Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Topics regarding the study of zombie behavior and physiology. Know your enemy.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

retardrobot
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:52 pm

Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by retardrobot » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:54 pm

I don't see why a Professional fighter wouldn't need weapons to survive if the zombie was not stronger (Usually, strength does not matter, but last time I saw, zombies don't know martial arts)

User avatar
BullOnParade
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 3013
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by BullOnParade » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:10 pm

Welcome to the forums, make sure you swing by the introduction section and say hello to everyone, and tell us a bit about yourself (what brought you here, what your interests are, etc.)

Firstly, to answer your question about strength, I think the Zombie Survival Guide describes it best in that, a zombie is as strong as it's former human self was, without the down side of getting tired. With that in mind, being dead, their strained muscles wouldn't heal like yours or mine. A zombie with a torn tendon doesn't feel the pain of the torn tendon, but they have lost the strength that the muscle group once had.

To answer your second question, in my opinion, a martial artist may not require a weapon, but it's still more useful than being that close with the undead. Think of many holds, throws, and self defense tactics, they put your extremities within reach of the zombies mouth, where you can easily be held victim to a bite. Secondly, most martial arts are designed to induce pain, not necessarily kill. Zombies don't feel pain, they're already dead, they're only concerned with eating your sweet, sweet flesh. And if your techniques are not designed to sever the head or destroy the brain (these tasks will take a lot of strength without a weapon), they'll be ineffective against the udead.

Hope you have fun here at ZS, there's a lot more to us than zombies.
BullOnParade

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Urban BOB/Range (& Bailout) Bag/EDC/Vehicle Kit

Visionz
* *
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:46 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Visionz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:22 am

Over in New Guinea there have been cases of cannibals coming down with a human form of mad cow disease from eating other humans. This is documented.
They move erratically and when the disease progresses, brain function is limited to basic survival.
So yeah, I think they would be weaker and would have VERY limited muscle control.

IMO... IF a zombie outbreak occurs this will be what it is like.

Ok so your Chuck Norris..
Where are you going to hit them?
Hope you dont plan on the face, they might bite.
In the body?
Likely they wont feel the pain..
It would take a knockout blow to the head and that brings you dangerously close to the mouth.
And say they have infected blood on them and you bust your knuckle open hitting them...

So, lets just say a zombie apocalypse happens..
Carry a bat or machete for the solo zombies and save your bullets for the hordes.

Honestly, the biggest threat in a zombie apocalypse is not the zombie itself, but the shear number of them if there was an outbreak of some sort.

Bisileyton
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:32 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Bisileyton » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:51 pm

Hey

Won't that depend on the "type" of zombie?

User avatar
maldon007
* * * * *
Posts: 4097
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:49 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Most of the older stuff, newer stuff just doesnt cut it fsr...
Location: Pickle Bucket Brigade
Contact:

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by maldon007 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:10 pm

Sure should! Welcome to the forum, there is an intro section, if your staying a while.


In a story I am writing, the zombies (sort of zombies) are stronger than their former selves, because the zombifying agent "reinforces" their muscles/joints/tendons.
Image

Visionz
* *
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:46 pm

Re: Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human

Post by Visionz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:52 pm

Bisileyton wrote:Hey

Won't that depend on the "type" of zombie?
Would it really matter what type?
I wouldn't go toe to toe boxing with a 3ft tall zombie.
Would you box a 3ft tall HIV patient with open sores?
Assuming it is even plausible that there was an infectious zombie outbreak I dont want to come within an inch of contact...and thats why I would carry a weapon.
Not just for the midget zombies, but for all the Captain America's out there that got infected cause they thought they were Jackie Chan.

User avatar
Steve74
* *
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:51 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004), Walking Dead show
Location: U.S.

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Steve74 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:05 pm

They don't feel pain, and they don't get tired. That's a big advantage. :)

User avatar
dukman
* * * * *
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 7:50 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: All of them!
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by dukman » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:26 pm

In most of the zombie flicks, it is easy for the average human being to fight off a single zed... the problem comes when you get attacked from all sides by the zeds and start to tire out after a couple of fights.
M-O-O-N, that spells survival, law's yes!
Duk's Bags: GLOF GHB ONB EDC
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything ~Tyler Durden

User avatar
shiddymunkie
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 766
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:13 am
Location: Aurora, CO.

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by shiddymunkie » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:27 am

I'd say its possible for a zombie to be stronger than your average fit person, but not likely.

It's possible if the infection has side effects of over-active adrenaline production, or something like that. However, I'd say its not that likely because most foreign bodies that infect us tend to "throw a wrench" into how our biological system works. More often than not, this makes the body work less effectively (i.e. makes the body weaker). Imagine most illnesses you can be infected by (the flu, food poisoning, etc) 99% those are going to drain your energy and inhibit your abilities, not the other way around. Odds are a zombie virus would have similar effects.

