The Race to 10,000 Pull-ups


Andrew Shapiro attempts to break the record for most pull-ups in 24 hours
Video from YouTube

Liz Waid and Bruce Gulland look at Andrew Shapiro’s attempt to break a world record. Can he do 10,000 pull-ups?

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Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2  

And I’m Bruce Gulland. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Andrew Shapiro is in pain. His arms and back hurt. He wants to stop. But he keeps going. Shapiro holds on to a metal bar that is about two meters above the ground. He pulls until his head is above the bar. Then he lowers his body down with control. He does this five more times. He stops for a few seconds. Then he does it all again. He is nineteen, but he is attempting to set a world record for the highest amount of pull-ups ever achieved. Today’s Spotlight is on Andrew Shapiro and his attempt to do 10,000 pull-ups in 24 hours.

Voice 2  

Pull-ups are a simple physical exercise. This movement involves a person raising himself up with his arms by pulling on a bar that is above him. So why would Shapiro try to set a world record for pull-ups? Shapiro was excited by a television program called American Ninja Warrior. This program involves many physical tests. People compete to perform on this program. Shapiro loved the program and wanted to be on it. He thought that the program would accept him if he had the world record for pull-ups.

Voice 1  

But Shapiro was not good at pull-ups. He could only do pull-ups for five minutes. But to break the record, he needed to be able to do them for 24 hours. So he began to train his body. He went to school in the day. But he did pull-ups late into the night.

Voice 2  

In May of 2016, Shapiro attempted to set three pull-up world records. He used this event as a way to raise money for curing cancer. He set his first record at six hours. In that time, he did 3,515 pull-ups. After 12 hours, he set his second record. In that time, he had done 5,742 pull-ups. He continued. His final goal was to have more than 6,800 pull-ups in a 24-hour period.

Voice 1  

But Shapiro had a problem. He had hurt his hands in training. The metal bar had damaged the skin on his hands. And he had never stopped training to let his hands heal. Wounds formed on his skin. The skin died and fell off. His hands began to bleed. After 18 hours, Shapiro had to stop. He had not done 10,000 pull-ups. But he had set a new world record of 7,306 pull-ups.

Voice 2  

Shapiro did not keep his record for long. Less than a month later, a man in Australia broke that record. He did about 300 more pull-ups than Shapiro. But a year later, Shapiro was still thinking about his attempt. He was now a student at the University of New Hampshire in the United States. He told the school’s website about the first attempt:

Voice 3  

“I broke the record. But I stopped six hours early because my body gave out on me. I knew that if I trained to do more pull-ups even faster, I could smash the world record. I wanted to see how far I could push the limits and how far I could push myself without breaking.”

Voice 1  

So he began training again. But now he was wiser in his training.

Voice 3  

“When I trained for the record the first time, I had little knowledge or experience. I got injured a lot. I beat up my hands. I did not take rest days. Training this time was a lot better. I have a better idea of how to take care of my body and prevent injury.”

Voice 2  

On August 18, 2018 Shapiro began another attempt to do 10,000 pull-ups. This time he had a new method. The first time he did 10 pull-ups every minute. This time he did 12. He completed 8,000 pull-ups and still felt good. But then he started to hurt. He told the Outside Magazine podcast,

Voice 3  

“The pain was bad. The mental side of it, I had never experienced that. I just wanted to give up. I have never had that before. I would have accepted death at that point. It was pain everywhere.”

Voice 1  

What keeps someone going in a situation like this? They are not earning a lot of money. They can choose to stop at any time. So why do it? For Shapiro it was because of the sacrifices he had already made. He told the Outside Magazine podcast,

Voice 3  

“Looking back on the past ten months of my life, I had put so much into it. I sacrificed a lot. I had a girlfriend. We are not together any more. One of the main issues in our relationship was that I put this before her. I thought if I did not give it my best, I would regret it. A lot.”

Voice 2  

Shapiro kept going. Hour after hour he did more pull-ups. After many hours, he completed 10,000. He even did 20 more in case some were not counted. Shapiro’s father explained that moment to the website wtop.com

Voice 4  

“It was very emotional for me to see my son put his body through so much stress over a long period of time. But I am also so very proud of him for setting a goal, following through and achieving his goals.”

Voice 1  

Shapiro sent a video of his pull-ups to the Guinness Book of World Records organisation. They looked at the video. And they decided NOT to confirm the record. They said his pull-up movements did not have the correct form. He had completed 10,000 pull-ups. But he did not have the record. Today, he has some regrets. He told Outside Magazine Podcast,

Voice 3  

“I felt bad. I looked back on all the relationships and things that I sacrificed. I thought, ‘Is doing pull-ups for a year out of my life really worth it?’ I talked to my former girlfriend. I apologized for putting pull-ups before her. I told her I should not have done that.”

Voice 2  

Have you ever sacrificed something to achieve a goal? Was it worth it? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 1  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘The Race to 10,000 Pull-ups’.

Voice 2  

Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Have you ever sacrificed something to achieve a goal? Was it worth it? Did you regret any of it?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Vuong Huu Dinh
said on April 29, 2019

Exercise therapy.
If a one day you lie on the bed do not move any more, what will you feel?
I think that nobody could do that, because of the change of blood wessel or the change of chemical in the body.
You know, every minute , there are million kinds of things be changed, it needs a environment to act. you can see the blood stream, the way that the blood cells going into anywhere in body, the carry the vitamines, mineral and nutrifood to feed it.
But one day you do so hard, your body can not stand that changing, some thing would be damaged belong to unadvance, they would be broken any thing that you want to achive.
You are a live body not a machine, they need to be gotten back energy, so you should relax.
What do you need to record, world record, with that achiving you can earm so much money or high power or just is an indulging.
Some achived world record to be change a body painful, and the money be earmed will be become fog.
But if one day, your body stop acting, you will be died or every things will disorder, Chemicals will be sunk in to the blood wessel, the accumulation will prevent every actions of body, the blood stream will be stopped going, energy will be run out of.
To be had balance, you should do exercise in moderation. and do anything in moderation.

Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on April 30, 2019

Every time we are sacrificing something to achieve a goal. If one has the goal of learning English more and more, like I at this moment, he is sacrificing the desire to see the match between Ajax and Tottenham at the Champions League. It occurs even when we don’t think about sacrifices…