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How this astronaut builds up all the physical strength to survive in space



Given the weightlessness, a young, healthy adult in space can lose up to 20 percent of their muscle mass in five to eleven days. This is hell waiting for US Navy Lieutenant Jonny Kim, 36, who recently completed NASA’s astronaut candidacy training for what may be his first ever voyage into space.

To find out how he will adapt, Kim spends working days in the Zero Space at the Johnson Space Center.G Simulator, the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a 6.2 million gallon pool. Underwater lies a model of the International Space Station, which will be Kim’s home when he is sent into space. Training in the pool in his rigid spacesuit mimics the movement struggles of space.

Kim calls his water time “a six-hour marathon”

;. His life experience up to this point has helped him prepare physically and mentally. He previously served as a Navy SEAL in Iraq and raided terrorist links. He then studied emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital as a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Yet space is a new frontier. To train for NASA, one must make sure that “the pain, suffering, and fatigue are as real as possible so that there are no surprises in space.”

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In his pressurized suit, even small hand movements like making a fist require serious muscle. “You’re not going to the space station. To get around, do exercise and repair work, grab a truss and move hand in hand. The pressurized suit requires any movement to be extremely powerful, “he says. Constantly using his hands to climb over handrails on the outside of the station is a unique way to build beefy weapons.” The muscles that are smoked the most are my forearms, “he said.

Kim, who is 5’11 “tall and weighs 175 pounds, overcompensates on Earth by getting up at 3:30 a.m. every morning to exercise – which almost always includes the farmer’s stretcher, an important move for grip strength. His other job: hard barbell squats: “There’s nothing more important than squats to build my whole body strength.” When all things are equal, a stronger person will find it easier to do a task more successfully, even if not the case is strength related. ”

Build space-ready full-body muscles

Warm up. Then do 5 sets of 5 heavy squats, resting for at least two minutes between sets. Next, take the heaviest dumbbells you can walk 100 feet with and do five sets of country walks.

This story originally appeared in the Everyday Strength feature in the May 2020 issue of Men health.


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