User avatar
Gingerbread Man
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 10834
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 10:05 am

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:27 am

If the zombie was a rage zombie then it could be stronger. Just like any human hyped up or on a very strong stimulant can be stronger than a 'normal' person. I think the problem with a zombie is not it's strength but it's determination. Maybe determination isn't the proper word but it's 'ability' to absorb a persons defensive action. As an example you can cut a zombies arm off and it can still advance. You can shoot them many times and they will continue to come. Now, add that into 'pack' style attack with the packs ability to absorb damage and still continue.
Shrapnel wrote "nobody is trying to be a dick and give out warnings for every little thing" :|
Image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS1icEssOUM

User avatar
tookieblueeyes
* * *
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:59 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: ALL OF THEM
Location: Southeastern Colorado
Contact:

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by tookieblueeyes » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:37 pm

I think everyone else has already artfully stated the obvious advantage the zombie would have over even chuck norris.
They don't feel pain, they don't strain muscles or pull tendons, and they don't get tired, they have ongoing stamina that can far outdo even an olympic swimmer.
So while even Bruce Lee himself could do some damage to a few zombies, there would come a time when he would get too tired to fight on, and when that happens... the martial artist doing the fighting might end up being so tired from fighting them off that he finds himself/herself too tired to run for cover and live to fight another day.
Learning is an ongoing process.

User avatar
The Mrs.
* *
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:15 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Day of the Dead
REC I & II
28 Days Later
Dead Set
Exit Humanity
Tucker and Dale Vs Evil
Zombieland
Location: Leaning on an acacia, deliciously shaded, with the occasional sunbeam streaking through leaves.

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by The Mrs. » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:34 am

Everyone already gave good answers. I just want to add that any single zombie is, most likely, not a big deal to a lot of people. The thing that is scary and dangerous is when an entire horde bears down on you. I don't think that even a super-duper-mega-ultra-fit human can handle all of those relentless nom-noming machines.
Image
Cogito, ergo nom...nom...nom.
Cave canem, te necet lingendo.

______________________________________________________________________________
I'm not impressed. Quite frankly, your type of arrogance has nothing to do with greatness.

User avatar
RedLeg17
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:10 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead(Old one and new), Diary of the Dead, 28 Days Later
Location: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by RedLeg17 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:41 am

Imagine a body builder turned zombie. That would be....intimidating. But nothing a well aimed bullet can't handle. Forced into melee with such a creature though, that would be one tough fight with the odds certainly stacked against you, especially if he grabs you.
"Look, I don't care what the telly says, all right? We *have* to get out of here. If we don't they'll tear us to pieces, and that is really going to exacerbate things for all of us." ~ Shaun of the Dead

Specialist Quinones
Bravo Battery
2-17 Field Artillery

User avatar
EatenAlive
*
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:49 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Land of the Dead
Location: Hollywood, California

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by EatenAlive » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:02 pm

I agree with what most others already said- zombies are as strong as their former selves, but with the disadvantage of not healing from wounds.

Zombies are not as smart as their human counterparts, so we do have that advantage over them. ;)

User avatar
Marxist
*
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Marxist » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:24 pm

Visionz wrote:Over in New Guinea there have been cases of cannibals coming down with a human form of mad cow disease from eating other humans. This is documented.
They move erratically and when the disease progresses, brain function is limited to basic survival.
So yeah, I think they would be weaker and would have VERY limited muscle control.

IMO... IF a zombie outbreak occurs this will be what it is like.

Ok so your Chuck Norris..
Where are you going to hit them?
Hope you dont plan on the face, they might bite.
In the body?
Likely they wont feel the pain..
It would take a knockout blow to the head and that brings you dangerously close to the mouth.
And say they have infected blood on them and you bust your knuckle open hitting them...

So, lets just say a zombie apocalypse happens..
Carry a bat or machete for the solo zombies and save your bullets for the hordes.

Honestly, the biggest threat in a zombie apocalypse is not the zombie itself, but the shear number of them if there was an outbreak of some sort.
I would say the biggest threat are the people driven to extreme measures to survive.

SignorVampa
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:33 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by SignorVampa » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:18 pm

The thing I keep coming back to is as a human, we use more than just our arms for lifting/etc. "Put your back into it" (even though that's not good for you) and all that.

If a zombie is using rudimentary skills to move/capture prey, wouldn't they *just* be using their arms? No using their body, unless they're lunging. I think about what a normal person can dead-lift (no pun intended) given how they stand, how they lift, all that good stuff.

djblocker88
* *
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:14 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by djblocker88 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:38 pm

A body builder zombie would be intimidating. But those kind of muscles don't have the strength we think they would have.
A body builder and power lifter have totally different body types. While the body builder may have bigger muscles and looks more ripped. the Power lift is stronger by far.

