Don’t Drop The Weights

Feety pajamas were the original traction control system.

There are two possible reactions to that.  Some of you are smiling right now, remembering races around the house during which your rubberized feet helped you feel like a race car, beating your cotton-clad family members.  If you don’t have these memories, I ask you to ensure that your children have them!

If you were a Floor Slider, did you ever experience a moment where you forgot you were no-longer in your onesie?  When you turned a corner and slid, unaware of inertia or friction?  It’s all fun and games, until you slide into a wall and break your toe.  When the Days of Onesies have passed, there are few opportunities to break toes.  I’ve discovered one of them:


Seriously, don’t do it.  It hurts.  That’s not fun.  You’ll also curse a lot.  See, I was finishing up an exercise I’ve been using a lot of recently, the band resisted sumo deadlift.  I like this variation because it lets me focus on bar speed without always going heavy.  My brain gets a workout, but my body isn’t as beat up.  Here’s an example:

This time around, on a “heavy” day, I was using 275lbs of bar weight and EliteFTS Average Short bands, which are estimated to be 170lbs at my lockout.  I was on my 10th single, and I smoked it.  I’m telling you, this felt easy.  I let out a victory hoot, then simply let go of the bar.  Kids:  This is stupid.  Don’t do it.

The “average” bands are pretty thick, and as they twisted my feet ever so slightly as I locked out the deadlift.  Pulling with a wide sumo stance, and having your feet move even wider, is not a good thing.  In this case, it makes you think you self-amputed a toe using York plates.  After unleashing a Hurricane Sandy sized deluge of profanity, I walked to the locker room to check my toe out.  Not bad (yet), and I used the adrenaline to sneak in two extra sets of conventional deadlifts, throw in some band stomps, before packing it in for the day.  I hobbled to the car and went home.

After a shower, Chinese food, and a “Get your ass to the doctor or I’ll beat you up.” e-mail from Juliet, I visited the local ER to see what damage I had done.  I was in and out in under an hour, given a boot, told my toe was broken, and advised to see a podiatrist.  It was swelling more and more, and all I headed home to ice it.  Let me tell you, if you ever want to feel like you have shit put together, go to the ER on a Friday night.  Here’s a little photo documentation of Penelope* (my toe)’s progress:


After icing/elevating for Friday night and Saturday morning, I disobeyed doctors orders and went to the gym for an upper body day.  I couldn’t help myself!  I was also able to deadlift and squat again on Christmas Eve, which actually helped my foot feel a bit better.  I walked around at the gym in my socks, despite the dropped-weights induced PTSD.

My Godfather had a friend at his house who happened to be a podiatrist, and he was kind enough to tape my toes up for me.  It was a true Christmas Miracle! (<-Just kidding.)

I’ll give my foot some time to heal, I’ll remember to keep my weight on my heals, and then I’ll see how much training I can do.

Next time you’re told to not drop weights, listen…temporarily.  It’s not about the “Lunk Alarm”, or because you’re worried about equipment being damaged.  Give yourself a second or two to make sure you’re not about to drop weight on your foot, and only after you’ve cleared your phalanges, should you let go.

Please, learn from my fail.

*Names changed to protect identities.


2 Replies to “Don’t Drop The Weights”

  1. Oh man, I’ve done something like this before. I was talking to somebody while spinning a 45 plate around the bar on the a bench and I didn’t realize it was actually spinning OFF like a screw until it dropped straight on my toes. Luckily the damage was spread out a bit and it didn’t swell like yours but they were completely white for a while and was told they were broken…but I didn’t care haha.
    Either I have messed up toes now or they weren’t really broken.

    Bro-fist for weight room toe injuries

    1. Bro-fist, Seth! I’ve done the same thing with a 25lb plate. Now I’m glad it wasn’t a 45 like you did! I’ve been moving around on my foot a lot recently…. like dancing last night and chasing down a 6 year old this morning. I feel like a certain Juliet G would call me stupid for that. She can’t find out!

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