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The Whip Factor
Have you ever performed an Olympic lift, such as a hang power clean, and felt the barbell almost bounce in your catch? What you were feeling was the barbell’s whip, which is an added amount of momentum generated by the barbell’s bend from one direction to the other while it is being lifted.
How Much Can this Whip Factor Affect My Lift?
Actually, a lot. Similar to jumping on a trampoline, the amount of force generated from the flex of the trampoline will greatly enhance the overall bounce of an object. When a loaded barbell is lifted, the weight will elevate with more speed and power when there is more whip. The greater the whip, the easier the lift.
There is a reason why the International Weightlifting Federation requires that the athlete must be motionless before starting the jerk in the clean-and-jerk lift. The momentum from the whip generated off the clean can be used to enhance the jerk. This is measured by something called tensile strength, which is the barbell’s ability to bend. The higher the tensile strength, the greater the whip. This is why we recommend certain barbells for certain movements.
What Barbells Should I Use to Generate Whip?
When performing a power lift such as a bench or a squat, for example, there is no need for much whip in the barbell because momentum is not the key factor in the lift. This is why we recommend a barbell such as the OB-86-700 . This has a tensile strength of 130k. It is a heavy-duty barbell that will stay sturdy and stiff throughout your lift.
On the contrary, when performing an Olympic lift such as a clean and jerk or a snatch, momentum is everything. This is why we recommend the OB-86-750B men’s barbell and the OB-80-W for women. The OB-86-750B has 150k PSI tensile strength and the OB-80-W has a 170k PSI tensile strength. For more specifics on barbells, check out our 5 Important Features of Bars blog.
Choose your whip based on your lift.
Since the whip factor has a great impact on your lift, make sure you put it into consideration when choosing which barbell to use for your workout. If you need assistance choosing the right barbell for your workouts, feel free to ask our customer service staff.