Category: Gym Fail Stories

Gym Fail Stories

Gym fails. We see them all the time in the gym and love to watch the hilarious clips of the strange things gym idiots do. However, we do not always have a camera at the ready to catch everything we see. So, this is a place for you to share your Funny Gym Fails; whether they be your own or something you witnessed. Send us your best, and worst, gym fail stories in the comments below or by emailing us! If they are funny enough, we will repost them to The Strength Blog!

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Gym Fail Stories

Funny Gym Fail Stories

Funny Gym Fail Stories

Do you have some funny gym fail stories you want to share to the world? Share them here, by commenting your story below or emailing us! If they are funny enough, I will repost them to The Strength Blog

Now, to start it off, I have two funny stories for you! The first is one that I witnessed in person. The second is one I was told years ago, and is absolutely dumbfounding and hilarious!

Both took place in our local Powerlifting Gym. Actually, they both happened in the exact same location in the gym…at the squat rack, where all good things happen! Enjoy!

Funny Gym Fail Story #1: The Full Nelson Spotter!

by Ryan J. Mathias

The Set-Up

First, I am a powerlifter and have a powerlifting team, the Strength Warriors. Needless to say, I am at the gym a lot, and, just like many of you, I see a lot of dumb stuff. However, this is one of the best gyms fails I have ever heard of or had the privilege of seeing in person. 

It is a typical day at the gym, where I am in the back powerlifting room warming up for a nice squat workout on one of the 3 squat racks in the gym. On this day, the gym owner was also doing some squats in the main hallway, just outside the powerlifting room’s doorway. So, as usual, between my squat sets, I would go out into the main hallway and have the normal gym bro conversations.

The Gym Idiots

While this is going on, our three teenage gym idiots walk in. You know, the ones that wear gloves to workout, quarter rep everything, and always have to use the pu$$y-pad on the bar for squats. THOSE guys. We will call them Tall, Short, and Plump; which also best describes their figure.

These three gym idiots walk to the end of the hall, near the exit, and take the third and final squat rack. 

Between sets, the gym owner and I keep an eye on them for a bit of humor but let them do their thing because they are not really doing anything wrong…yet. They are beginners and do what we all had to do as beginners at first, which is figure things out.

We probably could have talked to them at any point during this entire scenario, and given suggestions. However, it probably would not have stuck. They likely would have felt embarrassed and discouraged from continuing if we told them everything they were doing was wrong anyway. So we let them learn at their own pace, as they were not hurting anything.

They proceeded to take turns doing a few light sets with the bar and maybe 115 pounds. Then, it all changed in an instant…

The Gym Fails

Now, up until this point, everything was fine. Typical beginner stuff.

  • They had the safety bars set WAY too low. 
  • The adjustable rack was set too high.
  • Plus, they quarter repped everything.

After they finished their warm-ups to 135, they all came to agree 155 was the next best weight. However, Short was not so sure about this new weight. Tall and Plump encouraged him and said they could spot him in case he needed help. Short agreed, so Tall and Plump went to either side of the bar to side-spot him.

Problem #1: With this new weight, Short was not tall enough or strong enough to unrack the weight from the hooks. 

Solution #1: Tall told Plump to lift the weight off the rack with him and they would set it on Short’s back so he could squat it.

A bad idea and gym fail, but they survived.

The Gym Fail Grand Finale

Now, as soon as the weight was set on Short’s back he immediately was not comfortable with the situation. The mere 155 pounds, which was likely 30 or so pounds over his bodyweight, was too much for him to squat. 

“Don’t worry. I’ll come to spot you!” said Tall.

So, Tall leaves his original side-spot position, which would have been safer for both of them, and gets behind Short. Here is where the funny gym fail comes into play…

Problem #2: Short is not strong enough to quarter squat 155 pounds on his own.

Solution #2: Tall comes behind Short and decides to spot him by, no joke, hooking his arms under and through Short’s arms while grabbing onto the bar. He was basically giving Short a Full Nelson with the help of the bar pushing down on Short’s neck.

Major Gym Fail!!! I wish I was making this up!

At this point, the gym owner and I are dumbfounded! We don’t even have words to describe what we were feeling as we see these two gym idiots do 3 reps of no more than 4-inch knee bends with 155 pounds. 

