Funny Thing Two and Funny Thing Three.
Second funny thing: BFF Stephanie and I were working in the free weight area of the Kimberly gym one evening. There were a lot of people there. Then these two meaty looking guys came in and tossed a big rubber thingie on a bench. One of the guys then proceeded to unpack the rubber thingie, and it was some kind of shirt or jacket, much like (yet different from) a wet suit. So Guy One starts to put the jacket thing on, and Guy Two is helping him, but it seems to be several sizes too small.
These two guys struggled and struggled and struggled to get this rubber shirt onto Guy One. The two of them were pulling on it, grunting, groaning, yanking, shoving, and generally working up a great sweat. Finally, the somewhat fattish but muscular upper torso of Guy One was totally encased in this suit so he could hardly move. Guy Two helped him lay down on his back on one of the benches, and he put a bar across the stand that was attached to the bench. He then proceeded to carry free weights over to the bar and slide them on. I don't know how much weight he put on there, but it was a fairly large amount. Not more than I'd ever seen anyone lift, but more than most people can lift. Then Guy Two got into spotting position, and Guy One put his hands up to the bar and pushed it off the stand.
The bar bell with the massive weights on each end was suspended, wobbling a bit, over Guy One, who was wearing the rubber suit. Guy One dropped the weight fairly quickly to his chest, then pushed it all the way back up with a huge ejaculation of sound. Guy Two grabbed the bar and helped Guy One position it back onto the stand.
Then, for the next ten minutes, Guy Two helped Guy One get the rubber shirt off. Grunt, groan, push, shove, pull, snap. Finally it came off. And they left.
Made me laugh.
Funny story three: This is not really a funny story, but rather, a bald faced exploitation of the fact that you are reading this for the purpose of me showing off.
This was the same day as the Adventure of the Rubber Shirted Man. I wanted to do a leg press at what was my maximum capacity at the time I had left the states to see if I could still do it. That was 800 pounds. There was a leg press machine very much like the one I used at the gym back home. So I started out by counting out 300 and loading that up on the machine. I tried that and it seemed a lot harder than I expected it to be, so I decided to not try for the 800. I put 200 more on the machine, to make it an even 500 (plus the unknown weight of the carriage, usually about 50 pounds).
I pressed the 500 about 12 times. It was very very hard, but I did it. Normally, I would do 500 pounds at 30 reps or more. So this was something of a disappointment.
Until I went to remove the weights from the machine. Something didn't seem right. I realized I was holding a weight that was labeled with one number but seemed to be the wrong size.
It was then that I realized what I had done. I had just leg pressed 500 kilos. 1,100 pounds.
I had a couple of muscles hurting the next day. And a couple of years later, when NASA crashed that space ship because they messed up the units of measurement, I didn't say much about it....
The rubber suit thingie is a powerlifting suit. It helps the, er - athletes I guess - lift more weight.
Since some of those suits can increase their max lifts by hundreds of pounds, which they couldn't lift otherwise, I'm not sure why they don't drop the pretense and just use a forklift instead.
A power suit is used for squats and dead lifts. The thing you saw was a bench shirt. A bench shirt does not help anyone to lift "hundreds of pounds" more. It gives a boost of a few percent to a one rep max but more importantly, it protects lifters from shoulder injuries while competing. It's no different from compression gear that other athletes wear during competition.
To be honest, if it only took one helper to get the shirt on, it was probably too big.
I've had your LB/KG problem before. What's worse is in the UK, where weight might be in KG, or LB, or ("bizarre" I thought the only time I saw it) in STONE. It's therefore a good thing to check and see what measurement system you are working under when you start stacking up those weights (or determining where to stick the pin in the stack).
Now that I'm safely in a ONE-SYSTEM country, I don't have to worry too much about this point. However, having lived in Europe and Asia for so long, it does give me a small ego boost knowing that I'm pressing 100.
C vs F can cause real issues too. We were drying some aluminum blocks in an oven at work. I set it at 200, I thought F, and when they were dry I just grabbed them. Needless to say it really burned as the setting was C (not clearly labeled and not on the knob).
I find I can convert fairly freely between metric and imperial for most measurements (although the US thing of many-many pounds usually has me trying to remember the 14-times-table), and will often alternate systems when working, or even use both in the same piece of work (which is fine so long as your conversion is within acceptable tolerances), but for some reason Fahrenheit confounds me. Actually, Fahrenheit and kitchen Gas Marks both have me reaching for conversion tables or doing sums on my fingers. I grew up alternating between England and Germany, which may have contributed.
I live in Utah, a place where metric units are viewed with suspicion, and most people have only encountered the American subset of the "English" unit system. A year or so ago I was in a friend's bathroom. I noticed their bathroom scale had a glass top. Through the glass top I could (just barely) see a switch (which was on the bottom of the scale). I wondered what it was for. I picked up the scale and took a look. The switch was for setting the units. All other bathroom scales I have seen have two settings - lb and kg. But this one had a third setting ... for stone. I moved the switch to stone and put the scale back down.
The stone as a unit of personal weight in stone is convenient because usually gain or loss of one stone is one clothing size as well.
The stone as a unit of personal weight in stone is convenient
... because what sort of wanker needs to speak their weight with a precision of 1% or less?
Sure for doing science and engineering, you need the little units. But you weigh how many pounds, exactly? How many grams, just this moment? I don't care to know how big your last shit was, in any units.