Mom! I’m Ok!!!

From near tragedy to endearing with the swiftness only The Facebook can produce.

There are two decent commercial gyms in our immediate area to lift at if you’re not lucky to have a garage full of iron and platforms; Animal House gym (my favorite) and Brickyard Gym. Both have owners who are awesome, John at AH and Kenny at the Brickyard. Both have a large clientele of Powerlifters; Body Builders; normal folks of all ages; and silly people. The silly people at the Brickyard are the reason I don’t go there. The screaming and grunting and not cleaning up after yourself type atmosphere doesn’t fit my style but many of the people there are so awesome and I always enjoy seeing them around town. John over at Animal House runs a pretty tight ship and is able to have (and enforce) rules while still giving lots of space to each person training.

For the most part, respect is given at each place and in fact it’s very common for our strong friends to post training videos or updates from either gym in any given week. We’re spoiled that way. When the throwing season is over, I’ll be back at AH at least once a week for some Lat Pulldowns and whatever else fun machine helped get me set up for this season.


Yesterday’s training video came out of the Brickyard by our friend Eric. Eric is a Milwaukee cop, a very strong Milwaukee cop. He’s tons of fun, a very sweet man, and a lifter at last spring’s Relentless meet up in Minnesooota. He’s trying out different stances and such with a new lifting suit and decided to squat 605# a couple of times. Due to his wide stance, he wasn’t able to squat in the rack so three very brave spotters stepped up to the plate and helped him out. BTW, no, I’m not posting the video. I don’t want to read any moronic comments about spotters not doing their jobs.

The first rep was fine. Strong and though a bit high, Eric knows it and knows why. The second rep found the bar sliding a little too far down Eric’s back and as his right knee shifted in towards the bottom, the lift was lost and Eric crumpled under the load. You can see the side spotters try to grab at the bar (thank god they didn’t, idiots) and the rear spot try to get the hellz out of the way. Here’s the after picture of the poor guy, taken from Eric’s FB…

Of course the immediate reaction by silly people were that the spotters didn’t do their jobs. SRSLY? Recap. A spotters job is to AID A MISSED ATTEMPT, not to dive in and grab a bar from a lifter who’s bailed. Duh. Now, lifters bail out of attempts for various reasons and I wasn’t there so I trust it was something dire since Eric is a seasoned veteran. As 605# came crashing down (rather suddenly and quickly I might add), the only option is to get the flying fok out of the way. I’m assuming these guys will think long and hard about spotting in this type situation again but the important part is that no one was hurt seriously in what could have been a pretty messy outcome. As it is, the bar crashing to the floor and four bodies strewn about looked far more dramatic than it was. Thank goodness.

The best part of this entire post? One of the last comments from Eric who first tagged a woman’s name (with his last name so safe to assume it’s a relative) and the words, ‘Mom!! I’m ok!!!!!’ It was adorable. See, no matter how old our kids get, we worry. My Zac posts pictures of himself at work over four stories high and it makes me want to throw up. He’s always sure to send a text or make a comment of “I’m ok Ma” so I won’t worry. Good boys.

At the end of the day, it’s good to have someone to go to that no matter how silly we are we can say, ‘hey, I’m ok.’

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Mark Twain

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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