What are the odds?

With my up-coming surgery this Friday, I was planning on having my mother take me and bring me home because my wife is out of time-off and the surgery isn’t major enough to be worried. She says to me “I’m taking the day off. I will just make up the time. I’m your wife and I want to be there. I was there for your last surgery; I will be there for this one and for the next one.” Got to love her!

Well, I’m not dumb enough to miss her hints at me stopping with my sport “…for the next one…” Did you catch that too? She got me thinking and being a computer programmer and geek, I decided to do some number crunching concerning the injuries I have obtained from the sport of powerlifting. This is what I came up with.

The follow numbers are based on major injuries that required surgery or rehab:

  • Two bulged discs in neck – Rehab
  • Left Knee: type 1 sprain and crush meniscus – Rehab
  • Left Shoulder: labrum and rotator cuff tears – Surgery/rehab
  • Right Knee:  type 2 sprain and torn meniscus – Surgery/rehab (Current Injury)

All these injuries occurred while I was squatting, even the shoulder injury, so I will base the numbers only on squat workouts.

I started powerlifting on 1/5/1998. (Yes I do know the exact date)

That works out to 14.92 years, 179 months, 778 weeks or 5,448 days

NOTE: I’m not going to deduct for weeks off during the year because the averages on the sets and reps should take care of the difference.

Heavy & Speed Days I average 6 warm-up sets for 5 reps each = 30 reps
Heavy & Speed Days reps:           778 weeks * 30 reps = 23,340 reps

Speed Days Working Sets are 8-10 sets (avg. 9) for 2 reps = 18 reps
Speed Days Working reps:           778 weeks * 18 reps = 14,004 reps

Heavy Days Average 6 – 8 (7 avg. sets) working sets for 1-3 (2 avg.) reps = 14 reps
Heavy Days Working reps:           778 weeks * 14 reps = 10,892 reps

Total Squat Reps:                             23,340 reps + 14,004 reps + 10,892 reps = 48,236 REPS

Odds for a serious injury:            48,236 reps / 4 injuries = 12,059

It’s a 1 in 12,059 odd every time I get under the bar and perform a squat rep that I will hurt myself.

So what does that compare to? I found a cool site ( that has a good list of odds. I listed the ones that I have better odds of doing or happening to me than me getting hurt squatting.

Sports Related

  • Odds of bowling a 300 game: 11,500 to 1
  • Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
  • Odds of catching a ball at a major league ballgame: 563 to 1

Injury Related

  • Odds of injury from shaving: 6,585 to 1
  • Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 4,464 to 1
  • Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,623 to 1

Fatality Related

  • Chance of dying from intentional self-harm: 1 in 9,380
  • Odds of fatally slipping in bath or shower: 2,232 to 1
  • Chance of dying from any kind of injury during the next year: 1 in 1,820
  • Odds of being killed sometime in the next year in any sort of transportation accident: 77 to 1
  • Odds of being killed in any sort of non-transportation accident: 69 to 1

Health Related

  • Chance of getting colon / rectal cancer: 1 in 26
  • Chance of getting the flu this year: 1 in 10
  • Chance of beating pancreatic or liver cancer: 1 in 9
  • Chance of getting arthritis: 1 in 7
  • Chance of suffering from asthma or allergy diseases: 1 in 6
  • Chance of having a stroke: 1 in 6
  • Chance of getting prostate cancer: 1 in 6
  • Chance of dying from heart disease: 1 in 3
  • Chance of American man developing cancer in his lifetime: 1 in 2
  • Chance of beating thyroid or testicular cancer: 9 in 10

Socially Related

  • Odds of dating a millionaire: 215 to 1
  • Odds of having your identity stolen: 200 to 1


  • Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on first try: 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of being considered possessed by Satan: 7,000 to 1
  • Odds of being audited by the IRS: 175 to 1
  • Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
  • Odds of getting hemorrhoids: 25 to 1

Seeing that I’m not going to take up golf, bowling, trying to date a millionaire or looking for four-leaf clovers, I think my odds of staying a competitive powerlifter are pretty good, so I guess I will stick to it as long as I can. When the odds of getting hurt go up then I might consider switching to golf, but that’s just too much walking!