January 2, 2013

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Perform The Fireman’s Carry. Plus, building strength with the carry-a-person-to-safety workout.

My concern is that too many people today are sufficiently obese that Phil Heath wouldn’t be able to lift them — and/or so rotund that nothing could keep them on a shoulder. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Hannah Sternberg writes:

Neat that you shared that. My boyfriend was at PT with his Marine brother once when they had to do a fireman’s carry. The guy he was paired up with had no idea how to do it, so he just picked my boyfriend up in his arms. The sarge stopped the whole exercise and hollered, “What are you doing, private, that’s a bride carry!”

Also related: one of my best friends is an EMT in the Washington area. It turns out they really can’t lift most patients (since, for every real disaster they’re called for, there’s a good dozen cases of obese people who roll out of bed and can’t get up again). They have special (expensive) gear for that, including a lift to take the special obese stretchers down stairs when necessary, so none of the EMTs get injured. These are strong boys and girls who are often extreme athletes in addition to being EMTs, but yes, there are serious concerns that these patients could crush them.

Serious indeed. Also, with really obese people it’s hard even to get a solid grip.