Home PageNewsJuly 2023 - 07/231st Military Functional Fitness Challenge 2023 - Warendorf (GER) - Update

1st Military Functional Fitness Challenge 2023 - Update


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WARENDORF (GER) - In an exhilarating display of strength and endurance, the 1st Military Challenge Functional Fitness Challenge took place from July 2 to 9 in Warendorf, Germany and concluded with outstanding performances.


But what is Functional Fitness? Functional Fitness tests athletes’ proficiency across a variety of movement patterns, activities, and energy systems. Athletes must show their competency in various realms, including demonstrations of their endurance, strength, bodyweight capacity, skill, mixed capacity, and power.


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In each event, athletes are prescribed a certain amount of work (i.e. number of repetitions of a given movement) to complete. They then attempt to complete the required movements and repetitions as fast as possible. The athlete who completes the work the fastest or completes the most work in a given time period is the winner of that test. The athlete who performs the best across all tests is the overall winner of the competition.


This first Challenge, held in Warendorf, showcased the remarkable athletic abilities of the participants in the categories below.


  • Endurance: contains movements designed to showcase aerobic capacity. It tests the athlete’s ability to sustain a pace for an extended period of time.
  • Strength: contains strength work with weights. It tests the athlete’s timing, coordination, and athleticism while working under a heavy load.
  • Power: contains a lot of work to be performed quickly in a short time frame. It tests the athlete’s ability to execute movements quickly with a proper strategy in order to display speed and pure power. This test is usually less than 5 minutes long.
  • Skill: contains advanced skill work. It tests the athlete’s pacing ability, range of motion, skill, and core control.
  • Bodyweight: contains bodyweight movements paired with other aerobically challenging movements. It tests the athlete’s ability to complete a high number of repetitions quickly.
  • Mixed: contains a variety of tasks and challenges. It may include bodyweight, strength, and endurance type movements all mixed together. It tests the athlete’s ability to transition between movements, perform movement variations, control pacing, and handle load variations.


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During the intense four-day competition, participants from 11 CISM member nations vied for gold across five categories: Female 18-34, Female +35, Male 18-34, Male +35, and the team ranking.


In the women's 18-34 category, Diana Vetter from Germany emerged as the strongest contender. She dominated the Skill and Bodyweight events and secured second place in the Power and Mixed categories. With an impressive performance, Vetter finished a remarkable 8 points ahead of Sweden's Justina Lundberg. Lundberg also showcased her skills by winning two tests but was unable to claim the top spot due to her 9th place ranking in the Strength event. Germany celebrated another achievement with Anna Hartje, who claimed the bronze medal. Hartje delivered an exceptional performance throughout the competition and emerged as the victor in the Strength test.


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Continuing their dominance, a German athlete once again stood atop the podium in the women's over-35 category. Jenny Naruhn showcased her exceptional skills by securing first place in three events: Strength, Skill, and Mixed. With these remarkable performances, Naruhn proudly claimed the world title. Despite a bad result in the last event, the Lithuanian Jolanta Raugaite secured the silver medal with four second places in Endurance, Strenght, Power and Mixed tests. The competition concluded with Germany's Marlene Kowalik taking the bronze medal, who also displayed outstanding prowess by winning the Endurance and Bodyweight events !


Germany continued its triumph in the men's 18-34 category by securing yet another title for its trophy cabinet. Eric Zuchold, despite a disappointing 15th place in the Endurance event, demonstrated exceptional strength and skill by claiming victory in the Strength and Skill categories. Additionally, his second-place finish in Power contributed to his overall success, ultimately leading him to clinch the coveted title. Julius Jaloveckas from Lithuania put up a fierce competition, finishing just two points behind the winner in the final standings. Jaloveckas' outstanding performance, including a remarkable victory in the Mixed event, solidified his second-place position. Meanwhile, Dutch contender Coot Simons secured the bronze medal with a total of 500 points, showcasing his remarkable abilities throughout the competition.


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In the men's over-35 competition, Lithuania emerged victorious, breaking the German dominance, all thanks to the outstanding performance of Piotr Riabych. With an impressive display of skill and determination, Riabych claimed first place in three tests and secured third place in three others, showcasing his dominance throughout the competition. Despite a commendable and consistent performance, Germany's Alexander Niessen had to settle for the silver medal, finishing a mere 8 points behind Riabych. Meanwhile, Salem Al Ali from the United Arab Emirates stood proudly on the third step of the podium, earning a well-deserved bronze medal with a total of 540 points.


Latvia continued their impressive performance in the Challenge, securing the final gold medal in the team competition with a remarkable 550 points. They emerged as the clear victors, leaving Germany (490 points) and the Netherlands (480 points) in their wake. Latvia's outstanding teamwork and exceptional skills propelled them to the top of the leaderboard, solidifying their dominance throughout the competition. Germany and the Netherlands also showcased their strength and determination, earning well-deserved second and third places respectively. It was a thrilling conclusion to the Challenge, with each team giving their all and leaving a lasting impression on the audience.


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All our military athletes showcased their incredible skills and determination throughout the competition. Each participant pushed their limits and demonstrated the essence of functional fitness. Congratulations to all the participants for their remarkable performances!


This event owes its success not only to the incredible athletes but also to the organizing team from the German Delegation to CISM. Their dedication and hard work made this event an unforgettable experience.


The 1st Military Challenge Functional Fitness Challenge has set the stage for future competitions, inspiring more nations to embrace this exciting sport. It is hoped that the number of participating nations will continue to grow, fostering camaraderie and competition among athletes from around the world.


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(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department)