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UNLV football weight-lifting video goes viral

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UNLV Athletics

Sophomore running back Lexington Thomas completes a set of squats surrounded by the rest of the UNLV football team in a video that went viral on July 25, 2016.

One thing’s for sure, Keith Belton knows how to throw a party.

UNLV football’s director of strength and conditioning injected a lot of life into the Rebels’ workouts when he joined coach Tony Sanchez’s staff last year. One of those weight-lifting sessions from Monday has now gone viral as ESPN, Bleacher Report and others shared running back Lexington Thomas’ squats while surrounded by a boisterous cheering section.

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The original video, which includes the caption “Hard Work. High Energy. Welcome to the UNLV Football weight room. #TheNewEra,” has amassed more than 450,000 views on Facebook since being posted at 9:35 a.m. Monday. Monday night, ESPN tweeted it out to its more than 29 million followers and today, Bleacher Report’s Twitter account shared the video with its nearly 3 million followers.

On Instagram, ESPN, Bleacher Report and House of Highlights each sent out a version of the video. Combined, they’ve garnered more than 1 million views and thousands of comments.

Scenes like this have become commonplace over the past year at UNLV. The difference is the videos have been mostly sent out on players’ accounts, like this one last year from freshman linebacker Gabe McCoy.

Monday’s video features Thomas, who's listed at 5 feet 9 inches tall and 165 pounds, completing five squats at 375 pounds with assistant strength coach Jeff Eaton spotting him. Meanwhile, all around them, players are swaying, dancing and yelling while Belton and other coaches blow whistles. When Thomas racks the bar, Eaton and the players hoist him on their shoulders.

It’s a glimpse into the atmosphere Sanchez and Belton have worked to create over the past year and a half, and now a lot of people across the country have seen how much fun the Rebels are having.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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