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July 18, 2012

Current Limits of Human Strength

One aspect of transhumanism is to exceed current human limits in various aspects of performance, intelligence, longevity and health.

The New Yorker has a lengthy article about Brian Shaw and the history of Strongmen Competitions and the curretn limits of human strength.

It wasn’t until 1953 that the first five-hundred-pound bench press was done. Today, you have guys who are doing a thousand pounds. How much can the human body take?

Mike Jenkins, an up-and-coming strongman from Hershey, Pennsylvania, had placed second to Shaw the year before. Mike Jenkins is six feet six and three hundred and ninety pounds. He won this years Arnold Strongman Classic.

Brian Shaw is six feet eight and four hundred and thirty pounds. His torso is three feet wide at the shoulders; his biceps are nearly two feet around. His neck is thicker than other men’s thighs. In 2011, he became the only man ever to win the two premier Strongman competitions in the same year. He has become, by some measures, the strongest man in history.

The Hummer Tire Dead Lift is up to eight oversized tires hung on a bar with steel plates—the heaviest of all the lifts. Shaw lifted a thousand and seventy-three pounds (while having a tendon injury in his left arm).

A new world record in the dead lift: eleven hundred and seventeen pounds.



Brian Shaw had an injury and his tendon will be repaired stronger than before which could enable him to make

The injury had been worse than he feared. The tendon had all but exploded—“It looked like the end of a mop,” his surgeon, Peter J. Millett, told me—and the muscle had fully retracted inside his arm. To reattach it, they’d had to trim the tendon down, drill a hole through the radius bone, then pull it through and secure it with a titanium button. “He said my tendons were three times the size of normal,” Shaw said. “They had to use a hip retractor.” Still, if he was lucky, the repaired biceps would be even stronger than before and more sturdily attached. “I heard the sutures they used are like the strongest industrial space-age stuff they could find,” Shaw said.


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