YouTubers MattDoesFitness and Mike Thurston have tested their stamina with endurance-heavy fitness tests from the Navy Seals and the Marine Corps. Matt has even worked on his agility with a pole dancing class. But are they fast enough on their feet to be NFL stars? In their latest joint challenge video, Matt and Mike head to football practice with the Kent Falcons and take on a handful of NFL Combine drills. The thing about these drills: They require strength, speed, and agility. And neither Thurston nor Matt really manages to dominate.
The first test is a 225 pound bench press until failure. The only form requirement is that they must fully extend and lock their arms with each rep (spoiler alert: Neither guy really bothers to lock out). Matt says he’ll be happy if he gets anywhere near 20, and manages a total of 24. Mike, meanwhile, only completes 17. But again, neither guy truly locks out. Both guys also took very wide grips on the weight. It’s obvious they can handle the weight? But they weren’t exactly crushing it. (Top NFL linemen will very often bench-press 225 35-40 times, so . . . yeah, there’s that too.)
The second test is the 40 yard dash, which the pair run as a race together to introduce a little bit of healthy competition to proceedings. Now let’s start with one important idea here: If you run against each other in a sprint, you get the potential benefit of drafting off another person, and you also get a bit more intensity. The NFL has prospects run the 40 individually so it’s a test of pure speed and explosion, not competitiveness; Matt and Mike, YouTubers that they are, run against each other for drama.
They also run times that definitely wouldn’t rank high at the Combine (OK, maybe if they were NFL offensive linemen, they’d be well-regarded). Matt finishes in 4.52 seconds, and Mike finishes in 4.74. The kicker: Those are hand-times, which are generally slower, by as much as .2 seconds, than the laser-timing of the Combine (and you might want to add even more to Mike and Matt’s time since, you know, they’re being tested by, well, not scouts or anyone with a vested interest in actually getting a truly accurate time.
The third test is a 20-yard shuttle run, which consists of sprinting five yards forwards, ten yards back, then five yards forward again to the starting point. Matt completes the test in 4.84 seconds, while Mike gets his first win with a 4.58 second time. Again, these are hand-times, so they’re far from accurate. And note that the best shuttle runs are sometimes under 4 seconds; the times these bodybuilders are clocking, slower by a half-second, is an eternity.
Round four is the three-cone drill, which is all about testing your fast, nimble footwork. Mike wins this one too, completing it in 7.75 seconds, while Matt takes 8.18 seconds. Here, the guys are massively exposed. The three-cone drill is all about agility and changing direction, and these bodybuilders have none of that, so it makes complete sense that they’re both slower than Iowa defensive lineman Anthony Nelson, who clocked a 6.95-second three-cone run at last year’s Combine — at 271 pounds.
The fifth task is the broad jump, which simply tests how far you can jump from standing. Mike’s best distance is 9’9: never one to pass up a challenge, Matt jumps a whopping 10’3. Thing is, Matt’s jumps wouldn’t actually count at the Combine, because he takes a big step forward on each landing. NFL scouts use the broad jump to measure both explosion (as you’re making that big jump) and your lower body’s ability to decelerate and manage the jump, and they want to see you stick the landing to prove that second thing. Matt can’t do that on any of his jumps. Those jumps wouldn’t have counted.
Test six is the vertical jump: Mike reaches 35.8 inches, while Matt jumps just shy of that at 35.69 inches (his higher jump doesn’t qualify due to imperfect technique). Except here, none of the jumps would have counted: Vertical leap is measured differently in the NFL, not with the estimated method used in this workout.
The seventh and final test, the gauntlet, involves running in a straight line while catching passes from all directions. The one who catches all of the balls and completes the run in the shortest time wins. Matt wins this round too with a time of 13.01 seconds, beating Mike’s 13.34 seconds. Thing here: NFL scouts never care about your time in this event, and it’s not even clocked. This drill assesses fluidity of movement and ability to catch the ball with your hands instead of letting the ball come into the body. Matt and Mike, bodybuilders that they are, completely miss this point.
Bright side: They have fun with their take on the final drill, making it a race even if they never really make any fluid catches. Which is fine because hey, they’re bodybuilders, not NFL prospects.
“That was by far the most fun thing we’ve done, mainly because there was no cardio running,” says Matt, adding: “Catching balls is surprisingly satisfying!”
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