7 Feats of Strength and Balance That Are As Impressive As They Are Head Scratching

Before we get into this, lets get one unavoidable comment out of the way:

aaaaaaaand THIS is why people hate on CrossFit. 

There. It’s done. Let’s all move on now, okay? The point of this roundup is not to highlight your average Joe doing something questionable in the gym. The point is to show how unbelievable athletes show their superiority by engaging in feats of physical prowess that would almost definitely kill most humans. If you’re silly enough to think that you can or should be attempting most of these things, well…make sure someone gets it on film and that you’ve paid your latest insurance premium.

For example, Tim Paulson, LA Reign member and 2016 East Regionals competitor, recently decided to work on his Sotts Press. He also figured a little balance and proprioception work wouldn’t be a bad idea. The solution? Put these exercises together! Paulson snagged a balance board and a 115lb barbell and got to work. Some say it took years of training to reach the level of confidence and stability required to perform this movement. Others say it’s all in the beard.

A video posted by Tim Paulson (@trexpaulson) on

Continuing with Sotts press variations, Russian weightlifter and resident ham Vasily Polovnikov was clearly running low on time when he decided to get his cardio and strength done all at once. With 100kg on his back, Polovnikov maneuvered his way onto a stationary bike and pedaled his way to nowhere while repping out presses. He finished his set with a pause overhead and a victory dance. The best cardio is Russian cardio.

Not to be outdone, Egyptian weightlifter and 2015 World bronze medalist (77g) Mohamed Ehab Youssef continues to hold BarBend’s #1 spot for the Most Creative Uses of Bumper Plates. Ehab Youssef literally leaves no plate unturned during training, frequently using them to weigh himself down during stretching or to practice being a human flag. He’s also got a knack for creating accessory work that begs the question, “How did he get that setup all set up?” The world may never know.

Of course, the weightlifters don’t get to have all the fun. CrossFit athlete and New York Rhinos athlete Andrew Rape continues to prove that the little guys aren’t the only ones who can do ridiculous gymnastics. Rape seems to defy the laws of physics. No one seems to understand how it’s possible for such a giant dude to move his body through space with the lithe sprightliness of a Central Park squirrel. And yet, he continues to impress us with things like handstand walking on Atlas stones and barbell handstands.

A video posted by Andrew Rape (@andrew_rape) on

You don’t have to spend your days inside a gym to get strong doing weird things. Powerlifter and strongman Bud Jeffries has a monopoly on outdoor odd object strength, and with a 1000 lb squat (starting from the bottom, at that) he can pretty much do whatever he wants and still be considered a badass. This includes cartwheels with 20lb dumbbells and pulling a truck…walrus style.

A video posted by Bud Jeffries (@budjeffries) on

Lastly, just for funsies, we have Jon Call, aka Jujimufu. From weighted chair splits to 405lb legs together squats, Call may as well have his own category of Stupid Awesome Human Tricks. There is simply no one better at combining physical strength and flexibility with sheer insanity. This is the guy who split pressed Heidi Klum, after all. You win Jon Call. You win. 

A video posted by Jon Call (@jujimufu) on