How does Physical: 100 work? The rules explained

Two Physical: 100 contestants mud-wrestling
Physical 100 is an action-packed reality series that's now streaming on Netflix. (Image credit: Netflix)

Wondering how Physical: 100 works? Here are the rules of the survival reality series that's leaped into the top Netflix shows, and how each game in the show works. 

Physical: 100 is a Korean Netflix original that takes 100 people in peak physical condition from all kinds of backgrounds to see who has the perfect physique. They're then put through grueling physical tasks that test their speed, strength, agility, endurance, and resilience, all to find the last person standing. 

As Physical: 100 contestants are eliminated they're tasked with smashing a cast of their own physique before bowing out of the show. The one remaining individual will leave a whole lot richer than they went in, as the sole winner leaves the series with a cash prize worth 300,000,000 won (roughly worth $250,000).

Now that we've detailed the basic structure of Physical: 100, you can read on to find out more about the tough tasks that our stars have faced on their way through the competition ahead of the series finale on February 21.

Physical: 100 Challenges: The Pre-Quest Mission

The Physical: 100 cast hanging from monkey bars during a challenge

Our 100 stars didn't exactly get off to a light start! (Image credit: Netflix)

Before the show properly got underway, the 100 contestants were given the chance to earn a "privilege" in the Pre-Quest mission. 

The stars were split into two groups of 50 contestants each. They were then shown a huge structure packed full of bars and cameras, and the first task was revealed; each individual would be tasked with seeing which of them could keep themselves suspended from the bars above a pool of water the longest.

After both groups had taken part, they were then ranked by how long they lasted in the task. The top fifty were then given the chance to choose their opponent and the arena for the first task.

Quest One: One-on-One Death Match

Two Physical: 100 contestants run for the ball in the first task

The first Quest eliminated half of the show's contestants. (Image credit: Netflix)

For the first proper challenge of the series, the stars were shown two arenas; one with a selection of obstacles, and another covered in sand with a pool of water in the center.

Each "Death Match" saw two contestants entering one of two arenas for their battle. In either case, they were set to grapple over a large ball; whoever was left holding onto the ball at the end of a three-minute timer would survive, and the other would be eliminated. If neither person was holding the ball at the end of the timer, an additional minute was added to the clock.

Quest Two: Moving Sand

A Physical: 100 contestant bagging sand during the second task

Quest Two requires strength and balance in equal measure. (Image credit: Netflix)

Before the challenge got underway, the stars were asked to elect ten leaders from the surviving 50 contestants, as the second Quest was a team game. Once they were chosen, the 40 left on the floor were asked to stand in front of the person they felt would be the best team captain, with the aim of constructing ten five-person teams.

Once everyone had made their choice, the captains were given the final say on their teams (if there were more than four people in front of them) to prepare for the second challenge of the show.

The Sand Gathering task was set in a large structure with ropes suspended between two raised platforms. Both teams were presented with a series of planks and a large sandpit. The aim of this game was for the teams to build bridges across the gaps with the planks.

Then, they have to fill bags up with sand and carry them up the stairs and across their suspension bridges to pour the sand into a large tube. Partway through the challenge, additional ropes supporting the bridges were severed, making the trip back and forth just that bit more difficult. 

The groups that have carried the most sand across in 12 minutes will survive, with the others being eliminated. 

Quest 2.5: The Torso Challenge

Tarzan and Shim Eu-ddeum during the Physical: 100 torso challenge.

The Torso Challenge was an opportunity for five contestants to return to the competition. (Image credit: Netflix)

This surprise challenge saw the 25 contestants who were eliminated during the Moving Sand Quest taking part in a strength and endurance task to try and rejoin the main competition.

Their torso sculptures that were on display had been strung up with ropes and mounted with weights. Each sculpture weighed 40% of the body weight of the contestant that they corresponded to, and the contestants were tasked with holding the ropes to keep their torsos in the air as long as possible. The last five contestants standing then got to rejoin the competition, bringing the total number of survivors up to 30.

Quest Three: The Ship

Yun Sung-bin and Ma Sun-ho's teams pulling the ship in Physical: 100

Quest Three saw the six teams working together to pull a huge weight. (Image credit: Netflix)

For Quest Three, the 30 remaining contestants were asked to combine their teams into three groups of ten as they prepared to pull a 1.5 ton ship across a large room covered in sand, with the team who takes the longest bowing out of the competition for good. 

The boat was posted up on a platform on one side, and the teams had to roll it on some logs over to a ramp on the other side, where they'd need to pull it up and dock it by tying it off around an iron mount. 

Before they got to move the boat, they had to look around the room for ten oak barrels (including one that was stashed inside a wooden crate that needed to be bashed open with a hammer). These barrels then needed to be thrown aboard to increase the load, meaning the teams were moving a boat weighed a total of 2 tons.

Quest Four: The Team Delegate Challenge

The surviving four teams were faced with five individual tasks inspired by ancient mythology in this challenge. They had to send one member to face each trial on their own, with only one contestant from each game progressing to become part of the final line-up. Those five trials were:

  • The Punishment of Atlas: Four contestants have to lift and hold a huge boulder aloft, the person who lasted the longest progressed to the final
  • The Fire of Prometheus: Four contestants face a scramble through a short obstacle course and then a dash to grab hold of a series of torches at the end of the track. They repeat this trial three times, with the person who fails to grab a torch eliminated in each case.
  • The Wings of Icarus: Four contestants climb a constantly-descending rope, with the person who stays aloft the longest joining the final lineup.
  • The Tail of Ouroboros: Four contestants run around a closed-loop track, with the aim of tagging the person in front. The person who isn't tagged survives.
  • The Punishment of Sisyphus: Four stars roll a 100kg boulder up and over a steep hill repeatedly, against a short time limit each time. The person who lasts the longest progresses to the final stage.

Episodes 1-8 of Physical: 100 are now streaming on Netflix; the series finale is set to land on February 21. For more series to enjoy, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows you can stream right now.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at

Martin was a Staff Writer with, where he produced a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. Now he works for our sister site Tom's Guide in the same role.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.