Mar 20

How To Bully a Barbell

Written by Travis | posted in CrossFit, Motivation | 4 Comments

How to Bully a Barbell CrossFit Style

The sickening feeling begins to churn the moment I see the workout of the day has heavy barbell movements. If one thing rings true for me in CrossFit it’s that barbells are cold and unforgiving. However, in the sport of fitness, there’s no way to evade the barbell.

It’s one of our top tools that we use to build focus, strength, and power.

A CrossFit Lesson To Live By

I walked into the box, inspected the whiteboard, sighed, and then looked over to the barbells leaning together in the corner. They rested quiet and just glared back at me. It was like they were waiting patiently to knock me down a notch. And their fat, rubber coated friends sat neatly next to them adding to my feeling of defeat. I try to avoid such thoughts because I know soon enough my thumbs will be tightly tucked around the neck of one of those cold-blooded barbells.

I’ve learned many difficult lessons in CrossFit, but one of the biggest is this. A loaded barbell refuses to be owned if you do not get in its face with grit and aggression. Even then sometimes, when you step to it with everything you can muster, it still doesn’t do what you want it to.

Beating A Barbell

If you walk through a garage door and into a CrossFit box you’ll likely see someone standing in a showdown with an overloaded barbell. You can feel in the air the charge of a coming attack. You want to scream, “You got this, pick up that motherf**ker!”

But you don’t. This is their time to prepare. You seal those screams of motivation until after, and only after, they missed their first attempt. Then, you unleash a fury of what you know will motivate them most.

Most people pace, some people grunt and growl, and a few scream and slap themselves in the chest. It seems nearly all lifters run through a positive mental movie to overcome the heavy pull of gravity on the barbell. In that 10 seconds before you wrap your hands around the barbell it doesn’t matter what you do as long as it amps you for the assault on the barbell.

How I Bully A Barbell

I’m a barbell stalker. I pace in front of the barbell and fix my eyes to it as though it were some sort of prey. It doesn’t matter if it sees me marching back and forth; I want it to know I’m coming for it.

I alternate squeezing my hands into fists and force my physiology to proclaim to my brain, “You will do this!” Once my brain begins to agree, I move to the barbell. Then I put my hands in position and slam my heels into the ground. Now, the barbell knows I’m not leaving until I’ve succeeded.

The instant my arms turn into straps and the barbell moves from the floor I don’t have any thoughts tangled in my mind. The practice has been done; the time for talk is over. It’s time to triumph not over the barbell, but over me.

And while I may have missed more lifts than I’ve made, I’ve never been beaten by a barbell.

How do you bully a barbell?

Quick & Easy Paleo Diet Recipes

Enjoy this post? Join The Uncommon Wellness Newsletter, and subscribe to get more awesome articles in the future! And remember, please share with your friends!
Photo credit: Alex Cheek


Travis is a functional fitness and healthy living junkie that lives in southern Louisiana. I run this blog to give you down-to-earth advice on achieving peak health through functional fitness and healthy living. You can follow me on Twitter or contact me here.

4 Responses so far, but there is still room for yours

  1. […] How To Bully A Barbell. On the Other end of the spectrum, Travis Schefcik describes some strategies that may help you show the bar who’s boss. […]

  2. Mike says:

    Great Post! I’m going to start reading this on heavy days right before I head to the box.

  3. Travis says:

    Thank you Mike! I appreciate your comment. It seems as though I’ve turned into even more of a barbell stalker since I wrote this. Ha!

    All the best,


  4. […] Source: Travis of Uncommon Wellness 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

Free Newsletter


Facebook Fans

Popular Posts

Hi, I’m Travis Schefcik, and I write this blog to give people just like you down-to-earth functional fitness and healthy living tips and advice. I started Uncommon Wellness in early 2010 because wellness just isn’t common anymore.

Advocare Advocate!

Southern Louisiana Advocare

Follow Travis!