We all remember that scene in the opening credits of the old Hulk TV show where Lou Ferrigno picks up a car and rolls it off a cliff. Few can make it look as easy as Lou did, but with the right technique (and the right car) it’s entirely possible for a hard-training gym rat to lift a car off the ground. Leg strength is obviously critical, though you don’t need a monstrous full squat to be able to pull off this feat.

If you can half-squat 500 pounds or more, then you can totally lift a Honda Civic. You’ll impress the hell out of your friends, and for once in your life, someone might confuse you with the Hulk. And isn’t that all any man asks for?

A two-door Honda Civic is good for most guys. I wouldn’t recommend starting with a fully loaded police cruiser like the one I recently lifted.

Derek’s Tips

  • Since you’re lifting from the edge of the car, this is not a pound-for-pound lift. The weight of the engine and the transmission is tremendous, but that’s in the center of the car and won’t really affect your lift. Once the wheels are off the ground, don’t give up.
  • By this point, you finally have the mechanical advantage, as the weight you’ve lifted begins to rest against the opposite side.


The Moves (From Left)

  1. Open the front door of the car and wedge your shoulders under the doorframe. Padding isn’t recommended, as it can slip during the exercise.
  2. Set your feet in front of you to create a mechanical advantage. This helps direct all your leg drive up into the car. Hold the edges of the door frame as you’d hold a barbell during a squat.
  3. Extend your knees and drive upward to a full lockout. The first few inches shouldn’t be a problem, but once the wheels are off the ground, there’s a lot of metal hanging in midair.