The annals of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and World’s Strongest Man (WSM) training sometimes collide with the irresponsible, fun fearlessness of machismo and lead lifters to lifting things which would normally be taboo. Instead of lifting a barbell for deadlifts, why not lift a car by its rear bumper? Before you laugh, punch in “pick up car” into youtube.com and discover just how many people are crazy (and brave) enough to try this feat on a whim. It turns out the bond between man and vehicle goes way beyond simply changing her oil. The ability to pick up a car is a big deal to many Alpha males, so we understand you’re going to have the urge at one point in your life. The important thing is to do it correctly with minimal risk of injury.
Here are a few thoughts to consider before you waddle out to your driveway and just grab the first bumper you see. Take them will a grain of salt, and if there are any brain cells still functioning in that head of yours, avoid this exercise altogether and just enjoy watching the antics of others risking their back health for amusement.
Don’t attempt to walk outside and pick up the front end of your 4,500 pound Ford truck. Instead, grab the empty rear end of your parents’ Geo Metro and get lifting. The car is going to weight more than it looks, so starting with a reasonable vehicle is always the way to go for this very silly exercise.
You’re going to be grabbing the underside of something metal (the bumper) and you’re probably not all that sure what is inside that bumper. Rust, sharp edges and a variety of insects come to mind as potential mates for your blind fingers. Wear the gloves and protect your hand, and you might just get through the evening without a tetanus shot!
Remember the weight belt
If you’re doing shots at the party and the subject of cars or lifting comes up, you may feel so inspired to run outside and show them what you’ve got. This obviously isn’t a very good idea. Use a weight belt when you’re lifting a vehicle. You may feel invincible, but there is only a very thin layer of skin and nerves which is the only thing separating your from a very painful back injury or hernia. Wear the belt under your shirt if you feel it won’t make you look as good in photos or video.
Find something, anything, to warm up with before attempting to lift several hundred pounds off of the driveway or street. A barbell would be your best bet, but a couch or other heavy object for two sets of 10 reps may suffice as well.
The bottom line is that you probably shouldn’t be picking up cars for exercise. However, if you are going to do it (and many men are!) you should at the very least be prepared for the task.
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