View Full Version : The true power of adrenaline?

07-31-2008, 02:54 AM
One of my main characters is a seasoned warrior of many, MANY outings, and has a tendency to slip into insane, berserker-like rages during prolonged battles or moments of extreme stress. I've been wondering just how high I can have the rages crank up his strength without going overboard.
Could someone give me real-life examples of feats people have performed when it really, really counted? Could I, like, have my character break someone's hand by squeezing it?

For the record, the character is fairly strong under normal circumstances, but no hulk.

07-31-2008, 04:01 AM
I saw my mom pick up the back end of a car once when the jack dropped out and my dad was under the car....is that the kind of thing you're talking about? (my mom is kind of...um.....well, let's just say that the only shape she's was in at the time was round, so definatly not stong in everyday situiations)

07-31-2008, 04:33 AM
i saw a documentary on the discovery channel about human strength. In one part, a rock climber threw a one or two ton boulder off of him, basically by bench pressing it off of him (it had fallen on him).

so yes its possible, but mainly in life or death situations, not just "high adrenaline".

and it seems like the main muscles would have more "maximum output" than the small muscles. So how is your character breaking someones hand? just by squeezing it? is he shaking their hand?

1. i'm not sure how it would break, exactly, based on the bones in the hand, i'm just not sure if that's possible, although i'm not a doctor. google hand injuries and see if it's possible, and how he would have to do it.
2. plus his strongest muscles are not in his hand. the strongest muscles are the legs, back, chest, etc
3. why would he be shaking someone's hand if he were in a rage? but obviously he could bend their fingers back and break them if he were fighting them.

07-31-2008, 05:43 AM
I remember reading a story about thirty years ago about a monther and her 7yr. old daughter who were in an earthquake. This happened somewhere in South America, if my memory serves me correct. Anyway, the mother fell into a crevasse but was holding the little girls hand. The little girl somehow held onto her mother and pulled her up and out of the void. The little girl weighed something like 60 lbs. and her mother was like 3 times her weight. Under extreme situations, humans are capable of doing extreme things. Good luck with your story.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-31-2008, 03:16 PM
Uh ... I moved a 450 pound motorcycle off a guy. With one hand. I weighed 110.

At a wreck that happened right in front of me, bike ran into car and bike ended up on top of the rider ... I remember kneeling to see if the guy was responsive and lifting the bike with my right hand and flipping it over the other way to get it off him. I didn't actually lift it off the ground, the wheels took partof the weight as I flipped it, but it was a make of bike that under normal circumstances I would not have been able to handle if it fell over in a parking lot.

The next day, every muscle on that side of my body was shrieking ... from the toes, up through the abdominal, to the tips of the fingers, including some intracostals. I was in pain.

07-31-2008, 03:22 PM
Hubby worked at a Steel Mill before joining the Army and a piece of equipment (that they normally use a crane to move) fell on a coworker of his, and Hubby picked it up and moved it off the guy, and from the accounts of his coworkers, did it quickly and it looked like without effort. However, Hubby looked like he'd been beaten the next week or so, he pulled muscles in his arms, legs, and back, and he was swollen and black, blue, and purple. But while actually doing it, he said he didn't feel like he was straining.

ink wench
07-31-2008, 04:04 PM
When a friend of mine (we were about 10) was playing around with her father's barbells, she somehow got trapped and pinned on his weight bench. Her mother, who was a tiny woman and didn't lift, ran over and pretty much threw the two-hundred some pounds off her daughter like it weighed nothing. IIRC, she paid for the effort the next day with plenty of muscle soreness.

07-31-2008, 07:04 PM
I, uh, lifted a washing machine once and carried it around the side of my house. Because I am an idiot.

07-31-2008, 07:07 PM
But yeah, if all of your muscle fibres fire in unison you are insanely strong, no matter how big you are. This only happens in times of extreme stress, and you'll pay for it later in raw pain. But it's a great survival skill.

08-01-2008, 08:06 AM
also, the documentary i saw indicated that you can do permanent damage to your muscles by lifting insane weights, that's why the body only lets you do it in emergencies

08-01-2008, 06:02 PM
My husband kept a steel bar weighing just under a ton from hitting a coworker. It was still partially attached to a cable, which took a little of the weight, but considering it was also swinging wildly as it came down, it was a heck of a feat. He doesn't work in manufacturing anymore and will never have a day without pain. But his coworker went home that night.