Despite our best intentions, it's inevitable that we compare athletes from different strength disciplines and wonder who's "best." So, why resist it? Instead, have fun with it!

That's what the team at the online training site Brute Strength Training did when they created the four-episode web series "The Brute Strength Showdown." Four top athletes from the worlds of CrossFit, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, and bodybuilding went head-to-head in events from their own sports, as well as other classic athletic tests and even a competitive eating showdown. 

These are the athletes

  • Jacob Heppner: CrossFit Games athlete, 2016 7th Fittest Man in the World
  • Steve Gentili: Elite powerlifter
  • Lawrence Ballenger: Fitness model, NPC bodybuilder, and MuscleTech athlete
  • Luis Javier Mosquera: Weightlifter, bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics
Brute Strength Showdown

Here are the events

  1. Max barbell clean
  2. CrossFit event: "Grace"
  3. Deadlift
  4. Physique show
  5. Hamburger eating challenge
  6. Football combine
  7. Soccer ball dribble
  8. Football throw
  9. Batting cage/baseball throw
  10. Knockout (Basketball)

Episode 1: Meet the Competitors

A weightlifter, a powerlifter, a bodybuilder, and a CrossFit athlete walk into an arena together. Who wins? Meet your challengers and hear their stories before they go to battle.

Episode 2: Max Clean and Grace

The competitors take on their first two challenges: A one-rep max in the barbell clean from the floor, and the brutal CrossFit event Grace. Lawrence Ballenger in particular stands out in this event, both for his 300-pound upright row/clean that we call The Official Lift of 2018, and for his fantastic guide to convenience store shopping for gains.

Episode 3: Deadlift, Physique Show, and Burger Challenge

Now things are getting serious. The competitors test their one-rep max in the deadlift, then strip down to the bare essentials for a bodybuilding-style pose-off. Then, it's off to the pub for an epic burger-eating challenge!

Episode 4: All the Balls

In the final episode, the athletes complete the last five events, and the winner gets crowned after making a serious comeback.

About the Author

Contributing Writer’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

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Powerlifting Olympic Lifting