T Nation

Using Strength

I was just thinking about how rarely strength is required in ‘modern day’ society.
The most strenuous activity I encounter in my everyday life is–I can’t even think of one–walking up the stairs at the Lexington Ave. subway stop while carrying a gym bag? Maybe lifting our vaccuum cleaner out of the closet. Even the chairs at work have wheels so we don’t have to lift them. I lift up the wife and she jumps on me which is fun. I guess if you have kids you have to carry them around a bit also. Groceries? A bit disturbing to think carrying a bag of groceries if the most physically demanding activity we need to encounter

Hmm…4 hours per week at the gym. 164 hours per week not at the gym.

I agree on the point of how sadly sedentary the average day for someone can be, but I certainly don’t see the strength I build in the gym going to waste. It’s there for when I need it.

My wife is constantly having me carry her around. At 125lbs. throwing her over my shoulder is a piece of cake. For the ‘average’ guy, it wouldn’t be.

I can change the wheels on my truck really easily.

I can move furniture without breaking a sweat.

I can punch someone in the face really hard.

See, it’s fun being strong. Not a waste at all.

Think of it this way: Everytime we do anything, it’s that much easier.

Imagine being weaker, like Barney Fife weak. That would suck. Then imagine being weaker still, like Stephen Hawking. Be grateful for strength.

It’s more of a hobby thing than a neccesity thing, but fun nonetheless.

True. Though I wasn’t saying it’s a waste. I love lifting and imagine we (who exercise) will live longer and have more energy on a daily basis. I know I feel much better when I’m exercising and eating well. Just an observatiom that if you don’t actively seek exercise and have a white-collar job you will never be physically pushed. The physical equivalent of having an adult of average intelligence watch Teletubbies 12 hours per day.

[quote]Bauer97 wrote:
I agree on the point of how sadly sedentary the average day for someone can be, but I certainly don’t see the strength I build in the gym going to waste. It’s there for when I need it.[/quote]

Same here:

Carrying computers or monitors (I’m a computer dude).

Or carrying many things at once, because I’m lazy and don’t like to make return trips.

Breaking bolts on a car (though, it’s easier then to over-torque… doh!)

Lugging many pounds of normal camp gear through the woods, without having to spend all that money on fancy backpacker items. (Actually… that sucked! But I was able to do it, and got stronger.)

Being asked to open things, or to move things, even if not that heavy. I met a girl once by moving her little 19" TV up three flights.

Which brings me to killing grizzly bears and aliens to save womankind from being eaten or abducted, before you have a chance to make love to them.

Because it’s about preparedness too. And the size which comes with strength, causing most people to give us respect. Ignore the haters or be encouraged by them. We know we’ve done well for ourselves.

But the #1 reason why I know it’s good to be strong, is that I keep getting stronger. I wouldn’t keep doing something if the perceived benefits didn’t outweigh the perceived detriments, as I don’t think anyone would.

[quote]lesotho72 wrote:
Just an observatiom that if you don’t actively seek exercise and have a white-collar job you will never be physically pushed.[/quote]

If not challenged enough, my suggestion would be to take up a hobby or sport that benefits from strength, but is more often than not partaken of by average strengthened people.

Like my example above, of backpacking. There’s also rock climbing, sailing, mountain biking, etc. Lots of adventure type sports aren’t usually done by athletes. Maybe some more traditional sports as well. We can get a good workout at this, and do it better than the other guys!

And for us parents, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to carry one 40 lb kid in one arm and with the other arm, pull a wagon with two kids (50 lbs and 30 lbs, respectively) for 5 or 6 blocks.

Plus its fun being able to do pushups with each kid taking a turn on my back so they can “ride the horsey.” Perfect time for descending sets.

I believe Kailash mentioned this, but just because you don’t ever use maximum strength in real life doesn’t mean that having great strength doesn’t help. Most of us have probably forgotten how much more difficult some things are when you are weaker.

The only example I can remember is when moving my furniture in college. When my brother gave me his futon after freshman year, I had to get a friend to help me move the cushion and frame individually. After I graduated senior year, I was able to carry the frame in one hand with the cushion flung over the opposite shoulder. I doubt I would have been able to do that earlier.

[quote]rohay wrote:
Plus its fun being able to do pushups with each kid taking a turn on my back so they can “ride the horsey.” Perfect time for descending sets.

[/quote]

Way to go… the lighter kid is gonna develop a complex later in life due to having to ‘ride the horsey’ second, while his bigger sibling always went first. Good job, dad.

Haha, kidding man.

My summer job is working at a kayak shop. For 20 hours a week of pickin up kayaks (that get as heavy as 80 lbs), being [relatively, in my case] strong helps. A kid younger than me was hired there and was about 5’10 at 140 lbs and didnt last a month.

