The very first DEKA Fit is in the books, and MudGear loved what we saw in Dallas.
If you thought DEKA, Hyrox, and the like were just new versions of CrossFit, let’s catch you up. Yes, DEKA incorporates some of the same functional fitness moves you’d expect in The Box, but with unique Spartan branding (ie, using Spartan RAMroller). However, there are a few other noteworthy differences.
(Left: Jack Bauer placed 6th Overall in the Elite Division / Right: Kate Bykowicz placed 2nd in the Women's Competitive Division)
The DEKA Difference
First of all, you don’t have to be a CrossFit gym, have a Spartan trainer, or be affiliated with anyone to compete. We saw plenty of OCR gyms and independent athletes (aka, home gyms) moving weights with the best of them.
Second, there are no surprises. While the CrossFit Games are notorious for leaving their athletes in the dark about what to expect and then throwing unexpected curve balls, DEKA is all about crushing the standard. All 10 Zones (none of which include free weights or chin-ups) are explained in detail on the website. So, you could literally recreate each zone and train all year.
Third, there’s running. Sure, CrossFit competitions occasionally surprise participants with a run event. At DEKA Fit, it’s a sure thing. All 10 Deka Zones are preceded by a 500 meter run for a total of 5K. That may not seem like much; but blended with all of the strength and cardio zones, it’s enough of an endurance event to give Spartans the edge over athletes who train strictly in traditional gyms. Those less inclined to run will enjoy DEKA's other products: DEKA Mile and DEKA Strong.
(Left: Robert Kilian and Derek Yorek battle for the win at Zone 10: Ram Burpees / Right: Lauren Stroud with a commanding lead at Zone 6: Farmers Carry)
Congratulations to the Top Performs in DEKA Fit Dallas's Elite Division:
- Derek Yorek (31:00)
- Robert Kilian (31:24)
- Forrest Bouge (31:24)
- Lauren Stroud (34:27)
- Renee Melvier (35:16)
- Samantha Wood (35:30)
Attendance could have been a little better; but with much of world cautiously easing out of lockdown, the crowd was the perfect size to maintain social distance. Plus, most people were wearing masks, and EVERY competitor had to wear a mask in the start corral.
Overall, DEKA Fit Dallas was a success. We knew Yancy Culp would keep things rolling nicely no matter what surprises arose during this first time event. At one point, there was concern about how many participants were lining up for the competitive and open divisions. Yancy and his crew quickly drew up some heats to avoid overcrowding. It was clear Spartan had the best people in right places - including our old friend, "Video" Will Raymond behind the camera.
Our only complaint isn’t a complaint at all. It’s a suggestion for YOU. DEKA is new and needs volunteers at all of their events (Fit, Mile, and Strong). If you’re not ready to compete, volunteer to scout out what it’s all about. If you are competing, stick around after your heat to help out with other shifts. That’s what Robert Killian and many other elite competitors did in Dallas. Deka has the potential to become another Spartan signature product, but that requires the best of the best working behind the scenes.