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View Full Version : A Thanksgiving Day Challenge at Grandma's...



Sensei
10-24-2006, 01:31 PM
A few Thanksgivings ago, I found a 50lb scale weight that my grandmother was using to tie up her little dog with.

One of my uncles said that my great-grandfather, who probably weighed 150lbs sopping wet in his prime, one-arm pressed it about 22x back in the day.

Feeling up to the challenge, I took it to my shoulder like a kettlebell and pressed it 15x before giving up. I plan to try again the next time I'm at Grandma's farm - I'm shooting for 25 reps...

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a178/johnnymnemonic/f50165a2.jpg

Guido
10-24-2006, 01:58 PM
Very cool. I've seen those before. It was part of a strongman challenge to try to pick up two of those 50lb scale weight back to back by gripping both handles with one hand. I was able to do it no problem but a lot of people had a tough time with it.

Stumprrp
10-24-2006, 03:07 PM
awesome!!

JustinASU
10-24-2006, 03:51 PM
Better idea: How many times can you overhead press your grandma?

Dinosaur
10-24-2006, 04:27 PM
Looks like a fun thing to play around with. I'm that way too, always trying to find something weird or new to play around with.

beatlesfreak
10-24-2006, 06:30 PM
Sensei,

Not to hijack your thread, but I have a question based on your original post.

You metioned your small-of-stature great g'father was immensely strong.

How much of that do you attribute to old-generation hyperbole [had to walk uphill through the snow for two miles to get to school] and how much do you think may be true?

I've heard lots of old folks [getting old myself now too] tell stories of the good old days when people were physically stronger because they spent so much more of their lives physically active than today's X-Box generation.

Any truth to that in your opinion?

I recall when I was in high school [again, a million or so years ago] I was two inches taller than my own grandfather and I was a football player who practically lived in the weightroom, but he could outperform me in just about any physical contest until well into his seventies. It felt like he was going to rip my arm right off my body when we were armwrestling.

Humbling experience to be sure. I saw him split hardwood fire wood logs like they were made of balsa while I had to strike blow after blow to get the same log to crack. He always claimed that his generation was on average 15 to 20% stronger than my generation. I don't know where he came up with the stat, but he liked to use it a lot.

Oh, and good luck on your challenge.

Clifford Gillmore
10-24-2006, 06:39 PM
I've heard lots of old folks [getting old myself now too] tell stories of the good old days when people were physically stronger because they spent so much more of their lives physically active than today's X-Box generation.


Its not as much of the video game generation, its more of the IT generation. Gen Y or what ever you need to call it. There was more labour intesive jobs 50 years ago, more red meat was eaten, more vegtables, bigger damn hamburgers. My generation is filled with tools and gadgets that simplify the work load, ie. You'll never see a contractor carrying 4 bags of cement on his shoulders anymore, he'll Ive seen my old man do and I've given him a serve. But the human body is at its strongest it has ever been, due to science and bio-mechanics but thats not the point, and will develop even more. It just so happens that my Gen would prefer to work in front of a computer, and why not?



Looks like you had fun Sensei :)

waynedang
10-24-2006, 07:26 PM
I like the old odd lifts and strongman stuff. If you guys get a chance to check out strong mag it has lots of the odd lift and functional strength stuff in it.

http://www.strongmagz.com/



I was 18 when I went to the Army and could not beat my grandfather or father in a game of mercy (challenged both ). I could kick the crap out of most people my age but would get whipped by those two. They could do some amazing strenth feats but I doubt would do well at all in weight lifting. Just came from years of making a living with your hands.

Sensei
10-24-2006, 08:08 PM
beatlesfreak,
IMO (and many others), each successive generation is getting more and more pathetic physically. Of course, athletes are getting better and better, but the average American is getting fatter and weaker. Ask any P.E. teacher (regardless of how you feel about "P.E.") that's been around for 20+ years and they'll tell you the same thing - that kids today can't run or jump or do anything as well as they could 30, 20, or even 10 years ago.

