View Full Version : Post Your Epic Fail

Dave Van Skike
04-19-2009, 04:31 PM
In the spirity of the PR thread, I propose adjuct...significant failures, big and small that you hopefully learned from.

1. what was the fail?
2. what did you learn?
3. what's your next move?

Dave Van Skike
04-19-2009, 04:39 PM
I'll go first.

Saturday AM.

Was cued up for a benchmark PR. Felt certain I could pull somewhere between 460-515 for between 8-10 reps. the percentages were for 475 by as many, anything over 7 would be PR. I had put 475x10 in my head all week.

called an audible and loaded 500 and decided to go for 8, hooked. Stoopid. I got 5, and 6 was going up ugly when I bailed.

Fail. today my low back hurts..and that never happens.

Should have stuck with the plan and taken a respectable victory at 475x whatever.

lesson: Check ego at the door. trust the numbers. stick with the plan.

Now I need to reset the %'s.

Allen Yeh
04-19-2009, 05:16 PM
Last week when I was working out I saw a Marine doing some clean and jerks, he kept struggling with the jerks so I told him to try not sitting back on the jerk and to just bend the knees. He seemed confused so a little later on I was going to show him what I meant. I wasn't thinking at all and ended up powercleaning 195 and then failing miserably on the jerk and ended up flat on my back with the metal weights slamming to the floor.

Super embarrassing. Especially since prior to cleaning the bar I didn't even realize he had added more weight to the bar, I thought it was just 135. Oops.

I'm just glad I didn't hurt myself

Lesson: Pay attention, dammit.

Mike ODonnell
04-19-2009, 05:31 PM
Through many horrific yet spectacular mountain bike crashes....I learned:
- never focus on the things you want to avoid (look where you want to go down the hill, not at the tree)
- if you think you can't....then you won't (especially when trying to go across a small board bridge and saying "Holy crap I'm going to fall")
- the more I crashed....the quicker I got back up and kept going

Arien Malec
04-19-2009, 05:43 PM
I'll post two:

a) Went from reasonably fit (in an endurance athlete mode) to horribly overweight
b) Watch out for incremental crappiness
c) i) Embrace the horribly overweight, just made of different stuff, ii) Get good at fat loss

a) Have completely stalled at sn & c&j by focusing on technique, strength, fat loss, mass gain, etc. all at the same time
b) Stength & technique are everything for oly lifting -- and focus on one thing and succeed before moving on to something else
c) Get strong, damnit. 150kg fs or bust.

Kevin Perry
04-19-2009, 07:22 PM
1. That I suck at my own programming and can't commit to any specific training and make gains from it which would explain why my progress has been subpar the last year.

2. Learned that I need to get an actual coach to do the programing for me, eat more, rest more, repeat.

3. Follow the program I got earlier this week.. stick with it and get strong as hell

Yuen Sohn
04-19-2009, 08:20 PM
At the LBH team outing (http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1462) two years ago, I was warming up to lift on the outdoors platform. As I descended into my first (fast) air squat, I felt a sudden and incredibly sharp pain in my right butt cheek. At that moment, I locked eyes with my friend Jess. She would later say my face was frozen in sheer terror, as if I had just seen a ghost. I immediately turned around only to discover that I had squatted directly onto the sharpened point of a small tree stump. Had I been standing one inch further to the right, it would have been a total disaster.

I will never hear the end of this from my teammates.

Lesson learned: Always look before you squat!
Next move: I'm going to destroy that stump when I return this summer, then proceed to snatch over 100.

Another time, I was warming up at a meet. On my last snatch warm-up, I receive the bar way forward and, rather than bailing, decide to recover and run forward. As I'm about to run off the warm-up platform, I look up and see a startled Artie Drechsler (author of the Weightlifting Encyclopedia) directly in my path. Rather than take out Artie, I immediately drop the bar to my thighs, lose balance, hit a support pillar and fall flat on my ass, the final insult being the bar rolling completely over my humiliated body. I decided to lower my opener by 2kgs immediately after that.

Lesson learned: Pick and choose your battles. Not every weight is worth saving. Secondly, don't hesitate to lower your openers; they're not set in stone. And finally, treat every lift like a new lift, no matter how badly things are going. I actually ended up PRing on my 3rd attempt, somehow.

