Warrior Spirit WOD

by Team X-T.R.E.M.E

Editor’s Note:  Last weekend, at the Super Spartan in Leesburgh, VA, we saw a performance of athleticism and heart from Team X-T.R.E.M.E that emphatically demonstrated that boundaries arise only through misunderstanding our capabilities.  There are no boundaries when we realize that we are capable of much more than we believe.  In their mission to Honor, Empower and Motivate our nation’s wounded military heroes, these athletes inspired us with their teamwork and dedication to their purpose:  finishing together over all obstacles before them.  We asked them for a WOD to give an insight into the training and mentality that takes them to a peak condition of physical fitness.  This WOD is designed for a team, but only slight modifications are needed to make it word as an individual – regardless, it will inform you about functional fitness and may put you in the lead pack of racers. 


“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
-Mark Twain

Coordinating Instructions

The Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Warrior Spirit WOD was designed and created for training of our athletes to execute endurance and obstacle races while wearing a gas mask.  Each time we execute the Warrior Spirit WOD, we do so with the fortitude and respect for the warriors who have sacrificed in the name of freedom.  Good luck and thank you for joining our ongoing mission to Honor, Empower and Motivate our nations Wounded Heroes.

The Warrior Spirit WOD can be conducted as a team or individually. Each exercise must be completed in its entirety prior to moving to the next exercise or objective. As with a “real world” operational mission, failure to meet an objective in the allotted time results in a penalty.  On a live operation this would entail being compromised, but for the purpose of this WOD, it means extra work!

Insertion (Phase 1)

1 Mile run

*  Must be completed in < 11 minutes. If any member of the team is over 11 minutes:

then, 400m Farmers Walk w/ weight (35lb Dumbbells)

Actions on the Objective (Phase 2)

10 x Box Jumps (20/24”)

20 x Pullups

30 x Ground to Overhead (65#/95#)

40 x ABMAT situps

50 x Burpees

40 x ABMAT situps

30 x Ground to Overhead (65#/95#)

20 x Pullups

10 x Box jumps (20/24”)

** Time limit: <30 mins.

if >30 mins then, 25 Burpees

Exfiltration (Phase 3):

400m Fireman’s carry/run (each team members carries a 10 lb sledge hammer)

*** Each team member fireman carries another for 100m, then switches off, while retaining the sledge hammers. Team MUST finish together!!

The Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Warrior Oath:

I will ALWAYS place the mission first

I will NEVER accept defeat

I will NEVER quit

I will NEVER leave a fallen comrade


*WOD was created by Team X-T.R.E.M.E. X-Athlete and Marine Msgt. Matt Small, currently deployed in support of the global war on terror

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Spartans Invade Slovakia!

by Carrie Adams

No location is too far, no venue to obscure for Spartan to make an appearance.  And September 1st, we are invading Slovakia for the first EVER Spartan Race in that location.  Our international team who made landfall in Slovakia earlier this week, let us know that it is a very Spartan friendly place with a few things that our own Vermont HQ can’t claim… namely, a lot of castles…

In addition to our Spartan staffers, we brought the Vermont Beast winners from 2011, who also happen to by Olympic Biathletes from Canada, Maco Bedard and Claude Godbout to get their take on the location and introduce Spartan properly to the good people of Slovakia.

More to come!  Are YOU registered for a Spartan Race?  What are you waiting for?  Click


and find one near you… especially if you are in Slovakia!

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Meet the Real Hero of the Calgary Spartan Race: Josh Taylor

by Katie Idle

On August 18th, Josh proved, without a doubt that he is tough enough!  In true Spartan style, he has overcome difficulty, pushed himself to unbelievable limits and crossed the finish line as a hero.

Crawling through the mud you wouldn’t know that Josh is any different from any of the other 150 warriors in the Hurricane Heat and you would have no idea of how far Josh has come to be able to cross that finish line, or what a huge achievement this is for him.  Eight years ago when Josh suffered from a stroke, not knowing whether he would make it, let alone be able to walk or speak again, completing a Spartan race would have been unthinkable.

“The hills were a killer – I had to drag myself up the steep slope using my good arm and chest, as my bad leg had no traction,” says Josh, but still he pushed on to complete the 5 km run and 15 or so obstacles.