As far as my great-grandfather goes, I wouldn't doubt the story at all. I can certainly imagine him sitting around with the family and/or neighbors with a challenge issued - someone pounds out a dozen reps, the next guy manages 20, and then great-grandpa eeks out two more. To someone who's trained with weights most of their life, it's pretty incredible. To them, it was probably just a silly challenge to pass the time and twenty-two reps with that scale-weight-thing was probably no big deal at all.

I remember walking out a barbell misloaded at a meet once. I called for 468 (I think) and they misloaded it to 600. The previous week, I had a fever and when I walked the weight out, I just thought "MAN, this weight feels HEAVY! That fever must have affected me more than I thought!". Anyway, I just walked the weight back to the racks and said "Nope, not today." and when they told me later that it was misloaded, I was amazed that I had been able to walk the weight out at all! The point is, that if I had any notion of how heavy the weight really was, I probably wouldn't have been able to UNRACK the weight, much less walk it out. I think that old-timers approaching a rock or weight would have the same advantage - a lack of inhibition when it came to lifting something heavy.

Dinosaur
10-24-2006, 10:09 PM
I call it "geezer strength."

RedSpikeyThing
10-25-2006, 09:46 AM
I call it "geezer strength."

I want some sick ass geezer strength when I'm an old fart. Military pressing grandma would be awsome...

Stumprrp
10-25-2006, 01:26 PM
50 lbs for 22 reps is impressive! i am now gonna do 1 arm press tomorrow haha

Guido
10-25-2006, 03:20 PM
Thinking of this post, I tried to do a 50lb DB press for reps at the end of my workout yesterday. It was getting tough by 15, by 20 it was going VERY slow, and funny thing is I managed EXACTLY 22 reps. I weigh just over 200 lbs and have been PLing for a while, so I'd say your grandpa doing it at 150 however many years ago is pretty impressive.

Sensei
10-26-2006, 07:35 PM
Thinking of this post, I tried to do a 50lb DB press for reps at the end of my workout yesterday. It was getting tough by 15, by 20 it was going VERY slow, and funny thing is I managed EXACTLY 22 reps. I weigh just over 200 lbs and have been PLing for a while, so I'd say your grandpa doing it at 150 however many years ago is pretty impressive.
LOL! Looks like great-grandpa wins on bodyweight!!

Nice job Guido. I'll definately let everyone know how things go this Thanksgiving. I'll try not to neglect the delt work between now and then - since my back is all ganked up, I won't have much else to do in the way of training anyway...

Bob
10-27-2006, 08:09 AM
Awesome thread Sensei.. can't wait for your results.. I was raise on a farm.. around farmers and loggers.. their strength was amazing. The "town" folks were weak in comparison.. except the furniture guy, who moved everything himself.

Working manual labor everyday does amazing things to your body.. your work load.. and your strength. There are days I wish I could make a decent living just chopping wood, picking ups stones and driving tractors. But here I sit chained to this dang computer.

Sensei
11-17-2006, 02:27 PM
Awesome thread Sensei.. can't wait for your results.. I was raise on a farm.. around farmers and loggers.. their strength was amazing. The "town" folks were weak in comparison.. except the furniture guy, who moved everything himself.

Working manual labor everyday does amazing things to your body.. your work load.. and your strength. There are days I wish I could make a decent living just chopping wood, picking ups stones and driving tractors. But here I sit chained to this dang computer.
Pavel wrote something like this in his book, "Beyond Bodybuilding". He said something to the effect of "If you work out one hour a day, and spend the other 23 sitting on your arse eating potato chips and drinking sodas, which activity do you think your body is going to reflect more?"

MixmasterNash
11-17-2006, 02:34 PM
Pavel wrote something like this in his book, "Beyond Bodybuilding". He said something to the effect of "If you work out one hour a day, and spend the other 23 sitting on your arse eating potato chips and drinking sodas, which activity do you think your body is going to reflect more?"
If I work out an hour a day, I can do ANYTHING the rest of the time, like drink a lot of beer and eat anything.

