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