‘Fitman’ Eric Brown’s life-saving tip: Don’t bench press with clamps on the bar

Fitman, an NGA Pro Natural Bodybuilder, USATF Masters Sprinter, and the owner of The Fitman Performance & Physique Center in Roslyn, has seen his share of calamities in the gym with some lifters when they perform the bench press.

“Long before I got my own gym, I spent 14 years training primarily in commercial gyms,” the 2x Men’s Health Magazine Next Top Trainer finalist said. “I’ve seen some lifting calamities in the commercial gym world. And the most common and most preventable calamity I’ve seen occur in the commercial gym and at home gyms is when my iron brothers and sisters are doing the bench press.”

Specifically, Fitman told us that doing the bench press with clamps on the barbell could result in a potentially catastrophic injury.

“Of all the calamities that are made on the bench press, there is one mistake that is definitely the worst one by far,” the 2022 NGA Mr. Natural Philadelphia winner said. “The worst mistake that any lifter or natural bodybuilder can make on the bench press is using clamps to lock in the weight on the bar. Using clamps on the bar and getting pinned at the bottom of a failed bench press rep can in fact cost you your life.”

“What happens if you fail during a set of the bench press and you have clamps on the bar? You’re going to struggle mightily to get that bar off you, IF you get that bar off you.”


Fitman said that the results of benching with clamps on the barbell could be disastrous.

“If that bar rolls up towards your neck you could get choked out like you were in the UFC. 135lbs, 185lbs, or 225lbs on your neck is a terrible and painful way to go out. But it is entirely preventable.”

“What I want all lifters from this point forward to do is to NOT use any clamps on the bar when you bench press. At least now, if you do get pinned at the bottom, you can tilt the barbell to the left and right to slide the plates off. This allows you a way to escape and a way to stay alive.”

“I don’t want to read about any of you, my iron brothers and sisters, prematurely dying because you have clamps on your bar. You’ve got to be smart about what you are doing in the gym!”

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Fitman is on multiple websites and social media platforms and is also an internationally published author of 2 eBooks. To get the unvarnished truth about natural bodybuilding, athletic performance, fitness/health, and to purchase his eBooks, follow him at:


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