YouTuber MattDoesFitness has put himself through some intense and downright bizarre challenges, from taking the U.S. Army fitness test with zero preparation to eating like a Victoria’s Secret model. In his latest video, he teams up with former World’s Strongest Man winner Eddie Hall to see if he can keep up with a strongman training session.
Matt admits to being a “strongman virgin” and having “the overhead pressing strength of an 8-year-old girl,” so this should be interesting. Especially given that Matt’s belt barely fits around Eddie’s thigh, and when Matt wears Eddie’s, he has to tie it around his waist twice.
“Normally in a gym environment I feel pretty good, pretty confident that I’m one of the strongest guys there,” Matt says. “I feel ashamed just to pick up a weight, I’m embarrassed, I’m scared to do this.”
They start with the log press, where Eddie instructs Matt on the correct form: Pick it up and stand, then roll it down your thighs as you lower into a squat position. Then pull it towards you, rise quickly, pull it up to the chest, then raise it overhead.
It takes Matt a few tries to get the hang of lifting the 60 kilogram (about 132 pound) log, mainly because of its cumbersome size and shape, but as Eddie puts it: “That’s what strongman is, picking up awkward things and trying to carry them as long and as far and as heavy as you can… for fun.”
Next up is the axle press, an exercise which involves a 2-inch thick bar. Due to the load, you have to switch your grip in one hand while resting it on your torso halfway through the lift. Eddie actually holds the world record for heaviest axel press, at 216 kilograms (about 476 pounds). “It literally bent me in half,” Hall says. Again, Matt struggles with his form, especially the grip change, and ends up nearly skinning his stomach.
The third exercise is the super yoke, a metal frame carry which tests stability as well as strength. “You can’t wobble, that’s why you’ve got to get it on your back and squeeze it in with your arms to create that shelf and stop it wobbling,” says Eddie. “Keep everything tight.” Matt starts out carrying 170 kilograms (about 375 pounds), taking “tiny little baby steps,” then moving up to 270 (595 pounds) and finally 310 (683 pounds).
Then they move onto the tire flip, where Matt easily lifts the smaller 200 kilogram (441 pounds) tire before progressing to the larger one, which weighs just under 400 kilograms (882 pounds). “Use your chest, not your arms,” Eddie reminds him.
The fifth and final strongman exercise is a classic: Atlas stones, another move where technique is everything. Contenders have to lift the stone from the ground up to their chest, squat and rest it on their knees, lock their arms around it and pull it into the chest, then lift up to a shelf. Getting the stone up to your knees is the hardest part, and it’s important to keep your arms straight during this move, Eddie advises, because if you try to curl your bicep it could end in danger of being injured.
“I like powerlifting because it’s heavy and it’s raw, but this is another level from there,” says Matt, after successfully completing the challenge. “There’s something so satisfying about lifting a rock onto a fricking shelf.”
According to Eddie, Matt nailed all of the event exercises—although he may still need to work on his axle technique.