Pull-ups are one of the most challenging bodyweight movements to master, but if you’re a four-time winner of the World’s Strongest Man, a pull-up challenge is just another day in the life, right?
Strongman Brian Shaw decided to put his bodyweight strength to the test with former Navy SEAL, Sean Rosario, in a series of four events.
- Event 1: Grip Challenge
- Event 2: 500-Meter Row for Speed
- Event 3: Max Pull-Ups
- Event 4: Cold Tub Challenge
The first event Shaw and Rosario went head-to-head in what was called “the grip challenge.” This was a test to determine overall grip strength. At 2:30 in the video, you can see them begin the grip challenge — and after a very close first event — Shaw picked up the win.
For the second challenge, Shaw and Rosario took on a 500 meter row for speed, which Shaw titled the “Rower Challenge.” Shaw picked up the second event’s win with a time of 1:14. Rosario finished with 1:33.8. Shaw’s rowing challenge win might seem like a surprise to some, but remember, Shaw almost broke the 100-meter Concept 2 World Record just last year, so he’s proven he can row quickly!
The third event was the pull-up challenge and Shaw managed to complete six reps, but Rosario took home this round completing 20-reps.
Pull-up strength in general is the ultimate movement to increase upper body strength and muscle growth. While we wouldn’t categorize Shaw as a beginner in the pull-up field, it is not an easy movement for someone who sits around 400 pounds.
The final competition was a “cold tub challenge”, which was used to see who could last the longest in a cold tub — an activity both professional athletes and Navy SEALs are usually accustomed to. With very little movement, and from what on the outside looked like just two guys hanging out in a jacuzzi, the event ended in a draw. Something tells us this cold tub challenge was really just a way for these two to ice their muscles after three strenuous challenges.
So, despite Shaw winning the day of challenges going 2-1-1 against Rosario, when it comes to pull-ups, it appears the navy seal had the edge over the professional strongman.
Feature image from SHAWSTRENGTH Youtube channel.