Brandon and Hudson White, the bodybuilding YouTuber brothers best known as the Buff Dudes, have taken on all manner of fitness challenges on their channel, from the “He-Man workout” to especially intense games of HORSE. In their latest video, they take on a series of five old-school demonstrations of strength. The exercises are as follows:
- Horseshoe bend
- Frying pan fold
- Crucifix hold
- Anvil horn carry
- Soda can crush
We’re gonna use a lot of muscle, maybe a little technique, definitely no brains,” says Brandon.
On each different challenge, the brothers attempt to use sheer brute force to achieve their goals, before then trying a slightly more deft approach. Starting out with the horseshoe bend, neither of them can “brute” it, but Hudson manages to straighten out the horseshoe into a rough S-shape by holding one side steady against his leg for leverage, and then pushing the other end away from himself. Brandon tries this same approach, using leather handles instead of gloves, and also passes this first test.
Then they each have to try and bend something bigger: a 12-inch frying pan. “I don’t know the technique,” says Brandon. “We’re just going to muscle this shit.” And that’s exactly what he does, curling the sides of the pan until it is more of a cylindrical shape. When Hudson attempts it, however, he only succeeds in slightly bending the edges.
Next up is the crucifix hold, which is exactly what it sounds like: holding weights out at your sides for as long as possible. If your arms go below parallel with the ground, you’re out. Hudson goes first with a pair of 30-pound dumbbells. “Now 30 pounds doesn’t seem like that much,” he says, “but when you have to hold them out to your sides with your arms completely locked, that weight adds up real fast.” They each hold the pose for 35 seconds before their arms and shoulders give out.
The penultimate event is the anvil horn carry, which is a test of grip strength specifically due to the awkwardly-shaped end of the anvil that Hudson and Brandon have to hold onto. Brandon fails just shy of two laps of the garage, while Hudson completes one.
Finally, they each must take on the can crush. Sure, crushing a can might not sound difficult, but these are still full of liquid. The goal is to make them explode by crushing them with their bare hands, but both Buff Dudes struggle with this one.
“That was the most rewarding feat of strength,” says Hudson, after making his can pop. “Out of all the events, that was the hardest because it doesn’t give you any indication it’s about to happen. Again, it’s kind of a leverage thing; strength plays a part, but it’s not just brute strength, you’ve got to work at it, you’ve got to really dig your palms in there.”
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