Olympic weightlifters make noise–a lot of noise. And this really pisses off some people. We’re like those guys driving by in decked out Honda’s blasting their bass-heavy music at a volume that would shake Atlas at his core. Every time we dump a weight, the other patrons in the gym get a jolt, wince, and log it into their memories. Eventually, they get fed up and go tell the owner that they just can’t take it anymore. It’s them or us. The gauntlet has been thrown.
Whether we like it or not, most of us are forced to train in commercial gyms. If we’re lucky, they’ll have a platform. But, that doesn’t mean they want us to use it like it was intended! The platform is there, they think, so that people can do deadlifts. So, what the Hell are we doing dropping weights from overhead?
Bill Brian has an article at Weightlifting Exchange about how to build a quiet weightlifting platform. And while it may seem odd to put a bunch of carpet down on it, it would help to mitigate the problem.
Here’s his list of reasons why a quieter platform could be a plus:
Gym owners, managers, trainers, and members often express irritation and fear as a result of the noise and vibration that results from controlled or uncontrolled dropping of Olympic weights from the overhead position.
Olympic weightlifting is sometimes perceived to be a violent sport because of the noise/vibration that results from controlled or uncontrolled dropping of weights.
Damage results to Olympic bumper plates and bars from weights dropped at an angle onto a solid surface or platform with insufficient padding and noise/vibration dampening ability. Some of this damage occurs because the bar quality is poor, the plates are not secured to the bar with clips or collars, or in some cases, abuse by lifters. In many cases, I have been in gyms that did not provide collars or clips, or did not replace them when they were stolen or damaged.
Olympic lifting is prohibited or discouraged by many gyms even though they have the basic lifting equipment and a rudimentary platform because of the above problems.
Olympic lifting is banned or prohibited by gyms by either removing the existing Olympic lifting equipment and platforms or not providing it in the first place because of the above problems.
Out of ignorance or inconsideration, or poorly placed platforms that invite foot traffic across them, gym members walk onto a platform while a lifter is performing a lift, inviting injury and irritation.
He hopes that measures like his quiet platform will help to restore Olympic weightlifting to some of it’s former prominence in gyms. I’m not convinced. In fact, I doubt there is any way commercial gyms will ever be amenable to what it is we do. Bottom line, we mess up their bottom line! They aren’t in business to help out our tiny sport. They never will be. Olympic weightlifting can only get so quiet and cuddly. And it will never be good enough.
The quiet Olympic Weightlifting platform is still an interesting idea. I’d love to try one out. But, let’s face it, making noise is part of the fun!