misandry in real life
November 14, 2014 7:29 PM   Subscribe

“So You Want to Pick Up and Lift a Man Overhead”: A Fitness Roundtable: The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t any more ridiculous or unlikely than any headline or superlative you catch on a mainstream fitness magazine, like “Get Amazing Abs in 16 Minutes!” I figured any program written to help a woman pick up a man and lift him overhead was going to lead to better overall health and fitness than any program written to “reveal your abs” in short period of time.

Previously on The Toast by Hieu Truong: How I Learned to Love Pumping Iron

Other recent fitness Toast posts:

I Was a Teen Gym Rat by Sarah Edwards

On Becoming and Unbecoming an Athlete by Elis Bradshaw
posted by Rustic Etruscan (36 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
They emphasize slowly increasing one's lifting ability, but it seems like it would be easier to just gradually cut off pieces of the man in order to make him lighter.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [69 favorites]


I can't lift him overhead (yet) but I CAN lift my husband off the ground, which causes him to put out his arms and pretend he's Superman.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:01 PM on November 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


Alternatively, aim for the youngest man you can find, then gradually try older ones. I've worked all the way up to a toddler.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:16 PM on November 14, 2014 [37 favorites]


what if the man turns out to be like 5-6 toddlers in a trench coat
posted by poffin boffin at 8:16 PM on November 14, 2014 [38 favorites]


Those are some well balanced (and well behaved) toddlers if they can all share a trenchcoat.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:21 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


what if the man turns out to be like 5-6 toddlers in a trench coat

Three Stooges eye-pokes, then lift.
posted by notyou at 8:31 PM on November 14, 2014


Sheeesh. Somebody has totally misunderstood the term "Pick Up Artist".
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:52 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


How to Lift a Man Over Your Head: Be Grace Jones.
posted by MissySedai at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


Alternatively, aim for the youngest man you can find, then gradually try older ones. I've worked all the way up to a toddler.

I stole a young man named Patrick at the winery last weekend. He was 4 months old, had blue eyes the size and shade of Delft dinner plates, was cute as a button...and the hour that I carried him around and soothed and snuggled him so that his parents could enjoy a little wine? Left me with arms that I could not lift above shoulder height the next day.
posted by MissySedai at 9:10 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


OK. So, I went from "Lift almost any human being from the ground one-handed" to "lift almost a half-gallon of milk one-handed" due to weight-loss surgery compounded by a torn rotator cuff, which was bothersome but not crippling until the weight came off, the muscle mass dwindled, and now I can't lift nothin' overhead. I do hack-squats and pulley-machine squats, bicep cable rows, dumbell kick-backs, nothing resembling a pushing motion. Maybe sometime next year I can try that, says the ortho. I once lifted the weight tree - the rack they store weights on - when I started at the gym for reasons too "dumb male" to explain, mostly in rage that Starting Strength and/or Stronglifts weren't working right. That would be an impossible fantasy for me now. I'm at the gym 3x/week, and I got weaker.

I miss being strong. I don't miss being sick and tired all the time. Lift and stretch and cardio. Not sorry I do it, even if it makes me embarrassed at how badly I do it at times, and how little I have to "show" for it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:20 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


If anyone has tips on how to deal with the height differential and balance and grip issues, I'd love to hear them.

My man friend weighs only about 30 pounds more than I do, but is about a foot taller than I am. The few times he's submitted to me lifting him (just barely) off the ground, I have been at a loss for how to hold and what to do with that much floppy human being, what with all the squishy bits and pendulous extremities.

It would help if people came with, say, suitcase handles, or even those brightly colored climbing wall grips.

As is, I'm pretty sure that if I ever have to fireman lift him, his head is going to hit each and every step on the way downstairs. Which would be a shame. It's a nice head.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:54 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


My 5 year old keeps trying to lift me. She's strong enough to upset my balance, so I recently started to tell her to stop. This article has persuaded me to help her keep trying until she succeeds.
posted by kandinski at 12:55 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


If anyone has tips on how to deal with the height differential and balance and grip issues, I'd love to hear them.

They recommend the Steinborn squat, which is essentially a barbell version of the more relevant kata guruma from judo. Notice in this demonstration the shallower squat compared to the Steinborn, as well as the use of the rear hand to drag the partner's arm into place. That latter trick makes a height differential into an advantage.

For the grip I'd try collar and belt, or armpit and inside of the pants right at the crotch. But really I don't know. I'd worry about the 205 pound push press and getting a big deadlift first. Those aren't nothing to shake a stick at. Achieving those will turn many suboptimal grips useful. I'm an average-sized guy who lifts and trains combat sports—I throw guys over my shoulder regularly, and (please read this sentence in terms of Oly lifting) I've jerked more than my own bodyweight—but holding a guy my size overhead? That would be a challenge. The FPP's pullquote is extremely correct: you might not hit this goal, but working towards it is a great way to proceed.

In related work, the Turkish get-up (from floor to standing with partner overhead) has recently become a popular demonstration of lifting (lighter) people overhead.
posted by daveliepmann at 1:42 AM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


My man friend weighs only about 30 pounds more than I do, but is about a foot taller than I am. The few times he's submitted to me lifting him (just barely) off the ground, I have been at a loss for how to hold and what to do with that much floppy human being, what with all the squishy bits and pendulous extremities.

As someone who lifts people (specifically: any of my male cousins) 2-2.5x heavier than him maybe once every other year when holiday reunions get rowdy, some tips:
1) Approach from the front, squatting position
2) Wrap arms around the other person, right under their buttocks, with each hand grasping the other by the part of the palm just under the thumb
3) Your face (turned sideways) or upper chest should now be pressed up against their lower belly - or in cases of extreme obesity, their crotch.
4) Tuck your feet in a bit closer to theirs than you might at first think - remember that we want to lift up, not up and back (that would be a great way to wreck your back, and probably goes double for women due to their lower-seated center-mass/torso-fulcrum muscle distribution)
5) Execute a standard leg press + sort of half-deadlift into a standing position, while each hand holds the other for dear life.
6) Try not to lock your knees when you finish, if possible.

Congratulations, you have just lifted a 300-400lb man (or whatever 2.5x your mass might be) about 1.5-2 feet off the ground, and if you got the position right you can probably hold it for a solid minute. With practice you can sort of walk-shuffle them around, although I wouldn't hazard stairs.
posted by Ryvar at 2:16 AM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Break up the movements: pull him off the bed or the couch to your shoulder, then toss him back down.

This may be easier with a human than a cat.
posted by arcticseal at 5:27 AM on November 15, 2014


(Why does the title have misandry?)


Only read the first article, but I think this would be cool to be able to do.

However, it's using so many weightlifting-specific terms that I'm assuming it's not for people brand new to lifting?
I'm utterly unfamiliar with gyms, but I can lift people who aren't too much heavier off the ground and give piggy backs etc. Hey, it's a start. Where should I look if I want to understand the article, or work up to it?
posted by Elysum at 5:28 AM on November 15, 2014


(Why does the title have misandry?)

("misandry in real life" is one of the post tags and I thought it was funny)
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:32 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


My daughter's a cheerleader, and as a "base" she spends a good part of their practice sessions lifting and tossing people over her head. Now, granted, these are 110 lb girls and there's two bases taking the brunt of the weight for most stunts, but still--she's ALSO a 110 lb girl. She gets banged up a lot in the process, and then there's the whole added pressure that, unlike in weightlighting, if your lift goes bad someone else's safety is on the line.

I think competitive cheerleaders deserve a lot more respect as athletes than what they get. It's literally a very rough-and-tumble sport.
posted by drlith at 5:48 AM on November 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Misandry is, I think, part of the The Toast mission statement. "If men show up, that's great, but we don't need them." It's part absurdism, part dry humor, part desperation at the state of the world. Do you prefer your misandry in lullaby form?

And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again
There he was culled
by his larger
and more genetically fit female mate
She harvested his nutrients to feed herself
and she was right to do it

Or as Christmas carols ("I saw mommy gelding Santa Claus!")?
posted by ChuraChura at 5:55 AM on November 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


Where should I look if I want to understand the article, or work up to it?

Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength or The New Rules of Lifting for Women are two beginner-friendly programs. Rippetoe is a bit of a martinet, but he's quite a sound coach and there's all kinds of videos of him showing people how to do the basic lifts on YouTube.

I just started the starting strength program a couple weeks ago; what appealed to me about it was the simplicity of it. There's only five exercises* to learn total and you only do three each workout, for three sets of five reps each, plus warm ups. Later on you can add more supplemental stuff if you want, but the core of it is: lift bar up and down fifteen times, with breaks, come back again in two days and do it again with slightly more weight. That may not sound like a lot, but believe me --- the whole point of these particular exercises is that they're compound lifts, that is they require you to use muscles from all over your body at once. So far I haven't had too much soreness, but I definitely feel it the next day.

*1) squat --- putting the bar on your back, squatting down, and lifting it back up again 2) deadlift --- lifting a heavy bar off the floor to waist height 3) overhead press --- lifting a bar from chest height over your head 4) bench press --- lying on your back and living bar over your chest 5) power clean --- lifting bar from floor to your shoulders in two stages
posted by Diablevert at 6:03 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


[Just as a quick note, we already had a thread about the misandrist lullabies, and yeah, this post really isn't about misandry, so the title is unfortunate in that it's been confusing in a couple of cases of comments here, and it would be cool if it didn't lead to a "misandrist" derail. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:05 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think competitive cheerleaders deserve a lot more respect as athletes than what they get. It's literally a very rough-and-tumble sport.
I propose that we change the name of competitive cheerleading to synchronized tumbling. It's kind of amazing, and I think a lot of people who haven't watched it assume that it's the same thing as what the Dallas Cowgirls do on the sidelines of pro football games.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:54 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don't you think that would be too consistent and sensible?
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:03 AM on November 15, 2014


Where should I look if I want to understand the article, or work up to it?

I came here to say exactly what Diablevert said. I'll try to add something else useful, since they already covered the main points.

The article does assume a significant amount of lifting knowledge, and it also takes the goal quite seriously. The sports of Olympic weightlifting and strongman/strongwoman, from which the article's recommendations are drawn from, are also somewhat specialized for someone who has never been into sports or fitness. That's not to say you couldn't do well if you went to such a gym and started learning, but merely that a weightlifting or strongwoman coach who is making a training plan for the specific goal of lifting a man overhead is going to recommend some stuff that's not generally applicable.

What you want as someone starting out is to develop a strong, deep barbell squat, an impeccably straight-backed barbell deadlift, and a strong upper body by pressing overhead and doing some pull-ups or rows. You get better by lifting what you can and then in the next session adding weight and doing the same number of reps. Doing that for several months is very productive.
posted by daveliepmann at 7:56 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would also recommend Rippetoe's Starting Strength. It's a great beginner's intro and appealed to my strong need to have Reasons For Things explained rather than being told to do it because someone says.

(For overhead press, I am currently closing in on my arbitrary end-of-year goal of 75% of my body weight. This piece is encouraging me to seek interesting new goals for the future, though ...)
posted by kyrademon at 8:00 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


If anyone has tips on how to deal with the height differential and balance and grip issues, I'd love to hear them.

From a comment on The Toast: easy peasy.
posted by kmz at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]



I miss being strong. I don't miss being sick and tired all the time.


Yeah, the unexpected loss of physical strength/capability from whatever, sickness, ailment, injury, it's fucking monstrous. You sort of expect it to come from old age, but that's this undefined future point in your life that you don't think too much about, so when it happens in your 30s it's this grotesque fucking violation. And getting it back is a pain in the ass because it's hard not to concentrate on how it used to be and compare it with how crappy it is currently.

I'm really glad I found an awesome trainer this time around who has personal experience with coming back after a serious injury & surgery. I've been able to size up my goals from "maybe walk up a flight or two of stairs without fainting" to "maybe i CAN do overhead squats again wow" and it feels really great, even if it's small steps, small goals, and small successes for the next year or so.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:00 AM on November 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


#notallwomenaremanlifters
posted by fungible at 9:08 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Update: I just tried fireman lifting the manfriend (who is like 155 lbs soaking wet, plus a couple pounds of pocket change) and did not obtain liftoff. "She's strong enough to upset my balance" is a pretty good description of how it went.

Steinborn squats here I come.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2014


I just want to say that I love that The Toast has honest-to-god weightlifting advice without any preamble at all about how it relates to their editorial mission. (And used that amazing Grace Jones picture again.) My kind of feminism.
posted by gusandrews at 12:45 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


what if the man turns out to be like 5-6 toddlers in a trench coat

vincent adultman is that you

posted by rorgy at 12:50 PM on November 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


My husband is just on 2 meters tall and weights about 110kg. I can *just* pick up him so that his feet brush the ground. Which is enough to throw him on the bed for ravishment, so as far as I'm concerned, my work is done.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:17 PM on November 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Rack pulls and holds for your grip; deadlifts and barbell rows for your back, core and posterior chain (the first part of the clean and press you'll need to do to the fellow); presses and push presses with a bit of bench press assistance work for the press part of the clean and press; barbell clean and press, log clean and press, sandbag clean and press, keg/barrel clean and press. Some fat bar work (your body won't pick up what your hands can't grip).

Would be worth considering putting together some kind of man-shaped sandbag construct, which you can gradually add weight to. You could use your sewing skills to create the bag while you ask your husband or brother to go to the hardware store to get the sand.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:27 PM on November 16, 2014


:P
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:27 PM on November 16, 2014


no you start out with the limbless torso of a man and then add extremities
posted by poffin boffin at 5:22 PM on November 16, 2014


Technically, his name is "Dr Limbless Torso Of A Man's Monster"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:01 PM on November 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


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