T Nation

The Adonis Challenge


I am planning a fitness event in the southeast and would like to have the competition based on bodyweight exercises only. This is not because I believe these exercises necessarily superior, but because cost will be lessened, the likelihood of an injury reduced, and the logistics of the events will simply be better served.

I would like everyone?s input on devising an accurate scoring system to determine the winners. Now, I?ve studied events such as S.T.R.E.N.D., but I wonder why no tests of strength regarding the lower body are used (more likely to occur an injury I?m assuming)? I would like the scoring system to be as accurate as possible in determining ?the most fit? and would like to have it not favoring any particular sect of people.

Of course though, a rating or scoring system of this nature is inherently arbitrary and variable in that individuals have differing levels of difficulty doing various exercises based on their particular body composition, but I think a commonsense formula could be arrived at. I have been considering a point system regarding various bodyweight exercises (ala Ross Enamait). Unfortunately I find any sort of system like this completely and inordinately subjective.

This is the ranking that I would purpose currently, but I don?t think I could include them all as a very very limited number of people will be able to perform them all.

Bodyweight Squat 1 point
Regular Pushup 2 points
Chin-up 3 points
Wide Grip Pullup 3.5 points
One Arm Pushup 4 points
One Legged Squat 5 points
Handstand Pressup 5.5 points
Side Pushup 7.5 points
Planche Pushup 8.5 points
One Arm Chinup 10 points

Does anyone have a problem with the ordering or the point/scale used?

Would anyone like to suggest a contest schedule they come up with? I wonder if a 3 mile run or something should be used to test cardiovascular fitness, or something else perhaps.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.


Um...ok. So you will just multiply the number of each succesful rep of each exercise by its point value and at the end add everything up? Most total points wins?


I think you should raise the points dramatically on all the more difficult exercises. Anyone can do a ton of regular push-ups and bodyweight squats. Chin-ups should be worth 10 pushups. There are people who can do 20 pushups and only 2 chins

Not that it will change the fact that people will still get the bulk of their points from the easiest exercises. BUT there should be a strong incentive that if you can do the difficult ones you can win.

Also there's no need for a wide grip pull-up. Nobody excells in wide-grips. And chances are pretty slim for someone to come in and start doing planches.

Just some thoughts.

PS I don't know whats a side push-up but I think it too should be omitted.


The points for bodyweight squat to single-leg squat are somewhat off. Same with pushup to planche.

Pistols are MUCH harder than two-legged squats. Personally, I can only do sets of five pistols (per leg), but I can do over 80 two-legged squats at bodyweight (I get bored after that many).

Planches are about the same ratio.

It is not merely the strength required, but the balance as well.

If you use Bulgarian squats or lunge-squats to dual-legs, that might be a bit easier on scoring.

Query for you: When/where are you planning on having the competition?


One thing I though of was how to judge a complete rep of some of these. For example, what constitutes a complete planche pushup? I am guessing elbow at 90 deg. But that might be hard to judge.

Also that is a lot of tests to perform. I would say reduce the number of tests.

Also, stuff like planche push ups and one arm chins shoud be way more valuable than regular push ups or bodyweight sqauts.

My last point would be that these tests all favor very light competitors, not necessarily strong. There are not going to be many football players, for example, doing one arm pullups.

Sounds like it will be a fun competition.



See, this is where I fall into trouble. When others have rated exercises (like the aformentioned Ross Enamait) there is often a smaller disparity between easier and more difficult exercises than there should be. The problem is that this is a completlely arbitary point system. Does a 3 point exercise mean it required three times as much strength as a 1 point exercise? No, that can't be right, because when doing a pushup for example, I am probably pushing up with around 140 lbs of force, but there is no way in hell I could do a pushup with 280 lbs on my back (tripling the force required). So then, what does this point system really judge? That is the problem. Judging a generic difficulty for an exercise is kind of a back of the envelope computation anyways, but I think I can come up with something applicable with everyone's help here.

(Event will be in Georgia, most likely centering around a civic center in the area surrounding Atlanta.)


You should factor in the weight of the contestants.


Ten "events" and only two for legs?


Drop the bw squats and the side push ups. Body weight squats will be too tedious. Some people will be able to do hundreds - maybe thousands. The side push ups just arn't mainstreem enough.

Maybe you could add broad jumps and verticle leap.


Why not add in a standing long jump, or wall sits?


There was a show on the other day showing an Inuit competition and some of the events they perform. Maybe these might give you some interesting ideas to use in your contest.


I suppose I should of been much more specific, and not so ambiguous. I didn't mean to insinuate that the particular exercises I listed were to be the only "events". If anyone has any ideas on what they would like to see in such an event I'm certainly all ears!


You think you are going to get some good ideas from this?

Funny stuff:



Okay, based on that link I have devised an event of my own:

The eye gouge. Each contestant places his little finger in his oppenonts left eye (Hey, it's only a small finger..and it's not like it's the right eye).

At the whistle each person is allowed to see how far they can dig their little finger into the other persons eye. The first person to take a step back loses.

I'm sorry but I had to do it. What moron ever created such a thing as sticking your finger in another kids mouth and then pulling as hard as you can?

(shaking head)


I thought it was pretty awesome.



lol, I don't think we would be setting any attendance records with that one...

Can anyone give their list of 'premium exercises' that could be considered a test of total body strength (i.e. a well rounded test)?


This is a really cool idea, man. Check this out--you could even have plyometrics and measure distances.

-how high can you push-up off the ground?
-how high can you jump squat?
-how high can you throw yourself above the bar doing a chin-up?
(have them do 1 rep and land on some soft padding)


Good idea...

Maybe you could score points on how much weight they lifted...

For example a 200lb guy doing one pull-up would equal a 100lb guy doing two.

You could also add burpees or squat thrusts. Those are always fun...


Do you think that would be mathematically accurate? Does anyone else think an equivalence formula should be used, and if so, should it be reps/weight/100?