Thom Van Vleck’s Top Ten Lessons Learned

by Thom Van Vleck

  • 1. Wash your hands thoroughly after using liniment before going to the bathroom (especially before putting on a squat suit).
  • 2. Make sure your spotter is paying attention (and not “spotting” the hot girl stretching across the gym) as you can’t talk much when you are pinned in a full squat position with 500lbs on your back.
  • 3. Not only do you want to make sure you unload the bar evenly, you want to make sure anyone else around you is unloading evenly….especially your brother.
  • 4. Tall guys with long legs can’t sumo deadlift….your feet will be directly under the weight when you drop it.
  • 5. If you are tall and you are going to do overhead presses or jerks, make sure there is enough room for you, the bar, and the plates.  Also, if you push press a bar into a rafter, it will come directly back down and hit you in the head.
  • 6. If you are deadlifting on the second floor, make sure there is not a suspended ceiling underneath….it will fall and the person sitting under it will be upset.
  • 7. Make sure you have plenty of room to run up under a jerk…..or it will go out the window…..seriously….and you will have a lot of explaining to do to the owner of the garage.
  • 8. Don’t try and use old, tight jeans in lieu of a squat suit…..you will be left with the worst blood blisters of your life.
  • 9. If you don’t work a body part often or for awhile, work into it slowly.  Don’t do 20 sets the first workout or you may be really, really sore….and your mother may want to take you to the ER.  Especially Calves and Abs.
  • 10. Finally, If you training partner asks you to “hit me” to pump him up for a workout and you hit him too hard, he will hit back.

Bonus:  Don’t take supplements on an empty stomach….especially a lot of supplements, you will waste your money.

Top Ten Lessons I Have Learned “The Hard Way” During My 25 Years of Lifting Weights


(and NONE of these lessons were funny to me when they happened!)

by Al Myers


1.  It is best to use collars in lifts where the bar may tilt. (as demonstrated by the tears in the carpet by my squat cage)

2.  Always check for small plates on the bar when pulling off a 45# plate. (It only takes a 2.5# plate to break a toe)

3.  Stay away from open grips when pressing.  (caused me a fractured cervical vertebra when I was in my early 20s)

4.  Low blood sugar and 20 rep squats don’t mix.

5.  Always keep your calluses trimmed off or a big deadlift will rip them off.

6.  Keep a puke bucket within reach of the squat cage.

7.  Don’t rehydrate after weigh-ins with apple juice.

8.  Don’t wipe the sweat off your face when you still have rubbing liniment on your hands.

9.  Always unload the bar EVENLY!

10.  It is best to skip a squat workout if you have been battling intestinal flu!

Top Ten Reasons you know you are getting old as an All-Round Weightlifter

by Al Myers

I’m a big fan of Dave Letterman’s TOP TEN – now lets apply it to all-round weightlifting!!!

10. You don’t take warm-ups anymore – they would just tire you out

9. “Enhanced” has a new meaning – you have at least one artificial joint

8. You really enjoy the lifts you get to lay down to do ….until you have

to get back up

7. You start thinking the loaders at the meet would make good pall bearers

6. Putting your lifting shoes on is all the stretching you need

5. You have to hand your cane to a spotter before lifting

4. You have become a Doctor’s “test subject” – and he

writes a paper about you

3. You have to explain to the judges that your press-out was really just

a very slow jerk

2. The drug testers laugh when you give your urine sample

And the #1 reason…

1. Instead of a post-workout protein shake and vitamins, you wash

down your heart pills with a beer!!!