Pulling a Fast One

weightlifting coach Birmingham

Something I see on a daily basis is weightlifters failing lifts. The VAST majority of the time this is down to one reason: not getting under the bar.

Why do people fail to get under the bar, and consequently fail to receive the bar? Physics my friend, physics.

DO NOT DROP UNDER THE BAR! When all things are equal, objects fall at the same speed regardless of mass. Yes, I know that surface area, air friction and so on all have an effect, but on the scale we are talking about, to all intents and purposes, they fall at the same rate.

So guess what? If you drop, or fall under the bar, you and the bar will drop, or fall, at the same rate. Even if the bar is 100kg and you are 60kg. Except you won’t fall at the same rate. The friction in your knee and hip joints, and tension in the surrounding muscles will slow you down even more.

You are simply moving too slowly to fall under the bar. Sure, you can get away with it when it is light, you can pull it higher and give yourself more time. However what do you do when it gets heavier?


Ah, the fabled third pull. In order to move faster than the bar you have to apply an external force, and it needs to be against the bar.

Actively pulling yourself down will accelerate you under the bar faster. This also has the effect of pulling the bar up (think Newton’s third law of motion boffins) so will slow the bars descent.

So now you are moving faster under the bar, and slowing the rate at which the bar falls. Now you are making lifts. Get it?