- 500 meter swim
- 42 pushups
- 50 situps
- 8 pullups
- 1.5 mile run
They begin with the swimming portion of the test, and are both highly apprehensive as neither of them has swam consistently for a couple of years. "Swimming is no joke, I'm very nervous," says Brandon. "I don't think I'm very good at swimming. Buff Dudes don't float very well, they sink pretty fast!"
Both must complete the 500 meters in 12 minutes 30 seconds. Brandon gets a passing score, reaching his 500 meter goal in 12 minutes 12 seconds, but Hudson fails, getting to the finish line in 13 minutes. "I really wanted to quit during those first 3 laps," he says. "That was hard."
Next are the pushups , where they must achieve a minimum of 42 reps in 2 minutes in order to get a passing score. (A competitive score would be 80 or more.) Brandon manages 70 pushups in the 2 minute window. "That was tough, definitely when you hit the point where your muscles are fatiguing," he says. "It almost doesn't really feel like, however long you rest, you can actually recover enough to keep going."
Hudson, meanwhile, keeps an eye on his pushup technique , following the Men's Health coverage of the Buff Dudes' FBI Fitness Test video where he wasn't fully extending his arms on every single rep. His form is a lot better this time, and he surpasses the minimum score and hits 55 pushups in 2 minutes. "Criticism can be good, because it pushes you farther, especially when it's constructive criticism," he says. (You're welcome!)
The third round consists of situps , where they must each do a minimum of 50 reps in 2 minutes for a passing score, and aim for 80 if they want a perfect score. They both pass, Brandon with 63 and Hudson with 53.
"It's a lot harder going back-to-back in all these exercises with a minimal amount of rest time between," says Brandon. "It definitely tests your muscular endurance, cardiovascular strength, it is a true test."
The fourth test is pullups until failure; a minimum of 8 reps is required, and there is no time limit on this one. Brandon does 20, and for the first time in the challenge Hudson gets the best score, with 22 reps. "I don't know if I'm happier that I passed the SEALs or that I beat Brandon on one single exercise," he says.
The final challenge is the one that may yet be their downfall: a 1.5 mile run, with a time limit of 10 minutes 30 seconds. "I'm more nervous about this than I was about the swimming," says Brandon. "For some reason, running is like our arch-nemesis, I swear." He has a point. It's a recurring instance when bodybuilders take on military fitness tests that they fail at the last cardio-centric hurdle; will the Buff Dudes be able to break that cycle?
Sadly not. Everybody fails the running challenge: Brandon completes the run in 11 minutes 14 seconds, while Hudson's time is 12 minutes 13 seconds. "I missed it by about a minute and a half, but you've really got to dig deep," says Hudson. "You know what's great about these kinds of challenges? It just inspires you to get better, to work on your weak spots."