DEKAFIT is a true modern-day decathlon of fitness for participants of each and every fitness level. It's the very first environment that inspires continuous training and exercise. Putting an emphasis on training with a purpose, DEKAFIT gives you the ability to consistently set goals and challenge yourself.

Spartan just launched a new workout and training system they’re calling DEKAFit

Spartan just launched a new workout and training system they’re calling DEKAFit:. In the same way that they’ve made obstacle racing globally popular, Spartan plans to do the same thing for functional fitness using a process that includes both training and competition. The first event is in Denver on March 21st at the University of Colorado’s Bowlen Fieldhouse (register here) with the second event in Dallas on May 2nd at the Cowboy’s Ford Center (register here).

You probably know Spartan for its obstacle course races that appeal to all levels of athlete, from the most casual weekend warrior to the complete newbie to world-class elites. Spartan just launched something new, called Dekafit, after decathlon fitness. Since deka is the American spelling of the Greek word déka (δέκα) meaning “ten,” Dekafit is a fitness challenge that includes 10 functional fitness challenges across 10 zones, including ram squats, 500m row, box jump overs, med ball sit-up throw, 500m ski erg, farmers carry, 20 cal air bike, dead wall ball overs, tank push-pull, and ram burpees—each zone challenge separated by a 500-meter run.

“DEKAFIT by Spartan is the DEKAthlon of fitness consisting of indoor fitness competitions & motivational training programs designed for ALL levels. DEKAFIT events feature 10 functional fitness zones (DEKA Zones) all preceded by a 500 meter run (5k total run distance) in a dynamic environment creating epic experiences & inspirational on-going fitness programming to help you exceed your goals.”

The DEKAFIT Course

The DEKAFIT Course

Here’s What a DEKAFIT Event Will Consist Of

Zone 1: Spartan Ram Squats

RX: Men 55lbs, Women 33lb

What you do: Athletes enter Zone one which is divided into six subzones. Athletes lift RAM weight and carries to subzone one and complete five reps. Athlete will then carry to zone two to complete five reps, once completed the fifth rep they will continue to the next subzone until they have completed five reps in every subzone.

Technique: During the carry athletes can carry the RAM in the front or back rack position. They may also carry or hold on the right/left shoulder. While squatting thighs must meet or break parallel to the ground at the bottom of each squat. Athlete must reach full hip extension at the top of each squat rep.

What you cannot do: Drag, throw or roll the Spartan Ram.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 2: 500m Row

What you do: Enter zone two and proceed to an open row machine. Row 500m.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 3: Box Jump Overs

What you do: Enter zone three and complete 20 box jumps. Athletes jump up on 24″ plyo box and jumps down from the box on the opposite side.

Standards: Elite Men & Women – Athlete must begin the jump with both feet on the ground. Athlete is allowed to jump or step down from the box. Open men and women are allowed to jump, step or climb on and off the box.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 4: Med Ball Throw

What you do: Enter zone four and complete 20 medicine ball throws.

RX: Men 20lb, Women 14lbs

Once athlete enters zone four athlete proceeds to an open med ball throw station. Athlete sits down in front of station, places feet under support bracket, grab medicine ball, lean back and throws the ball up and forward. The throw must hit a designation target in order to complete one rep. Repeat until 20 reps have been completed.

Standards: All athletes (elite & open) are allowed to lean at whatever body angle they chose. Both arms must be used to complete the throw. All athletes are allowed to rest in a seated or lying on back position.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 5: Ski Erg

What you do: Enter zone five and head to an open Ski Erg machine to complete 500m.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 6: Farmer’s Carry

RX: Elite Men 60lb each hand, Women 40lb each hand

What you do: Enter zone six, pick up two weights and carry for 100m then return weights.

Standards: All athletes are required to carry one weight in each hand in the traditional farmer’s carry manner that positions the weight at the side of the Athletes legs as they carry the 100m distance. All athletes are allowed to set weights down and rest, all athletes are not allowed to drag or throw the weights.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 7: Assault Bike

What you do: Enter zone seven and proceed to an open assault bike. Complete 20 calories on bike.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 8: Dead Ball Wall Overs

RX weight as follows: Men 60lb, Women 40lb

What you do: Once entering zone eight athlete will pick up the prescribed weight wall ball and carry to four-foot wall station. Athlete will lift and throw ball over barrier and climb over wall. This completes one rep. Athlete must complete 20 reps.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 9: Tank push/pull

RX weight: Men level 3 resistance, Women level 2 resistance

What you do: Upon entering zone 9 athlete heads to an open tank. You then proceed to push tank forward ten meters then pull back ten meters. This completes one round. Athlete must do this five times total to complete 50 meters.

Standards: Front of tanks must reach the 10m finish line before tank pull/row beings. After completing push athlete runs back behind the start line and pulls/rows the tank back to start line using the attached rope. Tanks must be kept in the required lane while pushing/pulling/rowing. Athlete must pull/row tank until front of the tank is behind start line.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Zone 10: RAM Burpees

BECAUSE WHATS A SPARTAN RACE WITHOUT BURPREES? Honestly did you think we wouldn’t have any burpees in this?

RX: Men 44lbs, Women 22lbs

What you do: Complete 20 Spartan Ram Burpees. Zone ten will have four subzones. Once entering zone ten athlete picks up required RAM weight and carries to sub zone one and completes 5 reps. Proceed to sub zone 2 with RAM and complete five more reps. Do this until athlete has moved through all four subzones. Return RAM and depart zone 10 at proper exit point.

