The Strongest People In The World

July 23, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Burkhard Bilger delved into the world of strong-man competitions and met the strongest people in the world:

  • Strongman events aren’t like weight lifting events. You do everyday tasks like lift logs or carry rocks.
  • The performance improvements in recent times have been stunning. In 1953 the first 500 pound bench press was done. These days it’s around 1,000.
  • Americans no longer do well in Olympic weight lifting events. Strongmen events have since become the proving grounds for America’s strongest people.
  • Diet is important. Before competitions they’ll eliminate liquids and salts to remove the water underneath their skin – giving them an advantage.
  • Fat helps to insulate them from the physical stresses to their body. They force themselves to eat far beyond the point of hunger. A typical breakfast can include ten eggs, and three pounds of bacon. Throughout the day they periodically drink 1,200 calorie shakes.
  • It’s not just muscle mass. Power depends on how quickly you can use that strength. The most powerful have muscle fibers that are synchronized and react quickly.
  • Despite all the blood they shed and the punishment their bodies go through, the money is uninspiring. Most competitions yield around $4,000 for the winner. The most competitive ones go up to $55,000.

It’s an article from The New Yorker which means that the summary provided here can’t possible do it justice. It’s long, interesting, and informative. Some of the many, many, (many) things you’ll find include the physical punishment that the participants endure, the spectre of drug abuse, the role that yoga plays, and how it relates to Arnold Schwarzenegger, when you click here.

Source: The New Yorker

Via: Marginal Revolution