Learn How to Miss Weights


Smashing a personal record is great but knowing how to miss weights that are too heavy is equally important.

This advice primarily applies to free weight exercises, particularly squats performed on a platform using portable squat stands, and the Olympic lifts. With exercises such as the bench press, the safest approach is to perform them in a power rack when possible (adjusting the safety supports to the correct height to prevent decapitation) and have at least one spotter.

With the squat performed on a lifting platform, don’t lean forward and drop the weight in front of you. This good morning approach is a good way to injure your lower back and pull your hamstrings. Instead, let go of the bar and push your hips forward as fast as possible to get out of the way – many YouTube videos are available showing elite weightlifters dropping the bar this way. Of course, squatting inside a power rack with safety supports is an even safer option; however, have a powerlifter or strength coach show you how to miss in a power rack and where to adjust the safety supports (as many trainees place them too low, increasing the risk of injury).

Finally, don’t rely on the written word, photos, and videos to learn how to miss a lift. Hire a coach familiar with the lifts you’re doing and have them teach you. This is especially true of the Olympic lifts, where the barbell can travel behind you and crush you if don’t get out of the way. (TSS)

BOTTOM LINE: Learn how to miss weights to avoid injury and live to fight another day!

— Photo by Tim Scott,


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