Old Man Strength Is Now a Scientifically Documented Fact

Here's why your dad can probably still kick your ass

August 16, 2016 9:00 am

Urban Dictionary defines “Old Man Strength” as “the uncanny ability of older men to lift copious amounts of lumber, heavy furniture and beat their sons in arm wrestling.”

It’s a strength of endurance, a strength learned through repetition and hard labor, rather than hours in the gym doing lat pull-downs and bench maxes. It’s also a strength that many fitness gurus would scoff at.

But they won’t any longer.

Because according to a new study by the Journal of Hand Therapy — which, yes, is an actual journal for hand therapists — millennial men aged 20-34 have weaker hands and arms than men in the 1980s.

Through standard grip and pinch tests, researchers found that strength scores were significantly lower in the millennial data set. Or, as the Washington Post illustrated in a handy graphic, the average grip strength, in pounds of pressure applied, for men in 1985 was 117 pounds, compared to a measly 98 pounds for today’s men.

The main takeaway: get on pops’ strength level.

Because if we want Old Man Strength to remain a cyclical phenomenon, we’ve got work to do.

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