in: Fitness, Health & Fitness

• Last updated: September 10, 2023

Hero Training: The Lift an Object Off Someone in Distress Workout

Firefighters rescuers lifting rubble for searching people. Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Chad Howse. For this series on hero training, every other week Chad will give Art of Manliness readers a workout based on building the strength and fitness needed to tackle a heroic task. Even if you never have to step in to save the day, it’s just a fun way to focus on functional fitness and motivate yourself to get in shape.

Maybe an earthquake buries your wife in rubble. Or you’re hiking and a falling rock pins your friend’s leg. Maybe as you’re trying to get out of a burning building, a beam falls on top of your buddy. As your friend or loved one lies there in danger, will you helplessly be pulling on the fallen object, unable to budge it? Or will you be able to come to their rescue by lifting the object and freeing them?

During this series we’ve been building the strength, speed and endurance required to be able to come through if we’re ever needed. Think of these skills and these workouts like they’re insurance policies with immediate benefits.

Alfred Butler walking down with tea tray.

Don’t let Alfred’s genteel appearance fool you; this man definitely has some serious lifting power. How else did Bruce Wayne escape from under that beam when his mansion burned down?

For this workout we’re going to be focusing on pure lifting power. While you might think about your arms when it comes to lifting, true lifting strength comes from your legs. So we’re going to be concentrating on two powerful exercises: the deadlift and the hack squat.

For the deadlift, we’re going to be using a lower rep count and lifting a heavier weight. This will improve our power more than anything. But be sure to use proper form as it’s easy to injure yourself with the heavier weight.

For the remainder of the workout we’re going to be doing a challenge workout to improve our muscular endurance.


Deadlifts – 5 sets of 3 reps (heavy)

Challenge Workout

30 repetitions per exercise. Complete  the reps and exercises consecutively while taking minimum rest periods.

1. Hack Squat

2. Kettlebell Swings

3. Chin-ups

4. Med Ball Slams

5. Alternating Push-ups

6. Military Press



1. Get low for the deadlift, making sure the majority of your weight is on your heels. Keep the bar close to your body. I suggest wearing pants when doing the deadlift as it can scrape your shins.

2. Much of the same principles apply for the hack squat. Keep the bar close to your body and get low during the lift. You want to lift with your legs, not with your back.

3. For medicine ball slams, lead with your body, not with your arms. This is a great power exercise that replicates the movements of a sledgehammer.

4. Alternating push-ups are another great explosive power exercise. Complete 30 reps total of this exercise–15 each arm. Keep the medicine ball close to your mid-point; stretching out too far will place unnecessary stress on the shoulder.

5. We’re doing the military press for power purposes, so we’re not going to be isolating the shoulder. This means you’re actually going to be getting your legs into the lift. In the video, notice how I’m doing just that; dipping down a little bit to allow my legs to activate in the lift.

Hero Training Workout Series:
Chase Down a Purse Snatcher Workout
Pulling to Safety Workout
Carry a Person to Safety Workout
Lift an Object Off Someone in Distress Workout
Leaping Ability Workout
Putting It All Together

Chad Howse is the founder of Chad Howse Fitness: a community dedicated to helping guys build a strong body and a strong life. The site focuses on building lean, athletic muscle, but also a range of topics including goal-setting, motivation, improving performance, and various other lifestyle and training content dedicated to helping readers build their best body and best life.

Related Posts