Afterward, we just look at each other with looks of “What did we just witness?”, included with jaws dropped. No words were spoken. We were both just wishing we had enough time to video the craziness!

After a moment, I went back into the other room to continue my workout, and it seems that was their last squat set.

Funny Gym Fail Stories

Funny Gym Fail Story #2: Chain Gang Squats!

by Steve M.

The Set-Up

First, this is not my Funny Gym Fail Story. This was told to me by my gym’s previous owner and took place about a decade ago, in his gym.

To start, you need to know that the Gym I go to is a 24-hour Gym. This means it has cameras everywhere, and the only employee is the gym owner. Which means he can see EVERYTHING that goes on at all times.

Also, the previous Gym owner was a big-time Powerlifter and the gym was originally made as a powerlifting gym. Eventually, it turned into a standard fitness gym, but it still keeps the good qualities of an old school powerlifting gym. Chalk, chain, blood, and awesome equipment. If you had a problem with it, he would tell you to leave.

The Story

Now, at the time of this gym fail, the gym owner was in his office at the front of the gym. Obviously checking on the cameras which were on the screen next to him from time to time as he worked.

In walk the two gym idiots. Typical high school athletes looking to put in some extra work to get ahead. Good for them, but they still messed up. We will call them Intermediate and Beginner based on their experience level.

Intermediate has been coming to the gym for a few months and had decent strength and form for most lifts. At the time he was bringing Beginner in for his first workout to show him the ropes. Of course, as we know, the best exercise to start with is squats. So, they proceed to the squat rack at the very back of the gym, far away from the front office.

Still, the gym owner keeps an eye on them through the cameras as they take a few minutes to go over proper technique and warm-up. All is well.

Switching Things Up

The boys work up too 225 pounds for squats and then decide it’s time to switch things up.

Again, this is a powerlifting gym, so things like chains and chalk are readily open to anyone that wants to use them. All they have to do is go to the back room, near the squat rack they are in, and get what they want to use. 

These gym idiots decide that they want to try out squatting with chains, because, yeah, that sounds cool.

So, they proceed to get 3 pairs of 20-pound chains (6 total chains adding 120 pounds in total). This is no problem, except they do not seem to have a clue what they are doing. This is proven when they, instead of hooking the ends of the chain to the bar and letting the rest hang off, wrap the chain around the ends of the bar as if they are adding 20-pound plats with each chain.

The problem they then run into is that they can only get two chains on each end and don’t know what to do with the third. 

Here is where the Gym Fail occurs!

The Epic Gym Fail

Intermediate decides that if you can’t wrap the chain on the bar to add weight…why not just wrap it around his neck? So, after Intermediate gets set-up with the bar on his back, he has Beginner put the two extra chains draped over his neck, hanging in front of him. 

As soon as the gym owner gets a glips of this he runs out of the office and around the corner to where he is in full site of the squat rack with the gym idiots about to squat.

Unfortunately, he does not get there in time and sees as Intermediate goes down into a full depth squat (which is not his norm, but the weight was likely crushing him) to where he cannot recover from. So, Intermediate is forced into a neck and back-breaking position as his hips shoot up and his entire body is pulled forward by the now hanging chain weight from his neck.

Luckily, the 305-pound bar weight rolled over his head and off of him, crashing into the squat rack safeties, without throwing him to the ground.


The gym owner sees this and screams from 50-feet away, “WHAT IN THE HE// ARE YOU DOING?!!!”

Intermediate Gym Idiot turns towards the gym owner looking absolutely terrified! Pale white like a ghost. Eyes wide. 40-lbs of chain hanging from his neck and no answer at all as to what he was doing.

The gym owner then proceeded to lay into him for ten whole minutes about how much of a gym idiot he is and how he is lucky that gym fail didn’t kill him and Beginner both. The whole time Intermediate had no response and couldn’t even make out words. He stood there with the same petrified look on his face the whole time.

When he was done, the gym owner locked the chains in the back room and never let anyone else use them without his exclusive permission. He then went back to his office and had a good 20-minute laugh over everything that occurred, as it was also one of the funniest gym fails he had ever witnessed in his life.

Intermediate left and never came back after that. However, Beginner continued for a few more months and made some real progress without the help of his original gym idiot partner.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed these funny stories and please share your gym fail stories below or send them to us here.