Athlete then proceeds to exit point to run 500m.

Standards: Athlete squats down with both hands on the RAM and lowers ram to floor. Kick both legs straight back and finish in a plank position while hands remain on the RAM. Lower entire body until chest/upper torso of body makes contact with the RAM. Push body back up to plank position, kick legs forward back under the body. At this point athletes can snatch RAM to overhead lift, clean to push press, or curl and press.

Athletes in all waves are required to finish each rep with RAM pressed above head with elbows and hip at extension. Athletes are not required to jump off ground during RAM burpee (unlike in a traditional Spartan race).

What you cannot do: Athletes are not allowed to drag throw or roll the Spartan RAM.

Why am I interested? Well, I loved 9Round back in the day, and it was also a functional fitness gym experience with 9 zones. And I am also F45-curious as one just opened up in my neighborhood. While I have never done a ruck or an obstacle race yet, my business partner has. He’s also worked on behalf of Spartan’s influencer marketing team on and off for years.

“We wanted to create the greatest fitness program, test, and competition on the planet.  DEKAFIT – the Decathlon of Fitness for ALL levels is our solution,” DEKAFIT’s Sport Development Program Manager Yancy Culp said, “Our bodies are beautiful machines that allow us to serve ourselves, our families, our communities, and we owe it to ourselves and everyone we serve to take care of our engines… And the Greeks had a concept called Arete (excellence).  DEKAFIT is YOUR path to fitness excellence.”

I loved having a personal trainer in the form of James T. Harris and I loved the workouts that 9Round provided. Currently, I am so far from functionally fit that I am a little afraid of trying out the F45 that just opened up just up the block. My business partner manages a CrossFit box and is fitter than Marvel heroes. Me? After a spate of health challenges and niggling issues, I, myself, and just trying to get my jog on. 

Walking is more my current speed. 

That said, my long-term goal is to become functionally-fit: to be able to scramble. Do you know how hard it is to scramble? What’s scrambling? To “make one’s way quickly or awkwardly up a steep slope or over rough ground by using one’s hands as well as one’s feet.” That requires extreme full-bodied fitness. 

That’s where Spartan racing comes in: it’s all about the scrambling. Obstacle races are almost all scramble. But, what sort of fitness plan benefits one the most for a life of functional fitness enough to be able to be both the strongest and most capable runner and fighter possible, and that might be Spartan’s brand new functional fitness training, racing, and competition, Dekafit.

What turns me on is that there will be gyms and trainers who will be certified DEKAFit functional trainers and gyms. What’s cool is that you actually never need to attend the big DEKAFit events to be in the running, to have your own personal best (PB)⁠—based on how you perform at your local DEKAFit gym (there are ten zones with ten functional fitness exercises, separated by 500-meter runs) you will be ranked globally. 

I’m sure you’ll be able to see how you compare with everyone, with people of your gender, age, city, state, country. I don’t know if that’s true, but wouldn’t that be cool?  And knowing that I don’t need to compete with anyone except myself is such a relief. One of the best parts of the DEKAFit program is that you can focus on competing against yourself only; and, when you’re ready—if ever⁠—you can compete against everyone else. Or, at least, see how you compare to people in your age or gender demographic or geographic location.

As you know, I am obsessed with kettlebells, TRX straps, my SkiErg, my Concept2 indoor rower (my erg), my resistance bands, and my Keiser M3 stationary bike. I aim for functional fitness. When pursuing my own practice, I am barely functional and barely fit; however, I really respond well to classes, personal trainers, and training. I loved my experience with 9Round. I want to try out the F45 studio that just opened in Penrose Square. I want to invest any extra money I get back into a personal trainer because those were very strong, fit, years. But, I need someone to help me. F45 and CrossFit just look too intense too hard for me at my present sickliness. 

Now, my agency, Gerris, was recently retained by DEKAFit, SPARTAN’s new venture which aims to expand its fitness empire to include a much more broad assortment of functional fitness training and competition. It’s a decathlon of functional fitness, including some of the same exercise challenges that F45 and CrossFit demands. 

And, at the end of the day, similar to CrossFit, one’s DEKAFit performance numbers will be ranked locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

“DEKAFIT is a true modern-day decathlon of fitness for participants of each and every fitness level. It’s the very first environment that inspires continuous training and exercise. Putting an emphasis on training with a purpose, DEKAFIT gives you the ability to consistently set goals and challenge yourself.”

While I am a little while off from being performance-ready to compete in the DEKAFit universe, my business partner, Dan Krueger, runs, trains, and coaches at a CrossFit box in Pennsylvania. Everything I know about CrossFit I know from him. I know that he and his wife are nationally-ranked and I know that Gretchen is nationally competitive. 

In order to get mere mortals and newbies like me into running, however, DEKAFit by SPARTAN is inviting gyms to become licensed so that their trainers and instructors can train their members to have the strength, skills, and performance to perform well in DEKAFit events.

“The DEKAFIT by Spartan Licensing Program is designed to give your trainers, instructors, and members memorable fitness events and training experiences that inspire long-lasting healthy and high-performance lifestyles. In addition, your licensure offers DEKAFIT program activation support, global networking opportunities with other licensees, best business practices and more to enhance your fitness operation… Together, we are going to change 100 million lives!”

Jarod Cogswell, the Director of DEKAFIT Sport and Education said, “In the world of fitness, passion and purpose are essential to enhance lives physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s these traits that are embedded within the DNA of Spartan and DEKAFIT has been created from the ground up to help the world realize that we are all stronger than we think. This will be the game changer of fitness.”


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