I've recently gotten into olympic lifting, and, after thoroughly watching dropped weighted barbells mangle people, I had the idea of a center-less barbell:

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Would the lift be the same if the roundabout piping was structurally rigid? I'm aware that you should take it slow and steady and be safe when progressing with your lifts, particularly a snatch, and to keep your stance so that a drop will fall behind you, but I want to know can you train on something like this and still perform successfully on a traditional barbell? Where the whole "center-less barbell" is 20kg. It would also have to be suspended or hang below a platform...

  • 1
    Why not just get a cage?
    – The111
    Dec 18, 2017 at 8:48

2 Answers 2


Ridigity is only one issue. Center of mass is the other, and unless such a contraption either has negligible mass, or has its center of mass in the plane of movement, it will induce additional torque at the point where the lifter grasps it. This torque may be large enough to cause significant discomfort if not outright injury. Even if your device could be made ideally rigid, it will not work. No real-world substance could bear the kind of loads used in weightlifting while retaining sufficient rigidity without being so massive its own weight would cause it to turn in your hands.

Your proposed remedy to attach the bar to a fixed support of some sort essentially turns it into an isolateral plate loaded machine. Hammer Strength makes these.


From the point of a physicist, no, it would definitely not be the same. I cannot think of any position for that this would be stable, without taking much effort.

Above the head: Keeping the fancybar in a stable position above your head will need much of balancing out, since the bar will strive to a position with less potential energy, if you allow it. It will most probably swing down and hit your chest or stomach.

In front of of behind your body: Just as bad. You'll have to keep the fancybar up by means of your forearm. At best, this will simply hurt the exercise you tried to do, but more likely - again - that fancybar will swing down and hurt you.

In either way, if you somehow managed to keep your fancybar in a position that enables you to workout somehow, it will most likely hurt the exercide you are trying to do, since you will be occupied with other things.

Anyway, maybe it would work, if there was a counterweight, keeping the fancybar in a position above your head, but (a) it's still possible that there are influences on the exercise and (b) it wouldn't work for all exercises, anyway.

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