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The reality competition series Physical 100 by Netflix put 100 contestants through the wringer in some intense and brutal quests. But some quests had multiple challenges that tested their endurance, speed, agility, and overall strength. Some challenges were creative, as they were inspired by Greek mythology. There is no denying that even the strongest athletes could not surpass the hard-hitting challenges of Physical 100.

[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Physical 100.]

'Physical 100' contestants taking on the pre-elimination challenge.
‘Physical 100’ contestants taking on the pre-elimination challenge | via Netflix

‘Physical 100’ finale has the five finalists fight in a tug-of-war challenge

After nine episodes of the Korean unscripted series, only five competitors made it to the Physical 100 finale. There were four challenges in the fifth quest to help narrow down the final two and develop some competition. While fans were on the edge of their seats during the triangle shuttle run, the square-flip challenge, and the infinite rope-pulling game, the tug-of-war match was brutal for a few reasons.

The challenge is popular among Korean reality and variety series. Fans may recall it was the first challenge Jin-young was a part of when he arrived on Single’s Inferno Season 2. But for Physical 100, the challenge involved some of the strongest contestants. All five were tethered to each other and had to use their strength to push forward to secure their key.

In hindsight, the challenge would be difficult for anyone as it creates tension with all five competitors pushing ahead simultaneously. Fans watched as Min-cheol was at a disadvantage going up against Jin-hyeong, Hae-min, Park Jin-yong, and Woo Jin-yong. The weakest link can fail at any moment.

The Sisyphus challenge had Yun Sung-bin quitting out of exhaustion

Before the finale, 20 contestants needed to be brought down to the final five. Physical 100 got creative by using Greek mythology stories as inspiration. One of the challenges involved Sisyphus, who angered Zeus and was punished by pushing a boulder over a hill for all eternity. Choo Sung-hoon, Sung-bin, Hae-min, and Ma Sun-ho went head to head as they continuously pushed a large boulder up and over the hill. If one player cannot go over the hill when the timer runs out, they are eliminated.

The Physical 100 challenge is one of the hardest, requiring strength and cardiovascular endurance. With the terrain going up and down with the added weight of the boulder, it had the strongest men at its mercy. The boulder was 100kg, roughly 220 lbs. While rolling the boulder up the hill, Sun-ho felt like his ankle was sprained.

The contestants explained the boulder was also uneven, making it harder to move at a certain speed. In the end, the Physical 100 challenge took out Sun-ho and MMA fighter Sung-hoon. Before learning the results of the challenge, fans voted Sung-bin would move on to the Physical 100 finale. But the challenge proved too exhausting for the Olympian, and he was happy to have not had a major injury.

The competitors of ‘Physical 100’ had to go through a pre-elimination challenge

In the first episode, the 100 contestants were divided into two groups for a pre-elimination challenge. The challenge involved each group of 50 contestants hanging from an overhead structure. As each one falls into a pit of water, only one will get an advantage in the official elimination quest.

The hanging challenge takes the cake as one of the most difficult, as some contestants fell within seconds due to their body weight. At over 200 lbs, Jo Jin-hyeong could not hold up his weight and plummeted like a stone. But the real challenge was trying not to think of the pain. For however long, the remaining contestants were in agony as the bars dug into their arms and armpits, and their legs went numb.

One of the contestants exclaimed, “I propped myself up, and my armpits became sore. So I had to endure the pain.” Physical 100 fitness celebrity Ee-ddeum strategized by becoming still to the point she looked dead. Contestant Kim Kyeong-baek posted on Instagram that he lost feeling in his arms for two months. By the end of the challenge, there were two winners, but mountain rescuer Min-cheol had the longest time on Physical 100.

Allied teams had to pull a 1.5-ton ship during the third quest on ‘Physical 100’

There is no denying that the most challenging quest in the competition series was moving a 1.5-ton ship. The teams created during the bridge quest had to form a two-team alliance. Tensions ran high as the teams had to look past friendship in favor of winning. The challenge seemed simple but required strategy, speed, and strength.

The teams had to hoist heavy barrels onto the ship before moving it. Each barrel was 100kg. Using wooden logs as rollers, the teams used every ounce of strength to push the ship forwards. But once across, they had to move the ship up a ramp without the help of the roller using a pully system. Fans watched as strongmen like Jin-heong Kang-min, Sung-bin, and others struggled to move the ship an inch.

“When we tried to get the ship up the slope, it stopped moving,” said Sung-hoon. Another team said they moved “like their lived depended on it.” Yun Sung-bin revealed in a Youtube interview that he was “stupid” during the challenge by wrapping the ship noose around his waist to pull. By the end of the competition, two teams were eliminated.

Select ‘Physical 100’ contestants could only complete the Punishment of Atlas challenge

The ship challenge was the last time the contestants could rely on each other to win. To get to the finale, each contestant of every team was delegated to a challenge inspired by Greek mythology. Among the Wings of Icarus, The Fire of Prometheus, The Punishment of Sisyphus, and The Tail of Ouroboros, The Punishment of Atlas was the most extreme.

As the teams discussed who would be best for what challenge, the Atlas challenge was the most undesired on Physical 100. Fans were impressed when Bo Mi-rae chose the challenge to save her teammates from doing it. The contestants knew Jin-hyeong would be the top competitor.


‘Physical 100’: The Reason Cho Jung-myung Cried When [Spoiler] Was Eliminated

Kim Sik saved his student, Sung-bin, from taking on the challenge. Kim Kang-min was the fourth contestant. When the challenge started, Bo Mi-rae could not hoist the boulder over her shoulder, losing the challenge. The muscular Kang-min was also eliminated.

In a shocking event, Jin-young and Kim Sik withstood the 110lbs boulder on their shoulders for over 2 hours. The Physical 100 challenge would have been nearly impossible for any other contestant to take on.

Physical 100 is available on Netflix.