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Watch a US Marine Attempt the Climbing Strength Test

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Michael Eckert’s upper body strength speaks for itself. The U.S. Marine and two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor previously broke the world record for the most pull-ups in a minute when he did 50 repetitions on the bar. He also regularly shares his expert tips on building stamina and improving your pull-up technique on his YouTube channel. But in a recent video Eckert proves his strength in a completely different kind of challenge and faces the climbing strength test popularized by professional climber and YouTuber Magnus Midtbø.

The test consists of four rounds: a weighted slope on a 20mm bar, a maximum weighted chin-up, a maximum front lever grip, and finally a maximum dead slope.

For the weighted hang, Eckert starts by attaching 52 pounds to his belt – about 28 percent of his total body weight of 184 pounds – and tries to hang from the edge for 5 seconds. Then he increases the weight to 106 pounds – more than half his body weight – and repeats the 5-second slope. “It hurts, but I can go further up,” he says, showing the signs of wear and tear on his hands that are already visible. He peaks at 131 pounds and earns 7 points on this round.

In the weighted pull-up, Eckert starts with one rep with 106 pounds of additional weight, then moves to 150 pounds, then 166 pounds, and scores 8 points.

The third event is the front lever, a popular calisthenics movement in which Eckert has to stay horizontal as long as possible. The moment his body begins to sink, his time is up. He manages a total of 12 seconds and collects another 8 points. “That’s not bad,” he says. “My damn head was about to burst though … It literally feels like you’re doing a self-inflicted nosebleed.”

The fourth and final test is the dead hang, in which he has to hang on the pull-up bar with both hands and arms outstretched for as long as possible. “In my opinion, this is probably the most miserable test of all,” says Eckert. “We’ll see how it goes.”

His eventual total time on Dead Hang is 2 minutes 1 second, which is only worth 4 points. “That is the worst pain,” says Eckert. “And there are a lot of people out there who can hold a dead slope for six minutes. More strength for you. I’m proud to get over 2 minutes, but it’s definitely something I have to work on, this pain tolerance , the stamina in this position … That was brutal … That was definitely my worst category.

Eckert’s total number of points for the climbing strength test is 27 out of a total of 40 possible points. This corresponds to a climbing ability of V14. “I’ve never climbed a V14, probably because my technique isn’t that great,” he says. “But that’s really cool to know.”

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Men’s Health

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Explained Why He Doesn’t Have Six-Pack Abs

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Before we start, let’s agree on something: For someone who is nearly 50 years old, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is in incredible shape. As someone with a background in professional American football, wrestling and performing hardcore action scenes – with decades of strength training under the (weight) belt – DJ is a fitness icon for men half his age and has made a name for himself made by Hollywood’s strongest leading actors.

These physical skills are what power tens of thousands of frantic Google searches as those desperately looking for Johnson’s workouts try to find the plan that got him into such gigantic shape. But the internet has defied one mystery: Where are Johnson’s six pack abs? He’s got the core strength and low body fat required to make them pop, after all.

That was the question Johnson asked during a recent WIRED “Autocomplete” interview in which DJ answered some of the internet community’s most burning questions. The question read by his Jungle Cruise co-star, Emily Blunt, was, “What’s wrong with The Rock’s abs?”

“That sucks!” replied Johnson to the question that struck his body. “There’s nothing wrong with them, no. Here’s the thing. I think because on Instagram all these Instagram fitness models have these incredible six, eight, 12, 24 packs.”

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“I have a five and a half pack, sometimes a four and a half pack,” he continued. “But the problem was – which a lot of people don’t know – I ripped the upper part of my thigh off my pelvis in a wrestling match and it popped, in a wrestling match.

“And then it started a chain reaction and tore my abdominal wall, so I had to do emergency surgery with a triple hernia, one tear, one tear, and one tear.” [pointing to each tear].

Sounds like a tough ride – one that will definitely ruin any unwarranted keyboard comment. “Those bastards who google what’s wrong with the abs on The Rock? ‘ Well, it’s called a 45 minute wrestling match and the top of my quad popped out of my pelvis and my adductor popped out of my pelvis, “said Johnson.

“And the pain I’ve been through … I have to fix this shit. I’ll google what got over The Rock?”

Very good reason, you will agree with me.


Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

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Men’s Health

Why Winter is The Best Season for Bulking

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With the lack of beach days forcing you to put up with it all and minimal impromptu parties popping up on the calendar, there’s relatively no need to wear a chiseled six-pack year round. Therefore, winter is the best time of year to build as much lean muscle mass as possible. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it should be made clear that bulking doesn’t translate directly to bodybuilding (aka You Won’t Walk Away Like the Michelin Man).

