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There are three key ingredients to work - force, displacement, and cause.

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The 1015-pound Deadlift

The 1015-pound Deadlift

Credit: Artur Andrzej
Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benedikt_Magnusson.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Benedikt Magn?sson currently holds the raw deadlift (no equipment) record at 461 kilograms or 1015 pounds. By having a solid understanding of work, power, torque, and Newton's laws, with enough hard work and dedication others could achieve similar feats of strength.

Amazing But True

Credit: tpsdave
Source: http://pixabay.com/en/weights-weight-lifters-dead-lift-79587/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A man performing a deadlift [Figure2]

  • What most people don't realize about various forms of training is how a little knowledge of physics could greatly improve their results. To achieve superhuman levels of strength like Magn?sson, you have to do more than basic training. By monitoring a few variables during your training, you can determine if you're making progress or falling behind.
  • Using the squat for example, imagine an individual that is 5? 10? has a thigh that is 17 inches or 0.43 meters long. If this person performs the eccentric phase of a squat from a point where their thigh is parallel to the floor, he will have moved through a distance of approximately 0.43 meters. If the same person does the eccentric phase from a half squat, which is typically seen in most gyms, he will have moved through a total distance of 0.215 meters. Assuming all other variables are equal, the individual doing full squats will perform twice the amount of work. The only way the person doing the half squat would be able to perform the same amount of work would be if he increased the weight moved by a factor of 2!

Show What You?ve Learned

Using the information provided above, answer the following questions.

  1. A bar weighing 500 lbs is lifted vertically through a range of 10 in. How much work is performed? 
  2. If you placed a 200-lb barbell on your shoulders and walked for 10 m, how much work did you perform?
  3. If Magn?sson deadlifted 461 kg through a distance of 0.3 m, how much work did he perform?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Artur Andrzej; Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Benedikt_Magnusson.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: tpsdave; Source: http://pixabay.com/en/weights-weight-lifters-dead-lift-79587/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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