T Nation

im a cripple

i am a crippled veteran. a low level paraplegic with strong upper body and no use of legs. here is the problem.over the last few years i have been lifting and it has been great for me. but i have hit a wall.i have become strong but now i am to the point wear i am not able to lift heavy anymore becouse the weight is lifting me out of my wheelchair. and i had a very scary experience when i fell of the bench with an olyimpic bar full of iron in my hands!!! thank GOD the big guys came running to help. i have tried a lot of triks like using a 45 pound plate in my lap to hold me down when i use cables and i have tied myself to benches and the chiks at the gym even sit on me when i bench(sexy) but still not safe. sadly i have had to up my reps and lower my poundage. this is pissing me off…please advise…

Look into getting a strap of some sort (almost like a seat belt) that you could wrap around your abdomen and the bench. For instance, you could buy a very large weight belt that could wrap around both you and the bench.

First as you being a Veteran I salute and respect you. Now about your issue at hand. The bench is not wide enough in my opinion to keep you from rolling. How about finding a wider bench or taking 2 benches and placing them side by side. That should widden the place and allow you to bench more stable as you won’t be able to roll right out of it. Just make sure you tie them together so they don’t split apart and you slide between them. Another suggestion would be doing benches in smith machines. Not ideal but the platform would allow you the security you need not slide off the bench. But not the best solution. Just thoughts coming out of my head. The only other thing that comes to my head would be to have a special bench made where it concaves into the middle. That way you kidda fall into the center of it and the sides give you some support from rolling. What ever you do, best of luck!

The only thing I can think of is benching on the floor. On other exercises it’s a tough situation.

I don’t have any ideas yet, but you sound like you should get a T-Man vote.

Hey, just flicking through and read your post; i used to work in a hardware(DIY if in UK) store and there is something i think you can use. Its basically as detailed above, like a heavy duty canvass seat wrap, but you thread the end through a ratchet system. You pull it tight then use the lever to racket it tighter and i promise u it will not budge(we used to strap 200K+ pallets with them!). You have a quick release catch which pings it open when youre done. Its sold here as pallet wrappers or for roof racks on cars - good luck

I like Restless’s suggestion of replacing bench presses with floor presses…great movement and highly recommended by Pavel. The other suggestions of a strap were good too and will help alot…good luck and keep training.

I applaude your drive Bro! Keep it up. Suggestion for the strap, go to a dive shop and get a long piece cut. Have them put a quick release buckle on the end for you. It is super strong nylon webbing. Use this to strap into the bench. The dive shop can tell you what it is rated for but my guess is it will hold. Good luck.

Unilateral movements might be an option for you. You could use the non-exercising hand to grab something and stabilize yourself.


And yeah, hats off to you.

how about benching in a power rack for safety reasons.this way you can atleast set the safety bars across in case something happens.just a thought.i use the rack at home since i work out alone and it has saved me a few times when i couldnt get the weight racked back up.happy holidays