T Nation

Near Death Experience (Not Quite)


Every gym has at least one stupid guy in it, the guy you watch lift and wonder if you should intervene before he gets hurt. Gentlemen, today I was that guy.

I was doing push presses, a 45 on each side,planning on 4 sets of 6, which may not be much to some but it is a PR for me. I was psyched and little intimidated by the bar.

First set, cake. I have two or three more reps me, but I save it. Second set gets a little harder, and by the third set, I am doing more pushing than pressing.

I have to squat low and drive fast to move this damned bar, but I am doing it. One rep, two reps, third rep ****. I brought the bar up, and I don't know if I had my head to far forward or the bar to close to my body. The bar came up full force directly under my jaw.

I don't know how it didn't knock me out cold. I don't remember dropping the bar, but it went to the ground, grazing my shins before it landed. I split open my chin and bit into my tongue. I saw stars for about two minutes.

My wife was wide eyed when I walked into the cardio room with my gym towel of my face. Needless to say, I didn't make that fourth set.

Luckily, no real damage was done. I cleaned up my chin, and it was more of an abrasion than a real split. Iced down my tongue and the swelling went down. Things could of been much worse, the biggest wound is my pride.

So, laugh at me please, it is funny now that it is over. Also, share some of your personal stupid injury experiences to reassure me I am not the only dumb one out there.


done it... didnt do it hard enough to drop the bar or draw blood.. but i've done that EXACT thing..


done it, everyone has hit there jaw with some kind of overhead press at one time or another...its like a right of passage


When I first started out squating I did it on a smith machine(I didn't know the evils of that piece of equipment back then). So soon after I had finished my first set I flipped my wrist and racked the weight, when I walked away the weight just dropped to the ground and everyone in the gym looked my way. I could of sworn the weight was properly racked as it didn't fall untill 10-15 seconds later, anyways I haven't used it since.



We've all done it.

If you think that's funny, try this...

A couple weeks ago I was doing snatch balances on a day when I really should have been taking it easy.

For those who don't know, the snatch balance is a prominent Olympic Weightlifting assistance exercise. It consists of taking a bar from rack in the high-bar back squat position, taking a snatch grip, driving with the legs and immediately pressing yourself under the bar as fast as possible. You then recover (stand up) from the bottom position.

Or that's what's supposed to happen...

In my case, with my CNS fried from peaking slightly early and an unreasonable ambition to 'snatch balance what I did last time,' 135 pounds caught me on the back of the neck and drove me the floor; I landed on my knees, with the weight on my back. Funny as hell.

At least I could stand up from that one; the first time I tried balances, the 95-bar stapled my neck to the floor and I had to CRAWL out from underneath it. That's when you know that the weight has really won...


dude.. I laughed out loud when I read this..easily the best gym story Ive ever heard.. Im glad you're okay but I would pay good money to have seen that..


Here's a good one..When I was in high school I was in the weight room and a bunch of us were dickin' around..talkin' shit to each other.. One of my buddies was sitting on the incline bench.. 135 loaded up.. So he was just sitting there b.s.ing, leaning back on the bench, reaching up and spinning the bar in place while it was racked.

well at least he thought he was spinning it in place..but then he rolled it off of the hooks and a buck thirty five came crashing down and landed square on his nose.. It didn't break it but there was plenty of blood and it brought the water to his eye in a hurry..


My girlfriend just finished a set of deadlifts and was resting inside the smith machine(she was doing her deads in front of it, not in it) and I was attempting to mimic her slow pull from the floor and then blast throguh to the top. well, I was inside the smith machine too, but that fact seemed to slip my mind as I was demonstrating.

So I start by getting in the deadlift position and mimic her slow start and then I blast up as hard as I can and hit the top of my head on the smith machine bar. The bar was knocked off the tracks quite handily. Got a nice goose egg today from that.

