You have to wade through quite a lot of mirror selfie videos on TikTok before you find any gym workout advice that's actually useful. And I mean, a lot. After spending what feels like an eternity looking at redundant FitTok workout videos, I managed to come across a so-called gym hack that can speed up the workout process and is simple enough to use at home or in the gym.
Fitness TikTok – or FitTok for short – is a cesspool of Instagram fitness influencer rejects, and the content you'll find on the platform reflects this. There are countless videos of people showcasing their chiselled physique that's clearly the result of PED use, which is sad as it will further deteriorate teenagers' body image issues, who are admittedly the main audience of TikTok.
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Nevertheless, just like in the case of most social media platforms, you can find useful advice, even on TikTok, if you look for long enough. For example, did you know that you can use a thin bumper plate to change weight plates on a barbell easier? Such a simple yet brilliant idea that can make changeovers much faster.
Imagine this scenario: you have just finished a heavy deadlift, barbell row or overhead press set, and it's time to take the plates off the barbell. The barbell is at your feet, each side fully loaded with plates. To take them off, you have to lift the barbell and wiggle off the plates one by one, a slow and cumbersome process that will take time away from your rest.
The reason why it's hard to take the plates off is because the barbell is not suspended, and the weight is resting on the plates. After a bench press session, it's easy to change plates as the plates can move freely on the suspended bar. The question is: how can we get the bar plates off the ground easily without lifting the barbell onto a rack?
@nathaliecfit (opens in new tab) ♬ original sound - Nathalie Cardona (opens in new tab)
According to TikTok, you just have to roll the barbell onto a thinner weight plate, elevating the bumper plates enough to be removed from the barbell with ease. The funny thing about this technique is that it actually works.
I have a barbell at home and do my deadlifts in the carpeted living room, so taking off the plates has been an absolute 'mare before. Not anymore, though! I have a couple of smaller, 2.5 kg plates that work perfectly to prop under the barbell.
Admittedly, if you work out with dumbbells and kettlebells, this tip won't help you much, but if you want to build muscle and gain weight, you will have to start using heavier weights, a.k.a. barbells. And thanks to this trick, you'll know how to change weights easier. Easy-peasy.