A few questions about Spiderman's physical strength

#1 Posted by CannotSpellMyName (92 posts) - - Show Bio

Most official sources say that Spiderman can lift approximately 10 tons. His physical strength also extends to his leg muscles, allowing him to jump several stories high. Considering this, I've got three questions about Spiderman's physical strength:

A) Considering that Spiderman is able to lift 10 tons and his strength also extends to his leg muscles effectively making him at least hundred times stronger than most grown up men, shouldn't Spiderman be able to leap over skyscrapers rather than "only" several stories high? Why is his lifting strength not proportionate to how high he can jump? Is it just because the writers wanted him to be that physically strong but thought that it would be corny and ridiculous if his jumping abilities were similarly enhanced?

B) Why is Spiderman, and most other individuals with super strength in comics, not heavier than normal humans although their muscles are hundreds of times more effective? Doesn't stronger muscles also get heavier? Has comics ever made any attempt to explain this?

C) Does Peter Parker have to eat large quantities of food to maintain his extreme physique?

If you know the answer or has a theory to only one of these questions, please don't hesitate to share them! And please, do not reply: "Because it's comics", I am perfectly aware of that fact, thank you very much.

#2 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

@CannotSpellMyName: A). i dont think he should leap over skyscrapers. several stories high is enough. hes not the hulk. he swings. its his thing. it would make his webshooters pointless and not very not very spider-like (i know spiders dont swing but still). hes not grasshopper man.

B). i think they explained that by saying muscles are not heavier but denser. thats why skinny guys like pete can lift 10 tons.

C). uumm shouldnt he have to have a strict diet to keep the physique? he doesnt have an accelerated metabolism. not flash. he eats like a regular guy but gets all the workout he needs through swinging around, villain battles.

hope i helped. a little.

#3 Edited by Strider92 (16823 posts) - - Show Bio

A) 10 tons is his base strength. What he can lift before exerting himself. When he's on adrenaline or being pressured he can lift more (his recent demonstration of ripping through Carbonadium is a good example).

B) What Kain said. They aren't heavier simply denser.

C) Pete has never had to go on a special diet as far as i'm aware. However I believe during his early years there was a few instances when people see him eating a lot and comment on it. So it is perfectly possible he does eat more than a regular person. I'm pretty sure his physique is always kept the same due to his metabolism (kinda like Captain America).

#4 Posted by SpidermanWins (3963 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92 said:

A) 10 tons is his base strength. What he can lift before exerting himself. When he's on adrenaline or being pressured he can lift more (his recent demonstration of ripping through Carbonadium is a good example).

B) What Kain said. They aren't heavier simply denser.

C) Pete has never had to go on a special diet as far as i'm aware. However I believe during his early years there was a few instances when people see him eating a lot and comment on it. So it is perfectly possible he does eat more than a regular person. I'm pretty sure his physique is always kept the same due to his metabolism (kinda like Captain America).

This. Nice post

#5 Posted by Mega_spidey01 (3078 posts) - - Show Bio

@SpidermanWins said:

@Strider92 said:

A) 10 tons is his base strength. What he can lift before exerting himself. When he's on adrenaline or being pressured he can lift more (his recent demonstration of ripping through Carbonadium is a good example).

B) What Kain said. They aren't heavier simply denser.

C) Pete has never had to go on a special diet as far as i'm aware. However I believe during his early years there was a few instances when people see him eating a lot and comment on it. So it is perfectly possible he does eat more than a regular person. I'm pretty sure his physique is always kept the same due to his metabolism (kinda like Captain America).

This. Nice post

#6 Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude (2682 posts) - - Show Bio

@Strider92 said:

A) 10 tons is his base strength. What he can lift before exerting himself. When he's on adrenaline or being pressured he can lift more (his recent demonstration of ripping through Carbonadium is a good example).

B) What Kain said. They aren't heavier simply denser.

C) Pete has never had to go on a special diet as far as i'm aware. However I believe during his early years there was a few instances when people see him eating a lot and comment on it. So it is perfectly possible he does eat more than a regular person. I'm pretty sure his physique is always kept the same due to his metabolism (kinda like Captain America).

This.

#7 Posted by CannotSpellMyName (92 posts) - - Show Bio

@KainScion said:

@CannotSpellMyName: A). i dont think he should leap over skyscrapers. several stories high is enough. hes not the hulk. he swings. its his thing. it would make his webshooters pointless and not very not very spider-like (i know spiders dont swing but still). hes not grasshopper man.

B). i think they explained that by saying muscles are not heavier but denser. thats why skinny guys like pete can lift 10 tons.

