I Almost Died at the Gym Yesterday

I’ve been on the smaller side of the physical spectrum for the majority of my life.

Well, up until about 2 years ago that is. The “Freshman 15” turned into the “Freshman 50 and still counting”. In recent months I’ve been trying to lose weight, and succeeding I might add, but I’ve packed on quite the amount of body mass. In fact, here’s a look at me Senior Year of High School and me now:

18491775_289467541504175_1645616416860978682_o (1)
160 lbs
210 lbs

Because I was on the smaller side when I entered High School, I got picked on. It didn’t help that I was obnoxious and had a knack for looking like Harry Potter, but I digress.

Due to my size and the constant nagging of my only “friends”, I did what any normal guy would do. I hit the weight room.

Over the last 10 years, I have faithfully been a gym rat, but never to the extent of being “ripped.” I’ve maintained a steady level of mediocrity and I’m darn happy about that. #murica


Suffice it to say, I let my weight get a little out of hand last year and decided to make a change. I’ll post more about my health journey and acceptance of my body later, but I’ve found myself back in the gym shredding some major muscles.

This week has been great in terms of attendance and Friday I had one of the best workouts I can remember. The gym was relatively empty, no one was hogging a specific machine, and there wasn’t anyone dropping 100 lb weights on the ground as if to make up for their lack of masculinity. *rolling my eyes* #planetfitness #nojudgementzone #lolz

I don’t typically work out with anyone so that means I don’t have a “spotter.” For those of you who don’t know, a “spotter” is an individual tasked with the responsibility of saving your life if you happen to be unable to lift the weights.

Well, I didn’t have one.

I went over to the bench press machine and loaded it down with what I thought was an appropriate amount of weight. I completed my first set and felt great. I loaded another 20 lbs on to the bar. I nailed through my next set with a small increase of difficulty, but I knew that this was normal. I got off of the bench and loaded it down with another 10 lbs.


At this point I’m benching 175 lbs. I’m only 25 lbs away from lifting my own body weight (which is weird to think about.) I knew I could do 175. It was going to be a challenge to get to 5 reps, but I was going to try.

Well, I made it to 4.

As soon as I was lifting on the 4th rep, I experienced what we call “muscle failure.” It’s the point in which the muscles have been exhausted and are at the point of being torn (in a good way). I wanted to do one more. I needed to do one more. I could do it.

I lowered the 175 lbs on to my chest.

I took a very deep breath.

I exerted all of my energy.

The bar didn’t come off of my chest.

I had 175 lbs of metal weighing down on my rib cage.

I didn’t have a spotter.

I thought I was going to die.


Thankfully, I had a buddy near by so I called out his name to come save my life.


No response.

I strained my neck out from underneath the crushing weight of my failure and saw that he was wearing his ear phones.

Sure enough, I thought that this was the moment I would go to see Jesus. Death by muscle failure. Crushed by the weight of failed expectations. To be honest, I thought I would have a much more exciting death.

In the span of a second, I realized there was another gym rat sitting right next to me minding his own business. Typical weight lifters. No complaints on my end, except for the fact that I felt as though I were suffocating.

“Hey! Can you help me?!”

Thankfully, he didn’t have headphones on and he helped me pull the weight off of my chest.


I’m not dead, folks. In case you hadn’t noticed. However, I think that I need to make a few more friends in the gym in case this ever happens again.


Anywho, how is your weekend going? Any funny stories to share? Leave a comment below!

You are loved.

You are valued.

13 Replies to “I Almost Died at the Gym Yesterday”

  1. Yikes! I’m glad someone was there to help. I felt like I was dying tonight trying to complete the first day of that squat-push ups-leg lifts challenge. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of the month.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I thought I would have a much more exciting death” — WOW. This is riveting. You can WRITE! I was holding my breath through most of this.

    I’m glad you did not die!

    Believe it or not, this made me want to start going back to the gym. But with a friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first time I got pinned was hysterical. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t lift it off of me. I really didn’t know what to do. So I politely asked for help. I was kind of quiet about it. The attendant rescued me and we all had a good laugh “excuse me sir, could you please help me?”
    Laughing about myself with others was the moment I felt like I belonged.

    Liked by 2 people

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