I'd be more intimidated by a larger framed gentleman, while not ripped in a body builder sense he could easily bench say 350lbs in his past life.

That being said though would zombies even have access to fast twitch muscle fiber? I would assume they would be functioning off of the red type of muscle which is mostly endurance (but wait, this kind of muscle needs oxygen constantly...) If they can't sprint (any kind of explosive movement or freakish strength increase.) how could they possibly have freakish strength. I don't get how the romero type zombies can even move the way they do. If they don't need oxygen (zombie survival guide states this), then they would have little strength at all.

Now an athletic or strongman rage zombie.. Fuck that would be terrifying. Take the strength adrenaline can give a 140lb person. Then consider a 240lb power lifter's strength level at that point.

Now I am just freaking confused how a romero zombie can be strong enough to hold onto somebody..

isaacjacob
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:40 am

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by isaacjacob » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:01 am

A zombie could have superhuman strength but i wouldnt want to find out the hard way so i would carry a weapon

User avatar
Browning 35
BANNED
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:47 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004).
28 Days Later.
Planet Terror.
Dawn of the Dead (1978).
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Omega Man
Location: Texas

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Browning 35 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:02 am

Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?
Well zombies don't exist, so no...they can't be stronger.

Lets just say for the sake of argument that some of this zombie movie bullshit actually happens and a meteor falls to earth and some substance from the broke-open meteor makes people turn weird (despite millions of these things hitting earth over the history of the planet and nothing happening so far other than what's generated from the force of the impact). Or let's say that a government truck loaded with canisters from some secret government weapons lab overturns and that makes people develop zombie-like symptoms and break it down.

Ever fight or struggle with someone jacked up and out of their mind on drugs or with someone who's violently mentally ill? I have. It's the reason the phrase 'The mad have strength' was coined.

It's not that the person is really 'stronger' than the average human. In fact many times (except for the protein and starch-fed professional convict class, which thankfully isn't encountered all that often even in some of the crappy areas I work) most times the drug addicted and mentally ill are actually likely to have even less strength than the average person due to a combination of poor diet, lack of exercise and frequent ingestion/inhalation of health damaging substances.

It's just that when they're agitated and they attack they 1) Use every bit of energy at their disposal and direct every fiber of their being into trying to do you harm because they're nuts and/or on mind altering drugs. Plus number 2) Many times they feel very little in the way of pain and fatigue due to their endorphins kicking in (because they're in fight-or-flight mode) and possibly because of whatever combination of bathtub pharmaceuticals they have flowing through their veins.

Add to it the fact that the average person doesn't spend much time fighting/struggling with anyone and the last fight that many encountered was in junior high and that's where you get urban legends like 'PCP - bathsalts - LSD - taking meth and staying up for 5 days [insert whatever drug is popular at that point in time that makes people occasionally take leave of their senses here] makes people stronger'.

It's not that it makes people stronger, it's that humans are dangerous as fuck when they're agitated to the point of violent action and that being mentally ill or jacked up on drugs increase that potential and make it that much worse.

So if zombies did exist (they don't) I'm pretty sure it would be basically the same story. It's not that they'd be any stronger, it's just that they'd be extremely motivated and using every fiber of their being into attacking you and trying to eat your brain.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

User avatar
BigEd
*
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by BigEd » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:33 pm

Browning 35 wrote:
Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?
It's just that when they're agitated and they attack they 1) Use every bit of energy at their disposal and direct every fiber of their being into trying to do you harm because they're nuts and/or on mind altering drugs. Plus number 2) Many times they feel very little in the way of pain and fatigue due to their endorphins kicking in (because they're in fight-or-flight mode) and possibly because of whatever combination of bathtub pharmaceuticals they have flowing through their veins.
I agree with you 100% about zombies not existing.

In regards to pain and fatigue, one might take it another step further. When you "feel" pain or fatigue it is your body telling you to stop, or something will give. If there are no pain receptors, one would not stop until something breaks. Imagine a zombie pushing to the point where their arms break or muscles tear. Or a zombie biting down until their teeth break, or the jaw snaps. Without a limit, a failure can occur. An average person's threshold would be much less than that of an athlete so their "max strength" could/would be a one time use.

Athletes/Soldiers in training injure themselves all the time. A couple of gruesome videos come to mind, one of the pitcher who threw a pitch and broke a bone in his arm, and a weightlifter who's knees gave out.

