Since retiring as a professional track and field athlete, two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds has embraced all kinds of other physical challenges on his YouTube channel. He has transformed his skinny runner's body into a buff bodybuilder's physique, trained with reigning CrossFit champion Justin Medeiros, and taken on gruelling workouts like the NFL Combine and the Marine Corps Fitness Test.
In his latest video, Symmonds tries out a slightly more novel feat of fitness which will showcase his strength and speed, and aims to add a world record to his legacy alongside his Olympic medal: the 100-meter wife carry. The current record for this event is 19.23 seconds, and is held by YouTuber Ross McCurdy. To celebrate two years of marriage with wife Tiana, Symmonds sets out to break that record.
"19.23 seconds is a fantastic mark, I'm honestly not sure I can break it," he says. "But I love a good challenge, and I'm not afraid to train my butt off."
Before he begins prep for the challenge, Symmonds tests whether he can still run 100 meters in 19 seconds or under without carrying another person, and aces it in 13.55. Next, he has to ascertain how much weight he'll be carrying for the main challenge. "Now normally I would never ask a woman her weight," he says.
Through a little subterfuge, he is able to determine that Tiana currently weighs 115 pounds, and loads up a backpack to start training. "I'm really struggling to build up any momentum," he says, completing 100 meters in 33 seconds on his first "horrible attempt" at the challenge.
Symmonds decides to combine his "running mode" with his "lifting mode," adding a lifting belt, knee sleeves and wrist straps to his attire, as well as hiking boots for added stability.
After some more training, it's time to bring in Tiana on what he's planning, and they complete their first official attempt in just 19.98 seconds. "Carrying a human being is way easier than carrying a weighted backpack," says Symmonds. "We're less than one second away."
In order to try to shave that extra second off their time, Symmonds puts Tiana in a military-style carry. "I'm able to stand more upright, my centre of gravity is more natural, I have a better knee drive, and I'm moving way, way, way faster," he says.
And that change pays off. On their second try, Symmonds succeeds in carrying Tiana 100 meters in just 17.93 seconds: a brand new unofficial world record.
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