Watch This Olympic Runner Try to Join the 1,000-Pound Club

Former pro runner and two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds has packed on muscle over the last year. He demonstrates his newfound strength in a recent powerlifting video on his YouTube channel, where he attempts to lift a total of 1,000 pounds across the back squat, bench press, and deadlift in order to gain a place in the “1,000-Pound Club.”

In order to motivate himself, Symmonds introduces a little bit of friendly competition to proceedings, and invites Isaac Keller, whose 400-pound deadlift recently went viral, to join him. Symmonds and Keller each get three chances to lift as heavy as they can in each category. (For context, Symmonds is 37 and weighs in at 185 pounds, while Keller, 20, is 178 pounds.)

Starting out with the back squat, they each begin at 315 pounds, and while Symmonds achieves his rep, Keller immediately fails.

“It’s good to look human,” says Symmonds.

“No, it’s not,” replies Keller. “I’ve never failed at 315.”

However, he does manage to squat 315 on his second attempt, while Symmonds goes up to 325 pounds—his current PR. Keller rallies and hits 325 on his third attempt, but when Symmonds attempts to secure a new PR at 335 pounds, he fails too, leaving them both with a score of 325 so far.

The next round is the bench press, and they start off at 225 pounds—which Keller cranks out with no discernible effort. “I know he’s going real high on this one,” says Symmonds. “I just have to get every point I can.”

Symmonds lifts 235 for his second rep, while Keller goes up to 255. Then for the third and final rep, Symmonds tries—and fails—to lift 245, and Keller wins this event with a 265 press, bringing their respective total scores to 560 and 590.

The last event of the challenge is the deadlift, where both guys have previously pulled 400 pounds. For the first rep, Symmonds lifts 415 pounds, which he says makes him feel light-headed, while Keller hits 425. For his second rep, Symmonds aims for 435, knowing he can always go down in weight for his final round. “This is a big PR for me,” he says. With one round left, he’s only 5 pounds off his ultimate lifting total goal of 1,000 pounds.

He ends up playing it safe, going up to 440 pounds and successfully hits 1,000. Then Keller swoops in and pulls 455 pounds, bringing his own total score up to 1,045 pounds. “Even though I’m getting my ass kicked by Isaac, I feel like I just won,” says Symmonds.

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