Fitness, the outdoors and adventure were a big part of Josh’s upbringing.  His father, Peter Taylor, was a known mountaineer with a couple of Himalayan first ascents to his name and author of a book, From Cooper’s Creek to Langtang II.  With adventure in his genes, Josh spent years working as a hunting guide, and even did rodeo for a while.

This all changed at the age of 32, when Josh’s stroke derailed his life and left him temporarily without speech, in a wheelchair and with very limited movement in his upper body.   It took six months of determination and teeth clenching to get out of the wheelchair and to regain his speech.  “I was determined to prove them wrong .  If they told me I couldn’t do something, I would think, just watch me!”  Josh spent a year in a stroke rehabilitation centre, and actually met his wife, Jane, online while he was there (Jane was his cheerleader for this year’s Spartan but has promised to sign up to race in Calgary next year).

Josh has been a Street Team Member since the beginning of the year, and completing the race was a huge goal for him.  His training included practising Mixed Martial Arts a couple of times a week, lifting weights and walking with a weighted vest to improve his limp.  “The Spartan Race was a huge achievement.  There was a great atmosphere and everyone was incredibly positive and supportive.  They kept telling me ‘keep going, you’re a hero’.  I didn’t want to let them down – they made me feel very proud of myself.’”

Always striving to improve, Josh aims to jog the Hurricane Heat in 2013, or to compete in a regular heat, and we look forward to seeing him back.




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Are you R.H. Burpee Fit?

by Jeff Godin,  Ph.D., CSCS

All great Spartans include Burpees as part of their regular exercise routine.  Ever wonder who was the sadistic person that invented it?  (I thought it was my elementary PE teacher, Mr. Woodcock .)

After some digging I was able to find a dissertation written by Royal Huddleston Burpee titled “ Seven quickly administered tests of physical capacity”.  He attempted to narrow down 300 tests of physical capacity to a short list of tests that can be easily administered to large groups, administered in minimal time, and administered with little equipment. One test that rose to the top was the Front Leaning Rest, from the standing position (FLR).  Some our nation’s finest know the FLR as the push-up position.

RH Burpee modified the FLR to accommodate his discerning criteria for a physical capacity test. The correct way to do a Burpee according the source is:

1)     Bend your knees, and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you

2)     Jump your legs straight out to the rear, and leave them there

3)     Jump your legs back

4)     Stand up

To perform the assessment:

1)     Measure resting heart rate lying down

2)     Measure resting heart rate standing up

3)     Perform  four Burpees as fast as possible, record the time

4)     Measure post exercise heart rate immediately upon stopping (palpate the wrist and count the number of pulses in 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get beats per minute).

5)     Measure heart rate every 15 seconds until heart rate has returned to normal. Record the time it takes to return to normal

These are the standards according to Burpee’s research:



Questionable Reaction

Standing Pulse

68 – 96 bpm

100 bpm or more

Postural pulse rate change

0 – 12 bpm

16 bpm or more

Increase in pulse rate change

44 bpm or less

48 bpm or more

Time to return to normal

105s or less

120 s or more


Not breathless

Breathless (elevation of chest wall – forced expiration)

Limited motor movement

Not limited

Limited (cannot excute standard exercise)

Time to perform exercise

11.5 s or less

11.6 s or more


Test yourself, how do you measure up to Burpee’s standards developed in 1940?

Learn more about Spartan training and coaching at www.spartancoaches.com


Brupee, R.H. (1940). Seven quickly administered tests of physical capacity and their use in detecting physical incapacity fro motor activity in men and boys. Teachers College, Columbia University, Contributions to Education, No. 818.


by Carrie Adams

Jim Miller
Photo courtesy of KOreps

If you hale from Sparta, NJ like UFC light-weight fighter Jim Miller, it would seem almost necessary to find your way to a Spartan Race start line.  And Jim Miller is doing just that!  When I asked the 28 year-old fighter who holds a 21-4-0 record why he wanted in on the Obstacle Racing scene, he said, “These types of races have always intrigued me.   It sounds like a fun challenge.”   Not one to shy away from a new adventure, the race is something he still admits is outside his normal.  ”It will be a fun test and something that is probably going to beat me up!”  And beating up Miller is no easy task.  He has 12 of his wins coming by submission and three by knockout.  With eight of his last ten fights resulting in a win, he’s about as tough as they come.

