I used to do this party trick back in the day where I’d hold my palm in an open candle flame.
There’s no secret to this. It’s not about having a huge pain tolerance. Simple physics says that heat takes time to transfer. If you keep the flame from resting on one area of skin, the heat never has time to build up and burn you.
If I’d held my hand in one place, it would have char-grilled like a skinless chicken breast. Move around in slow circles and you can in fact play with fire without getting burned.
Same effect applies if you were to douse a guy in lighter fluid, light it up, and then he jumps in the pool. The split second between ignition and dousing isn’t enough to do any damage. Don’t ask me how I know this.
That’s science hard at work for you.
We have here in my youthful antics an important principle of biological adaptation.
Even dangerous things must cross a minimal threshold before they can cause damage.
Translated into exercise and sports and such, there’s a level of punishment that your body can tolerate on any given day.
I call this the “daily minimum”. What could you do even on your worst day?
Say you show up at the gym after a night of bad sleep, no coffee, after doing an unexpected hike the day before which left you tired and beat up. It’s leg day. How much are you going to squat?
I doubt you’re setting a PR today (although you never know…) But I bet you’d be able to at least put the bar on your back and do a set.
Same goes for sprints, long walks and hikes, almost any activity you care to name.
Many days a funny thing happens. Your hibernating system wakes up and you often find that you’ve got more in you than you realized, even on those days when you “feel awful”.
Your true daily minimum could be a lot higher than the unloaded bar.
You’re playing with the fire in such a way that it can’t burn you.