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Well, this is a first.
In a bizarre incident caught on camera, a 19-year-old deadlifts in a gym before he is suddenly confronted by another gym goer. It’s difficult to tell from the actual confrontation why the other gym patron is so incensed, but he approaches the teen saying, “You’re out.” The teen, in the middle of a deadlift and wearing headphones, doesn’t acknowledge him at first but the man forces him to by stomping his foot on the bar mid-lift, making the teen drop the weight. They exchange words and the situation escalates until the older patron begins shoving the teen, identified as Charles Lalonde, and screaming repeatedly for him to get out.
Watch the confrontation:
The poster, Pete Rubish, a competitive powerlifter and coach, provides context to what is happening in the video because it’s not immediately clear why this man attacked the teen seemingly unprovoked, and it all came down to noise.
“The backstory is that the staff at a Buzzfit gym in Montreal, Quebec have given my client a hard time in past weeks about deadlifting too loudly in the gym. They said he still could, but he had to place mats underneath the plates. So he did as they asked. A random bystander, not a staff member, (wearing an Animal shirt of all things: my sponsor) took it upon himself to confront him after he deemed his deadlifts to be too loud and watch what ensues.”
Luckily, Lalonde was filming his lift to send to Rubish, who is based in Tennessee, and he caught the entire exchange on camera. It quickly went viral amassing over 1.5 million views with angry criticism being leveled at the gym patron’s over-the-top vigilante response to a clanking weight and his very dangerous move of stomping on the barbell mid-lift. Rubish shared an update: “Charles is grateful for all of the support and is pressing charges against the man. He has been given a year long free membership to his dream gym in Montreal: SSP Barbell Club.”
The Montreal Gazette reports that the man was banned and a Buzzfit staff member was suspended following the incident. The head of operations for Buzzfit Craig Johnson explained to the Gazette that most of Buzzfit’s facilities are not designed for powerlifters, “We are not equipped for the hardcore workout he was doing. He was lifting at an elite level of powerlifting, which requires specialized facilities.” Lalonde had attempted to accommodate by using mats to pad the noisy weights, but that clearly wasn’t enough for this particular member.
Johnson added that they had attempted to reach out to Lalonde without success. He said he wanted to offer Lalonde and his entire family a free lifetime membership.