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View Full Version : Interesting post from PLW by Sabre Schnitzer



ironheadPL
01-06-2010, 10:55 AM
Submitted by Sabre on January 5, 2010 - 8:02pm. » quote
Folks,

I've gotten a lot of email following this PLW post questioning how I was able to go from a 468 meet bench to a 505 gym bench in 30 days. The answer is simple - it was finally time to get the monkey off my back. I had a 485 gym bench for a while but was hindered by the aftermath of a bench accident and the ensuing monkey that was on my back. Christmas 09 was simply time to start a new phase of my lifting.

The longer answer is the story that follows. And this story is a lesson to all junior lifters out there - read on. The moral of this story is stupidity can kill you.

On March 16th, 2009 I almost died when I had a bench shirt accident where I dropped 500 on my face. I spent 7 hours in the trauma ward of a hospital that I can't even remember as they tried to put my face skull and jaw back together. The story is as follows:

• It was one week before USAPL Master's Nationals and I was trying to decide which of two bench shirts I was going to use. This was my first assisted meet since giving up on assisted lifting over a year prior. Thus, I was still dialing in my gear one week before the meet. Mistake #1.

• The first shirt was air with 500 but heavy with 550. So I switched to a shirt that I had done 550 easy the last time I wore it. I rushed to get the shirt on. Mistake #2.

• Because I was going back down to 500 after attempting 550 in my first shirt, I had the side spotters relax a few feet away from the bench and had just one spotter at the head of the bench who was inexperienced with heavy benches. BIG MISTAKE #3.

• I got the hand off and tried to get the bar down. It stopped a good two inches above my chest. When I tried to press, the bar cantilevered towards my head and fell right into my mouth. It tore off my lower lip, tore the tops off of four incisors, ripped out 5 molars and fractured my upper jaw/lower skull. The doctors in the trauma ward said that if the bar had fallen one inch higher or lower that I'd be dead. It all happened in super slow motion for me as I literally felt each molar being crushed and it stretching the sides of my mouth as it continued its downward movement. The spotters grabbed it as the bar reached the back of my throat.

• I have spent about 15 grand so far having my face fixed and teeth replaced and I'm only about 1/3 the way through. Insurance is going to cover roughly half of the costs and the rest I must submit to appeal after paying out of pocket. I wasn't handsome by any means before the accident and the accident didn't help any. My lower lip is still heavily scarred and almost completely numb. I had to relearn how to talk. For example, saying the letter ‘F’ is nearly impossible for me since my mouth no longer works the correct way.

• I had nightmares for months reliving the accident. Sleep was a very precious thing that avoided me for a very long time.

• So, on Christmas of 2009, I simply felt it time to get this monkey off my back and go for 500 again on the bench - but this time RAW. I was tired of being scared to do something that I knew I could do. I was comfortable in my rack and simply went for it at the peak of my 6 weak training cycle.

So the summary of this story for all you young kids out there just starting out - act stupidly and this sport can kill you - and I mean it.

- Don't think that you are indestructible - because you aren't.

- Don't ever take any lift for granted because you never know what can go wrong - equipment can fail, your body can fail, your spotters can fail.

- Don't attempt something that you are not ready for. Just because there are 1,000 lb benchers out there, doesn't mean that you will ever be one.

However, if you can train smartly, listen to your mentors, follow advice, keep an open mind, and set obtainable goals, anything is possible.

- Sabre

tnathletics2b
01-06-2010, 11:00 AM
I think I am going to be the one having nightmares after reading that...

AdamBAG
01-06-2010, 11:13 AM
This is why any time people start asking about bench shirts that my first question is "who do you train with and are they experienced" because they can be really, really, dangerous.

I train at a gym full of experienced, elite level lifters and we still have had things happen when guys are in a shirt. So what do you think might happen if you don't know what you are doing???

That's a really insightful post by Sabre.

SELK
01-06-2010, 11:21 AM
While learning a shirt I can't tell you how many times benching in a power rack with safety pins have saved my face. Even grabbing random lifters to side spot is not a great idea, people do not realize how quickly things can go bad in a shirt.

AdamBAG
01-06-2010, 11:39 AM
While learning a shirt I can't tell you how many times benching in a power rack with safety pins have saved my face. Even grabbing random lifters to side spot is not a great idea, people do not realize how quickly things can go bad in a shirt.

