Looking for Mr. Goodbar

My latest addition....a Pendlay bushing bar.

by Thom Van Vleck

I consider Al Myers to be the definitive expert on bars and he has written article before on them that I could never compete with in regards to expertise.  I just have to admit…I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to my training and the equipment involved.  The Pendlay bar is the 19th in my collection.

Since I am a counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse counselor I often make comparisons with my lifting as an addiction.  First of all an addiction is defined as a behavior that is continued despite adverse consequences.  I don’t like to think that my training has adverse consequences but I bet there are some that would disagree.  All the injuries, the increased bodyweight, lifting to the point of getting petechia (red spots from broken capillaries), and all the other things those of us who lift see as “normal”.  Or maybe it might be odd that I have 19 bars to lift on!  I do feel a bit like a addict when it comes to my training!

So, that aside, there are three reasons I bought a new bar.  Each one I have has it’s own use!  Some are specialized, like my trap bar, but most are different variations of a standard Olympic bar.  I think Al Myers has twice as many as me and he’d say the same thing.  I wanted a good bar for push presses as that is one lift I’m doing well on and still hitting some lifetime PR’s on.

There is another reason for a new bar.  When I get something new, it’s “newness” motivates my training.  I get this belief that I can lift more, excitement to go and try it out, and often because I think that…it becomes true and I have some good workouts with my “new toy”.   Of course, I sometimes will pull out the oldest bar in my collection, bought in 1938 and used my my grandfather….or the bar from 1957 that was the first Oly bar the JWC had….those have some mojo of their own and maybe someday my kids or grandkids will think the same of this bar.

Finally, one more reason for a new bar.  I am getting to an age where I have worked hard and have a little more money than I did years ago.  I have taken care of my obligations and let’s be honest, this is a lot cheaper than other mid life crises, like a sports car or motorcycle!   I don’t have many life time “PR’s” left in me and this may help me get “one more”.   A reward for hard work…whatever you want to call it…but this will motivate me as well!

So, I have a new bar.  You can come by and look at it…but for now it’s mine….and you can’t use it because I don’t want it bent!   But eventually, another will come and this will be up for grabs.  Because even though I have a new bar and it’s the best one I’ve ever owned….I’m still looking for “Mr. Goodbar”.

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