An Olympic Gymnast Challenged a Bodybuilder to Do His Workout

Former Olympian Nile Wilson has pivoted to the world of YouTube since retiring as a professional gymnast, attempting record-breaking feats of fitness and coaching some of the world’s biggest and strongest athletes, like bodybuilder Martyn Ford and strongman Eddie Hall, through gymnastics routines. And after trying bodybuilder and fellow YouTuber Mike Thurston’s grueling leg day session, it’s time for revenge in his latest video, as he invites Mike to join him for a gymnastics workout.

“With the sport, you need to be physically fit to do everything we that do,” says Nile. “The ones who learn the tricks… it has to be 100 percent commitment every time. It’s not just going through the motions. You know when you’re lifting weights, you can kind of just take a light weight… with gymnastics you can’t do that.”

One of the first exercises is a test of coordination which involves standing on a high bar, then falling backwards into the pit… which is not ideal, given Mike has a slight aversion to heights.

“This is so fucking scary,” says Mike, struggling to clamber up onto the bar, and Nile admits that after 15 years, he’s more than used to it. However, when Mike does finally manage it, he says the experience of falling back into the cushions is “such a rush.”

When it comes to doing a backward twist, Mike certainly has the explosive power to make the jump, but it takes several attempts and some coaching from Nile to refine his technique, as there are so many factors to consider in terms of body positioning throughout the move. However, he still struggles with some of the more basic gymnastic staples.

“The fact that he can do a standing tucked back full twist, but not a cartwheel, baffles me a little bit,” says Nile.

In order to level the playing field a little, and soothe Mike’s ego, they end the session with a strength challenge, seeing who can perform the most strict pullups, with full extension on every rep. Nile maxes out at 25, but Mike, who is still fatigued from their workout, can only do 15.

“I’m frustrated, because there’s so many things I want to do, but it’s just so unbelievably hard,” he says. “I think gymnasts don’t get as much respect as they deserve.”

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