Since retiring as an expert artistic gymnast, Nile Wilson, the former Team GB Olympic medalist, has transitioned to doing youtube videos on fitness challenges, where he has training sessions with some of the world’s biggest athletes, from bodybuilder Martyn Ford to strongman and boxer Eddie Hall. In his most video, Wilson invited 69-year-old gymnast Stephen Hyland, who has a surprising 90 world records in many different pullup and chinup categories, to show off the skills he has while he participated in the “ultimate gymnastics challenge.”
First up we have a plank hold variation that is performed with both of the hands and feet positioned on elevated surfaces. Wilson collapses in just a couple of seconds, while Hyland was able to hold the position for about 30 seconds.
Next up is the dragon challenge, which is somewhere between a flagpole and a leg raise: while holding themselves horizontally and facing up against a pole, Wilson and Hyland must then pivot their legs from a horizontal to a vertical and then back again. Hyland finishes nine reps, while Nile only manages three.
After performing a set of Superman pushups, which is performed with one hand behind your back, and the other extended out in an overhead position, Hyland demonstrated a difficult chinup variation where between each repetition they must take one hand from the bar, lower it down to their sides and then bring it back up, and then repeat on the other side. Wilson finishes 17 reps before falling from the bar, while Hyland narrowly beats him with 18 reps—although he reveals that he has been able to do 48 before.
Next, in a real test of strength and stability, the two gymnasts have to travel as far as they can to the side while maintaining in a long plank between the two balance beams. Hyland is able to make it all the way to the end of the bars and then halfway back again before he breaks his plank, but Wilson wins the round, traversing the entire length of the beams and then back again.
Lastly, to determine who won the overall competition, Wilson and Hyland see who is able to hold the chinup position for the longest amount of time—and Hyland ends up being the winner here as well.
In addition to the impressive display of stability, strength and mobility he showed, Hyland also spoke about his training routines, which he has changed as he has gotten a bit older to include four 90-minute workouts each week, as well as what he called his “maintenance” program, which involves 20-min warmup and cool-down routines.
“Obviously, I am a bit slower than I was when I was younger, especially when running,” he said. “I do more power-walking than I used to, and if I do run it is always sprints… It is like a workout without all the boring parts.”