The location of the race also appealed to Miller.  The fighter will be in his home state of New Jersey to take on the Super Spartan Race in Vernon, NJ at Mountain Creek Waterpark September 8th.   Spartan courses are known for brutal hills, barbed wire, fire jumping, wall climbing, sandbag carrying… not exactly the kind of opponents Miller is used to squaring off against.   So how does a UFC fighter train for a Spartan Race?  ”More miles,” says Miller.  “Four, five, or six miles before my normal training.”

The mileage is a good strategy given the grueling course distance of roughly eight miles in the ski slopes, not to mention the 20 or more obstacles he can expect.   “The distance traveled is my biggest concern,” says Miller.  ”I’ve been running a lot before workouts and it feels good.”  However unknown the course and longer distance, Miller,  who says that in recent years he has developed into more of a sprinter type, is still confident about his performance in the event.  ”I think the all-around athleticism to be a well-rounded fighter is going to help; the ability to do physical things for an extended period of time.”

He’s also excited to interact with some of his fans. “MMA fans are doers,” says Miller.  ”There aren’t many sports where fans actually go out and do what the athletes are doing.  MMA fans do.”   And those fans will get to see Miller take on the infamous hills of the ski slopes and imposing obstacles that Spartan is ready to serve up.  The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt known for his choke techniques has a few nerves.  ”I know there will be hills,” he laughs.  ”That’s going to hurt.”

In addition to his race, Miller, whose fight calendar is currently open is hoping for a fight by the end of the year.  But the Spartan Race is giving him plenty to think about.  When told about the global rankings and chip timing that Spartan Race boasts as part of our World Class level of racing he said simply, “That’s what I like to hear.”

Want to join UFC Fighter Jim Miller in the Tri-State Super Spartan Race?  Get signed up today by clicking HERE.


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by Rose-Marie Jarry

It’s very important to choose Organic Beef. Grass fed beef without added hormones. You want to ingest the best quality meat when you decide to eat meat. Many diseases and cancers associated with meat are due to what cattle are eating such as modified corn and grains as these animals were not meant to eat these foods. It’s nice to decrease your chances of getting sick and encourage local farmers that are not mistreating animals. Choose Organic meat!


Start by marinating the beef in all the ingredients in the marinade section.

Then separate all the mint leaves from the stems and put them in a big bowl with all the other salad ingredients.

Cook the Beef on the BBQ.

Slice the beef and lay on a bed of salad. Spread the homemade dressing around.


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by Carrie Adams

Rounding down the hill to the Super Spartan Mid-Atlantic sandbag carry with the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. crew, eleven year old Junior Marine Luke Sliwinski was offered the option to take one of the the lighter 20lb bags in lieu of the men’s 40lb bags that were stacked in piles at the base of a quarter mile loop over halfway through the 10.5 mile course.  He immediately declined the offer with a polite, “No, thank you.” And without another word stooped down, his slim build struggling slightly under the weight, hoisted the bag up to his shoulder, and kept moving forward.

When Luke Sliwinski was five years old, he drew a picture of the twin

photo courtesy of Heather Sliwinski

towers ablaze, an image all too painful and familiar from the morning of September 11, 2001.  Too young to remember it in person, he’d grown up seeing the images and as he drew in the details, he knew that all he wanted was to be a Marine.  At that same tender age of five, he saw an air show demonstration from Marines at a nearby airfield, and was even more determined to join the service.  His mother, Heather, had to explain to the young Sliwinski that he’d have to wait until age eight before he could join the next closest thing – the Junior Marines Program.

According to their website, “The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.”

Luke, the youngest of six waited, however impatiently, until he could enlist and the now eleven year old who is about to enter sixth grade holds the rank of Sergeant and calls the Young Marines in his unit brothers. “I am the person I am today because of them.”   And that person is the youngest Spartans to take on our VA Super Spartan course alongside Team X-T.R.E.M.E. last Saturday, August 25th at Morven Park.  He toiled with the team for the 5.5 hours it took to complete finishing every obstacle and taking every step of the 10.5 miles course.  Says his mother Heather, “The accomplishment on Saturday blew me away.”  But her pride extends far beyond the Spartan course.  She goes on to say, “I am most proud of him humbleness through all of this.  He’s the kind of kid that stands up for what is right, even if he’s the only one standing.”

