Monday, February 11, 2013

Strong People Are Harder To Kill

This past Friday/Saturday Boston got dumped on with about 31 inches of snow in less than 24 hours. They called the blizzard "Nemo" but it certainly wasn't that cute and adorable.

My walkway
That's the front of my house...and that's a 10 foot long path to get from the sidewalk to the street. I came home to shovel this after shoveling my car out of a space at Kelsi's apartment. There was quite a bit of shoveling to be done and it wasn't easy work. But you know what? I felt so good after all of that that I still went into the gym for a late snatch session at 7 p.m. Why?  Because my body has been prepared for all of this.

Strength will always be the most important thing that you can train. Being able to run a marathon is cool. So is being able to sprint 100 meters in 11 seconds, or having huge symmetrical muscles. It's also great when people who have perfect flexibility from Yoga or perfect posture from Pilates, but what good does any of that do anyone when the proverbial shit hits the fan?

My best deadlift is 445 pounds, which really isn't that impressive. There's a lot of people out there who can lift a lot more than I can, but today was still a day full of sub-max efforts. I use a pretty big shovel, so let's say each scoop weighs 20-25 pounds (I have no evidence to substantiate that number, but it sounds right to  me). That means that each scoop of snow I picked up was 5.6% of my maximal capability. That's peanuts.

If my strength was limited by a maximal effort of a 185 pound deadlift, then each scoop becomes 13.5% of my capability. Even further, if I could only lift 95 pounds off of the ground, then each scoop of snow becomes 26% of what I could do for a single effort. This could be why so many old people die each year from shoveling snow! That's why we lift all those heavy-ass weights!

Obviously this post was intended (slightly) in jest. But the point is still serious: the stronger you are, the easier things become during your daily life. Everything else is great and should be trained in an appropriate fashion, but when it comes down to it you need to be strong, because strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.

Have a great day, and go lift some heavy shit!

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