The only thing I've seen that was near death was in highschool. A kid was squatting with 225 on the bar and fell forward onto a bench with the bar still on his back. If there had been clips on it he probably would have had his neck crushed from behid, but lickily the plates slid off when he hit the bench.


was getting ready to unload the bar, it was just about shoulder height...had 4 four 45s on each side, which is as far as i used to go, but on that day i was feeling kindda good..so decided to take a 45 off and add a 25 and do one more set...not beign used to there beign any smaller weight infront of the 45s, i start pulling off the first 45...not realising there's a 25 in front of it...which happens to to fall right on my foot for sure breaking at least a couple toes and don't know how many other little bones, why?...because stupid me never went in to see the doctor....


I broke my toe in gym class sophomore year of high school, didn't tell anyone, I don't know why. I'm starting senior year now and I still can't fully take that toe through a full range of motion without hurting. Oh and I lost some motor function in it too, I can't curl it down without pushing on it haha.


My junior year in high school our weightlifting team was competing against our rival school at their gym. A good friend of mine had just decided to clean and jerk 205 (his PR at the time), and he got the legal lift, so he is standing there with the bar over his head feeling like a bad ass and he, instead of bringing it back down to the clean postiton, drops the bar from the top, since that is, in fact, the coolest way to put down a 200+ pound barbell that is situated precariously over your head.

Needless to say the bar comes down right on front of his head, but since another team member and I were the only ones still watching he had to try to play it off. I guess its a good thing he didnt get hurt, but I was too busy laughing my ass off to be bothered with his well being.


Good stuff. I have knocked the hell out of my self doing presses.

I have a couple to add.

Some yo-yo got done doing shrugs and like a good little gym rat left 405 on the bar on the pins of a step rack. I am training and see a younger kid walk up and start to unload the bar.

I am not paying too much attention but the last thing I remember is seeing this dude pull the last 45 off of the left side of the bar while there were still 4 plates on the other side. I had no time to intervene.

The instant the plate cleared the end of the bar, the bar end flipped up lightening fast hitting him in the shoulder and grazing the side of his face and head because he was of course leaning over as he pulled the plate off. Needless to say, he almost got seriously mangled.

Another time my wife and I were unloading plates from a bar in the rack at squat height. I pulled the last 45 off on my side and my wife, who was fatigued, kind of dragged her plate off her end which caused my now empty end of the bar to raise up and shift off of the pin.

She did not notice this so when she pulled her plate off, my end of the bar then proceeded to free fall about 3 feet onto the back of my head, dead center, because I was leaned over on my side setting the plate down I had just removed. Talk about a shocking experience.


here i am! :slightly_smiling:
call me king of dumbs :wink:

in my pursue to take every set to my limits i was able to:
1) land 2 db (50.6lbs each) on my face during "lying fly"

2) crash to ground during lunge (me plus BB loaded with ~180lbs)

and one of my PR and favourite one...
really "emercency landing" during squat (440lbs)... and no.. i wasn't inside the rack...

hope you feel better :wink:


hadnt done high pulls in a while and put on what was my previous 3RM. Ended up pulling it so hard that it went ballistic and hit my in the jaw. I bit right threw my top lip ;/

I guess the good thing is that I got stronger :smiley:


My gym used to be right across the street from a strip bar. So one night I'm watching this stripper go into the bar and I'm unloading plates at the same time and I dropped a 100 on my foot. It's obvious what I was paying attention to. Didn't do too much damage so I lucked out I guess.


I nailed myself in the chin once warming up for a set of power cleans. Oh yea, and I'm really bad at telling stories.


If you don't have a story similar to that, you probably are not working hard enough in the gym. I'm just glad you weren't seriously injured.


that shit is crazy man. that is the EXACT same thing that i did about four or five months ago man. i didn't break anything except my big toe got completely mangled and i was limpin around for about two months.

some of my other more embarassing moments are: getting stuck under a big bench weight and having to dump the plates off both sides of the bar. that's always very loud and embarassing.

doing the 110lb dumbbells for shoulder press and got to the end of my set and my right arm just buckled and i lost control of the db and it hit me right in the side of the head.

the worst for me was when i was doing hang cleans once. i was still getting warmed up with 275. i cleaned in and got to the bottom position and started to stand up and my foot slipped and i knew that it was gonna land close to my face so i just threw myself back as quickly as i could, turned my face sideways and held it as close to the floor as i could and the bar landed literally about an inch from my face. that was the worst.