Strongman Nick Best discloses how a bench pressing tragedy saved his life. 

Sometimes the worst thing that happens in your life is your greatest blessing. In our latest episode of the Legends Of Iron podcast, strongman Nick Best divulged how a bench pressing catastrophe saved him. And the host, Jon Anderson, touches on the silver linings in life. In addition, IFBB Pro bodybuilder Akim Wiliams shares his 2022 Olympia performance and bodybuilding future.

The Silver Linings in Life and How a Bench Pressing Incident Saved Nick Best’s Life 

The podcast starts with Jon Anderson discussing the silver linings that come from every negative obstacle in life. Next, Anderson detailed a story involving the co-host, Nick Best. Best was bench pressing a whopping 425 pounds in his garage gym when the barbell slipped from his massive hands and landed on his chest. 


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Anderson went to the hospital to get examined, of course. And it turns out after a CT scan, they found out he had tumors in his kidneys—which he would never have learned had the barbell not plummeted on him. 

“So basically, somehow, the universe had that bar jump over two of his giant thumbs to have that bar crash into his chest to have this whole negative thing happen, which basically saved his life. Because what the doctors told him was there was one in each kidney, and they tested them, and they were growing fairly quickly,” stated Anderson. 

The doctors ended up surgically removing one of his kidneys, and Nick Best showed on camera the area and scarring of the procedure. Thankfully, Nick Best is okay with a successful surgery and has another minor one planned soon. Then, Anderson circled back around to the main takeaway and voiced:

“Hear me loud and clear. When you’re in some sort of a pickle, when something goes really wrong, look closely because sometimes these things that seem like such a bad thing are actually are biggest fucking blessings.” 

Nick Best Feels Blessed and Grateful After Bench Pressing Catastrophe

Nick Best says that he feels very grateful and blessed that this happened. Best expressed:

“I feel somebody literally took it out of my hand and dropped it on my chest because I’ve been lifting 40 years and never had that happened. Nothing ever like that, ever.”

Nick Best reminisced on the story of how everything happened, from getting the CT scan and what the doctors initially found and diagnosed, despite being okay from the bench pressing incident. Nick Best described the procedure as rough and said he peed blood for a few days after the surgery. 

But before the surgery, Nick Best didn’t let that stop him from pursuing one last strongman show. While getting more CT scans, healing up his ribs, and getting blood work done, Best still mustered up the fortitude to train for OSG (Official Strongman Games), where he received second to Mark Felix. After that, Nick Best hung up his strongman shoes and retired. 

In addition, after the surgery to remove his kidney, the doctor gave him the green light to start lifting again if he was up to it. So, of course, the next day, Nick Best was in the gym squatting 750 lbs. 

Nick Best noted, though, that he’s realized now that there are basic things we do each day that we take for granted, including burping, farting, and pooping. 

Fortunately, Nick Best had a traumatic incident that led him to discover the tumor. Because Best said, he had no symptoms. There was no bleeding, and he felt no pain. And he said the tumor could have grown big enough to burst his kidney. 

Akim Williams’ 2022 Olympia Performance and Bodybuilding Future 

Next, the podcast shifted the focus to Akim Williams. The Legend Of Iron’s producer, Ben, was on the show and disclosed some updates with the podcast’s co-host and bodybuilder, Akim Williams. Ben talked about how outstanding Akim Williams’ performance was in the 2022 Olympia, despite the show starting and ending later. 

And Jon Anderson chimed in and said he believes social media presence plays a part in the attention some athletes receive compared to others, rather than entirely basing everything off each bodybuilder’s physique. Akim Williams concurred. 

“I think that definitely hurt me also. You know, I think times have changed. And a lot of these guys, you know, they use their social media platform to get momentum going into those big shows. And I think I have to get with the times. You know, I think I have to be better about that. More consistent with like posting updates and stuff like that…especially a big show like that. You know everybody wants to see what you look like, and you know, gone are the days where you keep everything on the wrap, and you just show up for the show.” 

To improve and prepare for the Arnold Classic 2023, Williams said he’ll be working with someone (who he can’t disclose) instead of doing things alone (which he did to prep for the 2022 Olympia). In addition, he plans to be more proactive on social media. 

Rules of Mr. Olympia Have Changed

William then addressed that the rules for Olympia have changed this year. Instead of competitors qualifying for Olympia off a point system, only the winners will receive an auto-invite. That’s due to the flood of competitors at the 2022 Olympia. 

Akim Williams doesn’t like the rule change, though, because he acknowledged that in 2019 he didn’t win a show and still beat out a lot of Mr. Olympia’s competitors that did. And he also alluded that he doesn’t understand the means of placement for second to fifth place anymore. 

Williams also admitted that he prefers Mr. Olympia when it’s held in Florida because it is cold in Vegas and that he’d prefer it’d be held in November. Because when it’s held in December, you must diet through the holidays and have multiple shows back to back. For example, the Arnold Classic is around the corner in early March. So that doesn’t give competitors much room to prepare their physique, rest, and recover for the 2023 bodybuilding season. 

Akim William said he isn’t happy with his 2022 Olympia placing. But he will keep moving forward and try to have a good season opener at the Arnold show. Jon Anderson added that failure is important for anyone to succeed.

“Failure is a part of the equation to be successful…You’re never going to be successful without having those failures. The failures is where you learn and sometimes it’s where it just gets you fired up to put enough effort…into the next go to get what you need.”

To close out the podcast, Jon Anderson recapped the episode and reminded us that even the most disastrous shortcomings could be your greatest blessings. And that through every bad, there’s a good and vice versa. So look for the silver lining in every situation. 

Wrap Up 

The Legends Of Iron crew did an off-the-cuff podcast and talked about silver lings in life no matter what trauma you may experience. And that sometimes bad things happen for a reason, leading to your greatest blessings. For example, the tragic bench pressing incident that saved Nick Best’s life in the end. 

They also discussed Akim Willliam’s Olympia 2022 performance and how he’s prepping for the 2023 bodybuilding season. Watch this motivational episode above for a full recap of this New Year’s bonus and update episode. And check back every other Thursday for new episodes on the Generation Iron Fitness Network.

Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.