Limits of safe lifting?

#1
I've never really tested the limits of what I can lift; yesterday was at Home Depot where most of the workers are limited to under 100# probably at best. I was able to lift a couple 80# bags of concrete mix without too much difficulty. I do a lot of log splitting, avoid junk food, eat plenty of nutritious food and drink. Just curious what other people's experience is here with weight limits?
 

Burrapeg

Well-Known Member
#2
I used to handle 80 to 100 lbs OK when I was rather younger, but now in my sixties I have had to back off to a max of around 40 to 50, and also have to be a lot more careful of exact position as I lift. Lower back is much weaker and more sensitive now. This Golden Years rubbish is not all it is promoted as!
 

TreeCo

Well-Known Member
#3
Anthropologist can tell the amount of physical labor the the Egyptian slaves performed from their bones.

Keep this is mind: The body does wear out.

One day the guys on my tree crew were competing seeing who could put the biggest piece in the back of the truck. I told them to quit it and use team work and two man those pieces.

One of the guys called in sick the next day saying his back was hurting him. I told him to come to work or he was fired.

Not legal of course but he came in. Hero stuff is for the movies.
 

treebilly

Well-Known Member
#5
I’d say to try and keep it 50-75 lbs. we’ve all been guilty of grabbing ahold of something we shouldn’t have. I’m good for 200 if I can flip it easily to my shoulder. Never used to be an issue. This past year has proved that I should’ve listened to my elders. My shoulder has a dull pain all the time and now if I lift up with that arm with a decent amount of weight I get a shooting pain from mid fore arm up to the shoulder. My mind is wandering a bit as I’m just getting home from work, but I do advise my crew to team lift on anything over 75 because there isn’t enough pay to make it worth hurting yourself.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
#6
Mid 50’s here and a whopping 160 lbs soaking wet, and I can still pull 395 lbs in a trap-bar deadlift. Had a 450 lbs ass-to-grass back squat in my early 40’s, when I was weighting around 180 lbs.

Strength is just as much about training your nervous system as it is about training your muscles. World class strength athletes train in very small weight increase increments and try to never over-stress the nervous system. This allows the nervous system to slowly do things it has not done before, whether it be more weight or more reps.

One thing I learned is to fill your lungs and belly up with air and hold your core very tight when lifting heavy. This really helps to stabilize and protect your spine. This lifting technique has really help to keep my back in pretty good shape.
 
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rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
#7
dang. Working out definately makes the tree jobs easier and safer. Strong bodies are prepared to do a certain amount of straining, but bigger tree parts are not easy to lift in a "form" that maximizes structural stability and strength. Guys trying to out-max each other shouldering logs are going to get injured.
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
#8
Mid 50’s here and a whopping 160 lbs soaking wet, and I can still pull 395 lbs in a trap-bar deadlift. Had a 450 lbs ass-to-grass back squat in my early 40’s, when I was weighting around 180 lbs.

Strength is just as much about training your nervous system as it is about training your muscles. World class strength athletes train in very small weight increase increments and try to never over-stress the nervous system. This allows the nervous system to slowly do things it has not done before, whether it be more weight or more reps.

One thing I learned is to fill your lungs and belly up with air and hold your core very tight when lifting heavy. This really helps to stabilize and protect your spine. This lifting technique has really help to keep my back in pretty good shape.
450 ATG ... way to go
 
#9
I have no idea what Rico meant by that; as the heavy tree oriented stuff I lift are large logs. There is no way to lift or even handle some of the stump wood I have been dealing with in the last month or two, you can't even hardly maneuver the 500# or so logs on to the vertical hydraulic splitter; so you have to use a maul and wedge to reduce it to quarters. I find 200# or so logs liftable for short distances.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
#10
450 ATG ... way to go
Yea, that was well over a decade ago and my lower back still hurts. WTF was thinking.
That why I love the Trap bar deadlift. A full body, multi joint lift, that just plain makes you powerful and strong, and when done properly it is very easy on the back. Its the only iron that I lift anymore. The rest of my workouts are pull-ups, pushups, inverted rows, and inverted handstand press all done with a weighted vest. I also make a point to do twice as much pulling as I do pushing to keep my shoulders healthy. My joints felt so much better when I stopped lifting weights and focused on multi joint bodyweight exercises and prehab exercises. I believe that sensible strength training is very important as we age. Great for bone density, strong muscles, and more importantly strong connective tissue.
 
