Get Him Outside, He’s In A Destructive Rage!

Posted: February 11, 2011 in Strength Stunts

Wow.  My hands hurt today.  Why?  Well, I tore seven phone books, a huge stack of magazines, some newspaper, and just about anything else I got my hands on yesterday.  I also bent a piece of rebar, a 12″ hot galvanized spike, and four 60D nails. That’s not even getting into the unsuccessful but amusing stunt that I tried but will not go into further detail about.

What can be inferred from all of this?  Well, I’m a nut.  We already knew that.  What else?  I have been researching phone book ripping, and there are essentially two schools of thought on the matter.  The first essentially goes with the “if I rip a non-doctored phone book with my own hands and no mechanical assistance, it’s fair” theory.  These folks do what is often called “popping” phone books.  While I don’t use quite the exaggerated technique that they do, I do rip from the top down, and do dig my thumbs in to gain leverage.  It is, I suppose, a bit of a trick, and it may not be a pure gauge of strength, but it is fun.

The other phone book ripping camp indicates that the bottom-up, against the thigh rip is the only way to claim a “legit” tear.  Up until yesterday, I had only given this a cursory try.  I still do not have the hang of it, exactly, but I can tear a 500 or 600 page book this way.  Plus side?  You can get some darned straight tears this way, if you keep a good grip on the book.  Downside?  I have yet to get the feel for the big books from this technique, and I also find that it beats up my hands a bit more.

Other ripping news?  The 1,000 page size is, at this moment, the sweet spot for me.  Tough and big enough to be satisfying, I can also get a pretty clean tear without chewing away at the top of the book for very long.  It’s not quite the titanic struggle that the larger books are.

My running battle with the 12″ hot galvanized spike had another round yesterday, and by my measurement, I got about 2 degrees more bend than last time.  These things are a massive challenge for a braced bend, making 3/8ths rebar feel like a stick of licorice.  Every time I tangle with those bad boys, I end up with bruises all over my thigh from it.  I will get a full “U” bend someday, however.  I just have to toughen my body to the point that it doesn’t give against the steel.

Stunt brave, stunt safe, and happy lifting!


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