So how does a 185 pound man generate the power to tow a 25,000 pound school bus? It seems like it should be impossible. How is it that some athletic, muscular 185 pound men with regular strength training cannot generate that kind of force, yet some can? At the University of Waterloo they did a test to try to find out. Yours truly was the test subject of the day. Here is how the day went…
At the University of Waterloo I under went a battery of tests to help better understand how strength athletes generate their enormous force and power from their bodies.
I volunteered my day to them and arrived at the University at 10 am. As soon as I arrived I had to be prepped for the tests. They had to shave certain parts of my body and then place sensors there. In all I ended up having over 40 sensors placed over various muscles.
The whole process of attaching sensors to me and then attaching the sensors to the computers took the better part of an hour.
With the sensors in place, and the computer hooked up to me they had me do a variety of pulls with a weighted sled. Me pulling the weighted sled would give them an idea of my pulling power. They filmed the entire study, and had their computers record my every movement (and muscles used). The closest thing I can come to describing it would be if you have every seen how they make video games by attaching sensors to actors or athletes for the game and record their every movement into the computer. The computer then has those movements logged into its extensive memory.
In this case, they have on record every muscle I used to pull the weight in a variety of different pulling situations, and how much of every muscle is used. They have every muscle isolated, and can measure which muscles are generating the most force and for how long.
After pulling the sled equiped with a variety of weights, in a bunch of different ways of pulling (forwards, backwards, straight legged, side stepping, with bands on my feet to slow me down further, etc) the testing was finally done.
Though the sled pulling was draining on the system, the most painful part was definetly the removal of the 40 odd sensors from my body. Needless to say it was a lot easier to get them put on then taken off. If I knew it was going to be that painful I would have shaved my whole legs! It was like getting a full body waxing. In all it was a great time and me and the fellas doing the study had some good laughs in the process. I hope I was a help in their studies to better understand how certain people can generate so much power and force from their bodies. If nothing else they will have learned my pain tolerance for hair removal is below average.