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View Full Version : Wayne,Bar & Plate sizes


Lee Michaels
October 26th 03, 11:16 AM
Wayne,
I was reading the PDA website last night. I have always like these guys.
They do custom jobs and unique one of a kind stuff. And they sell lots of
unusual gear.

In this sectionI saw this blurb that is related to what you are doing in
terms of determining bar and plate size. This quote is taken from,

http://www.fractionalplates.com/cgibin/edatcat/PDAstore.cgi?user_action=detail&catalogno=2

The title of this section is

It Fits Therefore I PGDL


Bar sleeve and plate hole diameters have been another area for learning for
PDA and our customers alike. We initially avoided offering a Standard
sleeved bar. Over time there were too many requests to ignore. Standard
plate hole diameters have varied over the years, even from the same
manufacturer. The plate hole diameters vary from slightly over 1" up to
1-3/8". Common standard bar sleeve sizes range from 1" to 1-1/8". More than
one lifter has come to us saying he had old York Standard plates but
so-and-so's Standard dumbbells didn't fit. We selected a Standard sleeve
diameter that would assure our bars would fit all available standard plates.
We have also built Standard Shrug Bars‘ with 30mm diameter sleeves (instead
of 1") for our European customers who prefer that size to fit their
metric-dimensioned Standard plates more snuggly.

Olympic sizes have also been an enlightening issue. We get callers every day
insisting, "I just have the regular standard Olympic size plates and bars."
First of all, despite what some plate manufacturers have done, don't use the
terms 'standard' and 'Olympic' together. You have one or the other; you
cannot have both. It is an oxymoron. The Standard, or 'exercise' dimensions
are discussed above. The Olympic plates labeled 'Standard' refer to a trade
name, not a size (what a brilliant move!). Secondly, there are at least four
known Olympic sized sleeves currently distributed. Yes, four. Here they are:

Ivanko, Eleiko, Leoko, and a few others build their bar sleeves to the
official Olympic specification of 1.945-1.951" (50 mm with a tolerance).
Their plate holes are snugged by spec to this sleeve to prevent rotation on
the sleeve in competition. That way the plate/outer sleeve mass acts as an
inertia unit and the inner sleeve rotates properly within it (see below).

York builds their sleeves even smaller at 1.9375" in diameter (with a
tolerance), but their plates will fit the official Olympic spec bars.

Some manufacturers use off-the-shelf 1-7/8" round stock for sleeves.

Other manufacturers use off-the-shelf 2" round stock for the sleeves.

We offer off-the-shelf 2" and machined 1.95" Olympic sleeves on our bars.
Why? The two options fit all plates well. Eighty five percent of us use
inexpensive imported plates that commonly have a hole diameter up to 2-1/8".
The less expensive unmachined 2" sleeve will work fine. We machine the 2"
down to 1.95" because it will fit all the other plates. Voila. Why not use
1-15/16" or offer it as a third option? Because of the logistics of
offering, stocking, and anticipating inventory requirements make it more
expensive than 1.95" sleeves.

What's A Little Spin Among Friends?

When deadweight loads are used for certain movements, they create
dangerously high lateral loads on joints like the wrist. Olympic lifters
learned this long ago; as did early strongmen using cast globe gear. The
clean and jerk, and the snatch load the wrist enormously. Heavy training
easily allows the overall physical structure and specific musculature to
strengthen at significantly faster rates than other components. It was not
unusual for a lifter to snap a wrist. The solution was revolving Olympic
sleeves. As the lifter moves through the path of motion with a properly
designed assembly he only flips the bar as it revolves within the sleeves
and loads, not the entire weight of the loaded assembly. The inertia of the
plates and sleeve keep them in nearly the same orientation as the bar is
spun.

