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Monday, January 2, 2017

Man bench pressing 315 pounds dies after barbell slips

Image result for bench press form
Don't bench without spotters.
I always tell my students that while bench press is a relatively simple lift to master, it is the most dangerous lift in the weight room. Your body is between a hard bench and a barbell held over your face and neck. A slip is disastrous. These types of fatalities are reported every couple of years or so. I always tell my students to use spotters, collars, and a full grip on the bar.

DES MOINES — An Iowa State University student died earlier this week after a weightlifting accident at a gym in Ankeny, Iowa.

Kyle Thomson, 22, died Monday after a barbell he was lifting slipped from his hands and fell on his neck at Elite Edge Transformation Center. He was bench pressing 315 pounds at the time.

Thomson was taken to a Des Moines hospital, where he died, said Ankeny Fire Chief James Clack.

A statement from the gym said Thomson was lifting with a spotter.

A former co-worker of Thomson's said he will always remember Thomson's "light-up-the-room smile."

"Whenever he came around, it'd light you up because he always had a smile on his face," said Stephen Smith, who worked with Thomson at Lowe's in Ames. "He's just a very charismatic guy."

Elite Edge notified its members of Thomson's death on Facebook and said it would make grief counselors available for those who knew him or were present when the accident happened.

"As a small gym, we all know each other and develop friendships, which makes his passing more personal and painful," the post reads. "We would ask that you keep his family in your prayers."

“He enjoyed weightlifting. It was kind of one of his hobbies. He was transforming his body, getting into really good shape, trying to meet requirements to join the police force when he got out of Iowa State.”
Greg Schoon, physical education teacher and football coach at Des Moines East High School
Thomson, of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, was a senior at Iowa State University studying criminal justice. He would have graduated in May. He wanted to become a K9 handler, his obituary states.

Thomson graduated in 2012 from Des Moines East High School, a school district official confirmed. He played both baseball and football while at East and was a varsity football captain, said physical education teacher and football coach Greg Schoon.

Schoon also spoke fondly of Thomson, who he said was a great leader with “a good sense of humor.”

“He was kind of a quiet guy when he was around adults, but around the kids, he’d say stuff. He had pretty good timing on cracking jokes,” said Schoon. “He always had a big ol’ smile on his face, and you knew the wheels were spinning.”

Schoon assisted Thomson during summer football workouts while he was in high school, and said Thomson had always been dedicated to getting in shape.

“He enjoyed weightlifting,” Schoon said. “It was kind of one of his hobbies. He was transforming his body, getting into really good shape, trying to meet requirements to join the police force when he got out of Iowa State.”

Smith said Thomson was passionate about lifting weights and had recently lost a lot of weight. Thomson posted on Facebook in October that he completed the Elite Edge Transformation Center's "20-pound challenge," in which members work to lose 20 pounds in six weeks.

"I respected him for that," Smith said. "I still don’t believe it."

A 2010 study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found deaths from weightlifting are rare. The center reported that from 1990 to 2007, almost 1 million Americans were treated in emergency rooms for weight-training injuries. Less than 2% resulted in long-term hospitalization. Researchers estimated there were 114 deaths caused by weight-training injuries nationwide during that 18-year period.


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Image result for women's bench press form
The bar is directly over the neck and face.

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