Luke was first introduced to Team X-T.R.E.M.E. and their mission in 2010 when he met USMC Cpl. Todd Love at Walter Reed Medical Center in Ward 57.  Cpl. Love, who also completed the Spartan Race on Saturday, was newly injured having lost both his legs above the knee and his left arm below the elbow in a violent IED explosion in Afghanistan.

Photo courtesy of Heather Sliwinski

Heather Sliwinski recounts the moment that Luke first saw Todd, “Even as a case worker for injured soldiers for six years, to see him that soon after injury took my breath away.  Luke didn’t see it, he just saw a hero. He climbed right up onto the bed with him and started talking.”  That first meeting was an encounter that would turn into a lasting friendship.  ”They call each other brothers,” says Heather.  And what kind of Marine does Sliwinski want to become?  ”A Recon, just like Todd.”

And Luke has not only spent the last seven years visiting wounded veterans at Walter Reed, he’s been raising money for them – nearly $10,000 worth.  And he’s not done.  ”I just want to do more.”  His appearance at the Spartan Race he hopes can draw attention to not only the team he loves, Team X-T.R.E.M.E. but to the work of Operation Ward 57 an organization he is closely connected to personally.  Known as “the amputee ward”, the orthopedic Ward 57 at WRAMC houses some of the most severely injured patients for weeks or even months and is a place that Sliwinski and his family have spent a great deal of time.   His plan until he’s old enough to join is to keep educating kids, raising money, and ultimately joining the Marines when he graduates high school.

Team X-T.R.E.M.E. member Todd Love says of Luke, “Luke has been with me since the beginning of my recovery. He is one of heroes, and we stay in touch with each other. I see him as a little brother but he full of what this country needs more of.”

When asked about how he feels about his heroes of Team X he said, “They are the most amazing people.  What they do, how they treat people.  They just keep fighting, even injured… Freedom isn’t free.”  And of his sandbag carry in Virginia he admits it was his biggest test of the day, the toughest obstacle for him to complete.  ”If they could do it, I didn’t want to let them down.  I didn’t want to take the easy way out.”

Spartan Race offers Kid’s Heats at every US Domestic Event.  Find one near you by clicking HERE and get you and your kids ages 4 – 13 signed up!  Proceeds to to benefit the Kids Fit Foundation

Find Luke Sliwinski on FB HERE.  To find out more about Team X-T.R.E.M.E. click HERE.

To find out more about the Young Marines Program, click HERE.

To find out more about Operation Ward 57, click HERE.


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WOD Fundamentals:  Beginner Friendly

by Andi Hardy

Elite Obstacle Racer, Spartan Champion Indiana, New York & Montreal


Even the longest journey must begin where you stand.



So, you’re new to Spartan Race.  You’ve never done anything like it.  You’re not sure what to expect or how exactly to prepare? You may have checked out the Spartan Workouts of the Day (WOD), but found them too intimidating to even begin.

The purpose of this blog is to let you know that whatever your current athletic abilities are, you can utilize the Spartan WODs effectively to finish your first Spartan Race.  They are always written with the beginner in mind, regardless of how intense they look.  I was able to go from complete Newbie to winning Spartan Races by simply following the Spartan WODs as best as I could.

It wasn’t so very long ago that I was in your shoes. In fact, it was less than 12 months ago that I signed up for my first Spartan Race, a Sprint, near my home in Atlanta. I wasn’t a runner, I wasn’t a Cross-fitter, I wasn’t really much of an athlete at the time. I had just completed my first ever 3-mile mud run after only running three miles/day for two weeks. Seriously, I had NOT trained for it and I completed it. I loved it so much; I wanted to do another, but a more challenging obstacle course race.

Spartan Race was the buzz of the mud run, so when I got to my iPhone I googled it right away. “I’ve got to try this one,” I thought to myself. I signed up the next day for the next race in my area.  It was four and half months away. I would NOT be able to not train and finish a Spartan Race.  So throughout the next few months I studied the Spartan Race website, watched race videos, followed the Facebook posts and pictures, and most importantly, signed up for the Spartan WOD.

Could I complete the WODs when I started training?   Nope.  I had to scale the workouts down to my level.  I would try and do all the components of the workout, and do them in order, but I would adjust the repetitions and sets so that I could ‘do’ the WOD to the best of my abilities.

