Gym ‘Accidents’

Its human nature, people hate to admit they are wrong and that they did something stupid that got them hurt. When people get hurt in the gym they call it an ‘accident’ in an effort to make it sound like it was something completely unforeseen and beyond their ability to prevent. 99% of gym injuries are not accidents, they are injury caused by using too much weight and bad form.

Accident An event occurring by chance or arising from unknown causes.

When I see people at the gym or see youtube videos of people lifting I cant help it, I pidgeonhole them into one of three boxes:

  1. They have good form, I’m going to compliment them on it
  2. They dont know what they are doing, thank god they are using light weights
  3. They are using way too much weight and have horrible form, they are going to get seriously injured – soon.

Unfortunately, very few are in box number one. Maybe once a month I will see someone whose form is so good that I go over and compliment them on it. In that same month I will see dozens of people using such horrible form that I can guarantee you they will get injured soon, form so bad that I wince and look the other way because I dont want to be watching when the ‘accident’ happens. Most often these people just mysteriously disappear and I never know if its because they moved or because I was correct and they got hurt bad. About once a month though I do get positive confirmation that I was right, they come into the gym with a cast, brace or sling.

Lets look at one of my favorite examples, the bodybuilding wonderchild, Lorenzo Becker who added 100 pounds muscle in a year – (I wonder how he did that, hmmm). By the way, I’m not picking on Lorenzo, he’s just one of many public figures who popularize this kind of bad form which countless teens emulate. He uploaded a video last month where he says, and I quote:

“I am back after a long time, and a lot of shit, this year hasn’t been as productive as the others…. lot of school work, a scooter accident, a deadlift injury …”

An accident? No. An accident is when a meteorite smashes your car on the way to pick up your 10 million dollar lottery winnings. Take a look at any of Lorenzos videos and watch his horrible form, he consistently uses way too much weight. Now a smart person would say. OK, I blew it. It was my fault that I got injured doing deadlift because I was doing something stupid but I have learned my lesson and wont do it again. What does Lorenzo do? He calls it a “deadlift accident” and rationalizes that it was something completely beyond his control and just keeps using his horrible form. As soon as he recovers, he starts working out again with his trademark bad form. Check out his form on the bicep curls here (time 1:20 – 1:40)

How long before he has another ‘accident’ and rips biceps tendon rip or throws out his lower back with his bouncy, swingy, jerky biceps curls? Now many would criticise me for not going up to people who I can tell are going to hurt themselves and correct their form before an injury happens. Have you ever attempted this? If so, you know exactly why its not possible. People lifting too much weight and using horrible form are not the kind of people who are receptive to advice, especially when it involves using less weight! Its only people who ask advice who are receptive to suggestions.