decathlon, dodecathlon, track and field, workout, fitness challengeWe are knee-deep into the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. One of my favorite events is the men’s track and field decathlon. While it would be difficult for mere humans to excel in all ten events, I know you are competitive and full of vigor, so how about competing in a challenging multi-event array of more familiar and less complicated tasks? As in twelve tasks.

 

Introducing the Breaking Muscle Dodecathlon Challenge

 

DAY ONE ORDER OF EVENTS

  1. Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
  2. 120 yd. Shuttle Run Series
  3. 2:00 Sit Ups
  4. 3:00 Kneel-to-Stand-to-Kneel
  5. Barbell Curl-to-Overhead Press
  6. Bear Crawl

 

DAY TWO ORDER OF EVENTS

  1. Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press
  2. 800 Meter Run
  3. Front Plank Hold
  4. Body-weight Barbell Squats
  5. Perfect Chin Ups – Three Sets
  6. 4:00 Dumbbell Burpees with a Push Up and 1-Arm Row

 

EVENT SPECIFICS

 

Dumbbell Flat Bench Press

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in one set. USE A SPOTTER! One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • Males use 25% of body weight (200 lbs. x .25 = 50 lb. dumbbells).
  • Females use 17.5% of body weight (125 lbs. x .175 = 20 lb. dumbbells).
  • Start with the dumbbells at the chest, elbows below the extended line running from the bench top parallel to the floor.
  • Press the dumbbells to the arms locked-out position.
  • Lower to the starting position and repeat.

 

120 Yard Shuttle Run Series

  • Goal: to run as many 120 yard shuttle run repeats at or under your designated target and rest times.
  • The event terminates when you cannot achieve the target time and/or you fail to start the next repeat within the allotted rest time (click here for points chart).
  • Three (3) points for each repeat performed at or under the prescribed target and rest times.

 

2:00 Sit Ups

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in two minutes. One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • On your back, arms crossed at chest, knees flexed at 90 degrees, feet flat on floor, and no more than 12 inches apart.
  • Another person can anchor your feet.
  • Contract the hip flexors and abdominals, curl up until the elbows touch the thighs.
  • Return to the start so the scapulae (shoulder blades) contact with the floor.
  • No resting in the down position and no bouncing off the floor.

 

3:00 Kneel-to-Stand-to-Kneel

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in three minutes. One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • Males use a 25 lb. weight plate.
  • Females use a 10 lb. weight plate.
  • On a mat or soft surface, assume a kneeling position, body upright (knees flexed at 90 degrees), and weight plate held against the chest.
  • Place either the right or left foot up and out to the front.
  • Use this foot to stand up. Bring the other foot up to assist with standing to a completely upright position.
  • Return to the kneeling position, initiating the downward decent with the foot used to begin the stand up process.
  • Bring the other foot down and back to complete the rep and assume the upright kneeling position.
  • Alternate the right and left feet to initiate the stand-up process each rep.
  • One rep is from kneeling-to-standing-to-kneeling.
  • The weight plate must be held against the chest at all times and not allowed to assist in standing up or kneeling down.

 

Barbell Curl-to-Overhead Press

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in one set. Two (2) points for each rep performed.
  • Males use 30 % of body weight (200 lbs. x .30 = 60 lb. barbell).
  • Females use 20 % of body weight (125 lbs. x .20 = 25 lb. barbell).
  • Grasp the barbell with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. The arms should be completely extended and the bar touching the thighs.
  • Curl the bar completely to the chest and press it fully overhead. Lower the bar to the chest and return to the starting position.
  • Stop the bar at the thighs. Initiate the next rep with zero momentum (no bouncing the bar against the thighs).
  • The event terminates when you cannot perform either the barbell curl or the overhead press.

 

Bear Crawl

  • Goal: to crawl on only the hands and feet for as many seconds possible without stopping and/or breaking form. One (1) point for each two seconds (:02) accumulated (1:39.65 = 99.65 seconds/2 = 50 points [49.83 rounded up]).
  • Begin crawling on all fours.
  • You must bear crawl at a decent pace. No “slow crawling” to conserve energy.
  • Keep moving until you are exhausted or any part of the body other than the hands and feet touch the ground (knees, forearms, mid-section).
  • If you stop or one of the aforementioned body parts touches the ground, the event is terminated.