Spartan WOD

Andi’s (as Newbie) WOD

1 Mile Warm up Jog 5 minute warm up jog or 2-3 minute jump rope
Main Set (repeat 3-8 times) Main Set (repeat 2 – 6 times)
400 Meters hard run then 30 burpees 200 meters hard run then 15 burpees
1-2 minutes recover 1-2 minutes recover
30 burpees, then 400 meter hard run 15 burpees, then 200 meter hard run
1-2 minutes recover 1-2 minutes recover
10 minute cool down jog and stretch 5-10 minute cool down walk/jog and stretch for at least 10 additional minutes


By attempting the WODs every day I grew stronger and more confident. The variety of workouts helped prepare me by working different muscles and getting me to do different tasks that I would not have otherwise considered part of training.

Still asking, “Can I do this?” No fears, my friend. You don’t have to be super competitive or in ultra-shape to complete a Spartan Race. What you do have to have is a sense of adventure, a desire to get a little dirty, and a mindset to have a lot of fun.

The first step is to simply sign up. Spartan Race has so many races, there is bound to be one near you. And if not, why not take a little trip, it’ll be worth it. Sign up then the rest will fall in place. By signing up, you will have the most important goal set and something to look forward to.  You can the circle and star it on your calendar or start making travel plans, but also you can start making and implementing training plans.

So maybe your goal is to just finish the Spartan Race. Perhaps your goal is to compete the whole race without walking. Or possibly you want to place top 10 in your age division or in your heat. Whatever it is, set your goal, it will help you to prepare for YOUR race. Once you know what you expect from yourself, you can then work toward meeting that expectation with your training. Use the Spartan WOD to help you prepare. You don’t have to do every burpee, or every mile. Modify the WOD to fit your goals and what feels best for you. You won’t regret trying a Spartan Race. It will remain one of your favorite memories for life. Who knows? You might even find yourself signing up for the next one that very day.


Register now for a Spartan Race near you.

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by Carrie Adams

When Team X-T.R.E.M.E. approached the start line, dramatically proceeded by a bagpiper, and followed by members of their community, the crowd couldn’t help but be captivated by the scene.   They moved as a unit almost indecipherable in identity when donning their masks and kits.  With the rest of the festival spectators I watched them silently, and as they filed past me I glanced down and noticed arm patches with a single word on each, a “call sign” derived from the 14 leadership traits that designate the embodiment and symbolism of the mission to that indoctrinated team member.  They are worn by each athlete during the events.  As they passed I saw Endurance, Sacrifice, Vigilance, Honor, and Courage and then, Justice...  I paused when I saw the word.  Powerful and dignified, I was curious to know who had chosen that designation and for what purpose.

Earlier in the week I asked Team X founder Jeremy Soles about the patches.  He explained, “We each wear a name tape indicating our “call sign” on the shoulder of our uniforms.”  He went on to describe how the wounded athletes and the rest of the team are identified.  “In the mask, our Warriors Athletes are always identified as “Sacrifice”.  Out of the mask they are the only ones that we allow to reveal their identity publicly.”

The athletes that support the mission are always kept secret, staging and donning their masks and also de-masking in a private location.  Soles says, “This is keeping with the intent of the focus being on the wounded warrior and their empowerment instead of us as able body athletes.  In the mask we are all a collective, living, and breathing representation of each of these leadership traits.”

When the masks came off and the team entered the festival grounds I was finally able to see the faces of the team members.  Who we’d only known as “Justice” was at the back of the group, the 31 year old veteran of two deployments to OIF in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps was not only physically capable, mentally tough, and committed to the mission, but, I saw for the first time that Team X-T.R.E.M.E. member “Justice” also happens to be female.  The only female that ran with the Team in Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography

Justice, whose real name will be withheld out of respect for the anonymity of the team and the commitment to their focus on their wounded comrades, has been a member of Team X since January when she went through the INDOC process.  She was asked to join after 48 grueling hours of physical and psychological testing.  The INDOC testing phase was the third and final stage of Team X-T.R.E.M.E.’s intense indoctrination process.  The first step Justice underwent was the submission of a two minute video.  Upon acceptance of the initial video submission there is an invitation to join the athlete community to show a candidate’s dedication to the organization by raising money and awareness.  If proven in the community, the candidates are invited to participate in the Richmond, VA 48 hour test.  The most recent INDOC with seven candidates actually resulted in no new team member invitations, a nod to the difficulty and exclusivity of the process.

