Spartan WOD for Thursday, 11.1.12

by Carrie Adams

This too shall pass.

- King Solomon

Nothing is stronger than the human spirit.  Hurricane Sandy is still on the move after ravaging New York and New Jersey leaving record-breaking damage in its wake.  Our thoughts at HQ are with everyone who has been and will b affected by this super storm.  There is a long journey of rebuilding and recovery ahead, and so many of our Spartans are left without power and without the chance to get outside or to the gym, there is still a way to get in your workouts. Let’s go back to basics.  Let’s plank.

1 – 3 minutes of plank every hour on the hour of your waking hours for 24 hours


If you wake up at 8 AM and go to sleep at 11PM and plank for two minutes every hour, you’ll end up with 30 minutes of planking on the day!

Stay strong, Spartans!

If this is your first planking day and you are a woman, you probably need to check out our Spartan Chicked Facebook Page.

Check out our August:  Drop Everything and Plank Day.

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by Carrie Adams

Robert Duyos /Sun-Sentinel 

Even as Hurricane Sandy continues her rampage, the damage already done is staggering.  Forty deaths are being attributed to Sandy in the US, but 108 are reported dead as far south as Haiti and as far North as Canada.  Hundreds are being evacuated from New Jersey, the shore is devastated, almost seven million are still left without power in 15 states, and transportation has come to a standstill.  The Holland tunnel is still flooded, La Guardia, one of the busiest airports on the planet remains closed.   The people of the east coast are suffering and at HQ, we recognize that the immediate need of the people of New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas, not to mention the rest of the coast and as far inland as Wisconsin who are feeling the effects of the super storm.

In light of that, Spartan Race HQ has made the official determination that we will not be holding our Times Square Demonstration event November 1st as scheduled, rather, we will have a “Super Storm rain check” and hold the demonstration at a later date when New York is well on its way to recovery from the devastation.

Spartans are resilient, and we have a storied history with hurricanes and overcoming obstacles, but the decision to continue in light of the circumstances would not put the safety of the citizens of New York and the participants of the challenge at the forefront and that is unacceptable.  Furthermore, to detract media attention from so many people in need would not be in the Spartan code.

We look forward to announcing a new date in the near future but we want to help the situation NOW.

Photo from

How we and YOU can help:

The Spartan Code avows, “Spartans Give Generously” and with so many of our staff,  fellow Spartans, and friends affected and so many Spartans worldwide wanting to help we’ll be directing donations to the Red Cross to ease the suffering and lend a Spartan hand.  It’s easy to donate, simply click HERE or you can Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

According to the Red Cross, blood donations are needed.  PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.  To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health.

Every little bit helps and the most important thing we can promote right now at HQ is the safety and security of all those, up to 60 million who have been and continue to be in the line of Sandy’s fire.

More details on an upcoming “Super Storm rain check” date coming soon.

To the people waiting out the storm, picking up the pieces of the aftermath, or still waiting in harm’s way, we’re thinking of you at Spartan HQ, and with operations out of Boston and Killington, VT we’re also weathering the storm by your side.

Stay strong and safe, Sparta.

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Spartan WOD for Wednesday, 10.31.12

By Jason Jaksetic


Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.

—Bernie Williams


 Rating 1-5:   Strength:  4  Endurance:  4  Speed:  2

To all those affected by Sandy: hang in there, stay strong!   If able, lend a hand to a Spartan in need.  Please utilize the comments section to reach out if you could use a training buddy to help with some downed trees or debris.

This Spartan WOD is for any and everyone who wants to get back the core elements of fitness.  Nothing fancy.  No gyms.  No electricity needed—just raw human power.

Remember, there is opportunity in every set back.  Every time you loose something, you gain something.  When the electric grid is down, take advantage of some found time to power yourself up!

Power-Out Power-up

Perform for time

Burpees performed in sets of:



Mountain climbers in sets of:



Jumping lunges in sets of:



Burpees performed in sets of:



Notes:  Keep recovery between sets minimal.

It is perfectly OK if you reach failure at any point.  Simply recover and move onto the next exercise.