 

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in one set. USE A SPOTTER! One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • Males use 17.5% of body weight (200 lbs. x .175 = 35 lb. dumbbells).
  • Females use 12.5% of body weight (125 lbs. x .125 = 15 lb. dumbbells).
  • Dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows lower than shoulder height, torso upright, and back stabilized on bench back rest.
  • Press dumbbells overhead to the complete arms locked-out position.
  • Lower to the starting position and repeat.
  • Move through a full range of motion without bouncing out of the bottom position.

 

800 Meter Run

 

Front Plank Hold

  • Goal: to hold a front plank position for as many seconds possible. One (1) point for each three (:03) accumulated (2:45.34 = 165.34 seconds/3 = 55 points [55.11 rounded down]).
  • Get into the plank position on the toes and forearms.
  • Maintain a completely straight position (i.e., no butt raising or sagging, head up).
  • The event ends when you cannot maintain the straight-plank position (i.e., you drop to your knees, butt sags or rises, move your forearms).
  • Each three seconds (:03) held counts as one point.

 

Body-weight Barbell Squats for Maximum Repetitions

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in one set. One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • Males use 100% of body weight.
  • Females use 80% of body weight.
  • All reps must achieve femur (thigh bone) parallel to the floor.
  • No racking the weight. You can regain your composure between reps as it becomes more difficult, but the bar must remain on your shoulders/back.
  • If you begin to lose form (abnormal low-back flexion, bouncing out of the bottom position, and/or the inability to achieve a thighs parallel to the floor position) the event is terminated.
  • Perform this event inside a squat rack with safety bars set just below the height of the bar when you are in the thighs-parallel to the floor position.

 

Perfect Chin Ups – Three Sets

  • Goal: to perform as many perfect reps possible in the three sets. A maximum one-minute rest period is allowed between sets. Two (2) points for each rep performed.
  • Use a supinated (palms toward you) or neutral (palms facing each other) grip on the high bar.
  • The arms should be completely extended at the start, body in a dead hang, knees flexed, and feet crossed at the ankle.
  • The chin must reach the parallel line of grip position on each rep (parallel line running between the grips on the bar).
  • The head must remain neutral – no upward tilting of the chin.
  • NO KIPPING (no lower-body hip thrusting).
  • Only perfect reps count. Pull to the chin-parallel position and lower to the arms-extended starting position each rep. NO BOUNCING. All perfect reps performed in the three sets are added. A maximum of one minute is allowed between sets.

 

4:00 Dumbbell Burpees with a Push Up and 1-Arm Row for Maximum Repetitions

  • Goal: to perform as many reps possible in four minutes. One (1) point for each rep performed.
  • Males use 10% of body weight (200 lbs. x .10 = 20 lb. dumbbells).
  • Females use 7% of body weight (125 lbs. x .07 = 8 lb. dumbbells).
  • Stand upright with dumbbells at your sides.
  • Squat and place the dumbbells on the ground. Maintain your grip on the dumbbells.
  • Jump back to a plank position.
  • Perform a push up on the dumbbells.
  • Perform a right arm row.
  • Perform a left arm row.
  • Jump back to a squat position.
  • Jump up.
  • Repeat.

 

FORMAT AND SCORING

 

  • Perform the Dodecathlon Challenge on non-consecutive days, such as Monday and Wednesday or Sunday and Tuesday.
  • The goal is to accumulate as many points possible over the 12 events.
  • Each “rep” completed in the “as many reps possible” events equals a specific number of points. See scoring for each event.
  • For timed-events, each second or seconds performed are worth a specific number of points. See scoring for each event.
  • For the 120 yd. shuttle and 800 meter runs, use the accompanying point scale.
  • Record results on the downloadable point log. Enter your results and the points will automatically calculate (except the 800 meter run - for that plase refer to the 800m run points chart).
  • No more than 10:00 rest is allowed between events.
  • NO CHEATING. Use proper exercise form, adhere to established work/rest times, use proper resistances based on gender and percent of body weight, and be honest.

 

TOTAL POINT AWARDS

 

  • Gold medal = 600 and above
  • Silver medal = 500 to 599
  • Bronze medal = 400 to 499
  • Almost = 300 to 399
  • Maybe next time = 299 and below

 

Good luck and let us know how you did!

 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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