Don Stevenson
04-19-2009, 08:30 PM
Good thread Dave!

Last monday, squatting alone in the gym ( I mean completely alone, no one else in the gym at all)

Pushed for a couple of rep PRs , 170kg x3 ok, 180x4 ok, 170x5, failed on the the last rep and had to bail.

Super case of DOMS all week that kinda ruined my training for the next 3 days.

Lessons learned

1. In retrospect things could have gone horribly wrong and there was no one nearby to even call for help.

2. short term satisfaction in doing a PR cost me valuable training time later.

Derek Weaver
04-19-2009, 10:36 PM
1) Program jumping is disaster in the making.

2) Kinda crazy story along the lines of Don's story:
I was warming up over the summer of '08 (just last summer) for a backsquat workout with my first warmup set @135lbs. I sat back, getting a good descent on my low bar backsquat, when I got too much backwards and started to lose it.

Reflexively, I step backwards, in the bottom of a squat to keep from eating it. I end up doing the chicken dance and finally stabilize a solid 45 degrees turned from my original set up. Miraculously, I wasn't hurt and ended up having a decent workout considering how shaken up I was.

Lesson: learn how to bail on any lift, anytime.

Brandon Oto
04-20-2009, 03:30 PM

Lesson: don't put your chalk right the fuck there.

Dave Van Skike
04-20-2009, 04:15 PM
Patterns emerge.....

Program ADD=Fail

Anyone can see the trees, go to the space between them

Anyone thinks they can attack a big weight, go after the biggest one you know you can get first.

Everyone wants to be able to do everything, success comes when you do one thing and then you do the next thing.

Keep it going...

Darryl Shaw
04-21-2009, 06:46 AM
Last year about a week before my 40th birthday I set a new 1RM for weighted pull-ups of 37kg at 57kgBW so the following workout I decided to try for a new PB with 1 arm pull-ups. I flew up for the first rep, the second was almost as quick but the third rep resulted in an audible snap in my elbow which had me rolling on the floor swearing for a good ten minutes.

A year later and my elbow still hurts but as I'm just about back up to my 1RM for weighted pull-ups I'm going to try for 41kg before my 41st birthday only this time if I make it I'm going to take a week or two off from any pulling exercises until I'm sure everythings recovered.

Lesson learned: no matter how strong you feel ligaments and tendons need some rest after they've been stretched to the limit.

Alan O'Donnell
04-21-2009, 06:21 PM
This thread is gonna be fantastic. I'm fairly new to lifting heavy things, so it's great get all this advice at the beginning.

In my limited experience, I'd say I fall in the "program ADD" camp. Lately I've gotten much more focused and it's helped a ton - I'm expecting to make very significant progress by the end of the summer. I'm also impatient (hah yeah) - I tend to do a bit too much per workout which has led to a lot of minor, nagging injuries.

Darryl, at what point in your weighted pullup training were you able to do a 1-arm chin? I always assumed you'd need to be pretty close to 2xBW - is it just a different kind of skill?

Steven Low
04-21-2009, 06:46 PM
Darryl, at what point in your weighted pullup training were you able to do a 1-arm chin? I always assumed you'd need to be pretty close to 2xBW - is it just a different kind of skill?

From my experience, if you can do +80-90% bodyweight pull/chin you probably have enough strength to do OAC/OAP with a bit of practice. There is some technique to it as well.... check out beastskills.com for the explanation.

Grissim Connery
04-21-2009, 10:38 PM
1. I was at a Robert Drysdale seminar and afterwards when we were all rolling, i tried to do a negative pass on him. it didnt' work...

i learned that robert drysdale is really good, and i'm not.

2. one time when i tried to play a fancy half guard against a tough mma guy, i got bloodied up pretty bad.

i learned that not everything you do in grappling you can get away with in a real fight.

3. back when i played lacrosse, i used to try to pull dodges against my dog. i would over exaggerate my cradling, and twice i hit myself in the face with my own stick. one of these times i chipped my tooth.

i learned that your dog will never judge you for looking like an idiot. dogs are the best.

4. this one's pretty self explanatory. if you think a guy knows a lot of judo, don't ber stubborn. just pull guard. also, learning to breakfall well is important.