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rico

Well-Known Member
#11
I’d say to try and keep it 50-75 lbs. we’ve all been guilty of grabbing ahold of something we shouldn’t have. I’m good for 200 if I can flip it easily to my shoulder. Never used to be an issue. This past year has proved that I should’ve listened to my elders. My shoulder has a dull pain all the time and now if I lift up with that arm with a decent amount of weight I get a shooting pain from mid fore arm up to the shoulder. My mind is wandering a bit as I’m just getting home from work, but I do advise my crew to team lift on anything over 75 because there isn’t enough pay to make it worth hurting yourself.
Sounds like you have a fucked up rotator with bicepital tendon issues Treebilly. Bummer. Been there bro.
The shoulder is such a janky joint, and probably our greatest design flaw. We are not really engineered to push heavy weights over head, and doing so is a recipe for shoulder disaster for most.
 

treebilly

Well-Known Member
#12
That was the conclusion I came to after talking with my neighbor about his shoulders. He did twenty years building scaffolding. 90% of that is above head level
 

rico

Well-Known Member
#13
That was the conclusion I came to after talking with my neighbor about his shoulders. He did twenty years building scaffolding. 90% of that is above head level
Get online and look up an exercise in which you self manipulate the bicep tendon back in its grove in front of the shoulder. Really saved my life when my shoulder was buggered up.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
#14
I would highly recommend a consistent, solid athletic resistance training program for climbing/working arborist of all ages.

Looking back over my carreer to this point I am a bit shocked I didn’t sustain more overuse injuries due to imbalances! Furthermore, increased strength is always a welcome addition. Our line of work also makes it very easy to become one side dominant and musculoskeletal imbalances for climbers are common.

In my experience, many shoulder injuries commonly blamed on climbing are directly related to poor saw starting techniques which compound the overhead placement of our hands and arms.

I have found kettlebells, sandbags and bodyweight progams to be the best for me as I age, yet continue to work and climb.

Tony
 
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#15
I used to life a 150 to 200 pound items with care. I would use my hips and thighs to hold most of the weight. I used to sling 80 pound bags of concrete like it was going out of style. After I had my hernia repaired I am self limiting at around 40 to 60 pounds. The hernia was from a car accident but I don't want a repeat from lifting too much.
 
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#17
The only time I had serious back problems was after doing a 140 mile bike trip with fully loaded racks from southern CT to Vermont in a day. Some things to maintain strength and without physical issues; exercise frequently, walking does more than you think; avoid all unhealthy and junk food and drinks. Also I believe that the sexually active are at a handicap compared to those who aren't; many back problems may originate with sex. Just a theory. I get my jollies out of hard work not running with wild women.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#18
I've never really tested the limits of what I can lift; yesterday was at Home Depot where most of the workers are limited to under 100# probably at best. I was able to lift a couple 80# bags of concrete mix without too much difficulty. I do a lot of log splitting, avoid junk food, eat plenty of nutritious food and drink. Just curious what other people's experience is here with weight limits?
I was able to lift four 80# bags of concrete mix without too much difficulty. I did use a pallet jack, though. Don't know if that counts or not.
 
#20
I also advocate preemptive injury prevention training, although I don't have a whole lot of time into the practice myself. I hurt my rotator cuffs, yes both, when I was young and never fully healed them. Two full strength throws is usually all I can do before I have a significant ache in my shoulder. I recently started a routine of rotator cuff training with light weights to rehab a newer injury and I have made good gains in strength and joint stability while rehabing my injury. I wish I had started these boring, gloryless exercises a long time ago.
 
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