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Watch This US Marine Get Crushed by the Climbing Strength Test


Michael Eckert’s upper body strength tends to speak for itself. The U.S. Marine and two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor previously broke the world record for most pullups completed in a minute when he cranked out 50 reps on the bar. He also regularly shares his expert advice for building endurance and improving your pullup technique on his YouTube channel. But in a recent video, Eckert puts his strength to the test in a completely different kind of challenge, and takes on the climbing strength test popularized on by pro climber and YouTuber Magnus Midtbø.



a person standing in a room: Pullup world record breaker and former Ninja Warrior contestant Michael Eckert took on the "brutal" climbing strength test on YouTube.


© Michael Eckert – YouTube
Pullup world record breaker and former Ninja Warrior contestant Michael Eckert took on the “brutal” climbing strength test on YouTube.

The test consists of four rounds: a weighted hang on a 20mm ledge, a max weighted pullup, a front lever max hold, and finally a max dead hang.

For the weighted hang, Eckert starts off by attaching 52 pounds to his belt—approximately 28 percent of his total bodyweight of 184 pounds—and trying to hang from the ledge for a duration of 5 seconds. He then increases the weight to 106 pounds—more than half his bodyweight—and repeats the 5-second hang. “It hurts to do that, but I can keep going up,” he says, showing off the wear and tear already visible on his hands. He maxes out at 131 pounds, earning himself 7 points in this round.

Moving onto the weighted pullup, Eckert begins by performing a rep with 106 pounds of additional weight, then progresses to 150 pounds, then 166 pounds, achieving a score of 8 points.

Video: Distance Runner Tries US Marine Fitness Test Without Practice (Men’s Health)

The third event is the front lever, a popular calisthenics move which requires Eckert to hold himself horizontally for as long as possible. The moment his body begins to dip, his time is up. He manages a total time of 12 seconds, racking up another 8 points. “That’s not terrible,” he says. “My fricking head was about to pop, though… It literally feels like you’re doing a self-induced nosebleed.”



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© Men’s Health
Access exclusive muscle-building workouts and weight loss diets with our digital membership program.

The fourth and final test is the dead hang, where he must hang from the pullup bar using both hands with his arms fully extended for as long as he can. “This is probably the most miserable test out of all of them, in my opininon,” says Eckert. “We’ll see how it goes.”

His eventual total time on the dead hang is 2 minutes 1 second, which is worth just 4 points. “That is the worst pain,” says Eckert. “And there are a lot of people out there who can hold a dead hang for six minutes. More power to you. I ‘m proud to get over 2 minutes, but it’s definitely something I need to work on, that pain tolerance, that endurance in that position… That was brutal… That was definitely my worst category.”

Eckert’s total score for the climbing strength test is 27 out of a total of 40 possible points. This equates to a climbing ability of V14. “I’ve never climbed a V14, probably because my technique isn’t that great,” he says. “But that’s really cool to know.”

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