PS… does anyone else want to see a picture of 270lb bauer standing next to his 125lb wife?

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:

PS… does anyone else want to see a picture of 270lb bauer standing next to his 125lb wife?[/quote]

There will be no viewing of my wife on this site. Maybe if there’s another TestFest event I’ll bring her along to show off. Hotness like hers can really only be appreciated in person.

I take pride in having always been at least twice the size of the females I have dated.

In high school I pulled the triple, weighing 240 and dating an 80lb. cheerleader. That was fun…

[quote]Bauer97 wrote:
In high school I pulled the triple, weighing 240 and dating an 80lb. cheerleader. That was fun…

[/quote]

So, you strted dating her at 230… then bulked your ass off even more just so you could say you outweighed her threefold, huh.

By the way, thats fuckin awesome.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Bauer97 wrote:
In high school I pulled the triple, weighing 240 and dating an 80lb. cheerleader. That was fun…

So, you strted dating her at 230… then bulked your ass off even more just so you could say you outweighed her threefold, huh.

By the way, thats fuckin awesome.[/quote]

Fuckin’a… I am about 220 and the girl I date is 105…it can be quite entertaning. :wink:

You never know when your strength and training will come in useful.

3 years ago I went down onto the beach and noticed a load of women and children screaming and crying by the shore. I looked out to sea and there were 3 people caught in a rip tide and being swept out.

I learnt afterwards that a young boy had got into difficulties on his body board, his granddad had gone in to save him… started struggling himself, and then ANOTHER old chap had gone in to help the two of them. End result, all 3 of them in big trouble.

Back in my teens I had done some basic aquatic lifesaving training and
before I knew it I was out there myself. That was the easy part.

The young boy and his granddad had stopped trying to swim against the tide and were floating on the body board and kicking for a boulder groyne that ran out to sea, so I went to help the other bloke.

Unfortunately he was in his 60’s, had Angina and must have weighed close to 300LB. By the time I got to him he was starting to go under the waves and was completely exhausted.

My first attempt to help him saw us both go under as he panicked and grabbed me. I managed to break free and when we surfaced I screamed at him to just calm down and let me help him.

I managed to turn him onto his back and started towing. We had no chance of getting to the shore so I headed for the groyne.

This is when my few years of strength and fitness training paid off. The tide was still pulling us out to sea, the waves were washing over us and after a couple of minutes I was completely fucked. It took every ounce of strength I had but by Gods grace I managed to tow him to the groyne and heave him onto the boulders.

I know that if I had never trained I simply wouldnt have been able to do this and the two of us would have never made it out of that sea. Infact, I am grateful for every single fitness session that I had ever done before that day.

It was such a close run thing that after heaving him out I couldnt physically pull myself from the sea and it was only a freakishly large wave (my family who were on the beach call it a miracle wave) that lifted me out of the ocean, onto the rocks and to safety.

Thankfully the young boy and his granddad had made it just before us and eventually we were picked up by the coast guard.

I know its not an example of using your strength in an everyday environment but its good to have it there just in case! You never know what situation you will be confronted with tomorrow…

[quote]Kailash wrote:
Think of it this way: Everytime we do anything, it’s that much easier.

Imagine being weaker, like Barney Fife weak. That would suck. Then imagine being weaker still, like Stephen Hawking. Be grateful for strength.[/quote]

I think ol Fife is going to be slightly pissed when he sees this. You know he is looking for a good vitamin.

D

[quote]Ashes wrote:
You never know when your strength and training will come in useful.

3 years ago I went down onto the beach and noticed a load of women and children screaming and crying by the shore. I looked out to sea and there were 3 people caught in a rip tide and being swept out.

I learnt afterwards that a young boy had got into difficulties on his body board, his granddad had gone in to save him… started struggling himself, and then ANOTHER old chap had gone in to help the two of them. End result, all 3 of them in big trouble.

Back in my teens I had done some basic aquatic lifesaving training and
before I knew it I was out there myself. That was the easy part.

The young boy and his granddad had stopped trying to swim against the tide and were floating on the body board and kicking for a boulder groyne that ran out to sea, so I went to help the other bloke.

Unfortunately he was in his 60’s, had Angina and must have weighed close to 300LB. By the time I got to him he was starting to go under the waves and was completely exhausted.

My first attempt to help him saw us both go under as he panicked and grabbed me. I managed to break free and when we surfaced I screamed at him to just calm down and let me help him.

I managed to turn him onto his back and started towing. We had no chance of getting to the shore so I headed for the groyne.

This is when my few years of strength and fitness training paid off. The tide was still pulling us out to sea, the waves were washing over us and after a couple of minutes I was completely fucked. It took every ounce of strength I had but by Gods grace I managed to tow him to the groyne and heave him onto the boulders.

