A hugely popular trend among fitness influencers a little while ago would be to take on various military fitness tests without any prior training, as a way of showcasing their own strength and endurance. However, a common stumbling block in each of these challenges would be when swole bodybuilders, who had aced the bodyweight exercise rounds, simply didn’t have the sufficient level of cardiovascular fitness to complete the running portion of the test.
The Buff Dudes, aka bodybuilding brothers Brandon and Hudson White, fared better in those runs than some of their peers, but they were still curious as to what might happen if they increased the amount of running they were doing in their everyday lives—and how it might affect their gains. In a new video, the Dudes decide to run every single day for a month while preparing to take part in a 10K alongside a group of considerably more experienced runners.
“My legs are killing me on these runs,” says Brandon after the first week, noting that he’s essentially working his lower body twice as hard during this challenge as he is still doing his regular training in addition to all of the cardio. “The good thing is, my cardiovascular strength is there, I feel very strong there… But because I’m working out pretty regularly, and the workouts are strenuous, I’m definitely feeling the fatigue in my muscles.”
In order to ensure his body is recovering as much as possible in between runs and workouts, Brandon incorporates stretching and mobility exercises into his routine, tracks his nutrition closely, and sets himself a sleep schedule of at least 8 hours per night.
For Hudson, the real challenge lies in running every single day without taking a break, as this is something he isn’t used to. His aim is to run 6 miles each day, but he is “pretty beat” by the time he gets to the halfway mark. “I’m used to the gym, where you’re doing 8 reps of deadlift, then you get a nice healthy break there before continuing on to the next set,” he says. “But with this, there are no breaks, and it can be so psychological, because I want to quit by the end of that first half mile, and I still know I’ve got a long way to go.”
One takeaway from the challenge is that they feel able to confidently bust the myth that cardio kills gains. Each of them loses around 1 pound, so if anything, the experience has helped them get a little bit leaner.
As the day of the 10K approaches, both brothers feel optimistic about the progress they are making on their speed and stamina… then on the day of the race itself, they place a tied dead last. “That was humbling,” says Hudson. “Hell of a lot of fun, though… and it only makes you want to get better.”