Decathlon workout

One Olympic event determines the overall all best athlete. Since the 1970’s a track and field event composed of 10 events called the decathlon has presented, arguably, the best all-around athlete of any sport. This is a workout geared towards that idea and since most people do not have access to pole-vaulting equipment or full running tracks, so some adaptation will occur.

The actual events are listed below and require significant amounts of strength, power, explosiveness, skill and endurance. A Swedish king proclaimed the American winner Jim Thorp as the world’s greatest athlete.

Day 1100 meter run

Long jump

Shot put

High jump

400 meters

Day 2110 meter hurdles

Discus throw

Pole vault

Javelin throw

1500 meters

The workout starts with a warm-up of 5 minutes of walking or running. Then the following exercises are performed in order.


1. Sprinting 20 yards for 5 sets with resting only 15 seconds.
Option: Sprinting for only 10-15 yards for 5 sets with 30 seconds rest.

2. Standing broad jump. Place feet at shoulder width and jump forward , quickly turn and return to your original spot by jumping with both feet at the same time; Repeat 10 times. Your jump distance should be greater than your longest stride.
Option: Jump with one leg at a time to ease the balance and attempt to jump a distance of a normal step. Repeat 10 times.

3. The shot put is mostly hip extension, torso torque, shoulder and triceps. The replacement exercise is done by using a dumbbell in each hand.
Start with the dumbbell resting on the shoulders. Squat down and with one arm at a time; press the dumbbell upward and outwards at approximately a 45-60 degree angle, while extending the legs and torso.
Return the weight and perform the same movement with the opposite arm, return and repeat alternately. Do approximately 30 reps.
Option: Rest the dumbbell on the shoulder and press upward and outward quickly.

4. High Jumps are very basic and involve starting in a squatting position and jumping upwards to reach to the sky with each movement. Repeat for 10 seconds then 15 seconds, trying to complete more jumps in the same amount of time.
Option: Do deep knee bends

5. Run a 400 meter run. This can be measured off, but basically you are running a full sprint for approximately 60 seconds.
Option: Run and walk a 400 meter run

6. Hurdles are simulated by placing soft objects that will not easily trip you or cause injury if your foot connects with it. A line drawn on the ground or a small stick is great. Place the objects approximately 3 feet apart in a set of 10 obstacles total. Simply attempt to stand with feet side by side and jump over the line/stick/obstacle, then land on both feet and repeat until all 10 have been cleared.
Option: Jump in place

7. Discus throwing is similar to the shot put, but starts at a lower arm position. Stand with two dumbbells at your side. Feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
Do not over-swing any weights due to momentum. Focus on keeping your abdomen tight. Begin by moving one dumbbell just forward of your pelvic region, then the other is behind your buttocks area.
Using the dumbbell that is behind your back, slowly at first attempt to torque your torso and simultaneously raise the rear dumbbell forward and over your head, return to the starting position and attempt again.
Repeat twenty times and also perform alternatively with the opposite side. Focus on the tight abs and the acceleration of the dumbbell upwards.
Option: Hold dumbbells at your chest and twist and punch outward with each arm as you twist to that particular side.

8. The pole vault is a very complicated process, but the primary muscles used are similar to those used in a basic “burpee.”
Start by lying face down with your legs together and quickly use a push up movement and spring both feet under you while you hold a push up position, then while in the squat position, spring upwards and jump.
Return quickly to the starting position and repeat. Do as many as you can in 10-20 seconds.
Option: Do the burpee slowly

9. A javelin is not easy and takes balance and explosion. We are going to use a standard push-up position and then balance by raising one leg up high and holding it there while you perform a push-up. Attempt to do 0-20 push-ups.
Option: Do push-ups while on one knee and other leg is straight and elevated in a full hip extension.

10. The 1500 meter run is pretty basic and most people
Can use a treadmill or just run outside for 15 minutes.
Option: Walking and running for 15 minutes

Yours in Health!

Dr. David Ryan

Columbus Chiropractic Center Director