I know that if I had never trained I simply wouldnt have been able to do this and the two of us would have never made it out of that sea. Infact, I am grateful for every single fitness session that I had ever done before that day.

It was such a close run thing that after heaving him out I couldnt physically pull myself from the sea and it was only a freakishly large wave (my family who were on the beach call it a miracle wave) that lifted me out of the ocean, onto the rocks and to safety.

Thankfully the young boy and his granddad had made it just before us and eventually we were picked up by the coast guard.

I know its not an example of using your strength in an everyday environment but its good to have it there just in case! You never know what situation you will be confronted with tomorrow…
[/quote]

Holy crap…That’s a pretty intense story. Whenever I read things like this it usually ends up with every drowned because of the panic and lack of training. Nicely done!

[quote]rugbyhit wrote:
Ashes wrote:
You never know when your strength and training will come in useful.

3 years ago I went down onto the beach and noticed a load of women and children screaming and crying by the shore. I looked out to sea and there were 3 people caught in a rip tide and being swept out.

I learnt afterwards that a young boy had got into difficulties on his body board, his granddad had gone in to save him… started struggling himself, and then ANOTHER old chap had gone in to help the two of them. End result, all 3 of them in big trouble.

Back in my teens I had done some basic aquatic lifesaving training and
before I knew it I was out there myself. That was the easy part.

The young boy and his granddad had stopped trying to swim against the tide and were floating on the body board and kicking for a boulder groyne that ran out to sea, so I went to help the other bloke.

Unfortunately he was in his 60’s, had Angina and must have weighed close to 300LB. By the time I got to him he was starting to go under the waves and was completely exhausted.

My first attempt to help him saw us both go under as he panicked and grabbed me. I managed to break free and when we surfaced I screamed at him to just calm down and let me help him.

I managed to turn him onto his back and started towing. We had no chance of getting to the shore so I headed for the groyne.

This is when my few years of strength and fitness training paid off. The tide was still pulling us out to sea, the waves were washing over us and after a couple of minutes I was completely fucked. It took every ounce of strength I had but by Gods grace I managed to tow him to the groyne and heave him onto the boulders.

I know that if I had never trained I simply wouldnt have been able to do this and the two of us would have never made it out of that sea. Infact, I am grateful for every single fitness session that I had ever done before that day.

It was such a close run thing that after heaving him out I couldnt physically pull myself from the sea and it was only a freakishly large wave (my family who were on the beach call it a miracle wave) that lifted me out of the ocean, onto the rocks and to safety.

Thankfully the young boy and his granddad had made it just before us and eventually we were picked up by the coast guard.

I know its not an example of using your strength in an everyday environment but its good to have it there just in case! You never know what situation you will be confronted with tomorrow…

Holy crap…That’s a pretty intense story. Whenever I read things like this it usually ends up with every drowned because of the panic and lack of training. Nicely done![/quote]

Ha ha! Cheers. I never said there was no panic : ) When I first got him on his back and tried pulling for the shore we went nowhere at all because of the strength of the tide. I had all on just keeping us afloat and thats when I thought “Oh FUCK Ive had it now”.

Luckily, before I could start panicking myself he said “leave me lad, ive had it, get yourself out” and he stopped fighting to stay afloat for a moment.

I just went into some sort of zone then and started shouting at him “cummon, were gonna do this, just kick as hard as ya can, keep kicking, nearly there, nearly there, cummon…” etc. until we got to the rocks.

It was the most intense thing thats ever happened to me and shook me up a bit for a few days. I have no idea how guys who are frequently in life and death situations (fire fighters, soldiers etc) deal with the emotional workload of it all. Massive respect.

Thats pretty damned amazing.

Many of us have had that moment where you’ve thought… “well thats about all i’ve got”

I remember seeing George Foreman interviewed about his fight w/ Ali.
The rope a dope fight. He said at one point, in a clinch, Ali asked him “george, is that all youve got” George remembered thinking “Yup, thats about it” Minutes later he was laying on the canvas.

Glad to read you found that extra reserve.

about as close as I ever got to using my strength in a life or death situation was being able to give my brother-in-law the Heimlich maneuver during thanksgiving dinner. He’s a good sized guy…220 lbs or more with a big barrel chest…big old German. I look over into the kitchen and see him turning blue with his hands around his neck. Everyone just staring, sitting at the table. I run over and give him 3 or 4 big squeezes, picking him off the ground each time. Finally that crap flew out of his mouth.

Thank God I was there. Everyone in the family is a bunch of little Italians

Lookinh real strong will have more of an effect on day-to-day life than actually being strong.