How can I manage the weight room?

Weight Room Management

Managing Your Weight Room

Safety in the weight room is the most important goal of strength training. Athletes should never risk injury in the weight room—the goal of training is to prepare athletes safely for the real physical test of competition, and not the other way around. Carelessness in the weight room endangers not only the lifter but also everyone around him or her. It is important for athletes to remain aware of the space and actions of other lifters

Safety Rules

Keep the weight room clean. Make sure there are clear, wide pathways through the weight room and to all exits. Keeping a clean and organized weight room is a matter of safety and efficiency.

Always use clamps. Whenever a barbell is loaded, bar clips or clamps should be used to secure the weight plates. This helps prevent the weight from shifting during a movement, putting the lifter and any spotters at risk for injury. Always use clamps, even on light sets.

Always use bumper plates on a platform. If you have wooden weightlifting platforms, make sure the only plates used on the platform are rubber bumper plates (not steel plates). Bumper plates bounce when dropped, while traditional plates will damage the platform if dropped.

Return equipment after every set. Never leave plates, dumbbells, barbells, or any equipment out in the middle of the floor, where they could cause a tripping hazard.

Weight Room Checklist

Before Training

Review the day’s Volt training on your own or with an additional coach. Anticipate which athletes and/or movements will require the majority of your attention.

  • Ensure weight room equipment is clean, organized, and accessible
  • Organize athletes into training partners and/or groups


  • Coach all movements with attention to detail. Warm-ups happen every day--do them well!
  • Check-in with your athletes. Ask how they’re doing and acknowledge each response.
  • Put warm-up equipment away.

Main Session

  • Provide encouragement throughout the session.
  • Correct poor movement patterns. Adjust movement/weight/reps if necessary.
  • Reinforce good movements and positive effort with praise.
  • Keep athletes moving throughout the weight room. Spotting, hydrating, and stretching can be encouraged between sets.
  • Ensure athletes “check off” each set.

End of session

  • Ensure athletes mark their workout “Complete” in the app.
  • Put equipment away and clean surfaces.
  • Review the session with the group. If expectations were met, provide praise and reinforcement. If expectations were not met, give feedback.

Weight Room Accessories

Shoes: Athletes should wear shoes designed for athletics, preferably a low-profile shoe with a flat sole. Never allow cleats in the weight room.

Chalk: Chalk should be used if available, but only on barbell movements or other movements that are taxing to the grip.

Belts: Weight belts should be reserved for only heavy attempts or maximal lifts. Athletes can develop a dependency on belts that reduces active core engagement.

Straps: Lifting straps should be used sparingly, only on heavy attempts of movements in which grip strength is a limiting factor (e.g., deadlifts). Overusing straps can hinder an athlete's grip strength development.

Gloves: Lifting gloves should never be worn when lifting. Gloves limit grip and hand strength development and prevent athletes from gaining a "feel" for the proper use of equipment.

Headphones: Athletes should not wear headphones when training with the team. Headphones inhibit communication between coaches and athletes and can be a distraction when training.


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