At Rhodeblocks, as I am sure elsewhere in other companies, I’ll occasionally get a photograph of either a piece of destroyed equipment that was built by a competitor or even a piece of equipment I built. Often, when I see other company’s destroyed equipment it gives me a moment to push my equipment on them as a better alternative. Honestly, sometimes this isn’t the case. I’ve had a few clients sent me pictures of dents, dings, scrapes, and full on failures with a few of our products; of which over time we’ve improved our products so that future clients don’t experience them.
Often times, being in the equipment industry, you have to make your products fool proof assuming everyone a fool. With that said, 99.9% of the time (hyperbole), it’s operator error. That is why I’m here today to give you a short list of reasons gym equipment should outlast your membership.
- It’s Not Yours
A little known fact amongst the Millennial crowd these days is, that the stuff in a gym simply isn’t theirs. I recently saw a video compilation of elite Olympic lifters practicing snatches, cleans, and other movements with brand new looking ELEIKO bars. With the background music set to William Tell’s 1812 Overture, clip after clip showed the likes of Klokov and other elite Chinese lifters dropping empty bars from overhead as well as waist height. I don’t care who you are, you set the bar down. Same goes for jerk blocks, plyoboxes, bumper, and competition plates.
- The Gym You Go to Isn’t Made of Money
Much like Point No. 1, most gyms don’t have money to burn because of your disrespect. Simple as that. Often times, you’ll find the individuals with in-home gym set ups to be the most respectful when it comes to public gym equipment. They know the value, and know that it’s not cheap to buy new bars, plates, or boxes. Please take time to make sure you handle their equipment correctly.
- Disrespect for The Equipment is Disrespect for the Gym Owner
As the first point is coupled with the second, so is the third. If you don’t respect the gym, you don’t respect the owner, and eventually this catches up with you. If you’re a repeat offender of bar, box, or plate misuse, the owners eventually take notice and have to say something. Don’t be that guy. You wouldn’t want someone coming to your house and just tearing up the place, do the owner the due respect of not only handling equipment correctly, but also cleaning up when you’re done. You’re not the only one in this world, and your life isn’t a music video.
- Have a Decent Grasp of Physics.
We recommend the use of composite/recycled tire bumper plates with the use of all our products. They are durable and beat up on equipment far less than competition plates. Let’s think about this: composite plates have more elasticity and when impacting a surface, spread the force of the impact out over a larger surface area making the impact less destructive to the equipment. Using a competition plate of cast rubber on a plywood and 2×4 surface probably isn’t the most intelligent thing. Cast rubber doesn’t give as much and concentrates all the force of the impact on a smaller area. Repeated impact using competition plates, well let’s be honest, beats the crap out of any equipment a lot faster.
- You Don’t Need Competition Plates; You’re Not That Special
Let’s face it, you’ll save your gym owner a lot of heart ache if you stop acting like you’re gonna make it to The Games. Metal and cast rubber competition plates are meant for the precision out on The Games field. So let’s set aside the ego and focus on perfecting ourselves in body, mind, and spirit, rather than inflating our ego over the pedantic use of cast rubber plates weighted in kilos. Weightlifters and national level athletes shouldn’t be such prissy you-know-whats about equipment and be able to adapt to whatever gear is available; after all you are in the sport of constant adaptation if you are into competitive metabolic conditioning.
It’s important to remember that even some of my clients in the past have broken these rules. They’ve know our concerns and some have corrected their use of our equipment as well as other equipment that we don’t manufacture or service. Mostly all for the better. This article isn’t to call out any particular client or future client, but more it is to stimulate a conversation that will get your average-Joe to stop and think about his bar path, plate usage, and honesty with him or herself.
And before I forget:
- Tell on Yourself
Be honest, you break it, tell your gym owner.