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How Much Strength Does it Take to Bicep Curl a Helicopter?

How Much Strength Does it Take to Bicep Curl a Helicopter?

Warning: Minor spoilers for Captain America: Civil War below!

You don’t want to arm wrestle Steve Rogers. The secret serum-enhanced super soldier is stronger, faster, and has 30% more jaw definition than the average Joe (probably). But how much stronger than you or I would he have to be to bicep curl a helicopter?

While chasing down his old war buddy Bucky—the Winter Soldier—in Captain America: Civil War, Rogers puts on a crazy display of beefcake strength™. Bucky tries to leave a government building via helicopter, so Cap is forced to grab one of the helicopter skids and pull it back towards the helipad. It’s badass brute strength that requires about 10 times the pulling power of the average person.

Let me explain. The helicopter that Bucky commandeers looks to be an Airbus AS350, or AStar. According to the technical specifications for these helicopters, the lifting capacity — how much weight the helicopter could have hanging from it or in it during takeoff — is somewhere around 3,000 pounds. Captain America would have to “lift” more than this in order to keep the helicopter from moving and then pull it towards him.

There is no shortage of men on the internet posting “world record” bicep curls, but the numbers are never more than a few hundred pounds. That’s crazy strong, but still an order of magnitude (a factor of ten) below what Captain America produces in the clip.

So is it reasonable to think that Captain America is at least 10 times stronger than the average private or lieutenant? I think so, at least super hero physics-wise. It’s not like he grabbed a motorcycle with one arm and redirected it without ripping his arm off. He could bicep curl helicopters all day.

Images: Marvel

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