Are Gyms Really Safe? A Tragic Death Makes People Think


As the saying goes, you only live once, and whether you decide to go for a jog every morning, eat healthily or hit the weights at the gym, it’s important that you take care of your body for long enough to enjoy as much of life as possible before you die. Sometimes, our sincere attempts to improve our health backfire on us in a tragic fashion, and in a freak gym accident, one young man will be improving his health no more.

The source

22-year-old Kyle Thomson was a student at Iowa State University.

He was on the baseball and football teams in high school, and it was his athleticism that ironically caused his downfall. Kyle was training in the gym in order to cut down, when he attempted a 315-pound bench press. What happened next would cost him his life.

On the verge of graduating in criminology in May, the young man from Iowa lost his life in a freak gym accident that has sent shockwaves around the USA.

Kyle Thomson was in the middle of a bench press of 315 pounds when the unthinkable happened.  Although he had a spotter present, Kyle lost his grip on the barbell, and as it fell, it crushed his neck in a freak accident.

Kyle was rushed to the hospital by ambulance in nearby Des Moines, Iowa, but later died of his injuries.

The gym where Kyle was lifting, gave tribute to the 22-year-old, and urged others to keep his family in their prayers.

High school coach Greg Schoon knows him well and he praised Kyle and his hard work in physical education.

“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… 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. __He was a big kid but he was slimming down. He looked great. He knew what he was doing. It was just a freak accident.”

This incident revealed many other concerns about the safety of the gyms.

A study in 2010 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows the true freak nature of the accident, and shows how unfortunate Kyle was to suffer at the hands of gym equipment.

From 1990 to 2007, a period of 17 years, over 1 million Americans were taken to emergency rooms for weight-training injuries, but only 2% of those resulted in a long-term stay, and only 114 people died in that 18-year period.

Another study team also called 50 gyms across the UK and posed as potential new members to find out what qualifications the instructors there held.

Although all the centers claimed that they employed qualified staff, a third were unable or unwilling to specify what these qualifications were.

Twelve percent admitted only some of their instructors had first-aid certificates, yet the study revealed a third of over-35s who trained at a gym had a medical condition such as high blood pressure or heart disease. The report found gyms attached to hotels were the worst offenders when it came to untrained staff.

In this difficult time, we wish Kyle’s family our deepest condolences, and urge everyone hitting the gym in the New Year to be extra careful.

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