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The Challenge...

In honour of World Suicide Prevention Day, I will be attempting to lift* 154,363kg / 339,599 pounds over 24 hours...

That is equivalent to...  

1,500,000,000       Bees 

1,048,951              Bananas

428,571                 Cans of Diet Coke

333,333                 Footballs

16,667                   Koala Bears

1,500                     Obi Burchell's

100                        VW Golfs

42                          White Rhinos

12.5                       London Buses

3.8                         EasyJet Planes (Airbus A319-100)

1.1                         Blue Whales

*Lifting will include Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Press (3 compound movements)

How am I going to be able to do this?

Whilst coming up for the plan for the event, owing to the fact this is such a unique challenge I had to ask myself the following questions before I even began training for this:

  1.  Is this even possible?

  2. If possible, how can I prepare for it?

  3. How can I complete it?

1. Is this even possible?

Following some initial calculations I had worked out that on average, I would have to be lifting:

 

6,173kg per hour103kg per minute.

 

This did not factor in any rest and recovery periods throughout the day, which is why I (along with my coach Ben Morris PT) completed Test runs in November 2020 and June 2021, in order to push my body to the upper limits of physical strength, fatigue and mental resilience.

We worked out that in order to give my body enough recovery time, the maximum I could lift for was 4 hours straight. This meant that I would actually only have 20 hours to lift, meaning I would need to average:

 

7,408kg per hour / 124kg per minute.

 

This didn't seem impossible...

2. If possible, how can I prepare for it?

As this is such a unique challenge, there is no blueprint as to how to prepare 

 

Once we had worked out how much weight on average I would need to lift per hour, we then looked at how we could balance the strength and the endurance elements. Whilst I would need to be able to lift continuously throughout the 24 hour period, I also need to be able to lift enough actual weight.

So we looked at my current strength levels for each compound movement, and then set up a strength and mobility programme for the first 6 months, and then prepared a conditioning and endurance programme for the final 6 months. 

Also, my nutrition was to be a core part of my training. In order to be able to build muscle at the start, as well as endurance towards the end of my training, ensuring I take on the right levels of nutrients throughout. 

As with any marathon event, I organised Test Runs to ensure that we were on track and that the challenge was in fact possible. These were set up for 9 months (12 hour Test Run) and 3 months (18 hour Test Run) prior to the event. 

3. How can I complete it?

Once we had worked out how many kg I would need to lift per hour, we then set about comparing that with my physical strength and then proceed to have this discussion:

Low Weight High Repetitions vs High Weight Low Repetitions

What we found was that my body used more energy from lifting higher weight despite the lower repetitions.

We worked out that an average of 2.5 minute rest between sets would give my body some recovery time, and would allow me to complete 14 sets an hour. 

We then had to factor in that my body would fatigue throughout the day and night and therefore I should be lifting almost 3/4 of the weight, in the first 12 hours.

The Test Runs we completed in November 2020 and June 2021 backed up our initial assumptions and, whilst the middle of the night is when my body began to shut down...I was on track to complete the challenge.

 
 
 
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