Gyms have mirrors. Some have more mirrors than others, but pretty much every gym I have been in has at least one wall of mirrors somewhere. The gym I worked in had a wall of mirrors in each of its weight rooms. And it was pretty much a given that at least one mirror panel was shattered once or twice a year. How? Do patrons chuck their weights at the mirror? Were drunk froshies allowed to party in the weight room? Did some guy finally flex his bicep so hard the mirror shattered from how epic the flex was? If so, why was it always the same mirror that shattered?
It was because of people using the bench press without putting clips on the bar.
The purpose of the clips is to prevent the plates on the barbell from sliding and causing the weight on the barbell to unbalance while someone is lifting it. If the bar becomes unbalanced as the lifter is lifting the bar tips and the weight can fall off making things worse. So usually the mirror got shattered by the falling plates and/or the tipping barbell the lifter couldn’t control anymore. It was for the this reason management asked all staff to enforce the use of clips for all barbell exercises. They were tired of forking out to replace the damn mirror.
Like a good little staffer (that hadn’t yet learned the hard lesson of how much doing your job can suck) I went to work trying to enforce use of clips and was faced with lots of grief from guys that thought they new better then management (and didn’t have to pay for the shattered mirrors or be liable for any other accidents that might occur as a result of improper equipment usage). I was yelled at and cussed at by guys because they thought the use of clips was stupid. The guys that protested the use of clips generally fell in one of two categories: 1) those that were just too lazy to bother with clips and 2) lone lifters.
The lazy guys would make excuses like “hey nothing is going to happen” to convince me that using the clips was ridiculous. (Gee thanks fellas, you really opened my eyes with that amazingly well thought out, clear, concise, and original argument.) They would just flat out ignore me (or scoff rudely at me then ignore me) when I explained it was a safety directive from gym management and it was expected that all gym users comply with gym policies. The lone lifters rejected all of the safety reasons for clips and argued that they were actually dangerous because if the lifter failed on his bench press he would not be able to get the weight off his chest by himself by dumping half the weight (by deliberately tilting the bar). I would always point out that that is why spotters should be used and why there were staff manning each weight room so no lifter was alone and would alway shave access to a spotter. The loners would just scoff and ignore me too. Because that is what jerks at the gym do.
As far as I know people are still to lazy to use the clips. The shattering of the mirror only ended when management swapped the bench press next to the problem mirror for a preacher curl.