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Man killed in barbell mishap

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – A 25-year-old man, identified as Zhang, lost his life as his neck got trapped between a barbell’s shaft, loaded with over 100-kilogramme (kg), and the workout bench he was lying on.

The incident occurred at a gym in Wuhan, China’s Hubei province, around 3pm on Thursday.

A video lasting 29 seconds, widely circulated on various news platforms, captured Zhang’s struggle as he attempted to bench press the weight, without a spotter.

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.


It took more than a minute before someone noticed Zhang, according to China Press.

Two gym employees ran towards him to lift the barbell off him.

Zhang was rushed to a hospital, but he did not make it.

A representative of the gym said Zhang was a regular, and that he had been seen at the gym before lifting heavily stacked barbells.

But it was not clear why Zhang had been bench pressing over 100kg without a spotter.

The police are investigating the incident, China Press reported.

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.

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