Pullups are the hotrod wheelies of working out, and they hold a lofty position of respect in my mind.
From an early age, the act of pulling my suspended body weight over a bar stood as the lone gatekeeper between me and the Presidential Physical Fitness award.
Kids in my class with names like "Rally" and "Cordon" would just jump on the bar and go. I would do one-and-a-half before stalling out. Only after years of failure did I finally manage the eight pullups required to get that sweet blue shirt. It was a watershed moment for young Dan.
I mention all this because I just watched Alabama wide receiver/human sizzle reel Amari Cooper rip off the same exact number of pullups that once repaired my shattered self-confidence—but with the added insanity of throwing and catching his own body weight.
The 2014 Biletnikoff Award winner posted a video to Instagram of a recent workout. Cooper executed eight clapping pullups, which are like regular pullups but on "Nightmare" difficulty.
Cooper heaved his body in the air, clapped and then caught himself—a gym move typically requiring a sweat-ringed hat and shoulder pimples. It bears noting that Cooper is a 6'1", 210-pound wide receiver—not a plate-devouring linebacker or a born-with-a-six-pack cornerback. He's not supposed to be this strong.
Nonetheless, Cooper is out here grinding, putting in work and looking to elevate himself as the No. 1 wide receiver in the 2015 NFL draft. You'd do well not to challenge him to pullups, parkour or rock wall climbing. Don't even invite him into your Dying Light game. He will beat you to the airdrop every time.
Dan is on Twitter. He is learning to forgive the pullup bar.