Former pro runner and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Symmonds and U.S. Navy vet Austen Alexander have both forged new paths on YouTube, where they take on all kinds of fitness challenges from strongman training to joining the 1,000-pound club. In a new collab, Symmonds challenges Alexander to a game of HORSE to see who is the fittest of the two.
The game is simple: each man will perform the same exercise, but whomever completes the fewest reps or takes the longest has to take a letter. Whichever of the two ends up with five letters, i.e. enough to spell out HORSE, loses the game.
Alexander chooses the first event—100 meters on the rowing machine—and finishes in 16.48 seconds, beating Symmonds by around half a second. “Mass moves mass,” Symmonds concedes, gamely accepting his “H” before picking the next exercise: double-unders.
“I’ve been practicing a ton for the CrossFit Open,” he says, and it looks like that work is paying off, as he hits a PR of 74 reps. Alexander, meanwhile, maxes out at 16, losing this round.
The third event is a tank push on maximum traction, working out to the equivalent of at least 400 pounds on a sled, says Alexander. He completes two laps in 15.4 seconds, and Symmonds loses this event with a time of 21.46.
The next test is determining who can perform the most consecutive bar muscleups without dropping. Symmonds completes 6 unbroken reps, but Alexander struggles to even do one. Then they each work up to their respective single-rep max for the back squat and compare numbers. Symmonds’ max is at 275 pounds, which Alexander surpasses, easily squatting 355 before deciding it’s time to move onto the next round.
Alexander just about edges out Symmonds and wins the suicide drills, then challenges him to a 100-meter all out hill sprint. Symmonds wins this one in 12.7 seconds, with Alexander just behind him. “You literally had me for 99 meters,” he tells Alexander. “I got you by one shoulder.”
To even things out, the next round is definitely more in Alexander’s wheelhouse, a 50-yard swim, but Symmonds wins this one, meaning they are both neck and neck with a “HORS” each. For the tiebreaker, they see who can last in a dead hang for the longest—and Alexander drops from the bar first, making him the HORSE and the loser of the game.
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