Powerlifter Joe Sullivan Uses Quick Thinking to Avoid Injury After Equipment Failure

Powerlifter Joe Sullivan escaped a sticky situation a couple days ago when he experienced equipment failure during a back squat. His quick thinking and composure under the bar saved him from what could have been a seriously bad injury. If you’re plugged in to the strength athlete Instagram community, then there’s a good chance you’ve already seen the video below shared from Sullivan.

In the Instagram video’s description Sullivan writes, “I was not anticipating equipment failure of this magnitude when I was expected to work up to a heavy triple today. This barbells maximum load was apparently 675lbs.

Coming up it felt horrible as the weight was not actually moving – just morphing along my back. My left knee cap is aggravated extremely right now but I think I managed to avoid disastrous injury. Skipping today and tomorrow’s sessions as I need to make it back to Columbus in one piece. I guess everyone is due a viral fail now and again.”

Warning: The video below contains strong language.

We’ve seen equipment failure before, but we’ve never seen a barbell fail the way it did in the video. This article isn’t intended to only highlight the equipment failure, but to shed light on what to do if you may have ever find yourself in a sticky lifting related situation.

[Equipment testing at its finest, check out these 9 lifting equipment drop tests!]

Sullivan’s quick thinking and composure saved him from serious injury, and it’s something to take note of for other strength athletes who may find themselves in similar situations.  While you may never experience a barbell warping around your back like Sullivan did, you could experience an occasion where composure under the bar could save you from injury. Also, it’s always a good idea to use spotters, especially for rare occasions like this and the example below.

For instance, on the bench, you could run into a situation like the one below where powerlifter Foster Parnell had to remain composed in a bench press miss-rack.

It goes without saying, that hopefully you never experience any of the above situations, yet if you do, the best thing to do is to remain calm and composed. These two factors could be the difference between injury and coming out of a tough situation unscathed.

Feature image screenshot from @joesullivanpowerlifter Instagram page.