Many powerlifting fans don’t know that in the early days of the sport, there used to be a fourth lift. It was the strict curl. Your head, back, and glutes must stay against a wall while you perform a barbell curl or EZ-Bar curl with the heaviest weight possible. This movement had been brought into a spotlight in recent years thanks to C.T. Fletcher, but now two more major athletes are bringing attention to it.
Larry Wheels and retired NFL linebacker James Harrison have been sharing posts on social media about the strict curl and we may now see a competition between the two avid lifters. On July 19, Wheels had shared a post on Instagram that showed him curling 198 pounds (90 kg). In the post, he asked for people to do the same and tag him on it.
Harrison, a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, obliged on July 23 with a post of his own and expressed that he could potentially set the record. He didn’t share how much weight he lifted but it appeared to be at least 187 pounds (85 kg) counting the bar.
“I interrupt leg day in honor of @larrywheels strict curl Challenge. I feel like I got a shot at the record.”
Then it was Wheels’ turn. On the same day Harrison made his post, Wheels shared another clip of himself. This time he curled 209 pounds (95 kg). His glutes appear to slightly come off of the wall so it would be a judgement call if this is a good lift had it been in a competition.
The man known as “Deebo” responded in kind with another post on his account with a lift of his own. Once again he doesn’t share the weight but based on the size of the plates, it appears to be around 198 pounds (90 kg).
The record that both men are chasing is the all-time world record in the strict curl, which is 249 pounds (113 kg) by Denis Cyplenkov. There is no word as of this writing if there will be a contest in person between Harrison and Wheels. It should be noted that Wheels is training for this record in spite of a previous injury that saw him tear his left bicep while training with Atlas Stones in 2019.
Featured Images: Instagram/larrywheels and jhharrison92