusing but the idea of the sleeves is to allow the plates to rotate freely from the part that you have contact with. Contact being hands grabbing to perform a press or deadlift, or on your back/traps for squatting. Collars(often spring coils) are used to keep the plates from sliding off the sleeves. Sleeves are the two ends that spin around but are connected to the bar. The reason you want the sleeves to be able to spin freely on the ends is because once the plates start spinning, they create a lot of torque. This also means it would require a lot of torque to spin them if they didn't rotate freely.

    The weight of the plates themselves creates enough pressure that they don't spin very easily on their own. If you tried to clean 225lbs with free-spinning sleeves and then tried on a bar that didn't have them, you would probably break your wrists trying to rotate your hands over to get into the rack position.

    Sleeves are not the same as collars.
    "Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"

  4. #3
    Wannabebig Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runty View Post
    You're wording is a bit confusing but the idea of the sleeves is to allow the plates to rotate freely from the part that you have contact with. Contact being hands grabbing to perform a press or deadlift, or on your back/traps for squatting. Collars(often spring coils) are used to keep the plates from sliding off the sleeves. Sleeves are the two ends that spin around but are connected to the bar. The reason you want the sleeves to be able to spin freely on the ends is because once the plates start spinning, they create a lot of torque. This also means it would require a lot of torque to spin them if they didn't rotate freely.

    The weight of the plates themselves creates enough pressure that they don't spin very easily on their own. If you tried to clean 225lbs with free-spinning sleeves and then tried on a bar that didn't have them, you would probably break your wrists trying to rotate your hands over to get into the rack position.

    Sleeves are not the same as collars.
    Hi Runty!

    I'm really confused now! Are there videos or images to see what's going on? I realize that the sleeves are free to rotate over the thickest parts of the barbell where the diameter is 2 inches but I don't see the relationship between sleeves and weight plates.

    I'm starting to think all the weight plates actually slide over the sleeves in their entirety, so if the sleeves rotate then so do all the plates together. Or do the sleeves just go on the outside like the collars and next to the collars?

    Are sleeves an integrated, unremovable part of the barbell at the barbell ends? Or are they a separate component that can be taken off?

  5. #4
    I sleep with pizza Rusty's Avatar
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    ..............

    The weight plates slide onto the sleeve and are held in place by collars, usually of the spring type in commercial gyms.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Rusty; 05-18-2008 at 05:30 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    "Any man under 200lbs is a woman." -Matt Rhodes

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    ..............

    The weight plates slide onto the sleeve and are held in place by collars, usually of the spring type in commercial gyms.
    Thanks Rusty. I didn't realize that whole outer length of 2" diameter was called the sleeve! I thought something external had to be slid over that outer section so you could change "sleeves" of a given barbell, if desired. So you're stuck with the barbell you get.

    So all I have to check for when I buy a barbell is that the weight plates can freely spin. Since I can't clean properly and a deadlift won't involve much torque, would throwing up the barbell underarm like a power curl be sufficient to check?

  7. #6
    student of the game Runty's Avatar
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    The weight of the plates once they are loaded on the sleeve is enough they don't slip on the sleeve. That is why the sleeve spins.

    Watch in this video when the bar rests on his shoulders and is held over head. The plates keep spinning. That is because the sleeve itself is spinning, not because the plates are spinning on the sleeve.

    If the sleeves didn't spin, it would be extremely difficult to stop the spinning and would twist the bar and your wrists with it.

    Video

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1sA-lEbrgak&feature=related
    "Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"

  8. #7
    Wannabebig Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runty View Post
    The weight of the plates once they are loaded on the sleeve is enough they don't slip on the sleeve. That is why the sleeve spins.

    Watch in this video when the bar rests on his shoulders and is held over head. The plates keep spinning. That is because the sleeve itself is spinning, not because the plates are spinning on the sleeve.

    If the sleeves didn't spin, it would be extremely difficult to stop the spinning and would twist the bar and your wrists with it.

    Video
    Gotcha! Great explanation

    So I guess I wouldn't need to do anything fancy to test the condition of the sleeves I suppose, just a push to make sure they spin.

    * But it's not really the sleeves that would be the problem, it would be the condition of the barbell that would determine if the sleeves rotate properly? i.e. if the barbell is bent or warped in some way.
    Last edited by maxi; 05-18-2008 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #8
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    I got a good price for an oly barbell. It has "thrust bearings" so I figure it must be better than the other entry-level oly barbells I've been looking at that normally have "bushings".

    I'm not sure if it's brand spanking new or if it's been used for store display. So besides checking that the sleeves rotate, is there anything else I need to look out for?

    I mainly deadlift and sometimes do high-pulls (no olympic lifts) so if I dropped it, it would be accidental from around upper thigh height.

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