HomeTechThe Smith Machine Squat Death: What We Can Learn From It

The Smith Machine Squat Death: What We Can Learn From It

In recent years, videos of the Smith Machine Squat Death have been making their rounds on social media. While this is a tragic event, we can learn from it by understanding the risks associated with using a Smith Machine for squats. In this article, we’ll look at what happened in the video and then discuss how to safely use a Smith Machine for squats.


The Smith Machine Squat Death: Introduction

On October 6, 2017, 21-year-old Austin Sheppard was bench pressing in a Smith Machine at his gym when the barbell came crashing down on his chest, crushing his sternum. He was pronounce dead at the scene.

This tragedy highlights the dangers of using a Smith Machine for squats. The machine doesn’t allow for natural movement and can easily trap a lifter if they lose control.

We can learn from this tragedy by being more careful when using weightlifting equipment and by understanding the risks involved in certain exercises. We must always take safety precautions and use common sense when working out.

What Is the Smith Machine?

The Smith machine is a weightlifting device that consists of a barbell that is fixed in a vertical position. The user can perform various exercises with the Smith machine, such as the squat, bench press, and shoulder press.

In recent years, there have been several reports of people dying while using the Smith machine for squats. One case involved a 24-year-old man who died after performing a one-repetition max (1RM) attempt on the Smith machine. Another case involved a 28-year-old man who died after performing three sets of eight repetitions on the Smith machine at 70% of his 1RM.

There are several possible explanations for why the Smith machine may be dangerous for squats. First, the fixed barbell position may put excessive stress on the spine and knees. Second, the lack of stability provided by the Smith machine may cause lifters to lose control of the barbell, leading to injuries. Third, some experts believe that the natural movement pattern of the squat is compromised when performed on a Smith machine, which could lead to muscle imbalances and joint problems over time.

If you’re considering using the Smith machine for squats, it’s important to be aware of these risks and take precautions to prevent injury. For example, always use a spotter when Attempting heavy weights, warm up thoroughly before lifting, and master proper technique before adding weight.

What We Can Learn From the Smith Machine Squat Death Video

As most of us know, the Smith machine is a weight-lifting apparatus that consists of a barbell that is fixed within steel rails. This allows the user to perform exercises with the barbell without a spotter. Unfortunately, as the following video shows, the Smith machine can be extremely dangerous if used improperly.

In early July 2015, 21-year-old Austin Hatch died after performing Smith machine squats with too much weight. The young man was using 315 pounds – well beyond his capabilities. As a result, the barbell crushed his throat, suffocating him.

While this was a tragic accident, there are some important lessons that we can learn from it:

1) Always use a spotter when lifting heavy weights – Even if you’re using a Smith machine, it’s always best to have someone else around in case something goes wrong.

2) Don’t lift more weight than you can handle – It’s tempting to try and lift as much weight as possible, but it’s not worth risking your life for. Stick to weights that you know you can handle.

3) Be aware of your surroundings – In the video, it’s clear that the other people in the gym were not paying attention to what was going on. If you see someone lifting heavy weights without a spotter, make sure to stay clear of the area in case something happens.

4) Don’t use exercise machines as substitutes for proper training – The Smith machine

How to Avoid Injury When Squatting on a Smith Machine

When squatting on a Smith machine, be sure to use a spotter.

In order to avoid injury when squatting on a Smith machine, you will want to be sure that you have a spotter. This is someone who can help you if you get stuck under the bar or if you start to fall. Additionally, be sure to warm up before using the Smith machine and always use proper form. If you are unsure about how to properly squat on a Smith machine, ask a trainer at your gym for help.

Other Safety Tips for Working Out with a Smith Machine

When using a Smith machine, always use a spotter. If you don’t have a spotter, make sure to use the safety pins to catch the weight if you fail.

Always warm up before using the Smith machine. Start with light weights and gradually increase the amount of weight you’re lifting as your muscles warm up.

Use a full range of motion when squatting with the Smith machine. Don’t cut your squats short by not going all the way down. This puts unnecessary stress on your knees and can lead to injury.

When finished using the Smith machine, always return the weight to its starting position. Don’t leave it in the middle of the frame where someone else could come along and get injured.


The Smith Machine squat death of 2021 serves as a reminder to all gym-goers that safety should always be the top priority when working out. Take your time, use proper form and technique, and never push yourself too hard – these are all lessons we can learn from this tragic event. No matter what your exercise regimen is, make sure you take the necessary precautions to ensure you stay safe while still getting the most out of each session.




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