Tearing a Phone Book in Half

Okay, continuing on from yesterday’s card tearing glory.

It had been a while since I had tried to tear a phone book in half. Maybe four or five months.

One of the nice things about hand strength is that once you’ve built a strong foundation, it doesn’t fade away like a lift like the bench press might, should you take some time off.

Hands are not quite as subject to the “use it or lose it” rule I see in so many of my other lifts.

Anyway, this book is about 2.5″ thick. It’s not the cleanest tear, but it went pretty easily.


So long, greedy lawyers on the back cover, or maybe that was a different phone book

Tutorial forthcoming.

10 thoughts on “Tearing a Phone Book in Half

  1. No, there are always greedy lawyers on the backs of those things. I get a HUGE kick out of it. I need to learn how to do this if only for the cathartic release of ripping their ambulance-chasing faces in twain!

  2. Perhaps the greedy-lawyer back cover had a hidden folded image that made it more fun and interesting. (Like the old Mad Magazines had.)

    Now we’ll never know.

  3. I was flipping through the channels the other night and happened to discover my favorite duo, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, attempting this very thing. After a few tries, they mastered it. I, after more viewing, a bowl of ice cream, and a thorough explanation from them, recovered my previously discarded phone book that had just arrived this week (because really, who even uses a phone book these days?) and made my attempt. I, being a female, had doubts that I could succeed. However, I am happy to report that I did indeed succeed in this venture and plan to master the technique so that from this day on I will forever have a trick to show at parties. You know, if I’m ever invited to one.

    • Carter, there’s no trick to it if you do it “right,” meaning the way that I and other performers do it. Just strength. I saw that episode as well.

      Not a judgment, just an observation. I could teach any five year old to do it with a couple of quick tricks. I don’t do tricks.

  4. Good for you. You should post your tutorial so that we all understand the “right” way to do it.

    I’ll stick with the 5-year-olds for now.

    • LOL. Five year olds it is, for me too, for a while. I bent the crap out of my finger lifting a rock this week. Lesson: don’t wear your wedding ring for stones. It messes everything up.

      Just as a “for instance,” lots of guys wrap the books in duct tape just to show that the binding hasn’t been popped. (he finally gets it toward the end of the video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiPLYGaEHNQ&feature=player_embedded#!

      Or here’s Adam Glass, a guy I actually train with: http://extremehumanperformance.com/blog/killer-grip-phone-book-tearing-adam-t-glass/
      You can see the effort it takes. I’m not saying any of this is important, just fun. And now I’m officially taking the quotation marks off of the right way to do it.

      • This is the second injury-caused-by-wedding-ring story that I have read this week. Sorry to hear about your finger. I hope it heals up soon. I’ll keep that lesson in mind for my future stone lifting endeavors.

        Those videos are impressive. I prefer my technique, as I do not have the brute strength demonstrated by your friend Adam. However, I can see the difference, and will be sure to acknowledge that I use the alternative method to phone book tearing at all those parties I never get invited to.

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