Inaugural Iron Age Athletics Decathlon Recap


This past Sunday I completed the inaugural Iron Age Athletics Decathlon – a ten event fitness test designed to test strength, speed and endurance.

Participants could complete the event over one or two days, but in the following order:

DAY 1 (or all events in one day)

1. Bench press (5 rep max)

2. Squat (5 rep max)

3. Sit-ups (2 min, max reps)

4. Burpees (50 for time)

5. Five mile run (for time)


6. Deadlift (5 rep max)

7. Strict pull-ups (max reps, unbroken)

8. Push-up (2 min, max reps)

9. Knees-to-elbows (50 for time)

10. One mile run (for time)

The goal for the first year was less about max effort and more about testing the logistics of the event, determining if it really was a good fitness test or not, and what a one day effort would take.

The only thing we wanted to track was age and weight – just to give participants an “apples to apples” comparison – this, of course was optional.

We did not design a scoring mechanism in this first year – it was more of – hey, let’s do this cool thing and see how it goes.

I imagine next year, we will have a better gameplay with comparing/scoring results.


My vitals, this year:

  • Age: 55
  • Weight: 149


Event 1 – Bench press (5 rep max): 

The goal here was just to post a decent number and get on with things. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and energy working up to a max effort (and least not in year one while we were kind of testing this thing).

Result:  205lbs (for 5 reps)


Event 2 – Squat (5 rep max): 

I knew this was going to be a pathetic number as squats are one of the weakest exercises in my arsenal. I also have been having some recurring hamstring issues, so did not want to go for a bigger number and risk injury.

Result:  185lbs (for 5 reps)


Event 3 – Sit-ups – (2 min, total reps): 

This was the first event I felt I could really go for, and I did. Put in a pretty max effort and banged out a decent number. These were full extension sit-ups, with hands touching the ground behind your head on the way back, then again, touching your feet on the way up.

Result:  70


Event 4 – Burpees (50 for time): 

We all hate burpees, right?!? I have not been doing them at all lately, as my focus has not been on Spartan racing for quite a while, but I went at these pretty hard and banged out a decent time. Of all the events, I was most gassed after this one.

Result:  2 min 58 seconds


Event 5 – Five mile road run:

The temps in upstate NY, USA were pretty cool, 25 degrees F with windchill at 12 degrees F.

Went out at a decent clip in 6:48 for mile one, 6:39 for mile 2 and 6:32 for mile 3  – so actually was warming up nice and felt I was going to post a good time.

But … my left hamstring blew up just after mile 3 – so I had a quick decision to make – take a DNF or slug it out and see what might happen.

Well, there was no way I was DNF-ing this thing, so I walked/jogged mile 4 in 7:42 and jogged mile 5 in another 7:42.

This was an aggressive hamstring pull, probably the worst I ever had – so a few events later in the afternoon were going to be a challenge.

Result:  35 min 26 seconds


Event 6 – Deadlifts (5 rep max):

Again, was pondering a DNF here, as you can’t deadlift with a bad hammy. So put on a light weight, and banged out 5 reps literally on one leg, just to post a number.

Result:  135lbs (for 5 reps)


Event 7  Strict pull-ups (max reps): 

I knew I could get through this and next two events OK, so went pretty aggressive. Was definitely feeling a little fatigued after the 5 mile run, but not to the point where you couldn’t put in a good effort.

Result:  17 


Event 8 – Strict push-ups (2 min, total reps): 

Like the sit-ups, burpees and the knees-to-elbows to follow, the push-up event was one you could basically go all out on. This was one you could tire out quickly on, so I went aggressive, but with some pacing strategy in mind. Was not banging them out fast at the end.

Result:  68


Event 9  Knees to elbows (50 for time): 

This one was pretty challenging as well. I do knees-to-elbows semi-regularly, but never more than 15 or 20 at a time. I did have to come off the bar twice during this effort.

Result:  2 min 45 seconds


Event 10 – 1 mile run: 

Back outside for this one. In the dark now. Temps had dipped lower than we saw for the 5 mile run. I walked a bit at the start, then bumbled into a jog style that I could maintain, and at least got a number posted.

Result:  8 min 44 seconds



  • I think this is a good overall fitness test. Not too challenging to complete in an afternoon. I didn’t track the exact amount of time, but we got it done in 3 to 4 hours.
  • I completed this with my 19 yr old son (185 lbs) who does spend a lot of time in the gym lifting weights, but does no cardio – and he was really challenged with the sit-ups, burpees, knees to elbow – and of course, the running. He did much better than me on the bench, squat and deadlift. So I do think the events balanced out OK.
  • Would like to prep a little more for this next year- but it was a lot of fun.
  • It would be nice to come up with a scoring strategy next year to add a bit more of a competitive edge to it

Would love to see you join us for this virtual event next year. 

Hop on the Iron Age Athletics app, join our community of fitness lovers, share what you are doing – and get in on the fun next year.

Also a great event (like the Murph) to grab some friends and complete it together.