Beginners:  plan on doing sets of 1-2-3-4 for each exercise.  It’s important for you to realize that it is OK if you can’t complete a Spartan WOD.  We make them for advanced athletes, but they are designed in such a way as to be scalable as to allow anyone to do what they can.

There is little that you can’t accomplish in fitness with burpees, jumping lunges, and mountain climbers.


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Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 10.30.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS


In last week’s WOD we set the tone for the next month of progressive and periodized obstacle course training. This WOD is going to add a degree of intensity in a few ways. Here is what last week looked like:

Week 1 Periodized WOD

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Lower Body Agility Exercise x 5
1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Alternating Split Squats w/ Jump x 10
1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Burpees to Tuck Jumps x 12
1 min rest

- Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Full-Body Agility Square x 5
2 min rest

The wise would take the experimental knowledge they have of last week, employ some determined visualization techniques, and produce serious gains.

Try to do all the WODs in the same place, because this will make visualization more powerful. See yourself running farther and enjoying the endorphins; see yourself demonstrating catlike agility across the field; smell the grass in the full-body drills, and feel how high you go with the tuck jumps and split squats. It works wonders.

Here is what this week’s WOD looks like:

Week 2 Periodized WOD

-  Jog 1 Half Mile
Lower Body Agility Exercise x 7
1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Alternating Split Squats w/ Jump x 12
1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Half Mile
2 Pushups + Burpees to Tuck Jumps x 15
1 min rest

-  Jog 1 Quarter Mile
Full-Body Agility Square x 8
1 Min Rest


-1 min rest
+1/2 Mile
+7 Reps to Agility Drills
+30 Pushups


It may not sound like a big leap, but metabolically your nervous system will notice it. Furthermore, those changes will increase next week, and they may not be the same. Next week the increases will be a bit different, and throw a new variable in the mix – time.

The exercises are the same, but to be thorough I’m going to list and briefly go over them.

Let’s Do This…


Altogether this week it’s one and a half miles. Jogging and cardiovascular endurance is the mana of the fitness gods. However, what we’re teaching your body to do is handle the physicality of it, the mental work is your job – pace yourself.

You’ll know you’re getting addicted once you’re brain begin to drift off into thinking about something other than jogging. At this point the exercise has become mechanized by your body, and it just comes down to how much energy you have to spare.

The jogging regimen we have you on doesn’t require packing in tons of carbs, or loading. Just make sure you have enough fat and carbs in your diet to facilitate a steady amount of jogging.

Lower Body Agility Drills

The exercises in these WODs are all agility based, but the drills are especially effective. Why do so few people use them? The health industry can speak for the countless bounty that’s spent every year on avoidable joint, tendon, and ligament injuries.

All too often people see athletes doing these on commercials and assume it has to do with their performance. It does, if we actually got to talk to these competitors, it also has a fair amount to do with Injuries.

Set up your rectangle, get to work, and take it seriously, because it could very easily be saving you from serious injuries.

Alternating Split Squats with Jump

The reasons these burn so deeply after so short of an amount of time is because they coagulate power based movements with endurance enhancing stability work.

The higher you jump, the harder you push, the more your entire musculature has to perform a mid air dance to keep you positioned to come back down smoothly and dip into lunge position without falling over.

Take a second or two to make sure you’re stationed correctly, and then set up. Stay controlled, and don’t give in to those adrenaline rushes that may creep up and try to send you into orbit.

Pushup Burpees to Tuck Jump

So basically we’re adding two pushups which you will perform after going down into the burpee, and before coming back up fluidly to execute a pristine tuck jump.

It’s not only going to warm up your chest, shoulders, and upper back before the full-body agility drills, but will increase the amount of calories burned as well. We’ll be adding more pushups throughout the next few weeks, so make sure you’re getting adequate recovery time after your WODS.


Full-Body Agility Drills

By the end of the month these will feel as natural as walking on two legs. The point is to tell your central nervous system that you require a new adaptation that requires you to be as nimble on your toes and fingertips and your feet.

