Religion

The Sunday Night Sermon, Now With More Credulity!

I’ve heard from a number of you (Bug Girl, Rav Winston, and a few others) who wished to alert me to the recent news that Pat Robertson can leg press 2,000 pounds. It appears as though a lot of people are skeptical of this claim, considering that the previous world record was about 1300 pounds. Also, Pat Robertson is 76. And possibly delusional.

However! I wonder if any of you skeptics have considered this: can you disprove the fact that Pat Robertson can leg press 2,000 pounds? Not so smug now, are you?

I know how much you skeptics like your evidence, so let’s weigh both sides, shall we?

Pat has: dozens of writings by independent sources such as CBN, ABC News, and others reporting the incident in question.

Skeptics have: anecdotal evidence that men in their 70s have enough trouble with jars of pickles, let alone a solid ton of weights.

Pat has:Â God’s blessing.

Skeptics have: a proven history that Pat is full of shit.

Pat has: a magically delicious smoothie!

Skeptics have: an overwhelming sense of sadness concerning the future of the human race.

There you go –Â I think the winner is clear. To really seal the deal, know this: Dan Kendra held the former record for a leg press at 1,335 pounds. When Dan performed his feat, his eyeballs exploded. Well, the capillaries in his eyes. Do you have any idea what this means? Not only does Pat Robertson possess the strongest thighs in the world, but also his eyeballs are blessedly protected by Jesus.

For those of you who stupidly remain skeptical of this feat, CBN has posted a little tidbit of info just for you:

His doctor, by the way, has leg pressed 2,700 pounds.Â

The web site went on to say:

Yeah, he like, totally did it last week. Oh, you weren’t there? Yeah, we were just hanging out at the aquarium and we saw a narwhal — what’s that? Oh, it’s just a small Arctic whale with a tusk that Medieval Europeans believed had magical powers, like a unicorn — so anyway, the doc sees this narwhal and says, “What do you guys think that is, like 27 hundred? I could leg press that.” So next thing you know, we’ve got the thing hooked to the machine and thirty second later I owe Bobby $10. What, you want to see him do it again? Oh, sorry, the aquarium says we can’t have another narwhal. Yeah, too bad.

I trust that now you all have the evidence you need to make a rational decision on this matter. And make sure it’s the right rational decision, or else risk the possibility of Pat Robertson coming to your house and squeezing your head like a grape between his throbbing thighs of holy justice.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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15 Comments

  1. "the possibility of Pat Robertson coming to your house and squeezing your head like a grape between his throbbing thighs of holy justice."

    And some of us Christians wonder why people turn from religion. Well, his thighs aside (please!), there's the fact that Pat is also a raving loon. I seem to remember certain remarks of his about 9/11. Or perhaps that was another of his fellow Fundie loons.

  2. Isn't the key here that we are only talking an incline leg press, with no mention of the angle of the incline? Less than the power of religion and superhuman strength, I think Pat is just relying on a machine that has been round since the dawn of time, ie the ramp. The photo on the ABC site indicates around a 45 degree incline, but even that I doubt, as my scratchy mechanics tells me that this would still be about 1400 lb of vertical component. But if it was only a 5 degree incline my 9 year old daughter could probably leg press 2000 lb. Perhaps the incline was even flat for Pat!

  3. If you watch the video you get to see pat push up what he calls, and at least appears to be 1000 pounds, you'll notice that the machine has a locking bar which keeps the press from falling while you are not actively working out. Now if you look at the pictures of pat and the 2000 pounds, the lock bar is still up in the locked position. If you look closer you will notice that the weight hasn’t even been lifted off the lock bar.

  4. This is based on static contraction training system which measures peak force exerted against an object. Usually at a position of greatest leverage for the "lifter". It's not the same as actually letting the weight come down and then pressing it up in a full range of motion. Anthony Robbins (the "Pimp of Personal Power") has made similar claims about leg pressing this kind of weight. Google static contraction for more detailed info.

  5. That reminds me: when I'd just had my knee-injury, and went to the kinesiologist, he had a machine where I had to press a pedal back with my foot, as hard as possible as often as possible during a two minute interval. The pedal would move at a constant speed, and would create graphs of the amount of force I was able to build up during each 'stroke'. I remember the graph scale being set to go from 0 to 2000 Newton, and as my knee got better, I tried to go "off the chart", which I eventually managed. Of course, the kinesiologist said that with just a few mouseclicks he could have adjusted the chart's scale to go from 0 to 2500 or more. But it's better to have a goal to work toward, and he didn't want to be an asshole anyway.

    Of course, that was only peak strength halfway through the leg movement, and 2000 Newton is only about 450lbs …

  6. Veeery very interesting. Thanks, those of you who know a helluva lot more about gym equipment than I. I wonder how difficult it would be to set up an experiment where I could leg press 2000 pounds, under the right circumstances…

  7. If you're doing it as Pat Robertson is (i.e. leaving the platform in the locked position and just sort of bouncing the platform up about an inch with almost stretched legs), I'd say the only difficulty is finding a gym that will risk letting you potentially damage their leg-press machine by loading it with weights well above the design specifications. Actually achieving the feat itself is relatively easy. After all, I have every bit of confidence that if an old fart like Robertson can do it, a young woman like yourself could easily break his record and then some.

  8. i suppose if bush can double the record for the biggest perch ever caught pat can double the record for leg pressing.

    also, i didn't bother to tell anyone, but the other day i ran a mile in 58 seconds. i was psyched.

  9. "also, i didn’t bother to tell anyone, but the other day i ran a mile in 58 seconds. i was psyched."

    Did you run it inside a moving bus?

  10. Absolutely correct about static contraction training (SCT) and about the sled only transferring about 70% of the weight to Patty Robertson. Also his foot placement. His toes are of the sled! With a high foot placement your knee angle is greater, giving you more of a leverage advantage.

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