Justice not only succeeded, she excelled, and has been a remarkable addition to the team.  For her first Team X event and weighing in at just over 120 pounds she carried 45% of her body weight for 26.2 miles through the New Mexico high desert while wearing a gas mask at the 2012 Bataan Death March.  At the Spartan Race in Leesburg she carried almost 90% of her body weight with wounded warrior athlete USMC Cpl. Todd Love on her back throughout the course rotating with the rest of the male-based team every half mile.  Not once did she miss her turn to carry the weight, not once did she falter or complain.

Justice isn’t a stranger to hard work.  After seeing part of an OCS exercise while interning for a government official, the South Carolina native knew that the Marines was the place for her.  And after joining the summer after 9/11 she ultimately would serve two deployments as a marine officer.  Her first deployment in 2004 was as an Air Support Control Officer near Ramadi, Iraq (Al Anbar province). Her job was to coordinate and direct fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft for troops in contact (air support) and MEDEVACs/CASEVACs.  Her second deployment was in 2006 to Al Qa’im, Iraq, near the Syrian border where she served as an Air Support Element Officer-in-Charge in support of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.

“It does not make physiological sense how she does it, how she endures…  that is why she is perfect for the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. mission,” says Soles.  “Her actions defy conscious logic and her power source is passion for her wounded brethren.”

When asked about the Spartan Race in Leesburg, VA and the incredible performance of the collective team she said, “You don’t think about it you just do it.  We had the equipment and we had each other.  There was never a point where we couldn’t get it done.  Time wasn’t a consideration, it was completion.  We completed our mission.”

In choosing her call sign, Justice stood out in her mind because of the veterans from past and current generations who haven’t seen the justice she believes they have deserved.  “So many wounded Veterans from so many generations haven’t seen justice to the extent we wish we could have provided them when they came home.”  She goes on to say, “That one we need to keep in the front of our minds; getting them the support that they deserve and are taken care of by a grateful nation.”

She says she was aware of the impact the team had on the crowds as they passed, but that it was emotional on many levels. “There were points where I was more aware of it than other times.” She paused, “When Todd climbed up the hill… and with everyone around the start and finish.  Hearing the cheering, the kids waving at us, people watching us pass by…  that by itself was exciting and motivating.  I wish I could take it all in, but it was almost sensory overload.”

Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography

Justice will be back in the mask in a couple weeks at the Heartbreak Ridge half marathon at Camp Pendleton.   Her day job keeps her on the move as well so she strives for balance as she supports the team and the wounded warrior athletes.  Married to a former Naval officer, she stays active in her off time and is humble about what she’s done and will continue to do with her dedication to the mission of the Team.

Soles sums it up best when speaking of Justice, “Like the rest of the team, when pain veils itself over her, it is then that she finds the core of our mission and endures with one intent:  To honor the sacrifice of wounded warriors and to set a precedent that will be contagious to all who bear witness. ”

Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography

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WOD for Tuesday, 8.28.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call

Beginner Cycles: Should ideally have zero rest between exercises and a maximum of 2 mins rest between sets. For each exercise shoot for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute of continuous movement per exercise without stopping. 3 Sets minimum

Advanced cycles: should also have zero rest between exercises and a maximum of 1 min rest between sets. For each exercise shoot for at least 1 minute to 90 seconds of continuous movement per exercise without stopping. Shoot for 5 sets.


1) Duel High-Dumbbell Pushups: I’ve used these for years, and incorporated the single high dumbbell pushup into Spartan workouts before, but now it’s time to step it up. Here’s how to use two dumbbells to turn a simple polymetric pushup into an obstacle course for the upper body.

Keep in mind that no matter who you are, or how good of shape you’re in, these are extremely taxing and simply cannot be maintained for too long. It takes a highly trained athlete an incredible amount of energy to perfectly execute ten of these bad boys.

Now, a single high dumbbell pushup is where you take one and flip it on its side so it’s tall. Then with one hand on the ground and one hand up on top of it, do a pushup and then explode with power propelling the upper body over the dumbbell so that the opposite hand is now on top. Ok, now, this will take some situating but once you get it right the first time you can eyeball it.

Set up the other dumbbell about a foot and a half to either side. It should be perfectly level and even, not staggered. Additionally, these should be heavier weights that are stable, not light and easily tipped.

