T Nation

Scariest Weight Lifting Experience


I was just doing a set of 3 RM push-presses, about to finish the third rep when the bar fell backward and my back began to take a nasty arch. Luckily I ditched the bar before my back got fucked, but it was scary as hell. Like I was in third person thinking I was about to die scary. Has this happened to anyone else?


INcline benching, didnt rack one side properly, spotter wasnt watching and the bar fell down, luckily it bounced of htese safety pins lower down, and my spotter caught it, other wise 80 kilos would have fallen on my face...ouch!


First time I tried to do overhead squats...I was finishing a heavy squatting session and figured 135 would be fine so I left a couple plates on when I was unloading the weight...needless to say, 135 was not alright and I ate shit, falling backwards. Thankfully 45's are high enough off of the ground so the bar didn't rack me in the forehead.

Another time in Iraq we had these crappy ass weight sets, and I didn't realize the bench was unbalanced so when you sat on the end where you rack the weights it could tip...I was doing military presses on the end when all of a sudden my feet are straight up in the air. But, except for a couple minor wrist sprains due to stupidity with curling, I have not suffered any weight-lifting related injuries...knock on wood.


It wasn't scary, and I can't say I've ever been scared when training cause there's a certain psychological training mode you put yourself into, but the other day I was doing power clean and jerks and after the clean portion I started blacking out. By the time I got the bar overhead I couldn't really see much.

It seems to happen lately when I do push press: I get light-headed.


Perhaps you are placing the bar too deep into the neck in the rack position, cutting of the carotid artery.

That is exactly what happened during my scariest training incident. I usually train alone in my garage gym. I was doing front squats out of the rack, working up to a heavy heavy triple, and was trying to keep the bar back against my neck to help me keep upright. At the third rep, I realized it was a problem. I had shifted the bar back even more into the throat, to maintain my posture, and I began to feel light headed as I stood back up.

Rather than dump the weights (I was using bumpers so I could have easily done so), I foolishly decided to try to rack them. By the time that I was back into the racks, I was literally blind. I somehow...luckily....racked the weight, and then completely blacked out. Fell flat on my ass. It took nearly ten minutes to recover and keep training. But that was my last set of front squats for the day.


I was doing decline barbell presses and I gave out. I was barely keeping the bar off my throat. There was only one other person in the gym and he spotted me. I was young and stupid and that is why i train in the rack!


I had two that stick out in my mind...

I was doing a triple of heavy snatches. My left shoulder decided it had had enough and when I caught the bar in the hole it decided to take a vacation and my arm dislocated out of socket. Fortunately I was able to pop it back in by myself (I made the lift too).

Another time I was doing clean and jerks when I noticed that the bar felt slightly unbalanced...I didn't really know how that was possible since I had only 155 on the bar. Anyway, I figured it was just my imagination and went for another clean--and the right sleeve, complete with plates FELL OFF THE BAR in mid-air. When I caught it, my back went all bent and crazy. Hurt like a mother. To make it worse, the university gym managers told me that they weren't going to pay for any therapy and I'd have to take them to court. Luckily I got better with rest and stretching and light basic movements. Jackasses


This happens to me sometimes when I pull the bar in very close to my body on heavy cleans to ensure that I make it. Doing a max jerk when you can't feel your extremities is fun, in a crazy sort of way--

Obviously the fix for this is to rest the bar more on your deltoids than on your throat. Of course, when you're in the middle of a limit front squat or clean this is easier said than done. I found that one thing that helps me is to make sure that I'm not holding my breath when I come up-- shouting, grunting, hissing, whatever-- any sort of forceful exhalation makes this much less of a problem.


i have a couple

so once i was doing decline barbell press on a friday night when nobody was at the gym and i got the bar stuck on me. it was stuck on me for like 10 minutes till someone enetered the weight room to help me.

one other friday night, apparently i have bad luck on fridays. i was doing decline sit ups with a 45 on my chest. and when i got off the thing i smacked my knee really hard on the corner of some metal machine. and it was like bleeding pretty bad and it relaly hurt. and then like i was just sitting there for a few min after that and i started to feel sick. so i like sat down next to the garbage can. then i started to feel like i had to take a shit really badly lol. so i walked down the stairs real fast. but then my vision started to get really blurry and everythign was going white. by the time i got to the bathroom i could barely see anything. then i banged my head on a stall and passed out. but when i got back to my sences i was alright and called for a ride home lol.

once i was warming up on bench and i missed the thing, luckilly it was jsut the bar and it hit me in the head lol.

i was doing clean and jerks and the weight fell off the bar once.

once i was taking the 45s off one side of the bar and didnt take any off the bar and it almost flew up and hit me in the head.

yah thats about it, i guess i need to start paying more attention.


I had the same thing happen to me when doing jerks. Let the weight come down too quickly onto my shoulders, and my core wasn't tight enough, felt like my back was going to break. Ended up dropping the barbell on my sawhorses and put a permanent bend in them.


