A 27-year-old man in China died after his neck was crushed between the shaft of a barbell loaded with over 100kg of weights and the training bench he was lying on.
A harrowing, 29-second video on several news sites showed the man struggling to bench press over 100kg inside a gym in China’s Henan province, without a spotter, according to Yangtse Evening Post.
He barely had the barbell over his chest and was trying to push it onto a J-hook when his arms gave way.
The shaft, with about 50kg on each end, rolled from his chest to his neck, pinning his head to the bench.
For about 25 seconds, he tried desperately to wrench himself free.
At one point, he tried removing what seemed like a weightlifting belt he had on. But he began having violent spasms and suddenly went limp.
Earlier reports identified the man as one “Zhang”, and that the incident happened in Wuhan last week.
However, a report that appeared on Monday in Yangtze Evening Post’s Ziniu News said the incident actually took place in Henan on July 3. The man who died was identified as Xiao Hou.
Quoting the man in charge of the gym, identified as Zhao, the news portal reported that Xiao Hou had been a fitness instructor at the gym.
Zhao and Xiao Hou are friends, according to the report.
Zhao said Xiao Hou was obsessed with exercising. “He never thought about dating a girlfriend. He knew only about exercise.”
He said Xiao Hou worked as a personal trainer for about four years at the gym after graduating from college, but had stopped working there after he found another job.
But Xiao Hou would still drop by the gym during his lunch break to exercise by himself, said Zhao, adding that Xiao Hou kept a key that let him enter the gym before it opened.
Zhao added that Xiao Hou was alone in the gym when he was found pinned by a barbell on July 3. He was rushed to a hospital, but did not survive.
This incident in Wuhan recalls a similar one in July when Justyn Vicky, 33, a fitness influencer in Indonesia, was killed while doing a shoulder lift with a barbell weighing close to 210kg.
Vicky was seen in a video falling to the floor on his buttocks, with the barbell still over his shoulder.
He had a spotter behind him, but the spotter was unable to prevent the barbell's shaft from rolling over Vicky's head, breaking his neck.
Correction note: This story has been edited based on a new report from Yangtse Evening Post.