Update on HK poverty uni gym and The Lost Barbell:
A new barbell has found it's way to the gym. Turned out a ton of international students (basically all American guys) had raged when it suddenly disappeared and mail-bombed the ones responsible for the sports equipment on campus telling them how "there's a lot of serious athletes training for their sports on campus, for which they need a barbell", lol.
Anyway, it's not the same old, rusty and dangerous barbell (the weights would slide sideways over the old one since the "whatever the round thing is called" was loose). The new barbell is actually really nice. Shiny, a bit thicker than the old one and with a good weight. I even weighted it to make sure it wasn't some weird Asian version. 18.8 kg. Close enough to 20 kg for me. The staff proudly announced that it was ordered from overseas.
Btw, I think I've become accustomed to squatting in the incline bench rack. On last weeks squat day, I squatted in a power rack in this other gym in the city. Standard rack with good height and all. Loaded it with 5 pounds over my previous 5RM. Got stuck in the hole at the second rep. This week, I didn't have time to go to that gym and I figured I'd try squatting with the new barbell. Got a triple with the same weight with ease.
the only "problem" with squatting in the incline rack, aside from the safety aspect, is that the bar sits very low (around my upper abs). Although this has me half squatting the weight out, it gets my upper back super tight. That probably has something to do with being able to squat more. Then again, the bars could just vary in weight.