How do you bench?

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) -  What do you bench? It's a macho question, thrown around most weight rooms.  A more important question is how you bench?

U.S.C.'s Stafon Johnson is lucky to be alive after he dropped his bar bell and it landed on his throat.  After seven hours of surgery Johnson is expected to have a full recovery.  However, this accident has many football coaches reminding their players to be careful in the weight room.

Tyler Junior College freshman Ryan Norwood isn't surprised by the accident.  He saw a similar drop in high school.

"The same thing happened," said Norwood.  "Like his throat, he was okay though. It was like 225 pound."

TJC Graduate Assistant Coach Adrian Haywood doesn't want it happening in the Apaches weight room. Haywood says all of TJC's coaches preach a business like approach when lifting weights.

"Always have a spotter and focus," said Haywood.  "No playing around."

Like blocking or tackling, technique is key.  The Apaches teach player to securely wrap their hands and thumb around the bar. Although a different hold is becoming more popular.

"The other way is putting it on your palm," said Haywood.  "And having your fingers curled behind it and pushing it up through."

Haywood believe's that's too dangerous to teach.

"I wouldn't want it to happen to me," said Norwood.  "So I don't think anyone else would either, so you have to be aware of it."