C). uumm shouldnt he have to have a strict diet to keep the physique? he doesnt have an accelerated metabolism. not flash. he eats like a regular guy but gets all the workout he needs through swinging around, villain battles.

hope i helped. a little.

A) Sure, it would take away a lot of the beauty of the character if he could jump over skyscrapers and I wouldn't want him to be able to, but he SHOULD be able to do it considering the raw physical strength he possesses so I'm wondering why he can't do it?

B) Doesn't denser mean that you also get heavier, as more mass is added to the muscle? For example, for Spiderman to be able to lift 10 tons, his muscles, bones and tendons would have to be extremely durable or they would crumble to gravel under the weight. And as far as I know, durable means hard means heavy. Or am I wrong?

C) Considering that Spiderman has a healing factor and can probably regenerate several pounds of flesh in mere hours, shouldn't he and all other superhumans with healing factors have to eat like horses to be able to sustain such a physique? Metabolism is useless without proper nourishment.

Sorry if I'm being too realistic, but I love to discuss superhero science, it makes the characters 10 times more interesting if their powers can be explained.

#8 Posted by Pyrogram (41268 posts) - - Show Bio

@CannotSpellMyName said:

@KainScion said:

@CannotSpellMyName: A). i dont think he should leap over skyscrapers. several stories high is enough. hes not the hulk. he swings. its his thing. it would make his webshooters pointless and not very not very spider-like (i know spiders dont swing but still). hes not grasshopper man.

B). i think they explained that by saying muscles are not heavier but denser. thats why skinny guys like pete can lift 10 tons.

C). uumm shouldnt he have to have a strict diet to keep the physique? he doesnt have an accelerated metabolism. not flash. he eats like a regular guy but gets all the workout he needs through swinging around, villain battles.

hope i helped. a little.

A) Sure, it would take away a lot of the beauty of the character if he could jump over skyscrapers and I wouldn't want him to be able to, but he SHOULD be able to do it considering the raw physical strength he possesses so I'm wondering why he can't do it?

B) Doesn't denser mean that you also get heavier, as more mass is added to the muscle? For example, for Spiderman to be able to lift 10 tons, his muscles, bones and tendons would have to be extremely durable or they would crumble to gravel under the weight. And as far as I know, durable means hard means heavy. Or am I wrong?

C) Considering that Spiderman has a healing factor and can probably regenerate several pounds of flesh in mere hours, shouldn't he and all other superhumans with healing factors have to eat like horses to be able to sustain such a physique? Metabolism is useless without proper nourishment.

Sorry if I'm being too realistic, but I love to discuss superhero science, it makes the characters 10 times more interesting if their powers can be explained.

100%

In the movie for example peter did start eating a shed loads, also denser means more mass in a certain area, so I guess he should weigh more. I did not know his heeling faction was that good to be able to heal that much.

#9 Posted by spiderman1976 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

1. i always thought it was more about gravity than his strength limits: gravity is a negative accelerating force, meaning progressively more power is needed the higher u go. so, say he is 100x stronger than a guy of the same mass who can vertical jump 2ft. u wouldnt just multiply 2ft by 100, equaling 200 ft vertical. the higher one could go, the power needed to travel that distance vertically would increase geometrically. ergo, spidey having a 50-60ft vertical with about a 250ft long jump IS in line with being 100x stronger than a man.

2. the mechanics of his muscles on a cellular level work different than ours. in humans, several factors come into play with strength/power(which would take too long to get into). but, all things being equal, stronger muscles, yes, are usually heavier muscles. this is because bigger heavier muscles are so because they have more WATER in thier cells, making them heavier. spideys muscles, instead, may take on different molecular structures, making them much stronger, but only adding 5-10 lbs of actual wait. no added water comes into the mix.

3. i would think he should be eating more. his metabolism IS faster than human. its been stated many times.

BUT, MY question FOREEVER has been, with super dense muscles, and the shell like properties of spider exoskeletons, WHY isnt spidey semi bullet proof!??! at least to small caliber bullets???

#10 Posted by Phaedrusgr (1667 posts) - - Show Bio

@spiderman1976: He could be semi-bulletproof or indicate some resistance to bullets whatsoever, but where the fun would be? We'd miss the agility part, I think, nevertheless, you're absolutely right. They could show him in such a way. He'd be, don't know, superior? :p

#11 Edited by wanonalake (294 posts) - - Show Bio
#12 Edited by Spiderman1018 (12 posts) - - Show Bio

A) that makes sense. Some spiders can lift 2-120 times there weight. The spider he got bit by could lift that much, plus it was a "super spider" because it was exposed to radiation twice. If he is as strong as they say, than he should be able to jump about 1600 feet in the air, from my perception. B) No they're just harder. When I flex my muscles, it stays the same weight. C) Yes I'm pretty sure because he has an excelerated motabilisom. This is the reason why he has more drug and alcohol tolerance

#13 Edited by DatHomieSilverSurfer (400 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-man can actually lift 20tons now, I believe. So A,B, and C would all be increased.

