How To Properly Fail A Squat on the Platform
Written by Ivy Knight

A friend and I were talking about a meet coming up and she told me that she had never failed a squat in comp before and it was something that she was really scared to do. The thought of failing a squat is pretty terrifying, if you’ve never done it but in reality, it’s not the end of the world, provided you do it well… yep… there’s a right way to fail a squat. If you do it wrong you could hurt yourself and your spotters and that would be a disaster. Here’s how to fail a squat in style.



I’m gonna reiterate this. NEVER EVER EVER EVER bail. Bailing the bar means that you just toss the bar behind your shoulders and walk forward, away from the bar. We see this happen a lot in Cross-Fit style gyms. They can do this because for the most part they use rubber plates, they typically don’t have a spotter behind them and the floor is rubber. On the platform you don’t have any of these things. Our plates are metal and typically calibrated kilo plates which are very expensive. The second and more important thing is that on the platform you will have 3 spotters. 1 behind you and 2 on your side. If you bail the bar behind you, you might be safe but the spotter will get hurt.

And in most federations, if you bail the bar and injure someone else, you will get kicked out of the entire federation.



The spotters are there for a reason. The are trained to catch you. Additionally there are 3 of them! The back spotter should be close enough that if you start to lean unsafely forward or you drop down because you can’t finish the lift, know that their arms are going to come under yours and they will guide you back into the rack. The side spotter will guide the bar and plates into the plates safely. You will never be left alone in the squat. Trust that they got you.



If you come out of the hole and can’t finish the lift, just sit back into the hole, shake your head no or physically say take it. The spotter will swoop in and guide you back to the rack.


So, you see, it’s not as scary as it seems. I’ve seen some pretty amazing saves on the platform and I’ve failed a squat myself and I’m happy to say, I’m alive to tell the tale. So, if you’re scared to fail on the platform, don’t be. Trust that everyone is trained to do their job and your job is to lift.


Join us in our Facebook group Club GWPL for a safe place for new and advanced lifters to ask questions and get them answered by experienced lifters, referees, coaches and other knowledgable lifters. 


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