We all know the feeling of an adrenaline rush whether it be from a steep drop on a roller coaster, a horror movie or a life threatening situation like a car going the wrong direction right towards you. Adrenaline is part of the “Fight-or-Flight” instinct, meaning that in the threat of danger we choose one of those two options; fight the threat or run away from it. When adrenaline is released we are capable of running very fast, become much more alert of our surroundings, and have increased strength. Adrenaline also increases your heart rate and blood pressure and causes your pupils to dilate. Adrenaline can only last for a few minutes before the effects start to wear off. Adrenaline rushes also use much more energy than your body normally does.
Here is an example of when an adrenaline rush can be used to save someone else’s life. The article is titled “When Fear Makes Us Superhuman” by Jeff Wise. The article tells a story of how a man lifted a car that weighs 3,000 pounds off of a cyclist who had been run over by the car. The man who lifted the car, Tom Boyle, was an experienced weight lifter so his training gave him more of an edge than an average person might have in the same situation. It is noted in the article that Boyle’s heaviest dead-lift was 700 pounds and the world record dead-lift is 1,155 pounds. While those are extremely impressive numbers they do not compare to the 3,000 pound Camaro Boyle lifted off of the cyclist. So it is clear that adrenaline is the driving force as to why Boyle was able to lift the car. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, a professor of kinesiology at Penn State has studied the bio-mechanics of weightlifting. Zatsiorsky states that our muscles have “absolute strength” which is the maximum amount of force they can theoretically generate, and “maximal strength” which is the maximum amount of force we can consciously generate with our muscles. Zatsiorsky also states that the average person can use about 65 percent of their “absolute strength” during a training session and a trained weightlifter can use about 80 percent. The amount of “absolute strength” an athlete produces can increase during the heat of competition, which is why many world records are broken at major events such as the Olympics. Adrenaline is an incredible chemical that is released in our body during stressful situations and it has the power to give us “superhuman” abilities even if it is only for a short time. Adrenaline can be very exciting in short doses. I myself am somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. I love the rush of riding my skateboard, snowboard or bike very fast down a hill or the rush of accelerating fast in a car. I’m sure there are plenty of you that love the rush of adrenaline too, but let’s just hope we don’t have to use it to lift a car.
Here is a YouTube channel you might enjoy if adrenaline is your thing