This is a good point. Having spotters that know shirt benching is really important because the way guys miss is going to loook a lot different than missing a bench raw and it can happen fast.

Robert Crawford
01-06-2010, 01:04 PM
Brain,

Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you recover fully.

Your experience provides a valuable lesson. We should lift inside a power rack or bench with spotting attachments such as those on ER equipment.

Good luck.

Robert Crawford

Detard
01-06-2010, 01:20 PM
Wow, just wow. Thats a horrible story. Glad that he is on the road to recovery now.

I remember spotting a bench somewhere in the 800's and it dumped. We caught it with no problems but I remember thinking, damn if we werent here, there would have been some SERIOUS damage.

ironheadPL
01-06-2010, 01:23 PM
Brain,

Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you recover fully.

Your experience provides a valuable lesson. We should lift inside a power rack or bench with spotting attachments such as those on ER equipment.

Good luck.

Robert Crawford

this is actually Sabre's story. :)

Brian Hopper
01-06-2010, 01:39 PM
I wish I never read this post because know it's going to bother the hell out of me. But other then that, this guy gets alot of credit and props for him to come back like he did and to do it raw. Good luck at the RUM!!!

SEOINAGE
01-06-2010, 01:56 PM
Yeah I learned the same lesson the hard way, made a few big mistakes, but hopefully now I will be more careful, I travel pretty far now if I really want to bench in a shirt and those guys really help me out and watch my back so to say. If anyone is new to equipped lifting just remember to have some serious spotters and really be extra cautious. I'm lucky my face didn't get as tore up as that guy, but not having insurance it was still a burden. I just hope others can realize that it could happen to them especially without proper precautions, I got stupid and put my shirt on and grabbed inexperienced people to spot me because I really wanted to lift heavy right before I went on my honeymoon, sometimes too much desire can get you hurt.

JK1
01-06-2010, 04:23 PM
This is why we pretty much always bench heavy in a rack for everything but meets. Its just safer.

ScottYard
01-06-2010, 04:42 PM
To be honest this type of thing is the main reason I took the shirt off and have kept it off. When I was consistently hitting 800 plus I started to get severe forearm pains where I broke my arm as a kid. I would almost dump weights b.c I thought my arm would break. Then it seemed like once a month some ones arm would break with a big bench attempt and that pushed me over the edge. I feel really bad for this guy, but it looks like he didnt need pity and got back on the horse and is doing great.

Great comeback story

h.t.hall
01-06-2010, 05:03 PM
To be honest this type of thing is the main reason I took the shirt off and have kept it off. When I was consistently hitting 800 plus I started to get severe forearm pains where I broke my arm as a kid. I would almost dump weights b.c I thought my arm would break. Then it seemed like once a month some ones arm would break with a big bench attempt and that pushed me over the edge. I feel really bad for this guy, but it looks like he didnt need pity and got back on the horse and is doing great.

Great comeback story


Do you now plan to compete without equipment ?
It seems a lot of people think equipment prevents injuries from happening but a lot of others feel equipment makes lifts more dangerous...which is it ? Or is it different for any lift ?
Great comeback story indeed...

str8flexed
01-06-2010, 07:45 PM
I have but respect for equipped lifters but it always makes me wonder when they say equipped is 'safer.' really?

Sabre and I have been chatting over email for a few days and he actually told me this story on monday before he posted it on PLW. Needless to say, my pec tear pales in comparison to that benching nightmare!

chris mason
01-06-2010, 10:01 PM
A good cautionary bit of advice.

gatorman2k6
01-06-2010, 10:15 PM
Do you now plan to compete without equipment ?
It seems a lot of people think equipment prevents injuries from happening but a lot of others feel equipment makes lifts more dangerous...which is it ? Or is it different for any lift ?
Great comeback story indeed...

Scott already does compete raw. He has a journal here too, so that you can see everything he does. He can correct me, but I think his meet bests for each lift are 750 squat and deadlift and a 505 bench. He can answer the other questions though.

Eric Downey
01-06-2010, 10:49 PM
glad your on the road to recovery. see you in a few weeks bro

Kipper
02-05-2010, 05:42 AM
I dislocated a few disks once when I ****ed up a deadlift. I couldn´t stand or sit straight for months.