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Old 12-17-2015, 10:06 AM   #1
Chad Steinwolf
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Barbell spin tests

So I see all these barbell spin tests on YouTube, but when it comes down to the lifts or WODs does it really matter how many times a barbell sleeve with no plates really rotates or rotates?

When doing a clean or snatch, do you even need a barbell sleeve to make more than one rotation? I guess the ones that spin more mean they spin easier and there's less friction but for the non Elite competitor will it make a difference or be noticeable?

Just asking because I'm intrigued and don't want to get lost in marketing hype if I don't need to.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:15 AM   #2
Marshall Flagg
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Re: Barbell spin tests

You have probably seen it but Hookgrip's bar spin video is really the only one worth watching I have come across.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #3
Chad Steinwolf
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Re: Barbell spin tests

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Originally Posted by Marshall Flagg View Post
You have probably seen it but Hookgrip's bar spin video is really the only one worth watching I have come across.
No, but I'll check it out. Also are you referring to the hour long video? Thanks!

I should mention it was Bushing bars I was originally commenting on.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:58 PM   #4
Keith Miller
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Re: Barbell spin tests

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Originally Posted by Chad Steinwolf View Post
So I see all these barbell spin tests on YouTube, but when it comes down to the lifts or WODs does it really matter how many times a barbell sleeve with no plates really rotates or rotates?

When doing a clean or snatch, do you even need a barbell sleeve to make more than one rotation? I guess the ones that spin more mean they spin easier and there's less friction but for the non Elite competitor will it make a difference or be noticeable?

Just asking because I'm intrigued and don't want to get lost in marketing hype if I don't need to.
Can it make a difference? Yes, it can. The spin tests are basically trying to show how freely the sleeve spins, not necessarily how many times it goes around. Notice that most bars will spin considerably more when a plate is on it.

Ideally, no you don't need a bar to spin more than one rotation. However, that shouldn't be your test. You don't want the bar to spin once then stop, that will be very hard on your wrists!! The idea of a free-spinning sleeve is to protect the wrists when you turn-over the bar in each of the lifts. If it doesn't spin freely, or the spin stops suddenly, you can do serious damage to your wrists and you won't be able to lift as much weight.

It really doesn't matter if the bar is a bushing or a bearing bar, other than a bearing bar will generally spin more freely than a bushing bar.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:16 PM   #5
Joel Te
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Re: Barbell spin tests

I actually make a lot of those spin tests. Mainly because people like to see them, but realistically the more easily sleeves spin, the easier it will be for you to pull under the bar. There is a point where you probably won't even notice the difference though.
It's nice using bearing bars, but it's not necessary for WODs; most of the time I just use my normal "beater" bars. A well maintained bushing bar is really all you need unless you're trying to be an elite weightlifter.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:54 PM   #6
Shawn M Wilson
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Re: Barbell spin tests

Today's workout was a great example of the spin problem.

10 mins find max hang clean (full squat) (245)

85% 3 OMEM 15 min


My barbell at the box would "grind" through the clean occasionally and sometimes not spin at all making it a pain when it didn't. Sure it is a box bar that has endured many uses. When the weight is light it doesn't pop up as much but when it gets heavier it really makes a difference.

Finding a good quality bar that can withstand constant use and still do what is needed is key to safety and performance.

I went for 265 during my 10 mins and it didn't "spin" but instead the bar rolled and I lost grip and just bailed on it. After that I didn't press my luck since my wrist is injured due to a bad clean 18 months or so ago
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:52 PM   #7
Steven Thunander
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Re: Barbell spin tests

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Originally Posted by Shawn M Wilson View Post
Today's workout was a great example of the spin problem.

10 mins find max hang clean (full squat) (245)

85% 3 OMEM 15 min


My barbell at the box would "grind" through the clean occasionally and sometimes not spin at all making it a pain when it didn't. Sure it is a box bar that has endured many uses. When the weight is light it doesn't pop up as much but when it gets heavier it really makes a difference.

Finding a good quality bar that can withstand constant use and still do what is needed is key to safety and performance.

I went for 265 during my 10 mins and it didn't "spin" but instead the bar rolled and I lost grip and just bailed on it. After that I didn't press my luck since my wrist is injured due to a bad clean 18 months or so ago
Seems like they need to lube the sleeves up on that bad boy. The easiest method is to put 3 in 1 oil into the sleeve. You can also spray WD 40 lithium grease into the sleeve (it has to be lithium grease, don't use standard WD40!). A more complex but longer lasting solution is to pull the sleeves apart, clean up the contact surfaces with sand paper and steel wool, then lube both the bushing and the contact point on the bar with lithium grease and reassemble the barbell.
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