T Nation

Physics Project

Okay guys i have a science project due and always like ideas pertaining to weight lifting.

I have to do a physics project that helps explain a law of physics. I would love to be able to incorporate exercises/weightlifting/etc into my project.

anyone have any good ideas?

thanks in advance


What level course is this for? Weightlifting physics is basically simple mechanics, as far as I can see, unless you get into biomechanics or physiology. If that’s ok, here are a few not-so-good ideas, none seem big enough by themselves:

  1. Comparing lifts on different leg presses (sled angle, pulley system with a weight stack machine, etc.)

  2. Figuring out what you’re actually lifting on a home gym (the pulley multiplication/reduction factor again).

  3. My favorite: How to safely unload a barbell. Basically, how many plates can you take off one side before the bar launches itself off the rack?

It depends on the bar length and especially the separation between support posts (even loading single 35’s on a curl bar can go poorly). For more fun, calculate what happens to the bar next…

  1. Make a leverage calculator for the squat. I’m thinking you specify someone’s body (length of upper and lower legs and back, at least) and bar position and it tells you the tension his back has to produce at the bottom of the squat. Or something like that, to show how much tougher it is for some guys.

That’s all that comes to mind.

I had to do a physics symposeum project for my A.P. Physics course two years ago and did a comparison of knee torque and forces in a squat and leg extension.