A long time ago I had a spotter help me take 185 off for bench. I used a false grip and when the spotter let go, it just completely crashed across the collarbones and neck (under the arms). It bounced back a foot off of me and the spotter caught it in one motion and put it back on the rack. It didn't hurt really, but I was sure I would die shortly from some kind of internal damage. If it had been a little higher I could have gotten all my teeth knocked out for sure.

Also, I did get stuck at the bottom of a squat done outside of a rack without a spotter. I let it roll off my back.

I also was watching some of the kids in the highschool weight room, and a kid had tried 275 on the bench. He had it in the rack, and pulled off a 25. Then his partner started to clean the other side by pulling both 45s and 25 off at the same time. Guy number 1 started pulling both 45s off his side, and just as he got them off, the guy pulling off the 3 plates figured out he couldn't handle them and left them all right on the edge. His end came straight down and launched the bar about 30 feet across a room of kids, and it stuck in the wall.


We were just talking about this today. I dropped 425 (in a shirt)on my stomach while trying to touch. The two dorks who were side spotting me didn't react for at least 20 seconds. My partner and I coached them for a good 5 minutes on the proper way to side spot before I took the lift.

Luckily I had been hitting the 6 second abs real hard and I wasn't hurt :slightly_smiling: Commercial gyms suck.


These still make me cringe!!!
First while 18 years old, working out in wrestling shoes I was taking a 55 off one side of a bench, then went to take the other 45 off the other side, BUT I didnt see the 10lb plate on the other side, so SLAM the 10 LBer came down edge first on my little toe-lost the nail for 4 years

Secondly- few years back while doing snatches, the bar came down so fast on my forehead that it started to bleed.

Thirdly- while heavy deadlifting I lost my balance and dropped the weight and fell into a "butt blaster" machine, ripping my knee open needing stiches

Forth- while training at a shitty gym I visited I went to squat and they had no collars and shitty bars, at 495 on the third rep the weights were giggling, falling off the sides while I standed there, finally the bar flipped off to the side all the weight fells off and I torqued my back and couldn't train for 3 weeks

Fifth and most painful bout' 8 years ago was doing reverse grip triceps with a straight bar on a cable and I lost my grip and the bar came smashing up into my chin, never been right since.


A few years ago, I was going for a 500lb single parallel box squat, no wraps, suit etc. I (like a moron) had my two diminutive, female training partners spotting me. I sat on the box, and STAYED on the box.

I actually did a negative, seated good morning into the rack pins, pulled it back and got it back up with the two of them pulling thier end of the bar up with me (but not at the same time!). Finally racked it and did 450 for a double to make myself feel better.


I witnessed a kid that full squatted 135, 3/4 squatted 225, 1/2 squatted 315 and landed on his f-ing KNEES with 315 on him. It was all over before I could jump in. Luckily, no permanant damage but he must've had a nice bloody stripe from his traps down to his ass as he let it go and it rolled down his back and drove him into the floor.

Never did see him squat again. I guess that's what the Leg Press is for. OUCH!


Just remembered...

I was getting ready to squat and someone had left 135 in the rack at Dl hieght. I walked up to it and cleaned it to rack it at my squat height. Well, just as I snapped it up, my then GF decided to grab her water bottle which brought her face within 2 inches of the end of of the bar mid- clean. If it'd made contact, her jaw would've been shattered for sure. I think it actually brushed her hair on the way up.


When i was 17 i was training with a partner. as he was cleaning, i got hit in the head by the bar (I was bending down at this point. I got a huge gash, and just about made it to the nearest house (5 miles away, the disadvantage of training in someones barn).

To then get bandaged up, luckily i didn't blank out and didn't need stitches. Mind u the weight room is a warzone.


Back in high school when I was 16 I was warming up with 135 on the bench and I racked the weight hard into the hooks and next thing i knew it slipped out and smacked me right in the forehead. My spotter grabbed it off but I was left with a bleeding swollen forehead. Needless to say I am careful when racking the weight now.


ive actually had a couple close calls similar to that too.


Here's a fun one. I was doing decline dumbell presses with a decent weight for me at the time, 70 pound db's, but someone had left a pair a little underneath and out to the side of the bench. As I finish my set I set my db's down kind of hard and faster because of my position. Now this was at my high school weight room and we had metal non-plastic-coated dumbells.

I had a weird feeling in my right index finger and brought it up to look at it. I saw I had a scratch and went to get the blood off when my finger started gushing. I walked to the trainers room with my finger over my cupped hand and left a trail of blood all the way down the hallway.

Turns out, I broke my finger, split the side coming from the corner of the nail some, split it ynderneath the nail, and bent and pushed the nail in a little bit. I needed stitches and actually had to have this nail bed reconstruction surgery. Needless to say, I always look before I put my weights down now.