#14 Posted by nickzambuto (14862 posts) - - Show Bio

B) What Kain said. They aren't heavier simply denser.

Denser = heavier. Any superhuman should hold much more mass in their muscles than normal people, and therefore weigh more.

#15 Posted by loplopool (495 posts) - - Show Bio

@cannotspellmyname: spiderman is not a ten tonner it may be stated but from what ice seen and it's not PiS or CiS as it happens a lot I've seen him throw tanks with ease hold giant bits of rubles with ease I think he can exert himself to about 80 tons

#16 Posted by NICK31898 (2181 posts) - - Show Bio

@loplopool: Haha, no, Spider-man IS a 10 tonner. But under stress he has show to lift up to 20-25 tons. The weight of a tank.

Giant bits of rubble may not weigh that much.

#17 Posted by Tyger (947 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember early on, Mr. Fantastic theorized that Spider-Man's powers (Agility, sticky, and strength) were a form of psionic Gravity Manipulation (based primarily on his hands and feet.) I don't remember where I saw it though, and it was really really early into the character's existence.

Oddly enough, I think this would explain some of his high showings better than just adrenaline/

#18 Posted by EphVenom (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I signed up just so I could weigh in on this. XD

B) My theory would be carbon nano-fibers. Very light, extremely strong and durable. If a human body could adapt and change to make these, then they'd be capable of great feats of strength and resilience. The only issue, then, is how the bones have gotten stronger, too.

Also, Spidey IS more durable than normal, so while bullets still hurt him, they do less than, say, if a normal human got shot. But it's been stated that Spidey has to roll with punches from norms to prevent breaking their wrists when they try to hit him--he's apparently done this to someone who hit him in the stomach. His muscles can tense so hard that it's more force than a norm can withstand.

#19 Posted by segamarvel (625 posts) - - Show Bio

Your kinda right in a way. Technically Peter should be able to jump 50x his body length from a standing position (just like a real spider) which at his size would be as long as 300 ft and possibly more if he got into a running start.

#20 Edited by CoreyBirch (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Most people here are, mostly, half right. Because of the nature of deceleration when vertical leaping and gravity is concerned, it can get a little confusing. But here it is:

Spider-man should be able to jump higher than 3 stories. In order for you to leap upward you need to overcome the force of gravity as it applies to your personal weight. If you weigh 200 lbs then ANY vertical gain achieved must be greater than your 1G base, which is 200 lbs of force. It takes a LOT of Gs to jump. If you just jumped, no matter your weight, it cost you about 0.175 Gs for every single vertical inch you traveled. To get a 24 inch vertical leap, no matter your actual weight, you need to jump with just over 4 Gs of force. (4 times whatever your weight is) For me, that's about my max vertical jump, which comes to about 546lbs of force. That does NOT mean I can leg press that weight. I'd be lucky to press a third of that. If spider-mans maximum leg press is 20,000lbs, the maximum Gs/force he could output should be several times higher. The average leg press is around twice your body weight. 2Gs. As you recall it takes 4 Gs for anyone to leap 24 inches but that doesn't mean everyone who can leap 24 inches can also leg press 4 times their weight. Since Peter Parker weighs 167 lbs, if he was normal his leg press should be about 334 lbs. If his leg press is actually 20,000lbs, his maximum jumping output should be at least double that leg press, enabling him to leap with 40,000lbs of force, or a massive 239.5 Gs (almost 240 times his body weight) Now if you know the math, about every 0.175 Gs gets you an inch off the ground. 239.5 Gs, no matter your weight, will launch you 114 feet in the air before you loose velocity and fall back down. So, not skyscraper leaping, but more than triple what Marvel estimates. The other thing to consider is that some record-holding conditioned athletes, rather than your average Joe who can only put 4Gs into a leap, put in more than 6. (The current vertical leap record is 46 inches and would require around 8Gs) So when I estimated the difference between Parker's weight and leg press I was not factoring the whole athletic conditioning thing.

BUT, If you wanted to just forget the entire "maximum leap force is much greater than maximum leg press force" thing...if you wanted to say "look dude, he can leap with 10 tons/20,000 lbs of force, period" then you still end up with higher numbers than marvel's official "3 stories." 20,000 lbs for Peter is just under 120 Gs. That would get him 57 feet high. So...there you go.

Want some fun math, calculate the height he could DROP from, and land on his feet without it being too much for his legs to handle.

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