Fitness Fail: Guy Passes Out After Deadlifting Too Much Weight

April 9, 2013

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"Fitness Fail" is an occasional series lowlighting the most egregious offenses in strength training on the Internet. Consider it a gym goer's guide to what NOT to do.

Ever tried to prove your manliness in the gym by packing on way more plates than you can actually lift? If so, "Johnny, I Can Deadlift More Than You" in the video above shows you what you really look like. Executive summary: It’s not pretty.

Sure, you probably think that lifting major L-Bs impresses your friends. But guess what? Everybody can tell when you’re in over your head, just like Johnny. Act like him and your workout will draw attention for all the wrong reasons, just like his did. (Watch Roy Hibbert perform a Deadlift with perfect form.)

Nearly two million people have watched this clip on YouTube, and not because they’re admiring his form. More likely, they're fascinated by the part where he passes out and smashes his face into solid iron.

So let’s break down everything that went wrong here.

First, the weight was obviously excessive. The load caused him to break form and raise his hips too quickly.

Then, he rounded his back (which is basically just asking for an injury), and muscled the weight to the top of the lift. He completed the rep, but it shouldn’t even count with such atrocious form.

Finally, he lets out a war cry and the obligatory arm flex after the lift, which succeeds only in making him look like a D-bag. Worse: It probably sucked out the last bit of oxygen going to his brain, putting him on a one-way trip to Faint-town.

The real issue is that he passed out from the max effort. Did his (many) technique issues cause him to zonk? It’s hard to say. The moral of the story is to never push your body beyond its limit. If you can’t complete an exercise with perfect form, then don’t do it.

For more info on Deadlifting technique, read how to master the different Deadlift variations.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
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