5. i think we all have our own story with this one, and probably several at that. when the skin on your hand rips/pops off, the workout is over. that is, unless you're only within 20 pullups of being done...

Darryl Shaw
04-22-2009, 06:12 AM
Darryl, at what point in your weighted pullup training were you able to do a 1-arm chin? I always assumed you'd need to be pretty close to 2xBW - is it just a different kind of skill?

Steven's the one to ask really as he's the expert on this kind of stuff.

In my case I was able to do 1-arm chin-ups long before I ever attempted any kind of weighted chin-ups or pull-ups. I think I was probably about 10 or 11 the first time anyone commented on me doing them but I can't remember a time when I couldn't do them. It's just one of those things, I'm small (5'6.5'') and light (125 lbs) and I spent most of my childhood climbing things and generally scaring the cr*p out of my parents by swinging around high up in trees or on anything else that looked like it might be fun to climb so the pulling strength just developed naturally while I was having fun.

Looking back I guess I did a lot of asymmetric pulling and there would have been a lot of straight arm work while I was swinging around or just hanging off things one handed, which used to really freak out my mother :D, plus the amount of time I spent climbing things meant I was doing gtg pretty much all the time so that might be a good way to start developing strength. I don't know if that helps any though so if you're looking for an actual training program you should probably do like steven said and go to beastskills.com.

Derek Simonds
04-22-2009, 07:08 AM
We were doing a crossfit total at Leo's place and I moved the bar lower on my back then I had been training with and when I got to my second or third warmup I pushed my hips back and my lower back just started screaming. I finished the rep and then walked around talking to myself for a good 10 minutes until Leo yelled at me that I was getting cold and needed to lift again. I did manage a PR but paid for it for the next two weeks.

Lesson learned much like any other sports don't make adjustments during the game. Do what you practiced and nothing else! That pretty much applies to every single thing I do now.

Grissim I agree with everything you said especially after training Judo with Gant and his teammates the other evening. Thankfully I was in Akido for many years and am really comfortable breakfalling.

Gant Grimes
04-22-2009, 07:35 AM
Rule of the woods: plan your hunt and hunt your plan.

My best judo lesson is don't try to fight your way out of a bad grip. It's 90/10 for a reason. I've taken a lot of falls trying to get out of a 10.

Mike ODonnell
04-22-2009, 08:37 AM
Some other great fails.....mostly neglecting warmup and ROM training/focus.....

#1) showed up for a hockey game late...skipped any type of warmup...just went into the game.....at some point was skating.....got tripped over the goalie....scored....landed all wrong on my leg under me....felt something *pop* on my right rear glut/hip.....crawled off ice.....couldn't sleep without waking up in pain for days.

#2) No warmup, went for a trail run.....sprinted some hills....then felt my left calf seize going up one hill......then limped 2 miles up and down trails back to the car.

all injuries that I can feel to this day (as it has been years) and a great permanent reminder of why I need to warmup...and why I need to do Yoga.

Adolfo Riveron
04-22-2009, 11:12 AM
Took a week off. Came back and hit PR's the first day.

I decide to play basketball and kill my ankle. Rolled it awfully. I cant walk on it,
......so much for my snatch and clean and jerk goals. Now for the sedentary life

I should stay away from sports

Yuen Sohn
04-23-2009, 07:06 AM
Another fail of mine was spraining my wrist pretty badly during a PR attempt squat clean a couple years ago. It took about 3 months until it actually felt normal again. The problems were 1.) the increase in weight was too large relative to my max 2.) I was fatigued (having already missed at that weight twice) and 3.) I got lazy with the elbow whip.

Lessons learned:
-That I need to always channel as much aggression into the elbow whip as I do with the 2nd pull.
-Take smaller jumps approaching 1RM weights
-Keep PR attempts to ~4kg or under for snatch or clean and jerk...that's just what works for me.
-Ignore peer pressure and know when to call it a day
...in retrospect, these all seem like no-brainers, but I guess I had to learn the hard way.

Next Steps:
On the bright side, the time off from being injured gave me the chance to re-evaluate my clean technique and rebuild it from square one. I ended up losing the arm pull and really improved my overall positioning.

