Ever year, “Wall Street’s Best Athlete” is determined in an intense competition called The Decathlon, and this year it will be aired on NBC Sports.
The network’s coverage of the 7th annual Decathlon will air on Saturday, June 25 at 1 p.m. ET, two weeks after the actual event takes place.
“Our competitors are some of the premiere non-endurance amateur athletes. They have incredibly inspiring stories, and we are thrilled to give their talents exposure on this level,” Dave Maloney, the founder of the Decathlon, said.
The event has elements of an Olympic decathlon and the NFL Scouting Combine. In the span of four hours, bankers, traders, and analysts go head-to-head in a 400-meter run, football throw, pull-ups, 40-yard dash, dips, 500-meter row, vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle, bench press, and an 800-meter run.
The event raises money for pediatric-cancer research and treatment. To date, it’s raised more than $6 million for the cause.
This year’s Decathlon will move beyond New York, to Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston. The event will open up to other industries besides finance.
The first stop on the tour, of course, is still New York. The New York team event will be held on Saturday, June 11, at St. John’s University’s DaSilva Memorial Field in Queens. For the first time, the team event is allowing free agents to join existing groups. The individual event will be held on Sunday, June 12, at the same venue.
In addition to working long hours on Wall Street, these athletes spend months preparing for the competition and raising funds.
Earlier this year, we asked some of the top athletes to share their workout plans. We’ve included them below.
Disclosure: This reporter will be competing for the first time in The Decathlon.
Laura Placentra, Citi. Wall Street’s Best Female Athlete 2015.
“In the months leading up to the Wall Street Decathlon, I trained five to six days a week, focusing on cardio and upper-body strength training. My regimen included boxing, rowing, stationary biking, paddle boarding, and free weights. I do Pilates twice a week for flexibility, core strength, and injury prevention, and I also box on a weekly basis.
“As for weight-room activities, I can’t recommend box jumps enough. They’re unmatched for improving quick-twitch strength and explosiveness for sprinting.
“My favorite fitness activity, though, is coed flag football. I’ve been in a really fun league for several years. It’s a great overall workout, and I really enjoy the competition. Of course the hardest part of training is finding ways to fit everything in with a busy Wall Street schedule, so it’s best to stick to activities that you really enjoy.”
Collin Zych, Cogent Partners. Second place in 2015.
“I work out six days a week, usually one to two hours during the week and two to three hours each weekend day. During the week, I work out in the mornings — usually get up around 5:30. My work hours sometimes get a little crazy, so this is the only time I know I have available.
“Also, nothing beats the post-workout feeling as I sit down at my desk in the morning. I like to schedule a workout on Saturday morning, mostly to keep myself from drinking too much on a Friday night. If my body is too sore, I will take a day off. I used to try to train through the aches and pains, but it just isn’t smart. The last thing I want to do is get hurt.
“I belong to a local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Deep, where I do most of my lifting. I don’t always agree with their programming — burpees are stupid — but I can lift heavy and drop weights and be loud there. There are also some great athletes to compete with.
“I have a football training background, so that makes up the meat and potatoes of my training. Bench press, Olympic lifts, heavy squats, and deadlifts. I do not do body-part splits. ‘Arms Day’ is stupid. Every day is leg day in some shape or form.”
1. I do 2-3 days of sprint work per week. This consists of jumping/explosiveness drills, flexibility work, and 100% effort starts and short sprints. I do this at the local track or in parking garages (great for hill sprints) if I’m stuck at the office. I’m terrified of not being fast. It’s weird.
2. I will spend a little time on “skills” every day — things like rowing form, jump rope double-unders, handstand holds. My most recent projects are muscle-ups (a pull-up into a dip on hanging rings).
3. I try to do some dedicated conditioning 2-3 per week. To me, this means running (treadmill interval sprints, 100-yard sprints, etc.). I also do CrossFit circuits as part of the gym’s programming (refuse to call them WODs or METCONs) which incorporate combos of lifting, running, jumping.
Will McHale, Axiom International Investors. Forty-five reps on bench press.
“I try to work out six or seven times a week. My routine involves some type of interval cardio and some weight lifting. I roughly split the weight sessions between upper body and lower body, but do my best to keep my training balanced and hit the whole body every workout.
“My cardio sessions are always interval-based. It is way more efficient than just jumping on the treadmill for an hour. Keeping the workout intensity high is a great way to maximize time. I also think it is important to mix things up. The body can plateau when you are doing the same movements, reps, and sets over and over. Also a boring workout is more likely to be a skipped workout.
“Lastly, I try to always remember that even doing a little something is better than nothing. Everyone has days when going to the gym is the last thing you want to do. Those are the days when you really get better.”