“OOH OOH, wave your bum in the air, OOH OOH, like you just don’t care!”
Wait, that’s not how the song goes.
So picture this. My face was slowly approaching the floor with a 70kg weight pressing down on the back of my neck. No, this is not the start of a Bruce Willis-style hit man film; it was in fact just me face planting the floor with a little help from a barbell in the gym. Just another embarrassing episode in my life – standard.
Gym fails, we’ve all been there. Whether it’s falling over equipment, dropping a weight on your foot or being flung off the running machine and onto your face. Embarrassing gym fails do not discriminate, and they are out to get you – no matter who you are, how many followers you have on Instagram and who you are with.
My gym fail
But back to the story at the beginning of this post. My worse gym fail was when I was training for the first time with my then boyfriend. I was doing kneeling hip thrusts on the squat rack, whilst he was chatting with one of his friends. I was shuffling forward on my knees to rest the bar back on the supports and because I had my hair in a ponytail it was hanging by the side of my face and obscuring my view of the right hand support. So, I thought I was lowering the bar onto the support, when I had in fact completely missed it. I only realised what had happened as my face was slowly approaching the floor and I was slooowly being pinning down via my neck by 70kg of barbell. Lucky I was going slowly, but by that point I was not strong enough to reverse the manoeuvre. My boyfriend’s friend was the one that noticed (“Um…. Holly, are you okay?“) that I was slowly suffering in silence whilst being pinned to the floor by the bar, and they both ran over and lifted the bar off me. To say I was embarrassed is an understatement.
The gym fail community
As an antidote to my burning face, I thought I would ask regular gym-goers if they had any juicy gym fails for me, to make myself feel better.
Lottie Lifts – AKA Charlotte Tulloch, 8K Instagram followers
“Probably the biggest fail was early on when I first started squatting. I was pretty skittish and very self conscious. I was re-racking the bar, and went in a little wonky. My plait whipped over my shoulder and got caught between the bar and the rack. I didn’t realise, and went to gracefully hop out from out of the rack – I left a good chunk of my hair there. Tried to play it cool but A.) It hurt, and B.) There’s only so smooth you can be when you’re scooping up handfuls of your own hair from the floor!”
“More recently, dropping 100kg on my finger and losing a nail – this obviously happened when I was a seasoned pro, so it stung pretty bad!”
You can read my full interview with Lottie Lifts here.
Beth_fitnessUK – AKA Beth Tomlinson, 542K Instagram followers
“I’ve definitely had my fair share of gym fails. Back when I used to think squatting on a bosu ball was a good idea, I slipped and fell onto some guy going ham on a rowing machine. I didn’t go back to that gym for a while!”
If you have any stories of your own, I would love to hear them! Please leave me a comment below!
“Normally I like to have a spot, but one day I decided to use the bench press alone as the weights area was empty and there was nobody to ask. After my set I confidently went to re-rack the bar and missed the left hook, which pinned me to the bench! I had to fight my way out from under the bar by pushing and wiggling. I’m SO glad that nobody saw!”
How to survive a gym fail
The way I see it, you have a few options here.
A.) You can own up to it, laugh at yourself and just announce that you like to add a fall in at the end of the set, flick your hair and walk away (around the corner)
B.) If you drop a weight on your foot, try not to yelp out in pain and just bend down and pretend you are doing up your shoe laces and then limp off around a corner
C.) You can keep your best poker face / death stare on and if you catch someone’s eye you can say “can I help you friend?” in your best Winston Wolfe voice. Then flick your hair and walk away (around the corner)
My point is that gym fails happen to everyone at some point no matter who you are or how experienced you are in the gym. There is no need to be embarrassed and you should just take it in your stride and laugh about it. Most of the time people are only looking at themselves in the mirror or talking to their friends to notice that you have missed a step on the stairmaster or dropped a dumbell on your face. Although, if you need urgent assistance then don’t be afraid to ask for it!
Who has a gym fail story they would like to share with the class? Drop me a comment below, I would love to hear them!
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