Your peers and friends probably won’t admit it, but there’s a ton of anxieties that arise while working out—from being outlifted by the cute girl in a class to having a bout of “the runs,” slipping a disk to missing a PR. Yes, from the serious worries to being seriously worried about being embarrassed, every man thinks about these worst-case scenarios—he’ll just never voice them. Until now.
Click through these hysterically candid confessions from 30 real men. Novice and veteran lifters alike, you’ll likely empathize with more than a few of them.
“My biggest fear came true, actually. I was at Soul Cycle, put the shoes on, slipped in front of everyone on the stairs, fell on my a**, then one foot went through the wall, and the other crushed a tin garbage can.” – Steve D.
“MRSA.” – Tim N.
“Trying to pick up something real heavy. I struggle with a gallon of milk, so…” – Max J.
“Being out-lifted by the jacked chick next to me.” – Tim L.
“Getting super tired while running, then seeing I only went half a mile.” – Eric M.
“Severely hurting my back, like herniating a disk. Or immediate cauda equina syndrome where you lose feeling and control of your bowel and bladder.” – Kyle S.
“Being a little gassy and then getting more than I bargained for…” – Luke S.
“Giant pit stains.” – Andrew K.
“Dropping weight on myself or falling.” – Bobby G.
“Having a hole in my compression shorts when I’m lying down doing abs.” – Skylar G.
“Accidentally pooping while lifting.” – Robert D.
“Having a barbell dropped on my neck during a bench press.” – Aidan F.
“Being gassy at the gym.” – Mike C.
“Throwing out my back and forever crippling myself, getting “stuck” because I wasn’t using a spotter when I needed one, and staph infections from gross benches.” – Gary C.
“My worst fear in the gym is getting a career-ending injury.” – Kenny V.
“That I won’t be able to complete the last rep of a bench press set and have to ‘escape’ from underneath the bar, or tilt the weight off the bar when I don’t have a spotter and don’t want to bother anyone.” – Mark B.
“I think my worst fear is someone asking me to spot them when they’re doing some insane weight. That’s the worst. They’d say: “Don’t worry, I probably won’t need your help.” Next thing you know the bar is crushing their trachea.” – Paras P.
“My biggest fear is sh***ing myself on my deadlift topset… and then missing the last rep.” – Nick B.
“Injuring myself during a heavy lift, especially something nasty, like a knee, back, or shoulder injury. I don’t care if dudes think I’m lifting light. Better to have clean form then a slipped disc.” – Mike R.
“When the hot girl at the squat rack figures out I’ve been sneaking looks at her ass.” – Tony L.
“I used to be afraid of not being able to lift a certain amount of weight in front of other people (especially a cute girl) but I don’t care about that anymore. Now I’m more afraid of dropping a heavy ass weight on my foot and/or chest and hurting myself really badly.” – Russ M.
“Falling on the treadmill, trying to hold on, and having my pants pulled down by the moving belt.” – Justin S.
“Farting in a crowded class or weight room.” – Tom A.
“I have a genuine fear that I’ll have to s***. I’m just not prepared to deal with that at the gym.” – Drew J.
“Worst fear at the gym is that I’ll try to bench too much and get stuck under there and no one will be able to help me.” – Dennis F.
“A spotter looking away on a lift.” – Miguel A.
“Boner.” – Shane H.
“Falling off the treadmill… which I’ve already done before. I tried running with my eyes shut for a second, got vertigo, and fell.” – Jesse R.
“Being on the bench press, dropping the weight, and having it knock over a bunch of stuff so it causes a scene.” – Ben F.
“Having awful B.O. in a workout class with women.” – Rob H.