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Woman crushed to death while trying to lift 180kg barbell; important things keep in mind when working out with weights

Lifting weights is a common exercise for fitness enthusiasts. However, in an unfortunate incident, a woman was crushed to death while trying to lift almost 400lb (180 kg) of barbell weight in a gym in Mexico. According to various reports, the barbell fell on her, crushing her neck onto the bench and killing her on the spot. While people around tried to help, she could not be revived.

Fitness experts share important things one should keep in mind when working out with weights in the gym or at home.

What is weight training and how does it help?

Weight training is primarily done to builder stronger and bigger muscles, and barbells, dumbbells and other weight machines are the equipment used to do so, said Dr Imraan Khan, HOD, department of physiotherapy, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road.

“It is also called strength training or resistance training, as weight lifting strengthens and tones the muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. It helps to increase bone and muscle mass, leading to higher bone mineral density. It can help to burn calories, improve glucose control in diabetics, and also keep heart diseases at bay. It can help you to stay energised, perk-up the mood and slash down the risk of hypertension, too,” he explained.

How much weight should a person lift?

This will vary from one individual to another. Hence, it is always advised to ask the fitness trainer and then only lift weights according to their guidance, said Dr Khan.

“In order to get stronger, while one ought to lift heavier weights, there is something called ‘calculative risk’ that comes after diligently practicing weight training for a certain number of years”, said Junaid Kaliwala, professional men’s physique athlete IFBB PRO  and founder of Source of Supplements chain of stores.

“Lifting anything beyond your capacity could be really fatal. It is just like driving a car, rash driving it never advised” he added.

Train properly to avoid injury. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

What precautions must one take while lifting weights?

Experts said that one needs to find a good instructor who will help understand the correct technique and also suggest the weight to be lifted. “You need to maintain a correct form while lifting weights otherwise there is a chance of an injury. Take help of spotters while lifting heavy weights. Always do warm-up before and cool-down after lifting weights to reduce the chances of injuries and recover the muscles. Wear good shoes, keep the back straight and use good equipment. Do not continue lifting weights if you are in pain; consult a doctor and the fitness trainer regarding how to go about strength training,” Dr Khan suggested.

How should amateurs begin?

Kaliwala stressed that beginners must always “prefer training under qualified personal trainers”. “Ignoring proper guidance can lead to gym accidents. Hence, invest in good coaches, train within your limits and strictly say no to ego lifting”.

While lifting heavy depends on the person’s capacity, experts opine that it is “advised to start with lighter weights”. “Gradually progress towards heavy weights. You will have to take all the safety measures before lifting heavyweights,” said Dr Khan.

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