Artist Jacob Kurtzberg, later known as Jack Kirby, once told an interviewer that he was inspired to create the comic book character The Incredible Hulk after seeing a mother lift a car off her injured child.
Though I do not know that this was the event Kirby witnessed, the Associated Press reported a 1982 incident in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in which Angela Cavallo freed her teenage son, Tony, who was crushed when a Chevy Impala he had been working on fell off its jacks. She lifted the vehicle enough for neighbors to pull Tony to safety.
I’ve heard so many accounts of people driven to superhuman feats of strength that I knew this must be well researched. Sure enough, in 1961 the Journal of Applied Physiology published a study entitled “Some Factors Modifying the Expression of Human Strength.” Apparently, certain drugs, hypnosis and yelling are among the stimuli that can temporarily boost human muscular strength by over 30%.
Wouldn’t it be useful to discover a way in which those of us who prefer not to indulge in psychotropic drugs or undergo hypnosis can nonetheless boost our strength?