High metabolism is wonderful in this respect.

Adding muscle, on the other hand, is a royal pain.

Sensei
11-17-2006, 02:39 PM
Age has a way of slowing things down Mix. Give it a few years.

Guido
11-17-2006, 03:47 PM
Can't wait to see how you do on this challenge, Sensei. Have you been practicing?

HeavyBomber
11-17-2006, 08:37 PM
I plan to try again the next time I'm at Grandma's farm - I'm shooting for 25 reps...

That is awesome dude plus you gt to eat a whole bunch of good stuff. I love thanksgiving.

chris mason
11-18-2006, 05:50 PM
Where does your grandma live? I will come and rep that weight out like a mofo!

Songsangnim
11-18-2006, 08:39 PM
Where does your grandma live? I will come and rep that weight out like a mofo!


Any predictions on the number of reps?

I'm guessing you'd probably get around 30.

Bob
11-18-2006, 08:42 PM
Yeah.. but lets see Chris do it at 150 lbs like Sensei's grandpa!!

Sensei
11-19-2006, 03:51 PM
Guido,
Yes, I've been doing one-arm presses w. my 53lb and 70lb KBs. I think I'll get at least 25.

HeavyBomber,
Definately not a bad deal. Hopefully, Grandma's dog hasn't been relieving himself on the scale weight...

Chris,
Oh, you naughty, naughty man... My grandma's a little too old for you. She doesn't like muscley-men much either. ;) I have no doubt you'd get 40 or more.

Songsangnim, Bearwolf,
Bodyweight definately helps. Weight training too! Even though I know I'll probably crack 22, I'm a little humbled to think that my great-grandfather probably weighed AT THE VERY MOST 140-150 and never lifted a weight in his life. He was ancient when I knew him as a little boy and I'm guessing this whole pressing thing must have happened before WWII.

chris mason
11-19-2006, 04:03 PM
Any predictions on the number of reps?

I'm guessing you'd probably get around 30.


Maybe I will try it with a 50 lbs dumbbell in the gym and see what I can muster.

Said in my best Mr. T. impression voice: My prediction? Pain!

chris mason
11-19-2006, 04:04 PM
Guido,
Yes, I've been doing one-arm presses w. my 53lb and 70lb KBs. I think I'll get at least 25.

HeavyBomber,
Definately not a bad deal. Hopefully, Grandma's dog hasn't been relieving himself on the scale weight...

Chris,
Oh, you naughty, naughty man... My grandma's a little too old for you. She doesn't like muscley-men much either. ;) I have no doubt you'd get 40 or more.

Songsangnim, Bearwolf,
Bodyweight definately helps. Weight training too! Even though I know I'll probably crack 22, I'm a little humbled to think that my great-grandfather probably weighed AT THE VERY MOST 140-150 and never lifted a weight in his life. He was ancient when I knew him as a little boy and I'm guessing this whole pressing thing must have happened before WWII.


Lol, I was just kidding although it would be fun!

Sexybeast777
11-20-2006, 03:29 AM
My grandfather was unusually strong because of hard work and labor, I remember I couldn't beat him in arm wrestling when I was 21, he was about 75yrs old. He also had a pretty muscular ripped physique, I thought he was crazy....lol

chris mason
11-21-2006, 05:44 PM
I tried a 50 lb dumbbell in the gym. I got it with my right arm for 45 reps and had a few left in me. Bring on grandpa!

Chris

Sensei
11-21-2006, 06:01 PM
I computed out your 45 reps making allowances for bodyweight - at a bodyweight of 150, you'd get exactly 8 repetitions.

;) Nice job you beast!

chris mason
11-21-2006, 06:22 PM
I computed out your 45 reps making allowances for bodyweight - at a bodyweight of 150, you'd get exactly 8 repetitions.

;) Nice job you beast!


Lol, or I could do a 120 lbs dumbell for reps. Unfortunately, I would only get a couple and not 20+!

chris mason
11-21-2006, 06:23 PM
I computed out your 45 reps making allowances for bodyweight - at a bodyweight of 150, you'd get exactly 8 repetitions.

