For most people, running a 5:00 mile would be considered a remarkable achievement on its own. It’s a slightly less impressive achievement when you’re a former Olympic competitor, however, which is one reason why YouTube star Nick Symmonds decided to up the ante in his most recent viral video challenge by adding a 500-pound deadlift into the mix before taking his first lap around the track.
As the clip begins, Symmonds credits fellow Olympian-turned-bodybuilder Ryan Hall for coming up with his latest fitness challenge. Even for an elite runner like himself, Symmonds doesn’t anticipate he’s up to the task just yet: “I’m 37 years old, and even though I have a personal best in the mile of 3 minutes and 56 seconds, I’m not sure I could break five right now, and I definitely don’t think I can do a 500-pound deadlift,” he says.
Instead, Symmonds decides to find out just how much work he needs to put in this year to achieve his goal by testing his current strength level—his one-rep max deadlift—and his mile PR. He starts with four laps around the track, and finds that he can still clock a seriously impressive mile, coming in under 5 minutes at 4:55. Then he heads to his gym to test his deadlift PR, which tops out at 350 pounds—certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but well shy of his 500-pound goal.
The daunting part, as Symmonds points out, is that he now has the better part of a year to add 150 pounds to his one-rep deadlift max, while maintaining that impressive mile speed. “I’ve got a year to train for it, and I’m going to need to make some major changes to my diet and my training,” he says, adding that he will be posting regular weekly updates to his Instagram account. Stay tuned to find out if he’s successful, and tell us what challenges you’re taking on this year in the comments below.
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