Decker’s “The Suck” makes Live Strong’s list for most extreme fitness tests in America

Joe Decker, World's Fittest Man and WIU Alumnus

Back-to-back champion of the annual Spartan Death Race and Western Illinois University alumnus Joe Decker (pictured here in black, wearing hat, during a visit to his alma mater) recently designed and sponsored “The Suck” at his family’s farm near Cuba, IL. The 36-hour race was held Sept. 14-16, and on Oct. 15, it was listed on Live Strong’s website as one of the “most extreme fitness tests in America.”

You wouldn’t expect any less from the World’s Fittest Man and two-time winner of the Spartan DEATH Race, now would you?

In 2000, Western Illinois University alumnus Joe Decker–a Cuba (IL) native who owns and founded the San Diego-based boot camp Gut Check Fitness–made his mark on the fitness world by breaking the Guinness Book of World Records’ 24-Hour Fitness Challenge, giving him the right to claim the title of “World’s Fittest Man.” In 2011, Decker became the Spartan Death Race’s first-ever two-time winner.

The physical fitness fanatic recently shared his brand of fitness philosophy (which typically includes grueling physical activities) in his hometown area with a 36-hour race called “The Suck.”

On Monday (Oct. 15), the Live Strong website posted a list of the “the most extreme fitness tests in America,” and not only did the Spartan Race make it on to that list (it is called the “death” race after all), but so did Decker’s “The Suck.” (To see the entire slideshow of the most extreme fitness tests, visit

WIU students and faculty helped with Decker's "The Suck" in Cuba, IL, Sept. 14-16.

WIU students and faculty helped with Decker’s “The Suck” in Cuba, IL, Sept. 14-16.

For the event, Decker called on his fellow Leathernecks to help out (see photo). And for those at WIU who were brave enough to test their mettle in “The Suck,” Decker provided a shorter option (12 hours) and a $50 entry fee to take on that “easier” challenge. (Ha!)

The Live Strong list compiled by Pete Wilson states about “The Suck”: “Challenges combine farm chores with military boot camp, trail running, and survival skills. Knowing how to fire a shotgun, bale hay, and dig holes is recommended and required gear includes an ax, headlamp, ruck sack, two sandbags (50 pounds for guys, 30 for gals), and an old car tire. Your base camp is a tent in a hayfield, though sleep is not permitted. If it all sounds like it sucks, that’s the point.”

Way to go, Joe!

Learn more about The Suck at

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