I was reading an article on a popular strength and bodybuilding website last week instead of doing admin........

In it, the author lamented the decline of the Olympics, with events like the pentathlon dropping some of the original components of javelin, long jump and wrestling, for swimming, horse riding and running.

In a solution to the perceived lack of manliness in this event, the author came up with a new event called The Mantathlon.

It consisted of 5 exercises.

  • bench press

  • pullups

  • standing press

  • dips

  • bicep curls......

Now I'm stoked to see pullups in there, and dips, press and bench can be argued for their functionality, but there are surely better options than such small muscle group, beach muscle staples.

And, bicep curls?!  Are you kidding me?  A test of manliness?  Maybe a test of "16 year old boy-liness"...

I'd much rather see a back squat, an olympic lift (perhaps the power clean as it's the simplest variation) and something like an 800m run in there (a nice lung burning miserable distance...).

What else?

Let's keep the pullups, and then we better get something in there that tests the stuff most of us overlook.  Stability and mobility, which ultimately lets us express all our fitness to it's full capacity - The SanFrancisco CrossFit Man Test is now up on our Leaderboard (max rep overhead squats with 2 x 24/16kg kettlebells) .  Amanda will delve into this movement more in a future post, but I'm betting that even the 8kg bells will prove tough for many.

There is nothing impressive about a big bicep curl.

A big back squat is certainly an awesome thing, but make sure you can back it up with some health related performance as well.


Jerks, behind the neck
7 Push Jerks, 70/45kg
7 Chest-to-bar Pull-ups
7 Burpee Box Jumps 60/50cm
5 rounds


- sets of 3
Deadhang Pullups
sets of 5-10reps
5 KB Pushpress
10 Ring Row
10 Burpees
20 Walking Lunges w KBs
AMRAP in 10mins

Darren Ellis