I've been strength training now for 10 weeks and have never bothered with spring collars because the weights have been light and the collars are a pain when doing 4 different warmup weights, then the work weight.

I'm getting to a stage now where the bar is starting to noticeably flex (280# reps deadlift, 265# reps squat on a 17.5kg bar), but still there is no sign of plates sliding. Nor have I found myself tilting the bar sufficiently to cause sliding. Because of the tight fit of the plates to the bar, I'm not even sure if they'd slide off if the bar was tilted at 45 deg (but I might just test that tomorrow).

Yet every time I find the person before me hasn't unloaded a bar, there are collars on them. Even if it's just 25 pounds each side on an ez-curl bar.

I note that Rippetoe recommends in his bench press video not to collar the bar when benching alone, so weight can be tilted off if caught with the bar on the chest.

So when should a barbell be collared?

1 Answer 1



I collar my squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses just because it annoys the heck out of me if the plates slide around even an inch or two. The noise and the asymmetry irritate my aesthetic preferences.

With squats, only once have I seen the plates move more than an inch or so, and it was a good indicator that my set had been sloppy. However, I often find that during a heavy deadlift set, the plates can slide around enough to noticeably unbalance the bar if I don't use collars.


With the Olympic lifts, the plates are going to move significantly without a collar. If you're doing multiple reps, this will be a problem.

  • 3
    I might add the some people specifically don't put colalrs on when they do bench presses if they don't have a spotter/safety rails so that they can slide plates off if they get suck under the bar. better to lift safely with spotters/safety rails though.
    – DForck42
    Jan 23, 2013 at 17:37

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