These 3 fitness challenges will put your mental toughness and athleticism to the test.
Since I was a child I played multiple sports and worked out at multiple training facilities, all of which have had their own version of strength and conditioning tests and assessments. Some of these fitness tests and finishers were probably not the best at determining sport specific performance, but they did, at some level, always challenge me mentally and physically. Below are just three of the challenges I’ve done. Each is unique, and will not only help you get in great shape, but will also prepare you for those moments when most others quit.
1. The 300 Yard Shuttle Test
I’m sure a lot of OneResult readers have heard of Albert Haynesworth’s conditioning debacle with the Washington Redskins. He was asked to perform the 300 yard shuttle twice with 3 and ½ minutes rest between each round. The first was to be done in under 70 seconds and the second under 73 seconds. Being a former Defensive End/Defensive Tackle, I thought the challenge to be pretty easy given my knowledge of the event. As an intern at my first athletic facility, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were dedicated to sport specific drills and conditioning for myself and our athletes.
One of the tests we administered was 3-4 repetitions of the 300 yard shuttle. All you have to do is set up two cones 25 yards apart and run down and back 12 times (for a total of 300 yards). Sounds easy enough right? We’ll here’s a breakdown of the assessment:
Haynesworth. listed at 6’6, 335lbs, finished his first run in 71 seconds! He wasn’t even able to finish the first shuttle on time! At 6’0 feet 275lbs, I was able to consistently run in the mid 50’s as were many of our other athletes. My challenge to you is this:
Start by running three 300 yard shuttles with 3 minute rest periods between each, I promise it will be some of the hardest fought minutes of your lives. Some of you might be saying, “This is lame! I want to bench press!”, and I can understand that, however, if you don’t work on every energy system you will just turn into a defunct $100+ million dollar athlete who may be jobless after the NFL season.
Seriously, what is more impressive, a big strong de-conditioned DT watching the game from the sideline, or a guy like James Harrison (6’0 242lbs) from the Pittsburgh Steelers who probably eats the 300 yard shuttle for breakfast, lunch, dinner & between meals as a snack?! One of the hardest things I have had to learn with age and something I wish resonated earlier in my career is that strength can only get you so far, it’s speed over time that wins.
2. Car Push and Pull Medleys
Another one of my other favorite challenges are car push-and-pull medleys. As a team, or just with a group of friends, you can have a pretty bad-ass fitness training session with some rope and a car.
Find a parking lot, get a couple hundred feet of rope and you have yourself a hardcore, albeit bulkier, prowler. Mark off 50 yards, each person competing will start by pulling the car/SUV the length of 50 yards and then push it back to the starting point. If 6 people are competing, split into groups of 2 or 3 and time each effort. The group to finish in the least amount of time is obviously the winner.
Repeat until at least half the group has lost their marbles. Several parking lots on the South Shore of Massachusetts have accumulated much of my omelets and oatmeal during the summers of my high school and college playing days.
3. Death by Fives
Depending on your fitness level the % of body weight you want to operate with will vary. For simplicity sake, lets just say you bench your body weight 5 times, squat and deadlift 1 and ½ times your body weight 5 times, and repeat for five rounds as fast as possible (reference the below). If you’re an advanced lifter you can attempt the same repetition and round scheme using a percentage of your 1RM. I would say anything between 80-87% of your 1RM will be plenty challenging.
Death by Fives:
Bench Press: 5 reps at Bodyweight
Squat: 5 reps at 1.5 times your Bodyweight
Deadlift: 5 reps at 1.5 times your Bodyweight
Repeat 5 times and record time.
If you feel so inclined you can mix up the lifts, i.e. Incline Bench Press, Front Squat, & Trap Bar Deadlift, etc.
I hope you all enjoy the challenges above. I never wish pain upon anyone, but if done correctly some of these will inevitably make you lose your lunch! I look forward to your feedback and seeing the times you guys post in the forums. Crank it!
And look 1R, regardless of the challenge you choose, you're going to be in dire need of recovery aids. We at OneResult would recommend the following whey proteins to help in the process: