Anvil or Hammer

How do you answer a question?

Posted in Rant by Mike on February 23, 2007

In particular: How much can you lift?

I don’t conceal my training lifestyle, if anything I flaunt it. I’m kinda proud of it and proud that I stick too it. I also figure it’s and extra level of back up, if everyone knows, then I figure I have to tell them if I quit too. As a result, though, I get asked to help people move, training advice (that always gets ignored) and occasionally “How much can you lift?”.

This is a decieving question because I can lift about 1000 pounds, as long as I only”lift”it about 1/2″ on a clear day that begins with S and the wind is out of the north. However, if you pose the challenge correctly, I can be stopped with 35 pounds too. So how much can I lift? Most of the people who as  a question like this are uninitiated so I can’t tell them, “My power total is around 1300 lbs while my Olympic total is about 175 – 200 kilos”.

I’ve found that they are usually asking the question to see if I am up to a particular challenge. So more often than not it works best if I try to divine their goal. I was asked this question yesterday to find out that they wanted me to help move a computer/cabinet (called a Pyxis) that weighs about 200lbs but is akward as can be, but it wasn’t from the floor. So my answer to “How much can you lift?” was  “Yeah, I can lift that”.

How much can you lift?
More important, how do you answer?

3 Responses to 'How do you answer a question?'

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  1. Stew said,

    I can lift a car over my head

    Give that one a try

  2. Scott said,

    Usually the answer is similar to your ‘Yeah, I can lift that’ as someone just wants help moving something. In my head I just quickly compare the item’s weight to the amount I can deadlift; making allowances for the size and general awkwardness of the object.

  3. Mike said,

    I would hate to see the outcome if I said that, I would also hate to see the few people that would believe me…

    That sounds about like my process. The Pyxis I ended up moving yesterday was worse than expected at 250lbs and 3ft by 1 1/2 feet it was nasty. The reasl challenge that I hadn’t been informed of or thought to ask about was that I wasn’t moving it to waste height, I was moving it to sternum height.

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