Your Safety Habits? Any Near Misses/Incidents?

Sad news this week as an Australian teenager Ben Shaw has died in hospital after having his throat pinned under a failed bench. RIP

A relative brought this to my attention and I took a moment to reflect on my own behaviour in the gym and how every day I rock up to the gym I see other members and even my gym buddies’ being unsafe. I guess I’ve become kinda a stickler for safety. A safety brah

Got me thinking about my own start in the gym: How on my first day I got under a smith machine bench with about 30kg on it and got pinned at the bottom because there were no catches on the bottom third of the rack (pls no flame).

After about a minute a fat slob of a lifter who was to become my first gym buddy/mentor picked the weight off me and with a wry smile gave me a bit of advice that’s still with me today.

“Respect the weight” seemed straightforward and obvious enough but at the time I didn’t really grasp it. That if you fuckabout in the gym you or someone else can get seriously injured or even killed. These days if the subject should arise I pass on this tidbit.

I can’t help but consider what if someone had been there for this young man as my gym buddies had been for me. If he had learnt safe habits from someone maybe he’d still be alive today. Shit like:

Not putting clips on the bench so if you fail and can’t do the roll of shame then you can lean to one side and slide off the plates, bracing for the plates of the other side to fling the bar across the gym.

Unracking and more importantly reracking the bar with locked elbows. Even on the longest of bench grinders I’ll not return the bar to the rack until fully locked out for risk of hitting the uprights and dropping it on my throat. If I fail I’ll just lower to my chest/safeties and bail from there

Obviously and maybe most widespread is to not ego lift. Out of respect for Ben I’ll not make any assumptions but 100kg is 2x20kg plates in Australia and I know from personal experience that skinny fuckboys love to look cool half repping that shit with their spotter getting in a deadlift workout.

Loads of other things too like using a rack of available, no suicide grip, no bent bars, spotters if available etc.

(Trying to out bench Kirill Sarychev)

Are you a safety brah?
What kind of safe/OCD habits do y’all have?
What kind of near misses or incidents have you seen/heard of?

Stay safe brahs

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I once ended up in a similar situation. Doing a floor press on an elevated platform, missed the final rep, lowered the bar to the point I thought it would touch the floor, it kept going and eventually I found myself with the bar on my throat. I called out “help!” as loud as I could twice in a room full of people and not a single one did anything, because these days everyone has their earbuds in and is in their own little world when training.

Ended up reverting to some Jiu Jitsu training and swept/pulled guard on the barbell to get it off my throat, making that the second time Jiu Jitsu saved my life.

Beyond that, I bench in a power rack when I bench, and that’s about it. I DID learn the lesson that day to not have a fallback plan of “it’s a crowded weight room, so surely if I’m in trouble someone will help me”. I have a very distinct feeling that a roomful of people would have watched me die that day.


Maybe you need more friends in the room?

To be fair mine would probably not pay attention and I’d end up dead but they sure as hell are going to put some extra weight on the bar so it looks impressive in the news report

The guy who owns the gym I go to was doing those really wide grip, really short range, really heavy seated barbell presses you used to see all the time. He put the barbell back into the rack, and his grip was so wide he pinched and severed off his ring finger.

I was using a Cambered Bar to squat. The camber “rolled down” so I grabbed the bar to rotate it “Camber Up” so I could get under it. The hump rolled up then over, and clipped me right in the teeth.

Freshman year I was doing really heavy short range partial squats. My homeboy was helping me pull the plates off, and I went too fast. The barbell flipped over to his side, and dumped a bunch of plates all over him.

My woman was squatting in the monolift, with the Saftey Straps. She walked back sooooo far that when she squated down she ran into the Saftey straps which jerked her forward and she fell face down under the bar. The Saftey Straps did catch the bar and keep her from getting mashed.

One time I wanted to do a really cool, intense set of high rep squats. I hurt my back grinding through rep 12.

I was doing high pulls, my back was kinda tight, and I was like “maybe I shouldn’t do this.” But I did it anyway and hurt my back.

I was messing with Sumo deadlifts, and decided to use the fancy deadlift bar. Exciting 1st time with new equipment! I set up with my toes a little inside the plates like I always did, not realising the DL bar was longer. I hurt my hip and my back.

For awhile I tried to play it safe and be real careful. But anything completely safe is completely worthless. That garbage made we weaker, less ready for action, and more likely to get hurt. Now I just keep the reps with barbells low.


I would have to enjoy humanity for that to work.

Although in this instance, it was a one off training day in a different gym, as I normally train at home.

Bench is pretty much the only lift where I always ask for a spotter if I’m going heavy. Most everything else I can just ditch, though I never squat heavy without pins or something. In both instances it’s because I’ve either been pinned or rolled over. Even then I won’t try for something I don’t think I can realistically hit (or come damn close)

I hate those videos of people getting nailed down by atlas stones, but really, what are you gonna do?

I am always one hair away from snapping my back during any kind of squat. My form is good, it’s just the way my body is. That’s why I train with a low volume for each exercise and with a high variety of exercise.

Never had any problem with any other exercise. For bench I rarely fail but if I do I am able to roll it off easily from my chest to my hips for some reason.

Low reps is good to avoid injuries also as flatsfarmer said

I once had some muppet walk into and through my power rack as I was squatting. I was so stunned I got stuck in the bottom position. It wasn’t too hard a bail but i stormed over for my first (and hopefully final) full on dressing down of someone at the gym.

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I was a misanthrope long before it was cool

google misanthrope

Who new it was cool.

Actually what I think is ‘cool’ is being able to identify with one of these fancy new words. Agnostic is another fun one to play with.

Apart from safety bars when benching or squatting, I’m not really a safety brah.

I have however lept up and helped get 225lb of a bloke who was benching suicide grip next to me.

Did you leave it on him for a minute to teach him a lesson tho?

Reminds me of Layne “The Injury” Norton lel

Shit no, it slipped out of his right hand on the way up about 2 inches of his chest. Lucky he was a big Maori, otherwise it could have done some damage.

New Zealand?

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Saw a friend drop the barbell while benching suicide grip. Dropped 220lbs straight onto his sternum from near full lockout.