Squat To Death

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A small portion of some of the plates in Brian’s gym.

Talking with Brian is always a treat.  By mid-life there are extremely few of us who’s lives revolve around performance training.  And though I can no longer move heavy poundages, it’s really about pushing oneself in any way possible.

Brian knows.  He gets it, and older than me, has been training for close to half a decade.  Each time we talk he’s got great stories and recently he shared a real doozy.

This past winter he was lifting with a regular training buddy, a guy who for years suffered from insomnia, I’ll refer to as Z-man.  The two had just completed a heavy squat workout and Z-man complained he was really tired.  “My lungs feel cold,” he said.

Up north and without heat, the garage gym some times drops to below zero; Brian didn’t think anything of it and suggested Z-man go into the house to rest.  After unloading the bar Brian went in too and, despite their informal relationship, was a bit surprised to find Z-man laying on the kitchen floor.  It had happened in the past though with Z-man always looking to catch a quick nap… and apparently he’d wasted no time.  Z-man was barely awake as Brian stepped into the other room for a word with his girlfriend.

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Under the leg press, a huge lump of quarry chain.

He thought he heard Z-man begin to snore loudly but when he stepped back into the kitchen he found Z-man lying utterly rigid almost catatonic. He was unresponsive and looked in serious trouble.

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More quarry chain.  Brian’s a pretty big guy so you get an idea of how large and heavy these are… about five hundred pounds in this photo.

Brian had his girlfriend dial 911.  Neither of them knew CPR so they did a rough approximation.  I don’t recall how he said it but it was something like, “We more or less gave it a shot.”

When the paramedics arrived they jolted with the defibrillator several times but that was all she wrote for Z-man.

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Brian at the squat rack of death.

“How sweet is that?” I asked Brian.  “I can hardly think of a better way to go that to drop dead from heavy squats.”  Much as he was sorry for losing one of the rare few lifters, Brian had to agree.

‘Cause when you see someone elderly suffer month after month, like my mom did at 91, squatting to death sounds not only mercifully quick, it’ll get you into lifting Valhalla!  🙂

2 thoughts on “Squat To Death

    1. Sad though the subject is, the way it was relayed made it humorous to me too! Of particular humor was the “death rattle” being mistook it for loud snoring (delivered in my buddy’s cynical and dismayed tone). Of course, I’m sad my friend lost his fellow trainee but it really wouldn’t be a bad way to go…

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