Lately I’ve been seeing a ton of videos of lifters using humans for weights and it makes me so happy. In most cases, these videos are lifters performing multiple reps with humans, which is even more impressive. Although, I always wonder if these videos make me happier than others in the strength world because of my background.

In college I was a D-1 collegiate cheerleader and won a few national championships. So whenever I see videos of humans lifting humans I get so happy, because that was a good four years of my past life. For me cheerleading was a way to stay athletic and continue explosive movements, while getting stronger. There’s a ton of crossover between Olympic lifting and performing cheer movements. 

A video posted by Jake Boly (@jake_boly) on

When you’re lifting people you have to account for three things to be successful.

  1. You need the third party to have the balance and strength to maintain whatever postures they need to be in.
  2. All parties involved need to have full understanding of what’s going on so no one loses focus and gets hurt.
  3. You have to have the strength to lift someone’s physical weight and compensate for the first two points.

It’s not always an easy task to lift others, weights don’t move around in the air, people do. All of this considered, I pulled together my favorite videos of humans lifting humans and gave them a rating between 1-10 (10 being the highest). The ratings reflect the video’s difficulty, awe factor, and strength presumably required by the lifter.

1. Kevin Oak Benching Ladies For 5 Reps – 8.5

This video is impressive. Oak needs a ton of strength and the girls (@megsquats & @lydiamok) both need ample amounts of strength and balance for Oak to hit his five reps. What decreased their score was the foot tapping after each rep!

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2. Eddie Hall Shoulder Pressing Men For 7 Reps – 9

A seated press lifting grown men for reps is freaking impressive, mostly because you know these guys easily weigh over 150 lbs each. The only thing that decreased Hall’s perfect 10 score was the fact that I’m totally envious of his shoulder strength.

3. Bradley Martyn Squatting With Ladies….and A Hoverboard – 9.5

Don’t try this one at home. Martyn performs 5 squats with ladies on each end of the barbell, while on a hoverboard with a Halloween mask on. I’m not sure if I’m more impressed at his lower body stability or the fact the women trusted him so much.

4. Dmitry Klokov Picking Up Women On The Beach – 8.35

This video features Dmitry Klokov standing from a dead squat, then behind the neck push pressing two women in the sand. The sand makes it impressive, although he’s on plates, which helps the stability – crazy strong press though.

5. Hall Incline Pressing Men For 8 Reps – 9

The incline bench press in my opinion is the hardest of the barbell bench styles due to the mechanics it requires. Hall does an easy 8 reps with grown guys on each side, which is impressive, but their stability is equally as impressive.

6. Martyn Benching 135 + A Woman For 11 reps – 8.4

What makes this video impressive is Martyn starting with his elbows off the floor as she kicks up, then performs bicycle kicks with his legs. It’s also worth noting that he remains stable enough for the girl handstanding to move her legs with ease.

7. Beach Clean & Jerk With Squats – 9.2

Sean Zacot performs a clean & jerk with a woman on the beach. There are two impressive keys to this video. First is his nearly perfect form while using a human. Second, the woman maintains a perfect hollow body position the whole time, even with the squats. Bravo.

A video posted by Sean Zacot (@stzacot) on

8. Katarina Konow Squats A Guy For Reps – 9.6

Konow is a bikini model and beauty queen from Sweden who had a video go viral this past summer when someone recorded her squatting a friend at a pool party. While this is a different video, this one features her low-bar squatting a grown man at a pool for reps, impressive.

9. Martyn No Arm Squatting With Girls, Chains, and Plates – 9.35

Honestly, we could make this whole post about Martyn and his human lifting videos, they’re always impressive and creative. This video is awesome, not only is there 135 on the bar, but there are women with chains around their necks too. I wonder how long it takes to think of these ideas?

10. Justifying Myself As A Cheerleader – 8

In cheerleading you have to be quick, strong, and utilize triple extension to generate power. A lot of aspects carry over to lifting in regards to relying proper body mechanics and stacking the joints. Basically, speed and power are the difference between an easy movement and struggle city.

A video posted by Jake Boly (@jake_boly) on

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Feature image from @bradleymartyn Instagram page. 

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