Could this YouTuber reach Premier League Fitness in 30 Days?
So, M&F took a look at his process, progress, and ultimate results.
The Benchmarks: 30 Days of Training for Premier League Level Fitness
Brown set himself two goals to complete before the end of the 30 days.
The first goal was cardio based and revolved around The Bleep Test. The Bleep Test, also known as the PACER Test, requires an individual to run between markers that are 20 meters apart. The test starts with an audio cue and the runner must travel the 20 meters before the next tone is signaled. The tones get closer together as the test continues, meaning that the runner must move faster to beat the bleep. The longer the runner can shuttle from marker to marker without being caught out by the tone, the higher the total distance achieved. The Bleep Test is scored based on the number of shuttles completed and is recorded in levels. For example, to move past level one you will need to hit eight shuttles. The number of shuttles also increases as the levels get higher. “This is the holy grail of fitness tests, and from my research, the average Premier League player will get [to level] 13.9,” said Brown. “So, that is what I’ve gotta beat.” Incredibly, the highest confirmed score recorded for a Premier League Player was by Lee Gong Dook who reached Level 17. To join the S.A.S. you would only need to reach Level 14.
The second goal was strength based and was for total number of pullups. “This is an exercise that footballers will be doing a lot,” said Brown. “So, this is perfect for comparison.” The YouTuber explained that elite athletes and Premier League players should be able to perform around 30 pullups, non-stop. So, that’s the score to beat. To put this into context, achieving more than 15 pullups “would put you in the top 1%,” explained Brown. The target he is trying to reach is double that. After setting these lofty targets, the brave challenger gets to work.
Brown kicked off Day 1 with an outdoor run and tested himself on the pullups. At the beginning of the challenge, he was capable of scoring Level 11 on the Bleep Test, and could hit 14 pullups. Brown attempted a 1.86 mile /3km run every day, because this represented the same distance as Level 14 on the Bleep Test. He also added in some shorter, faster runs, to prepare him for the intense conditions of the test. For pullups, Brown attempted to break his record each day, and encouraged further strength gains by performing weighted pullups. “And that’s pretty much it,” he summarized.
“Another thing that I am doing during this challenge to increase my chances of hitting the targets is eating well,” shared Brown. “Making sure that I eat a clean diet with lots of protein and vegetables.” In the video, he ate steak and also supplemented with protein shakes. Increasing protein intake will aid in muscle building and recovery, while the vitamins and minerals in vegetables will offer a wide range of benefits such as relieving the stress of oxidation cased by intense exercise and even boosting hydration.
“Obviously, I’m doing a lot of physical exercise. I’m pushing my body every day, with running and pullups, really hard, so recovery needs to be on point,” explained Brown, who opted for regular dips in the ice plunger. While the cold water has many potential benefits such as reducing inflammation and expediting muscle recovery, the have-a-go YouTuber also received mental benefits, feeling that staying under the ice water and pushing himself out of his comfort zone was a great way to practice pushing past the mental limits that he was facing in training.
On test day, Brown tackled the pullups first. He got 14 on Day One, and was aiming for 30. “So, I was feeling pretty good with this until I got to around 18,19,” said Brown. “Then I started to struggle.” Still, the challenger used the mental prowess developed from 30 days of pushing himself past his mental and physical limits and was able to hit 23 solid pullups. That’s an improvement of 9 pullups. “Not massively disappointed with that,” exclaimed Brown.
Next up was the Bleep Test. Level 11 was his baseline, with a target of 13.9. Unfortunately, Brown didn’t get off to the best of starts and felt tired early on, and that played on his mind throughout the test. At Level 12, the challenger slipped and twisted his ankle, requiring all his intestinal fortitude to soldier on. However, our man completed the test with a score of Level 12.5, and that’s not too shabby at all. “Although it’s an improvement, I wanted to do better,” he shared. Undeterred, Brown came back the next day for another Bleep Test attempt., setting himself a more realistic goal of Level 13. In the second attempt, Brown hit Level 13.1, his personal record and just eight shuttles off his target.
“I tell you what, one thing from this challenge, it’s absolutely destroyed my legs,” shared Brown at the conclusion of his training. Undoubtedly, this was an intense challenge not just for physical fitness, but mental stamina to boot.
In terms of Brown’s Bleep Test Improvement, the practice runs and subsequent improvement in leg strength and maximal oxygen consumption (VO₂ Max) saw great returns. Strength increases from repeated pullup sessions also allowed Brown to break his PR. While the training was, in part, a bit of fun, it illustrates how quickly the human body can adapt to take on any challenge. Perhaps one aspect that held Brown back from further progress was the fact that he didn’t take rest days. More time spent in recovery could have played a huge role in getting him closer to his targets.
Additionally, Brown admits that when it came to running, he was mainly stepping on hard surfaces, and this meant he was unprepared for the wet grass where he undertook the Bleep Tests. That said, this was a monumental effort with impressive results, and one can only wonder what the YouTuber could accomplish if he attempted this quest as part of a 90-day challenge with greater emphasis on rest and recuperation. Sterling effort, sir.