Monday, May 29, 2006

Leg Press

Noodling the 'net over my morning coffee earlier I came across the following in Slate:
In a New York Times Magazine interview last month, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright mentioned that she can leg press 400 pounds. Now evangelical sparkplug Pat Robertson is shilling protein shakes by claiming he can leg press 2,000 pounds. That's right, one ton—about four-fifths the curb weight of a Mini Cooper.

Although I don't do leg presses regularly, it was not really possible for me to go the gym today without attempting to get some perspective on this. The Technogym leg press cable machine in Virgin Active has a maximum load of 190kg which is 418lb. I can handle that reasonably comfortably so I am proud to say that I am at least in Madeleine Albright territory.

I've got no way of testing it but I imagine I could get some way into the 200+ kg range. Let's assume generously that I might be able to get a few reps out at 500lb, that is still only 25% of Pat Robertson's mark.

Although Robertson does claim to have got God to do some rather odd things in the past, such as revising the paths of hurricanes, I note that this particular athletic achievement, in the eighth decade of his life, is credited to a protein wonder-drink rather than divine intervention.

"Unless I see the marks in his hamstrings and put my finger where the quads are, and put my hand on his glutes, I will not believe it."

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