Can you imagine dangling from a helicopter, several feet from the ground, defying gravity while doing pull-ups?
For Youtubers and fitness enthusiasts Stan Browney (online pseudonym of Stan Bruininck) and Arjen Albers, both from the Netherlands and presenters of the YouTube channel Browney, it was more than a possibility: it was a challenge.
“We are going to try to break the craziest pull-up world record ever.” – Stan Browney
And it was a challenge they certainly smashed, after weeks of training and prepping.
Stan, known as Stan Browney, is a specialist in callisthenics, a kind of gymnastic exercises aimed to achieve bodily fitness and grace of movement.
On the day, he proved incredible resilience, breaking the record for most pull-ups from a helicopter in one minute with a jaw-dropping number of 25.
The young YouTubers saw through the epic quest at the Hoevenen Airfield in Antwerp, Belgium, on 6 July 2022, under the watchful eyes of a Guinness World Records adjudicator.
They also recorded their training and attempt, walking their audience through the “craziest world record ever”.
Once they had settled on what record they wanted to attempt, the only thing left to do was to mentally and physically prep for the challenge.
All they needed was strength, training and… a helicopter.
“Sir, do you happen to have a helicopter?” became the question to ask (and the running joke of their video).
“Right now it just looks like it’s not possible, because every single call that I’ve got was ‘no, are you crazy?’” Stan states.
Despite the bumps along the road, it took the two athletes fifteen days to find a helicopter to rent.
Then, it was time to begin the actual training.
“You better train your forearms,” Arjen jokes on the video.
However, the two were preparing for a quest much more challenging than the usual pull-ups, and had to train accordingly.
The two athletes used a suspended slippery PVC tube hanging from ropes to simulate the movements of a helicopter.
To be better prepared for the day, they also decided to up the stakes and train on a tube with a diameter thicker than the bar that they would use on the day.
Furthermore, the key for the training bar was to present the realistic conditions of the attempt: the bar had to move (as opposed to normal training bars, which are pinned on the ground) and be slippery.
This would allow the two athletes to get used to the conditions they would face on the day of the big challenge.
“Normal pull-ups are challenging but, in this case, the bar is way thicker than a normal bar, it’s not fixed on the ground and it’s moving mid-air. And you’re wasting energy because you’re also pulling the helicopter down.”
Using a larger helicopter for the attempt meant more safety mid-air, but also a thicker bar. That would mean a more challenging record to beat.
“The stakes are high,” they say on the video.
However, on a sunny July day, Stan and Arjen were ready to snatch the record.
They had trained under every condition daily, both inside and outside, and recreated a situation that could simulate the helicopter pull-ups within the gym.
The number to beat on the day was 23 pull-ups, previously achieved by Roman Sahradyan (Armenia).
The record had been broken in Yerevan, Armenia, on 2 October 2021.
It seemed impossible, but the two young YouTubers were well-prepared and ready to fight for the record.
One after the other, both Stan and Arjen pushed their limits and tested the results of their relentless training in the longest minute of their lives.
Arjen went first, achieving 24 pull-ups and surpassing the previous record by one pull-up.
Stan, who went second, upped that number and saw through the challenge with a whopping result of 25 pull-ups.
As both athletes smile, holding their brand new certificates and celebrating their achievement, we can only look forward to the next “crazy” records they’ll decide to attempt.