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How To Maintain Olympic Weight Bars

author image David Benjamin
Based in the Greater New York area, David Benjamin is a veteran of the fitness industry of over 15 years. He is coauthor of "The Business and Practice of Personal Training" and has lectured to countless fitness professionals. Benjamin holds a degree in physical education from the State University of New York, Cortland.
How To Maintain Olympic Weight Bars
Effective exercise starts with well-maintained equipment. Photo Credit: Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Most fitness center weight rooms offer a wide variety of equipment. The single most important piece, however, is a high quality Olympic bar. A standard Olympic bar can be used for an almost infinite number of exercises, and can accommodate anywhere from 45 to over 1,000 pounds. With the right care and maintenance, Olympic bars will provide years of dependable service.

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Step 1

Wipe off bars after each use. A good wipe-down should be a daily procedure to keep bars clean and germ free. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shared equipment should be cleaned with disinfectant to prevent germ and bacteria transmission. For bars that are not made of stainless steel, it's important to wipe away perspiration after use to prevent rust.

Step 2

Clean the knurling. The knurling of an Olympic bar is the textured section which provides traction for gripping. Over time, rust, dirt and chalk get trapped in the knurling and need to be brushed out. Every few weeks, use the wire brush to free caked-in dirt, finishing the job with a toothbrush.

Step 3

Lubricate the bushings. The sleeves of Olympic bars are designed to rotate so that the bar does not roll in your hands. To keep moving freely, the bushings must be oiled periodically. To oil the bushing, apply silicone lubricant spray where the sleeve meets the bar. Next, spray the lubricant into the ends of the bar. After you spray each end, angle the bar so that the side you just lubricated is tilted up and leave it there for two to three hours.

Step 4

Soak in oil overnight. Ivanko, manufacturer of weight-lifting equipment, recommends applying a light coating of oil to their bars, letting them soak overnight. Wipe away the oil the next day. Repeat every 30 days.

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