Watch a Navy Vet Attempt U.S. Army Strongman Training

·2-min read
Photo credit: Austen Alexander - YouTube
Photo credit: Austen Alexander - YouTube

Former Navy sailor Austen Alexander has subjected himself to a wide array of fitness tests since leaving the military, from the Navy SEALs physical screener to the Army's air assault course, which tore up his hands. In the most recent video on his YouTube channel, Alexander takes on a series of strongman events with the guidance of Captain Dan Hughes, an elite athlete with the U.S. Army Warrior fitness team.

The first event is the log press, which consists of a couple of different movements; Alexander must first clean the log up to his chest as he stands up before then lifting it overhead. It's a test of explosiveness as well as just strength.

The second round is the circus dumbbell, an oversized weight used pretty much exclusively in strongman events: Austen is able to use both hands to lift it, then stack it over his shoulder before pressing and holding it overhead with just one hand. Hughes coaches Alexander through the motions using a women's version of the circus dumbbell before putting him to the test with the men's.

Test number three is the yoke, a timed, weighted frame carry. After Hughes demonstrates the correct technique, Alexander tries it out for himself with 375 pounds on the frame, then ups the weight to 475. "I can see how having big traps can help you here," he says. "I'm not gonna lie, it felt like rubber bands snapping in my back."

The fourth and final strongman event is the Atlas stone lift. "You don't want to squat all the way down," Hughes instructs Alexander. "You want more of a hip hinge, like an RDL, and less like a squat." Alexander lifts the 160-pound stone with relative ease, while the larger circumference of the 220-pound stone provides more of a challenge... but he still achieves a passing score.

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