How do i start?

The most important thing is that to build muscle you need to eat a lot more. The reverse formula for what it takes to lose weight, bulking, requires you to expend more energy than the body needs while at the same time giving some of that energy, e.g. Through regular and strenuous physical activity to build muscle mass.

The amount of food you need to eat varies from person to person and takes into account your current physique and fitness goals, which is why I recommend that you always seek advice from your doctor. For some, it might mean adding an extra can of yogurt to your morning cereal, others need to include a different meal each day, but you want your wellness journey to be tailored just for you.

Wait … am I not getting fat?

While it may be a cause for concern for some, fat gain is part of the mass building process. However, you don’t want to fall into the pattern of simply eating more for profit, it’s all about quality and informed food choices.

Start increasing your calories in small increments, prioritizing more full fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats to underpin each meal. Other high-calorie foods that should appear on your radar include avocado, sweet potato, and nuts.

Hot Tip: Swapping Vegemite for Peanut Butter on Toast will increase your energy and protein intake without increasing the bread amount, making you less likely to feel too full.

So am I doubling the protein requirement?

Contrary to popular belief, bulking requires more than just protein (so stop knocking down those shakes). The best sources of protein to include in your diet today should be: eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, and seafood. Again, so many factors play a role in how much you need, including your gender, height, and exercise program.

If you are feeling fit and ready to reshape your body but are lacking inspiration in the kitchen department, I recommend investing in one of the many food delivery programs available across Austria that will support your fitness goals. Company like MACROS For example, provide plans called Sculpt, Perform, and Gain, all of which have been pre-portioned and dietitian-approved to suit your lifestyle. The best part? It ships right to your door, which means more time training and less effort preparing meals.

Forget everything you’ve heard about gobbling up whole pizzas, gallons of milk, and tons of cheeseburgers, bulking is far less scary than it sounds and can indeed be a welcome change from your usual fitness regimen.

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Men’s Health

Review finds women’s NCAA Tournament got less than men’s

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From the first practice session to the final four, the bells and whistles for this year’s NCAA women’s tournament lagged far behind those of the men’s tournament.

The inequalities were brought back to the fore on Tuesday in a damning review by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a law firm hired to review gender equality issues at NCAA championship events. Page by page, the review deals with the big and small differences. The women’s teams in San Antonio were getting less of several things – including amenities, transportation, and even food – than the men in Indianapolis last March.

From the beginning, when the organizers of the men’s tournament announced plans for an event with 68 teams in one central location due to the coronavirus last November, it took another month before the organizers of the women’s tournament were able to publish their plan.

At almost every step thereafter, the report said, the men’s tournament was in full swing with well-equipped weight rooms, spacious lounge areas in its hotels and tournament venues, while the organizers of the women’s tournament did not have similar resources.

“These gender inequalities were built into the structure of the tournaments and how the tournaments were viewed by the NCAA,” the report said.

The issues were publicized on social media, most notably by Oregon gamer Sedona Prince, whose first tweet on the subject has now been viewed more than 18 million times.

The company’s deep dive also revealed that the COVID-19 testing procedures were different on the two tournament bladders: men were given rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily, while women only had to do one PCR test per week along with daily antigen tests.

An athlete who participated in the review said the NCAA’s various testing protocols “really said about how they felt to us as humans, like we weren’t important enough to have good tests on (COVID-19) anything is life-threatening “.

The company’s report found that the inequality in tests did not put the health of people at either site at risk. “Nevertheless,” the report says, “antigen tests have a lower specificity than PCR tests and thus increase the likelihood of false positive or inconclusive results.”

The report found many other cases where women got less than men:

– Ways to escape from hotel life. The NCAA set up a park at a minor league ballpark in Indianapolis where teams could relax outside while women in San Antonio opened up opportunities through May 16.

– Meal. Men ate from a buffet layout in hotels, while women limited themselves to prepackaged meals until the inequality became known.

– Player gifts. The report found that the NCAA spent $ 125.55 per player on gifts and memorabilia distributed at the men’s tournament; it spent less than half ($ 60.42) on women in the first and second rounds.

The company found that the Texas women’s event had less signage and advertising than the Indianapolis men, and the March Madness brand was not used in women’s games. The NCAA later said the women’s tournament would use March Madness in the future.

Kaplan noted that the problems with the weight room and other inequalities between the two events were mainly due to a lack of staffing at the women’s tournament and coordination between the organizers of the two events.

“As these issues were exacerbated by the unique challenge of planning and conducting a championship amid a global pandemic,” the report said, “it became the world’s attention.”

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