;) Nice job you beast!

Oh, and that was after 14 sets of squats (to include warm-ups)! My excuse :evillaugh .

waynedang
11-21-2006, 07:37 PM
I am gonna have to try this now that my meets are over for a while. I know my dad has some of these laying around so I will give it a shot soon. Also try laying two on there side and pick them both up with one hand for time. They should look like this _][_ Let us know how you do and good luck thursday!!!

Stumprrp
11-21-2006, 08:14 PM
1 arm press is one of my fav. strength testers! ive done 20 reps with 50 lbs no problem after 5-6 work sets.

cant wait to see how u do big man

Sensei
11-22-2006, 09:51 PM
I hate to disappoint, but my son has a fever. I won't be making it to grandma's farm for Thanksgiving afterall... Sorry.

nhlfan
11-22-2006, 09:55 PM
I hate to disappoint, but my son has a fever. I won't be making it to grandma's farm for Thanksgiving afterall... Sorry.
It's alright, his health is more important. Let us know when you do try it.

deeder
11-23-2006, 12:30 AM
I hate to disappoint, but my son has a fever. I won't be making it to grandma's farm for Thanksgiving afterall... Sorry.

Damnit Sensei! You should have cranked up the heat in the car and let him sweat it out on the way there!!! :windup:

Hope he's better soon!

WBBIRL
11-23-2006, 05:15 AM
Jesus... 50 pounds dumbells even seem pretty rough for that many reps. Sorry to hear about your son.

deeder
11-23-2006, 08:46 AM
Jesus... 50 pounds dumbells even seem pretty rough for that many reps. Sorry to hear about your son.

I know I wouldn't be able to do it for more than a few clean reps without turning them into a one arm push press.

biggimp
12-01-2006, 12:36 AM
my dad worked in the engine rooms of the steam ships in the navy. after he got out he never lifted any weights, now he cant squat 135 or bench 185, i am benching about 300 or so, he still destoys me in mercy and armwrestling, etc. because im a nancy city boy, lol.

WBBIRL
12-23-2006, 03:46 PM
Tried this yesterday, got 2 sets of 20 reps with my right shoulder.

Dunno how much more was left, probably not but 10... my muscular endurance sucks right now. Of course I'm also now just shy of being twice the weight of your grandfather lol.

Sensei
11-22-2007, 07:55 PM
Fast forward to today, and I had another go at the thing. Somehow it looked bigger than I remembered it... I tried to hold it like a kettlebell and realized, with it's sharp edges that it would NOT be held that way. Basically, to press it, you have two choices - bottoms up, or hold it like a kettlebell, but with the wrist bent way back. I went with the second option and, with my uncle counting but distracted by birds in a nearby tree, managed 20 with a 4 second lockout on the final rep.

I was a little irritated by my failure (and failure to train for the attempt), but after hearing more tales of my great-grandfather's strength was consoled, a little... It was fun to listen to my uncles talk about the things they saw on the farm growing up - tales of guys doing pinkie lifts and presses with scale weights like this one, rafter pullups, lifting pairs of full 5 gallon buckets over fences all day, etc. It makes you wonder how strong you might be if you had grown up w. hard manual labor. I'm certainly not complaining that the hardest physical thing I did growing up was "practice", but it does makes you wonder...

As a gift, my grandmother gave me the scale-weight. It now sits in my garage, but I plan to make any "official" attempts at Grandma's farm in front of relatives.

Chubrock
11-22-2007, 09:02 PM
Haha very awesome. How's your training been coming btw?

mickyjune26
11-22-2007, 09:12 PM
this is a cool tradition. I plan to be around for your attempt next year.

chinaz
11-22-2007, 09:17 PM
thats waayy awesome!!!

deeder
11-22-2007, 09:46 PM
That's pretty cool stuff Sensei! I wish my family did stuff like that!

Glad to see you posting again :)