Steel Man Competition

I’m proposing a new event, the “Steel Man Competition”. We have the Ironman triathlons which are purely endurance (biking, swimming, running). Then we have the powerlifting and crossfit competitions which are lifting based. Then we have the “Tough Mudders” which are cardio obstacle courses. What I propose is an event that requires both strength and endurance to excel at. Here is my proposed “Steel Man Competition”:

  • Climb 30′ rope
  • Swim 1.5 km
  • Do 100 pullups without kipping
  • Run 10 km
  • Do 100 full ROM pushups
  • Flip tractor tire 50 yards
  • Bike 40 km

This is basically an olympic triathlon with the strength stuff mixed in for fun!  What do you think?  Is this a good combination of activities to give a good overall assessment of strength and endurance?  What would you change??  I like it because the folks who win all the triathlons would be slowed WAY down with the pullups, rope climbing, pushups, and tire flipping.  The really strong lifters would ace the previously mentioned strength activities but completely die in the swimming, biking, and running.

Edit: Corrected distances to match official olympic triathlon distances.

50 thoughts on “Steel Man Competition”

  1. Compared to the challenges in the other events, 100 pullups sounds a bit too much for me as well. Maybe 50 or 75 would do… Also, would you organize all the events in 1 day, or distribute them in a few ?

  2. Ok, with two iron men behind the belt, even i looked at the numbers and thought, wow!…. thats crazy stuff. But on the other side, isnt that what its all about!! Looking at something and thinking its impossible, and then going ahead, training ur bum off for 6 to 8 months and then completing that race u thought is crazy as hell. Some events just needs commitment, i think this is one of them. Its called steel man, not spunge man! 8 months before first iron man i could not swim 50m without hangin on side completely knackered….just saying…finished sub 12h.

  3. Are you trying to kill someone with this competition?Excuse me if I say its kina silly competition, I don’t like the idea of mixing endurance with lifting but anyway those 100 pullups make this whole thing impossible.10 Bucks this competition will have no winner.

  4. I would make the tractor tire flips go for 50 meters rather than 50 yards just to keep all the distances metric ;) Have you tried doing this whole Steel Man event yet? If so, how did it turn out?

  5. I agree with some of the comments in the sense that there should be less pullups than pushups. The reason is because in the pushup you are getting up only the upper part of the body, while in a pullup you are getting up the whole body, so you are putting much more stress in similar muscles (I don’t have a biological, research-supported proof, but only based in symmetry I would guess that in a well balanced body the triceps + chest muscles should have roughly the same force as the biceps + back muscles). I would also modify the flipping tractor tire part, because it’s a disadvantage to (genetically) small-built people, since you’re carrying a fixed weight for all competitors. I would replace the tire with a parachute, or something that would generate more resistance the faster you go.

  6. I would put something else to replace the swimming and the tire part though, because there’s already a lot of back and biceps involves in the rope climbing and the pull ups, but I’m down with the rest of the list :)

  7. I would break up the run and the bike with those other activities inserted. ie. 5K run, then pullups, then right back to the run for 5 more K. Perhaps 1 or 2 other strength challenges would add even more variety. And lots of hills. I’ll be your business partner scooby.

  8. Scooby,
    Gotta give you a lot of credit for creative thinking out of the box…
    Jack LaLanne did some interesting feats strength and endurance. I wonder how he would finish.
    BTW have you been practicing at all these activities ?
    You’re most likely the only one who could possibly win … my money’s on you ;-)

  9. think we are over doing it a little but, how are we going to pull this of. The First ever World Online Scooby Steel Man Competition. It’s not winning that’s importent, but just bring it (to quote tony horton) so for us europeans it will be. 9meter of rope , 2km swim, 100pullups??, 10km run, 100pushups,45meter tractor tire,90km bike ride. all this in one day??

  10. I couldn’t even begin to touch on the numbers themselves, but having an event where strength, endurance and speed are all required would be very interesting to see. Now that I think about it, it’s something you just don’t see anywhere, which is frankly quite strange. One’d think there’d be a lot of people wanting to show themselves as generally good at everything.

  11. I like the idea but I don’t think the pull ups and push ups would work well, mainly because of the form aspect. The other events work because they are nothing more than ‘get this distance’, in which case form helps to increase speed and having no form only really hinders. With the push and pull ups I feel that it wouldn’t possibly to police so there would need to be exercises that replace them and use the same muscle groups. Look at Ninja Warrior, that obstacle course has some crazy ideas, especially when it comes to something that would replace doing a ridiculous amount of pull ups.

  12. I don’t have such a long rope
    I always have calambres in my feets when swimming after running
    What’s kipping?
    10k easy
    ROM?
    From where do I get tractor tires?
    Is 56 miles the official distance?

    1. As Jon pointed out, I mingled the numbers of a half ironman and an olympic triathlon. Here would be the run/bike/swim distances:
      Actually it was an oversight. In my excitement I got the numbers wrong. As I say in the text, I want it to be a standard olympic length triathlon with the other stuff added. For the record, here is the official olypic tri distances:
      1.5 km
      (0.93  mi)40 km
      (24.8  mi)10 km
      (6.2  mi)

  13. You are not consistent with numbers. This steel man would be targeted towards more of your own strengths than overall fitness. For example the 10k (Olympic distance) run is too short compared to the 56 mi bike (half iron man). The 100 pull ups is inconsistent with 100 pushups. There is not nearly as much chest and triceps as there is back and bicep involved in the overall thing (swimming, climbing rope, pull ups, flipping tires and even running all require lots of back and some bicep).

    1. Actually it was an oversight. In my excitement I got the numbers wrong. As I say in the text, I want it to be a standard olympic length triathlon with the other stuff added. For the record, here is the official olypic tri distances: Olympic1.5 km
      (0.93  mi)40 km
      (24.8  mi)10 km
      (6.2  mi)Also known as “international distance”, “standard course”, or “short course”

  14. here’s my sugestion, a little tweak if you wish, why not make pullups, pushups and tractor tire a time/score based event, like you do xx much pullups, that much off your time you subtrackt in the end. Not all of us have strenght to do all of that, so why not make it a bit more open for others…

  15. The biking distance doesn’t fit compared to the swim and run. The qty of pullups and pushups is kind of exorbitant. Cut them in half amd add otjer exercises. Or in 1/4 and a body weight addition.

  16. Love, Love, Love the idea. I would struggle with the 100 pullups without kipping (oh would I struggle…but would be a great motivational factor/goal). I’ve often thought about this as well. Great Idea!!!

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