Today, rotating barbell and dumbbell sleeves are functionally unnecessary
and a costly convention for other than the Olympic style lifts or movements
with similar characteristics where the load is spun around a joint. Squats,
benches and deadlifts, as typical, employ a subtle path of motion such that
the load moves hardly, if at all, in relation to the bar centerline. Only
the most devout users disassemble and maintain their assemblies on a regular
schedule. For the majority, time passes and the mechanism becomes sluggish
at an unnoticeable rate until the performance degrades to essentially a
nonfunctioning level. For situations where safety measures like squatters or
racks are not necessary, and for the Olympic style lifts, it is not unusual
for the load to hit the deck intentionally or otherwise. The deck impact is
seldom uniform and one end hits before the other. The revolving mechanism is
the weak link that takes the brunt of force. Revolving capability should be
employed where it has a specific function. Otherwise, it is simply a
personal choice. It is not necessarily a wise choice. If you prefer
revolving sleeves, you can get them on the stainless steel model (SS SB).

So, things are not nearly as simple as you may have thought about what
"Olympic" means. Let's get down to the basic issue. Before you buy a bar, if
you want to know exactly what you are doing, you need to know the hole size
of the plates you intend to use. But, it's even easier than that - you don't
need to know the hole size as a specific number; you simply need to know if
the hole size is larger or smaller than 2" as discernable with a common
household ruler. Period. Quick, simple, cheap and definitive.

And, you can simplify more by putting things in perspective. Machined 1.95"
sleeves will amount to 5% or less of your bar cost. Many see this as very
inexpensive insurance since you know the bar will fit any plates you ever
use. You never know what you'll run across at a garage sale, or inherit from
a non-lifter neighbor/acquaintance/friend (who, for instance, found a dusty
old weight set in the corner of the barn, which turned out to be a primo
'50s York set, and which he offered you for free if you would get it the
heck out of there).


--
Lee Michaels

Wayne S. Hill
October 26th 03, 04:07 PM
Lee Michaels wrote:

> Wayne,
> I was reading the PDA website last night. I have always like
> these guys. They do custom jobs and unique one of a kind
> stuff. And they sell lots of unusual gear.
>
> In this sectionI saw this blurb that is related to what you
> are doing in terms of determining bar and plate size. This
> quote is taken from,
>
> http://www.fractionalplates.com/cgibin/edatcat/PDAstore.cgi?u
> ser_action=detail&catalogno=2
>
> The title of this section is
>
> It Fits Therefore I PGDL

Thanks, Lee! Talk about a thorough discussion (which I archived).
The only thing about which I disagree with them (reads just as
badly as my first, non-grammatical try) is the lack of need for
revolving sleeves in squats. I use enough forward lean that
either the weights revolve on the bar, or the bar rolls on my
back. Anybody else notice this?

--
-Wayne

Lee Michaels
October 27th 03, 08:31 AM
"Wayne S. Hill" > wrote in message
...
> Lee Michaels wrote:
>
> > Wayne,
> > I was reading the PDA website last night. I have always like
> > these guys. They do custom jobs and unique one of a kind
> > stuff. And they sell lots of unusual gear.
> >
> > In this sectionI saw this blurb that is related to what you
> > are doing in terms of determining bar and plate size. This
> > quote is taken from,
> >
> > http://www.fractionalplates.com/cgibin/edatcat/PDAstore.cgi?u
> > ser_action=detail&catalogno=2
> >
> > The title of this section is
> >
> > It Fits Therefore I PGDL
>
> Thanks, Lee! Talk about a thorough discussion (which I archived).
> The only thing about which I disagree with them (reads just as
> badly as my first, non-grammatical try) is the lack of need for
> revolving sleeves in squats. I use enough forward lean that
> either the weights revolve on the bar, or the bar rolls on my
> back. Anybody else notice this?
>

It's time for an oldtimer story.

I have mentioned that olympic bars were rare in my youth and almost
exclusively used for the Olympic lifts. Back then all three lifts were
practiced. One guy I trained with had his under lock and key. If you
trained for a year or so, and made good progress, he would unlock the vault
and let you touch his precious olympic bar.

