A 25-year-old Washington man was killed yesterday when a 150-pound barbell that he was lifting fell on his neck and strangled him, according to the D.C. medical examiner's office.

Andre Archer of 4030 Livingston Rd. SE was lifting weights in his room shortly after 11:30 a.m. when the accident occurred. His father said the victim, who was 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 115 pounds, lifted weights in an effort to develop his physique.

The younger Archer was on his back on a bench and lifting the weights above his neck and chest in an exercise known as bench pressing.

"He must have given out and it fell on him," said Alphonso Archer, his father.

Assistant D.C. medical examiner Douglas S. Dixon said the victim probably lost consciousness immediately. There was no indication that he had tried to move the weights.

Dixon, who said he exercises with weights, said that "It's important for people to know that while doing bench presses, the weights could become too heavy or your hands might become slippery and the weights could fall." He suggested that persons lifting weights do so in the company of at least one other person.

Archer said he and his wife were in another part of the house when the accident occurred. One of Archer's brothers discovered the accident shortly after noon, the father said.

A graduate of Ballou High School, young Archer earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of the District of Columbia. He worked in the laboratory at Suburban Hospital and was planning to go to medical school.

In addition to his parents, Archer is survived by three brothers and a sister.