Andrew Shapiro ’21 is no stranger to world records. As a junior in high school, he set three for the number of pullups completed in various time intervals. But Shapiro knew he could do better, and this summer, he did.
On Aug. 18, he raised the bar to new heights: His record-breaking totals were 10,020 pullups in just over 19 hours, with 7,370 in 12 hours and 5,373 in eight hours. The standing 24-hour record for pullups, according to Guinness, had been 7,600.
“The root of the inspiration was wanting to see how far I could push the limits and how far I can push myself without breaking,” the UNH sophomore says.
Shapiro began training during his freshman year, but, he says, “My classes took priority. I wanted to attend UNH because it has an awesome marine biology program that is connected to the Shoals Marine Laboratory.” At home in Virginia for the summer, he could focus on his training. “When I trained for the records the first time, I had little knowledge or experience with it,” he says. “Training this time around has been a lot more productive because I have a better idea of how to take care of my body and prevent injury.”
His first attempt was part of his high school’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society while his father was battling cancer. “After I set the records and the news story got out, people from all around the country donated to my Relay for Life team,” Shapiro says.
The best part? His father beat the disease. This time around, Shapiro raised money for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international marine wildlife conservation group. “I am a marine biology major who has always looked up to their efforts,” he says. “I figured I could probably inspire people to do some good and help out the Sea Shepherds.”