The first 3 things that come to mind when you think about powerlifting are probably the 3 compound exercises – the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. Yes, the big three is what powerlifting is all about. But did you know that there was a time when, instead of the bench press, the powerlifters competed in overhead presses ?
The overhead press was one of the 3 movements performed. There was even a fourth move, an ultimate strength test for your biceps – the strict biceps curl.
The heaviest strict curl ever was performed by Denis Cyplenkov, the famous Russian arm wrestler. Denis managed to do a 113kg (249lbs) biceps curl.
The strict biceps curl rules
– The bar used in a strict curl competition is an EZ bar. The bend of the bar provides a comfortable wrist position and also provides a fixed-grip width to ensure all competitors use the same hand placement. The bar must be held with a double-handed underhand grip with all fingers wrapped around the bar.
– The upper back and glutes of the competitor must touch the wall, both on the way up and on the way down. To decrease the chance of losing contact with the wall, competitors take a wider stance. Some federations only use judges to confirm the lifter is properly and legally positioned and do not require the competitor to lean against a wall.
– The heels have to be 12 inches from the wall or less.
– Once you have hold of the bar, you must stand completely upright with your knees straight and your arms extended and the bar touching your thighs.
Not too long ago, Larry Wheels – the fastest rising powerlifting sensation and Youtuber, decided that he wants to break the strict curl record and he’s been chasing it ever since. His best curl is 95kg (209lbs). This lift is not very far behind the current record, but it’s still 40lbs lighter. You can check Larry performing strict curls in the video below:
However, most recently, a video of the legendary former IFBB pro bodybuilder Lee Priest has emerged where he is performing a strict curl of 100kg (221lbs). And he actually lifted the weight relatively easy.
Lee’s lift is better than Larry’s lift by 12 lbs, and when you add the fact that Priest is 48 years old with an injured back, this makes the lift even more impressive. Lee used a power rack to lean against instead of a wall.
Now, Priest is known for his trolling and joking around with famous bodybuilders and powerlifters, but Nick Miller of Nick’s Strength and Power (who actually got this video by Lee himself) claims that the lift recorded is actually legit and far from a joke.
Priest is a living legend and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, known for putting much larger guys to shame in his prime, at a height of just 5’4″. In fact pound for pound, Lee probably has the best arms in the sport. Not to mention that he was really strong in his prime and used to lift giant weights. You can see Priest’s strict curl below:
Priest is clearly a genetic freak, but is he really interested in becoming the new strict biceps curls champion ? We doubt that, but by the looks of it, it seems that Lee started training again after his injury.
Not to mention, it appeared that he could have curled a little more weight than he did. We’re going to assume he doesn’t train the strict with this amount of weight regularly if he even trains in this lift at all. But with several months of serious training, it’s very possible that a healthy Lee Priest could be a real threat to the record.