Arden Cogar Jr.
04-23-2009, 12:08 PM
For me, it was when I was first learning to squat clean. I had 225 or 102 on the bar and I was set to do doubles. I was doing two sets. On the first rep of the first set, I caught the bar a bit high and rode it down. Then somehow my weight shifted a bit and I fell backwards. Luckily I had the presence of mind to shove the weight away from me before I got trapped by the bar. Ended up on my duff with a red face.

Not to admit the defeat or the embarssment, I immediately stood up, grabbed the bar again and proceeded to my second rep.

The 2nd rep was even less graceful than the first.

It was awesome. Unfortuantely, I didn't record it. I wish I had. It was realllllly embarassing. Oh, and I skipped the 2nd set. As it was the Y - a larger gym - and it was pretty busy that day. One of the trainers came up to me afterwards, and he's not afraid of me in any way despite my ogre like appearance, and commented "so, you're not quite grasping 'the squat' part of the 'squat clean' are you?" :o We had a good laugh and it was all good.

What I learned - use lighter, completely controllable weights when you're learning a complex movement.

Next step - my OCD personality pretty much speaks for itself. I still don't feel completely competent in the movement, but my confidence has increased dramatically. I've gotten to a point where I feel I can squat clean just about whatever I can front squat - but I've not tried it, I just feel that way for some reason. No way in blue hell I can jerk that now, but that's only part of the process.

All the best,

Chris Forbis
04-23-2009, 05:36 PM
Then somehow my weight shifted a bit and I fell backwards. Luckily I had the presence of mind to shove the weight away from me before I got trapped by the bar. Ended up on my duff with a red face.

Heh. I've had this happen to me. But I'm a skinny bastard that can fit underneath the bar (when loaded with 45# weights) so I don't have to worry about trapping myself.

Arden Cogar Jr.
04-24-2009, 07:04 AM
Ew, forgot about one from my college days when I was powerlifting. All suited/wrapped/cramped up at a globo gym at peak hours, screaming my head off, getting all pscyhed up with my power lifter buddies. A group of five us trained together and we were all doing the same meet. We used to beat the absolute shit outta one another before a near max lift. It was awesome. Got some pictures of some nice bruises to prove it.

I believe we were about 10 days out from the meet and I was working my way up to my openers in the squat. Had on old Ernie Frantz suit on. It was single ply (this was the late 80s). Anyway, the squat stands face away from the rest of the gym. So when you backed out with the weight on your shoulders, other gym members would either see your ass or the dude who was spotting you from behind.

Since the weight wasn't overly heavy - as it was an opener, I didn't have a spotter behind me. As I walked it out, I had two spotters on the side. I reckon the weight would have been in the mid 500s. I was lifting in the 220s then. As I went into the hole, the ass of the squat suit ripped loud as all hell - beyond that the whole ass end of the suit literally shredded from my taint to about the middle of my back. I reckon the whole gym saw at least a portion of my ass crack - as we were all wearing the "old school floral print banana hammock buy your underwear in a tube" at the time.

Got up with the weight. Racked it. Undid my knee wraps and did the walk of shame to the locker room to change back into my shorts. I got at least a dozen thumbs up from other members in the gym. Not sweet.

What did I learn - still don't know.
What did I do differently - still trying to figure that one out too.

Oh yeah, anyone ever crap themselves on a reallllllly heavy set of squats before? That's a story for a different time.

all the best,

Duke McCall
04-24-2009, 07:47 AM
Well, I am not sure it constitutes an EPIC FAIL, but I learned again last week--the hard way--about the need to pay attention when lifting. I was working on rack jerks when I remembered something I needed to tell my wife. I ran up stairs and spoke to her for a couple of minutes before running back downstairs to resume my workout. I was still thinking about our conversation when I started my last set of rack jerks. Lost in thought, I neglected to pull my head back. The collision between the bar and my chin was violent enough to chip a tooth and nearly knocked my out. Fortunately, muscle memory took over and I completed the lift without dropping the bar on my head.

After the cobwebs cleared, I finished my workout with a bit more focus on what I was doing and no more problems. But I am having to fight the urge now not to push the bar forward on my jerks.

Chris H Laing
05-08-2009, 03:53 PM
Oh yeah, anyone ever crap themselves on a reallllllly heavy set of squats before? That's a story for a different time.

Almost, once during SS. But i was lucky enough to hold it in and make it to the toilet after finishing my set...barely.