Pull-ups are freaking awesome for becoming a better powerlifter.
The lats are great for helping stabilize the spine — so they help contribute to better core stability for squats and deadlifts — they’re instrumental in the pulling motion of the deadlift, and they also help push the barbell of the chest during the bench press. Pull-ups also improve the elbow flexors, grip strength, shoulder health, and they develop more motor units in the back.
Pull-ups are dope, and if you want an impressive powerlifting total, it’s smart to become as proficient as possible.
[Can you do an L-sit pull-up? Check out our 10 favorite pull-up variations for superhuman strength!]
We’re telling you all this so you can extra appreciate this insane feat from powerlifter Janis Finkelman: twenty-seven unbroken pull-ups.
No kipping, no jerking, and every one of them from a dead hang. And it’s even more impressive because she tore her bicep just fourteen months ago.
In fact, Finkelman’s recovery from the injury has been nothing short of phenomenal: nine months after the tear she deadlifted 460 pounds for two reps at 135 pounds bodyweight and a few months after that — in early August, thirteen months post-tear — she set a world record in the lift with 496 pounds (225kg) at 143lb (65kg) bodyweight.
[Want to avoid a bicep tear? Here’s everything you need to know.]
But rehab wasn’t all PRs and world records. She has been outspoken about the difficulties and stress she endured on her road to recovery, writing in April:
I have really screwed up and fallen backward into dark mental places multiple times. I have been afraid more times than I know and I have almost quit more times than I want to say. But I didn’t.
Oh, and part of her training for high-rep bodyweight pull-ups? Low-rep weighted pull-ups. Watch another PR from earlier this week of six pull-ups with fifty pounds added around her waist. This was followed by another set of six and one more of five.
As is often the case with strength, low reps, high reps, and a bunch of different grip variations are key to progressing in pull-ups. When’s the last time you mixed things up?
Featured image via @janisfinkelman on Instagram.