I’m sure you can already see where this is going. In all, there will be a sequence of three movements. Let’s say you start with your left hand up on the first one, with your body and right hand to the right side of the dumbbell. The first movement switches you to the other side so the right hand is on the dumbbell, and the left is now on the ground. The second movement is where you switch hands so you’re in the starting position between the two. Do the first movement with the other dumbbell and all without pausing. 1, 2, 3, so that you end up on the far left of the second dumbbell with your right hand on top. Hardcore Spartan Style!


2) One Leg Curl to Press: Now that the blood is definitely pumping, let’s add some variation and use different mechanics. Grab the dumbbells and begin to do alternating dumbbell curls to presses, but make sure that you’re only on one leg. To really get knee deep in the brain training, make sure that the leg going up and the arm going up are always on opposite sides of the body.

If you’re looking for even more work, use only one dumbbell at a time instead of two that are evening out the weight distribution. So if you’re standing on your right leg with the left being held high, then you should be doing the dumbbell curls and presses with the right arm. This is making it much harder for the central nervous system to navigate through the awkwardness of the exercise with so many muscles involved simultaneously.

Keep focused on the fact that you’re purposely challenging your core and your internal base of support by manipulating the direction of force, so make it tough! Just make sure you’re not ignoring any alarm bells originating from the ankles.


3) Reverse Lung & One Arm Snatch: Ok, once again we’re going to completely change up what the body is doing, but keeping it things in a full body groove. This is more brain training, so focus on the pelvis, spine, and obliques. If you decided to do the dumbbell presses with just one dumbbell, then you can go smoothly right into these. 

With these it’s best to split the time under tension in half to split the work evenly to both sides of the body.

These help with all kinds of obstacles, and situations where quick ducking, grabbing, and internal balance mechanisms are responsible for gaining or losing precious time.

With a dumbbell in one hand, say the right, step back with the right leg into a reverse lunge. As you do, lower the arm with the dumbbell down towards the ground parallel with the other foot. Don’t let it touch, and don’t lean too forward. Your head and eyes should stay up, not pointing towards the ground. This is where you really need to use the mind to make sure every part of the kinetic chain is supported, especially the lower back.

Instead of standing up, do a one arm snatch with the dumbbell to get back to starting position. Let me stress, there is no reason to use heavy weight when incorporating a lunge, in fact, it’s downright dangerous. Whether advanced or a beginner, the weight should only be light to moderate.

Finally, just because the weight isn’t what it would be in a real snatch, doesn’t mean you should pop your shoulders out of their sockets rocketing these things up. Remember, Spartan training is progressive, determined, and always mindful of form.


4) 10-20 Five Count Pushups w/ Row: Being a Spartan means elevating all the traditional exercises into something far more taxing. Most people use the gym to train for everyday life. These pushups are what build the strength to carve the upper body into a metabolic machine.

These pushups are done with the hands on your dumbbells. The eccentric count is three, the fourth count should be popping up, and the fifth happens at the climax when you lift one dumbbell for a row. Of course on each rep switch the hand that does the row. I included the numbers 10 and 20 just as a rough outline. Everyone is going to handle these differently, so as long as you make the work count and don’t let the body collapse to the ground, or stick your butt as high into the air as possible, you’re still working.

Beginners should shoot for about ten without stopping, and advanced twenty, but it’s the time under tension that’s the most important. These are not only about the chest, but the forearms, shoulders, core, and upper back as well. Make the rows clean, not jerky. Bring them to their height around the arm pit and feel the shoulder blade move.


5) Treadmill Farmer Walks: To end each set grab your dumbbells and head to the nearest treadmill. First of all, there will be zero running. If you’ve been following the W-T-R then your body thinks you’ve been doing cardio the entire set so far anyway. No, this is basically walking the treadmill at a moderate but comfortable pace on random hill mode. Everyone should set the time to exactly six minutes.

With most treadmills this is enough time to get into some of that hill mode, following a two to three minute warm up period. Most machines will have somewhere to set the dumbbells, if there isn’t one, well, that means no setting them down then! Either way, what you’re shooting for is one minute intervals of walking up hills carrying the dumbbells.

Even if you’re only using 15lb weights, that’s an extra 30lbs of body weight. It will cause you’re heart to speed up almost instantly, as though you were running. When the arms and shoulders begin to get tired, just curl them up and set them on your shoulders. Do whatever you have to do, but stay on that treadmill and add that extra weight for at least three of the six minutes.


Keep Going!


James Villepigue & Hobie Call


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