User avatar
Browning 35
BANNED
Posts: 4698
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:47 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004).
28 Days Later.
Planet Terror.
Dawn of the Dead (1978).
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Omega Man
Location: Texas

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Browning 35 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:32 pm

BigEd wrote:In regards to pain and fatigue, one might take it another step further. When you "feel" pain or fatigue it is your body telling you to stop, or something will give. If there are no pain receptors, one would not stop until something breaks. Imagine a zombie pushing to the point where their arms break or muscles tear. Or a zombie biting down until their teeth break, or the jaw snaps. Without a limit, a failure can occur. An average person's threshold would be much less than that of an athlete so their "max strength" could/would be a one time use.
Yeah, pretty much.

Pain is your body's way of telling you to stop (or to at least slow down) whatever it is that you're doing so that there's less damage. Someone who's under the influence of certain drugs that reduces that pain response has an advantage over someone who doesn't have this going on.

The body also has a natural chemical response and during fight-or-flight releases epinephrine and norepinephrine that in turn helps the person to continue to fight or run even if they're injured.

So it would kind of make sense that 'Zombies' (I always think of the 28 Days Later type 'rager' where they're not really dead, just crazed) would have a leg up in this department since their pain response is deadened to some degree.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

User avatar
zombieapocalypsegame
* * *
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:07 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead
28 Days Later
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by zombieapocalypsegame » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:01 pm

The interesting part to me here isn't the fact that zombies don't exist. :)

It's a simple matter of mass & volition. Consider this - a 50lb normal dog that is motivated to attack can epically screw up a 250 lb man, even fairly readily kill him. Now take that example and make the zombie a 130 lb woman, or better yet a 180 lb 6 foot tall man. That is a significant improvement in capabilities based purely on mass alone.

Even without reason / intelligence, even without rage-induced advantages - a mindless adversary of your rough size & stature is going to screw you up pretty good if they get close enough. Thankfully most zombies won't plan anything other than a beeline toward you, and only use claws & teeth to attack. Last I saw it, no knives / clubs / firearms or Kung Fu moves have originated from the zeds. They've mostly got a simple grapple and gnaw thing going.

Case in point from a favorite TV show many of us watch - Rick gets cornered and knocked down by successive zombies in Walking Dead. Each one individually is easily out-thought, which is easier than out-fought. But he didn't think about one thing minor detail - dead weight of their corpse after he dispatched them. Even one that drops like a sack of potatoes when de-brained is fully capable of knocking someone down flat, and that's just one at a time. Let alone in hordes & ambulatory.

If you add the rage element into zombies, it gets nastier fast. Even small animals like squirrels can be hideously effective with something as un-exotic and common as rabies.

Regardless, as long as you can properly implement the suspension of disbelief, the fiction works.
Zombie Apocalypse Games
The Zombies, They're Coming!
Once Fired Lake City Brass
Brass made for & only used by the US armed forces, well suited for reloading.

Kenny Soward
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:11 am
Location: Independence, KY
Contact:

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by Kenny Soward » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:57 pm

I'm not sure where you folks are going with the zombies-don't-exist talk. Some of my clients may or may not be zombies. :)

Anyway, since we're talking zombies, it would just depend on the type of zombie. I'd say there are three types; traditional/lumbering zombie, rage zombie, and voodoo zombie.

Option one fits in with most folks' idea of zombie, and I'd agree in general with the strength being the same as when the body was alive, and as one person said; prone to moving improperly and tearing itself apart just because the zombie body never stops. The second option is more a chemical/disease-based factor that could potentially be near superhuman like when people get on PCP and go apeshit. Option three is up in the air. The movie Serpent and the Rainbow comes to mind. Someone who is basically the same as when they were alive; same strength, more human in basic movement although defunct of most thought. Of course, voodoo zombies could be driven to impossible strength by the zombie's evil master who could imbue the corpse with formidable powers.
I write zombie books:
DEAD WEST #1 : Those Poor, Poor Bastards
DEAD WEST #2 : The Ten Thousand Things - Coming Soon!

royalflush
*
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:29 pm

Re: Can a zombie be physically stronger than a fit human?

Post by royalflush » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:01 pm

as part of a normal humans nervous physiology, we are not physically allowed to use our bodies to their full potential in order to prevent muscular, tendon and joint damage. there are a series of reflexes involved which "make our bodies quit" to prevent injury.
Zombies do not have this reflex intact and can use their body haphazardly and do not feel the pain associated with potential injuries.
Also they are "hangry" (hungry and angry) which gives them a videogame like power up in the strength department.
if you doubt this, take away your wifes ice cream when she is on her period and see how much harder she hits you....

oh an mr mma- its not you versus A zombie, it's you vs all of the zombies....

Post Reply

Return to “Zombie Biology”