Feats of strength for New Year’s Eve
Sibling rivalry took on a new meaning this weekend when my “little” brother and I had a strength throwdown at his gym in my hometown.
Shane was born 4 and a half years after me, but it wasn’t all that long before he was bigger and stronger than me, and stayed that way. Today he weighs in at about twice my size and I never dreamed I could be as strong as him.
He started lifting weights a couple of months ago and we hatched an idea to pit ourselves against each other to see who’s the strongest — relatively speaking, of course.
We met up Saturday morning in the weight room of his gym, where I first had to do my squats for the day, working up to a heavy single at 185. It was fun to go heavy in front of my brother, my husband and my mom, none of whom had ever seen me lift in person (at least not lift heavy in my husband’s case).
I can’t begin to imagine what the other guys in the weight room doing calf raises and bicep curls thought about our shenanigans, but we had a blast. We started with the leg press, which I had never done, but Shane hasn’t learned to squat yet. I went first and pumped out as many at 1.5 times body weight as I thought I needed to to beat Shane. I wish he’d gone first – it would have saved me some effort. A year of heavy squatting has bestowed heavy-duty quads on me and Shane doesn’t have the months of training under his belt to be on a level playing field with me there. He put forth a strong effort though, still going even when it got hard. In the end I took that challenge.
We strapped some weights around our waist for the next challenge – max weighted chinup. I went first with 10% of bodyweight added and he followed. Each turn we increased weight until I hit nearly 30% at 30lbs — a PR for me. Shane matched me but I couldn’t top him – 35 was a no-go despite my mom yelling me on, so he took that challenge.
Finally we stretched out for weighted body bench holds, each with half our weight piled on our stomachs, to see who could hold the longest. I was laughing so hard at his red face that I had to unload at the same time he was done done, tying us for the overall throwdown.
Next year he says he gets to pick the challenges — obviously I picked things I was good at :). That gives me a year to make sure I can compete in anything he chooses … Dec 31, 2012 it’s on again!