28 June 2016

Super Strength (Part 2) – DRH020

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Episode 020 – Super Strength (Part 2)

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Super strength in medical terms is called ‘hysterical strength’ or ‘excited delirium’.

In this show we dive into the science and just give you the facts about its cause – the Adrenaline rush.

How can a young woman lift a car? That would be a ‘dead lift’ of some 3000lbs/1360kgs! Considering the official world record for deadlifting stands at just 1155lbs/524kg, how can everyday folks heft three times that amount?

Well here’s the thing – we’re stronger than we think. But our brain, under normal circumstances, sets a ‘maximum effort’ safety limit, so we don’t cause potentially permanent damage to our musculature.

It will only let us exceed these limits under ‘flight or fight’ life threatening situations. So it’s a kind of survival trait – handy for running away from that sabre tooth tiger!

In normal situations the safety limit is set quite low – around 60% – but trained athletes can push it to 80%. So you see even then there is still some untapped capacity.

But, in one of these extreme threat moments, our brain triggers a surge of adrenaline (epinephrine) boosting our heart rate and flooding our muscles with extra oxygenated blood, at the same time relaxing those safety limits.

There have been some studies done of this phenomena – listen to the program and learn the three ways known to boost strength – by up to 30% – and they’re all legal!

Do you have a personal story about super-strength? If so write about it to us via the comments section…

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