The DEKA Challenge: How the Competition's Zones and Timing Work

The DEKA Challenge: How the Competition's Zones and Timing Work
Presented by Spartan Training®

DEKA is The Decathlon of Functional Fitness. It consists of indoor fitness competitions and motivational training programs designed for ALL levels. Take your OCR game to a whole new level and embrace the DEKA challenge. Sign up for our first DEKA event NOW.

Dating back thousands of years, the human body has been used as a vessel for everything from taking on life’s necessary tasks, to protecting ourselves and our loved ones, to accomplishing miraculous feats. In order to maintain our bodies and continue to benefit from all of the abilities that they bring, we need to take care of them. Test them. Push them. With DEKA, athletes of every fitness level will have the opportunity to continuously assess and advance their physical abilities through functional, fundamental training. 

The DEKA Fitness Zones Explained

The DEKA model is made up of 10 unique DEKA Fitness Zones, each designed for its own specific purpose. All DEKA Fitness Zones require basic essential movements. Historically speaking, many of these movements were required in order to help humans survive. Now, they’re helping athletes thrive. When all zones are combined, they provide athletes — remember, everyone is an athlete here — with a well-rounded functional fitness test and one of the greatest full-body workouts on the planet. Training and testing for DEKA on a consistent basis will have you ready to take any of life’s challenges. Here’s a breakdown of the DEKA Fitness Zones:

  • Spartan RAM Alternating Reverse Lunge (x30)
  • Row (500 meters)
  • Box Jump or Step-up Overs (x20)
  • Med Ball Sit-Up Throw (x20)
  • Ski Erg (500 meters)
  • Farmer’s Carry (100 meters)
  • Air Bike (25 calories)
  • Dead Ball Wall-Overs (x20)
  • Tank Sled Push/Pull (10 meters each, x5)
  • Spartan RAM Burpee (x20)

Related: What You Need to Know About Being a DEKA Athlete

In addition to the exercises you’ll be taking on, each DEKA Fitness Zone will be preceded by a 500-meter run, for a total of 5 kilometers of running upon completion. Pairing the functionality of these core exercises with the conditioning required to navigate through the course allows you to get the most out of your training and racing. 


How Does DEKA Timing Work?

Throughout the course of the competition, athletes will be compiling 20 splits. When the athletes are done, they'll be able to see the results of their 10 individual 500-meter run splits, and their 10 DEKA Zone splits. The detailed split tracking allows every athlete to not only see their total time (DEKA Mark), it also allows each athlete to track improvement over time throughout the different DEKA Fitness Zones and the 500-meter runs.

“Historically speaking, many of these movements were required in order to help humans survive. Now, they’re helping athletes thrive.”

DEKA's Sport Development Program Manager Reveals Spartan's Source of Inspiration

“What we wanted to do with DEKA was to utilize some of the most basic movements of life for survival. Movements used throughout history to hunt food, to build shelters, and protect yourself and your family. All of these movement patterns that had to happen, they weren't looked at as exercise back then, they were used out of necessity. They kept our bodies fit and sound. Well now — fast-forward more than 2,000 years — most of these movement patterns aren’t usually required for rudimentary survival. In most cases, we don't have to do that to get food on the table. But these great movements have been turned into some of the most classic exercise patterns on the planet, so we wanted to merge those two timeframes and create a new form of training.

Related: 5 Things You Don't Know About DEKA FIT (and Why It Will Change Your Life)

On the same day, in the same DEKA Arena, utilizing the same movements in the DEKA Gym, we’re able to test 3,000+ people with very little instruction. No matter what their current level of fitness, everyone deserves a DEKA Mark and they’ll be able to complete this competition and get their mark (aka timed score). Then, guess what? They'll come back, they'll train, and they’ll get better — and that’s the goal.”

— Yancy Culp, DEKA Sport Development Program Manager

DEKA is the perfect outlet to attain any fitness goals you may have, whether it’s getting yourself up off of the couch, or earning yourself a spot on the leaderboards. These 10 functional movements have stood the test of time, helping humans work, train, and survive. They are the same 10 movements that will help you perform better from a fitness standpoint, as well as overall wellbeing. DEKA is the ultimate test for every fitness level. So what are you waiting for? Go get it!