“Bro, I don’t need a squat rack! I can do this sh*t easily.” We may hear this line a lot from our bros at the gym. We see them lift some heavy-ass weights and go all gaga over them. We’re amazed to see how confident they are and think about doing the same. But let’s just get one thing straight: “STOP EGO LIFTING.” Ego lifting can cause damage to you in ways you never imagined. If you are a regular, stop worrying; you will get those gains.
One such fate befell Jean-Pierre Fux. This guy was on his way to becoming an all-time great but just one squatting accident annihilated his entire career. He was swole as f*ck, but all it takes is one mistake. Just look at dat back, doe.
Fux came eighth in the 1996 Mr. Olympia and seventh in 1997. What’s more, he was the first heavyweight in the 1994 IFBB World Amateur Championships. He was going forward in his career and doing great things until he decided to squat 675 lbs without any support for a photoshoot. Even if they didn’t have a squat rack available, he still should have asked: “SPOT ME BRO?!”
Squats are one such exercise in which we do need to go heavy. This compound movement does make the entire core strong and gets you those huge quads. But having a good spotter is as essential as going for a heavy squat.
Here is a video from Luimarco talking about the rise and quite literal fall of Jean-Pierre Fux, where he explains his story. Take a look:
Jean was actually doing a photoshoot for FLEX magazine when this incident happened. Both his legs got injured, with the right knee essentially obliterated. He later said in an interview that he would come back, but unfortunately, he could not. There was no coming back from that. In the hospital room, he said a lot of things were going on in his mind, one being to bring the bodybuilder he knew he could be on the stage.
Even in the hospital room, he got up from his bed and lifted weights everyday. Of course he did only upper body for a set time, and he said this is what he stood for, so not lifting was not something he was familiar with.
Many criticise the photographer, known as ‘Lund’, for the injury. Lund could have shown him using fake weights but insisted on using real ones to capture the raw emotion in the face. A similar incident happened before when Lund was taking photographs of Orville Burke, another great bodybuilder. Burke tore his tricep, had an allergic reaction to drugs and went into a coma. He is now learning to walk and talk again.
As of today, Fux has lost almost all of his gains and has gotten into the bowling business. He seems to be doing well for himself and looks pretty healthy (see below). Just one accident changed this guy’s entire future. So bros, please be careful and don’t take severe risks while lifting, as even one injury can mean the end of our lifting lives.