Horror Workout Series | The Deadly Squat

I’ve done this myself once, a long time ago, but I was young and foolish. I hated squatting when I first started training but I did them with 80-85% Intensity most of the times. One day at the gym, I decided to go all out on my last set (of course). I had the bar loaded with all the plates in the gym.  Lessons learned ! lol

People were using the 45s, so I had to load the bar with 25s and a bunch of 10s.. I wish I had a picture. I had something like 310 lbs loaded on the bar. I had 5 25lb plates on each side, 2 10 lbs on each side and 2 5lbs.. It was a mess and awkward. My knees were strapped, my Weider belt was on tight and my training partner slapped me a few times to pump me up. I was ready.
I get under the bar, lift, step back a few and start squatting. I’m doing half squats, because it was really heavy and wanted to get a few out at least, but after my first 2 half squats are started to go deeper bit by bit until my 5th rep which was butt to the ground.

BIG MISTAKE! So, butt to the ground, I needed a spot. My training partner assisted my lift from behind by squeezing around my chest and going into a squat motion. I managed to get half way, but my legs were buckled and there’s only so much a training partner can do about that. Instead of throwing the barbell behind me.. it was coming forward and I was bending forward at the hips. Ladies and Gentlemen, I went from a squat to a good morning exercise with 310 lbs exhausted on my back. I tweaked my lower back from that, but was fine a week later. No permanent damage.

What would have made this squat deadly was the fact that my legs did not give out completely and I managed to do a good morning with 310 lbs and not a face plant to the ground.

Lessons learned from this ?

You may be thinking, train with less weight. Wrong.
You may be thinking, train with a better spotter. Wrong.
You may be thinking train legs and back together. Wrong.
You may be thinking full squats are dangerous. Wrong.

If I had to change anything that day from my experience, I would have used a cage with safety pins. That’s all. There’s no point with training with less weight when your goal is maximal strength and at that time it was. Always squat in a cage with safety pins.

Do you have any horror stories from squats ? Share them

Rob Lagana

Coach and Founder at Lagana Fitness
One of the Best, Most Established Online Personal Trainers in the Country

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