Well, this bar had some quality bearings in it. It is interesting but many
of the oldtimers I met either were machinists, welders, millwrights or were
closely affiliated with one. So they built things or modified things. There
were not a lot of manufacturers in those days.

It was common for these guys to take out the bearings that were in the bar
and replace them with ones that were much better quality. This was done at
considerable expense. This is one of the reasons that Johnny kept his bar
locked up. He only wanted it used for precision lifting. It was "too good"
to be used for anything else.

One day after a workout, I asked him about the hallowed olympic set. He had
a few minutes, so he brought it out for a little show and tell. He put a
couple 45's on each side and armed up on some power cleans. He then took
some chalk and marked an "X" on the sideof one plate near the bottom. He
told me to watch the "X".

He proceeded to do a number of lifts. He did all the Olypic lifts, split
style. as was customary at that time. He did a few others as well including
overhead squats and various pulls. And in every single move, the plates
remained aboslutely upright. The "X" stayed in the same position at the
bottom. The only thing that moved was the bar.

The bearings did all the movement. The plates stayed still. There was NO
inertia from the plates. Johnny made it clear that was not the case when he
bought the bar. But by replacing the bearings and keeping them lubricated,
he was able to extract a little more from his equipment.

I was very impressed on a number of different counts. One, of course, was a
little demonstration on inertia and applied physics that was more dramatic
than anything I ever saw in a high school science class. Another was the
absolute love these guys had for their equipment. They took good care of it.
By the same token, these guys demanded a level of quality from their
equipment. If it didn't have it, they would make whatever modification to it
to obtain the equipment performance desired.

Needless to say, both equipment standards and reverence for olympic bars
have fallen off over the years. Some things from the good ole days are
truly missed and we are lesser for them being gone.

Now as to your question Wayne, concerning the movement of the plates during
squats. I don't notice it because I use a safety squat bar. So I am
essentially upright. And the bar is rigid, with no bearings. Not a loss in
this case.

I personally feel the difference in a bar with quality bearings. I remember
years after the demonstration mentioned above of meeting a guy who made
special curl bars. These had all kinds of bearings in them. The hand grips
had bearings around them so they moved. Years later a company started making
these in quantity. They never caught on though. Too expensive.

You could do a set of curls with these bars with the weight remaning still.
But if you did them rapidly, you would introduce a little creep into the
plate movement. I told this guy about Johhny's demo. He was impressed and
immediately tried to duplicate it with his bars. And as long as the movement
was deliberate, complete stop on bottom and stop, it worked. Any kind of
bounce or swing was introduced, the plates started to creep slowly over the
bar.

Now that is hardly scientific. It is probably nostalgia of sorts. And maybe
I am just a tool guy. But a bar with good bearings on it just FEELS GOOD!!
I think it gives you a little edge, a little pleasure, a little sensual
touch with the weight. This is a thing we do with our bodies. It should feel
good and give us pleasure in some fashion. So if the movement hurts like a
bitch, there is something else that feels good about it.

Maybe I am getting delirious in my old age. But that is how I feel about it.

Lee Michaels
rockin' in my chair.
FEELIN' the oatmeal when I gum it.
hummin' some blues.

Wayne S. Hill
October 27th 03, 02:11 PM
Lee Michaels wrote:

> Now that is hardly scientific. It is probably nostalgia of
> sorts. And maybe I am just a tool guy. But a bar with good
> bearings on it just FEELS GOOD!! I think it gives you a
> little edge, a little pleasure, a little sensual touch with
> the weight. This is a thing we do with our bodies. It should
> feel good and give us pleasure in some fashion. So if the
> movement hurts like a bitch, there is something else that
> feels good about it.
>
> Maybe I am getting delirious in my old age. But that is how
> I feel about it.

I agree. Er, I mean, me too.

--
-Wayne