10 Epic Weightlifting Fails | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

10 Epic Weightlifting Fails

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Jun 30, 2021

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  • While the videos below may be funny, it is important to not attempt to replicate them.
  • Always use caution and best lifting practices when performing any weightlifting movements.
  • Always wear the appropriate attire for the activity that you are engaging in.

We’ve all done it: tried to lift too much too soon, worn ridiculous workout clothes, or made a fool of ourselves while weight training. But these ten weightlifting fails will remind you that if you’re going to film yourself working out, be sure to delete any embarrassing video immediately afterward.

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#1 – Make Sure Your Clothes Are Gym-Appropriate

Or, as this YouTube user so pithily puts it: “Why not to wear board shorts while squatting.”  Yes, just as he lifts that 400-pound weight and gets into his squat, if you listen closely, you can hear the telltale sound of cloth parting, as the entire gym gets a good look at his glutes.

Fortunately for our educator, he found another pair of shorts in his car, and was able to continue with his squats.  Although he did, perhaps, take a moment to check behind him first.

#2 – Keep Your Hair Tightly Bound and Away From Any Machinery

Or, alternatively, “Don’t film yourself working out if there’s any sort of chance you’ll do something stupid, because it WILL wind up on the Internet.”  This nameless soul who wound up being scalped by his exercise machine sadly did not offer us any perspective on his workout plan.

Although, honestly, we want to know more about that awesome tiger poster.  How did he manage to scrape that off the side of a van in one piece?

#3 – Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You know who we feel bad for in this particular video? We feel bad for the fish. They’re not the ones filming their routine for YouTube. They’re not the ones swinging weights around in tight spaces without being aware of others.  And yet, they pay the price. Who will think about the fish?!

#4 – Try to Have Your Spotter in the Room and Not Your Mom!

We don’t understand this fascination with recording yourself lifting. Wouldn’t a mirror be a lot cheaper? And if something embarrassing happens, it makes much more sense to delete the video rather than upload it for all to see.

But if you have to do all of these things, at least have the good sense to have a spotter who is somebody other than your mom, because we’re pretty sure that out of all the videos we’re going to see, this guy calling for his mom to help him is the most pathetic.

#5 – Properly Test Your Equipment

You know, there are some videos where all you have to see is the first couple of seconds and you already know how it’s going to end.  Which doesn’t make the onrushing train of comedy any less funny.

Guys, if you’re reading, crunches while on a guys back are probably not an ideal exercise, even in a garage. (Unless you want your epic fail to land on the Internet. Then, it’s perfect.)

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#6 – Make Sure Your Weights Are Completely Secure

With this, we move out of the realm of amateurs trying to exercise, and into the realm of professionals exhibiting less-than-professional performance.  In this case, we have an unidentified weightlifter who really needs to familiarize himself with righty-tighty-lefty-loosey.

#7 – Wear a Cup

We’re surprised it took us this long to get to a groin injury, too.  You’d think guys in gyms across the world take one in the family jewels every day, and video cameras have to be recording.

YouTube should be a festival of weightlifters receiving a shot to the groin, but this one we love because of how the weight drifts slowly … slowly … slowly … and then OUCH!

The kid was OK, for those wondering and got a valuable lesson in not biting off more than you can chew.  Also, in wearing jockstraps.

#8 – If You Think You Can’t Handle the Weight, Drop It

Shemshat Tuliayeva, of Belarus, is actually a fairly talented weightlifter.  In just two seasons, she’s ranked in the top 10 in the World Championships, and brought home two bronze medals in the European Championships.

That said, even champions and experienced professional athletes have their off days.  Fortunately, as you can tell, Shemshat wasn’t hurt.

Well, maybe her pride was a little bruised.  But at least she wasn’t Ri Kyong Sok.

#9 -No, Seriously, Read # 8 Again. It’s a Good Idea.

Weightlifter Ri Kyong-Sok comes from the country of North Korea, notable for being led by an insane dictator and for having large groups perform gymnastics and calisthenics together.

He’s not from a place where, “It’s OK if you need to stop,” is part of the national language.

And his career seems sadly predicted by this video, which happened at the World Championships in 2007 and led to his winning of zero medals in the 2008 Olympics.

But, dude, seriously, don’t let a weight hit you in the head.

#10 – Once You Get Everything Secured, It’s OK To Pass Out

Fun fact: science recently determined that intense pressure on your abdomen can back up blood leaving the brain, causing temporary amnesia.

Which explains why Mike Guay: a) passed out after squatting 1025 pounds (!!!) and b) calmly asked his concerned crew why, exactly, he was lying on the floor when he woke up a few seconds later.

We imagined they replied with something along the lines of “You’re taking a well-deserved break, Mike.”

Final Reminders

In there’s one thing we can learn from these videos, it’s safety first! Be sure to:

  • Use spotters for major lifts
  • Use proper lifting technique, including keeping your back straight
  • Stop if you feel pain
  • Wear weightlifting shoes with good treads
  • Only work out with what you know you can lift safely

Above all, use a personal trainer or an individualized workout plan like the ones offered in Exercise.com’s PRO plan. Sign up today to get started.

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