Eleiko Lifting Safety Basics

Eleiko always strives to promote safe and secure lifting. Therefore we wish to provide some information below that is intended as a guideline for coaches, lifters, and anyone otherwise responsible for maintaining a safe and positive lifting environment. Always refer to applicable national law, sports body, federation and club facility regulations.

Here are a few things to help you maintain a safe facility.

Emergency Tools

  • Make sure a first aid kit is available, and fully stocked.
  • Make sure a working phone is available in case of emergency.
  • Know your emergency exits.


  • A clear map of your emergency exits.
  • Your facility hours.
  • Whom to contact with issues or concerns.
  • Rules for using the lifting area.
  • Any club regulations.
Here are a few things to consider when stocking and maintaining your lifting equipment.

If you can, purchase only certified equipment (by IWF, IPF, or IPC).

  • Improperly constructed bars and plates pose a serious safety risk:
  • They break when used for professional lifting, causing immediate injury or fatality.
  • They function poorly (for example, sleeves do not rotate well and lock up) and cause physical strain.
  • Bars deform over time. This is not always visible to the eye, but will cause asymmetrical loading of lifter.
We are of course partial to our own products, and proud to be the only manufacturer certified by all three bodies (IWF, IPF and IPC). But any of our certified competitors provide equipment that is safe to use.


  • Provide bumper plates for Olympic lifting. Metal plates are dangerous for the lifter and hard on floors.
  • Provide one pair of collars per bar, and enforce their use regardless of load.
  • Provide technique bars and discs for new and younger lifters.

If funds allow, we recommend stocking an IPC Powerlifting bench and bar to ensure accessibility.


  • Make sure ceiling height can accommodate overhead lifting by even tall lifters.
  • Keep the ceiling above lifting areas clear.
  • We recommend a minimum of 0.5m between platforms.
  • It must be easy for lifters to reach, grab, and move equipment between storage and use area.


  • Make sure the lifting platform is flat, and level with floor.
  • At a minimum, platforms need to be 2 x 2 meters (8’ x 8’).
  • Make sure your platform has a non-slip surface, such as wood or rubber.

Storage and Maintenance

  • Equipment needs to be stored in a dedicated place, with no risk of falling down.
  • Your Eleiko bar can be stored any way. For other brands, check if bearings handle vertical storage.
  • Check and clean equipment regularly.

Here are a few things to consider when training.


  • Wear form fitting, but not constrictive, clothing.
  • Tie shoe laces. Tuck away any dangling cords.
  • Use shoes with enclosed toe.
  • If using weightlifting shoes, these need to be stiff with a solid, elevated heel.
  • If using lifting straps, wrap around bar only once, so you can release quickly if you fail.

Failing Safely

  • Attempt max lifts only with company.

If possible, use spotters. (A spotter is a lifter standing ready to assist.)

  • The squat requires two spotters on each side of lifter.
  • The bench requires two spotters if very heavy.
  • Do not lean overly forward when spotting on bench: do not cross lifter’s line of sight.
  • The heavier the lift, the more spotters are needed.
Know how to fail safely.
  • Do not be afraid to fail a lift. Be prepared.
  • If squatting, learn to “dump” the barbell behind your back or lower it to the safety bars.
  • f benching, use a spotter for heavier weights. Set the safety bars at the right height for you.
  • In Olympic lifting, when snatching:
  • If the bar is lost behind, jump forward
  • If the bar is lost forward, push backwards
  • It is worth your time and expense to learn safe failure from an accredited coach.


  • Familiarize yourself with the basic form errors for your main exercises.
  • Ask for, and be open to, feedback from coaches or fellow lifters.
  • Use video feedback to improve. (There is an app for that!)
  • It is worth your time and expense to learn safe technique from an accredited coach.

Loading the Barbell
When an Olympic bar is loaded with plates, it is referred to as a “barbell”.

  • Load heavy and larger plates first.
  • Before lifting, double-check that load is equal on both sides.
  • Collar all barbells. Big and small plates alike can fly loose and cause serious accidents.
  • In humid environments, plates will slip more. Invest in a higher quality collar.
  • Smaller metal plates can be used outside larger, bumper plates.
  • Avoid loading barbell with multiplesame weight plates. Other lifters may need this weight.

Unloading the Barbell

  • Unload symmetrically. An unbalanced bar is an unsafe bar.
  • Always unload your barbell. This is not only polite, but a safety issue for the next user.

An Eleiko bar can be left fully loaded with no damage to the bar, although we do not recommend it as a matter of etiquette. For other brands this may cause the bar to bend over time. Always double-check with the manufacturer.


As a lifter, you are part of a long tradition, a positive culture. Lifters help keep each other safe and make each other stronger. We hope you will take the time to become familiar with these customs and accept the responsibility to keep them alive.

Respect the Space
Share the equipment and space courteously.

  • Any exercise that can safely be done outside of a rack should be done outside of the rack.
  • Unload barbell and return all equipment as soon as done.
  • Wipe off benches, and brush chalk from bar.
  • Do not wear headphones in the lifting area. Be present in your environment.

Respect Fellow Lifters

  • Never walk across a lifter’s line of sight.
  • “Work in” with other lifters. This means graciously sharing a platform or rack.
  • When sharing platform or rack, it is custom for lifters to help each other load and unload.
  • When asked for a spot, ask how the lifter prefers to be spotted.
  • Do assist in critical situations and react to dangerous practice.
  • Do not offer unsolicited advice.

It is customary for lifters to cheer each other on during challenging attempts, but it is best to ask what people prefer. 

Respect the Platform

  • Keep platforms clear. Only the lifter and barbell belong on the platform at any time.
  • Do not perform push-ups or similar on an Olympic platform. Feet only on the platform.
  • Do not dump weight unnecessarily. This is neither polite nor safe.

Respect the Barbell

  • Do not step over a barbell and instead walk around.
  • Do not touch the bar or barbell with your foot. Use your hands to position the bar.
  • Clean the bar after heavy chalk use. Use the metal wire brush that comes with your Eleiko bar.

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