Raising the Bar

My 80-something active Mom who never smoked once in her life now needs an oxygen supplement since a bit of invasive avian lung-crud has reduced her blood-oxygen levels, and my 90’something Dad who was once a very able-bodied Midshipman and Annapolis crew-team rower can’t hardly lift a 8-foot 2×4.
They were both into healthy lifestyles and eating right (as Missionaries it boils down to the Scriptural-advice of 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is a temple, don’t put anything bad into it.” ) before it was a fad – but Dad also always eschewed the Jack La Lane life of “Physical Culture” – of the Venice Beach bodybuilder types who did handstands and chin-ups and weightlifting for show, and my own youthful strength training as such was was in swimming and water-polo and bicycling – cyclic, endurance based activities rather than ground-pounding or lifting things.
For one thing, I started early and took Swimming and Polo on purpose, so that I never had to spend another Jr. High moment among the acrid stench of sweat-socks and nasty towels and weird PE teachers ever again. Water with a bit of chlorine was clarifying, clean, and refreshing – even if practice started at 6:00am on cold days rain or shine – and rain was just water in the air. The strength that built lasted a long time, and helped me while tramping around odd places on this wet rock, but time has a way of eroding things and replacing them with gauzy memories.
Now in our second half-century, with my a bunch of trauma-induced University desk-weight lost by She Who Endears Us, we are kicking-away at the side of the pool so to speak, and kicking away from the Groaning Table of fatted-calf sloth and the wretched zombie-life of Cubicleland. It’s reported that Strength itself is a desireable goal, and now is the time to restore our capability – so we’re hefting hand-weights and doing crunches and reading Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, and watching the DVD — and now looking for a bar.
Rippetoe says, “For home gym purposes, a 28.5mm or 29mm bar will be the most durable and provide the best service over time.” As a Pro-Level Capitalist Consumer the advice is blandly generic however, and being totally unfamiliar with the inside of a sweaty-stinky gym I have nowhere to begin and there is no familiar landscape of brand-names to guide me. Do you get the Super-Sumo Yakuza II Japanese bar, or the EinfachGewicht Überheber-3000 machined on an X-Y-Z-axis device from pure Edelstahl on the Continent? I dunno.
The only advice I recognize is, “…expect to pay around $300 for a good bar.” But as a Pro-Level Capitalist Consumer I really hate shopping from the right side of the Menu, you might end up with something inedible. Oh well…and where am I gonna put this stuff, in the garage? What about the motorcycles?
UPDATE: Found it under Resources > Equipment: “We recommend the 20kg Burgener & Rippetoe bar.  Here’s the Guys and here’s the Gals versions.


About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

22 thoughts on “Raising the Bar

  1. Kettlebells perhaps? Can’t speak from personal experience, but two of my grown kids got into them. Seems a good combination of strength and flexibility. Don’t need a lot of room to store, just room enough to swing ’em.

    • It takes 8×8 space when in use or 4×8 when not. You don’t need it to do squats, but chops and pulls are amazing for fixing muscle symmetry issues.

    • Chops and Pulls – sounds like a Menu at Chinese restaurant! I’m gonna have to look-up those things. The weight-loss and muscle-stuff is really being driven by what my wife wants to become, so particular exercises to enhance her figure or dis-enhance other parts is key.

    • One more thing – if you don’t want something this big, forget barbell and use dumbbells instead. I was in the same boat regarding space constrains and I’m afraid that Nautilus is as small as it gets.

    • “But I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being crude”… As far as how much space you will need, squat rack and this thing are almost the same.

    • Yeh, anything that big will have to go in the garage. I know she doesn’t want a whole cage-thing and bench, sooo.. I’m not sure how we’re going to get where we’re headed…

    • Because it’s a space issue I was thinking of a shorter bar, like 6-feet or 5-feeet – I don’t understand why they need to be so long unless it’s to add a lot of weight. All that weight is a bit scary!
      Also the website sells the Shorter (5′-6′) York bars. But when it comes to buying this stuff SHE rules and demands that I, “Don’t cheap-out!”

  2. Well, I was going to say “Buy the cheapest because it’s just a frikkin’ bar”. Then I wonder why Rippetoe wouldn’t mention that he sells one when he is extolling the virtues of said bar.

    • Except cheap bars are said to bend and that causes problems? I’m not sure I’m ever goign to put enough weight on it to bend it though… It was not readily apparent and took a little digging to find the Rippetoe bar.

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