Again, let me stress that you must pay special attention to your wrist joints, and shoulders. If anything starts to hurt, like perhaps a rotator cuff, then ease up a bit. For the first two weeks the most important thing as you crawl along the ground, is form.

Hang Tough & Keep Going!

James Villepigue


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by Carrie Adams

As we keep our eyes on the East Coast and the escalating Hurricane threat from the Super Storm Sandy, Spartan Race has gotten word that a familiar face will be joining the still-scheduled Thursday Times Square Demonstration Challenge, former New York Giant Tiki Barber!  He’ll be taking on the course alongside some of New York’s toughest Spartans!   The event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Street), in Manhattan which will also be focused on raising funds for the Red Cross and disaster relief due to Hurricane Sandy.

Tiki Barber was a NFL Running Back who played 10 seasons for the New York Football Giants. He was drafted out of the University of Virginia by the G-Men in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Barber was initially drafted to be a 3rd down “change of pace” back but had a break-out year in 1999 when he exploded for 1639 all-purpose yards. Barber never looked back as he ran for over 1,000 yards in 6 of his last 7 seasons. Over that span Barber was a 3-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection while helping lead the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV in 2001. Barber rushed for 1,662 yards and five touchdowns in 2006 making him the only RB to have their final season be the biggest rushing season of their career.

Tiki retired after his 2006 campaign as the all-time leading rusher for the Giants. His 10,449 rushing yards places him in the prestigious 10,000 yards club. He became the third player in NFL history to gain more than 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards in a NFL career, joining Marshall Faulk and Marcus Allen.

After retiring from football, Tiki enjoyed a career in media broadcasting becoming a correspondent for NBC’s Today Show, an analyst for Football Night in America/Sunday Night Football as well as a broadcaster during the 2008 Summer Olympics on MSNBC.

Born on April 7, 1975 in Roanoke, Virginia he is the brother of the NFL player Ronde Barber.

We look forward to welcoming Tiki Barber to Spartan Nation!


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by Carrie Adams

I remember getting a phone call from Joe Desena that the Amesbury permit had been pulled from our Sunday heats for the 2011 Spartan Sprint Race.  I panicked.  It couldn’t have come at a worse time.  It was our first two-day event in Spartan’s race history and now we didn’t have the opportunity to hold our second day of heats.  We were devastated.  Of course, true to form, Joe D had a plan.

“Tell them to come early Saturday morning.” said Desena.

“Who?” I asked.

“All the people in the Sunday heats.  I’ll take them out and we’ll do the course my way.” And then he hung up before I could ask what that meant.

And just like that, the Hurricane Heatwas born.  With some last minute scrambling and coordination between staff on the ground and staff at HQ, I emailed the entire roster of Sunday racers offering them the chance to run with us early Saturday morning.  Not knowing what would happen next, we all held our breath wondering if anyone would come.  And come they did.  Saturday morning, over 150 of would-be Sunday Spartans showed up to get put through their paces by Joe and other Spartan staffers in what would become a Spartan Race tradition.  They formed into teams, gathered up sandbags, and set off to spend nearly three hours on the Spartan course before the Saturday crowds.

The Original Hurricane Heat Amesbury 2011

Two of those racers were Jennifer Sullivan and Danny Allen.  Sullivan is now a full-time Spartan employee but they have both been a part of our community as well as two of the founding members of the Storm Chasers since that fateful morning.  And from that day in August of 2011 Jennifer and Danny went from strangers, to friends, and then on August 23, 2012 they became husband and wife.

At Spartan Race HQ, we are a tight knit family.  Despite our growth, we’re still a pretty small shop and we’d like to wish a warm and loving “Congratulations” to Jennifer and Danny.   They aren’t the first marriage as a result of Spartan Race, but they’re certainly very special and we are thrilled with their good news.  It’s only fitting that it began in the midst of a hurricane.  That’s the Spartan version of a fairy tale.   Congratulations, Jennifer and Danny.  We love you both very much, wish you all the best, and are thankful to be a part of your story.

Our Spartan Wedding

by Jennifer Sullivan

We can thank Irene.

Unknowingly, Danny (my now husband) and I both signed up to run the Sunday, Spartan Race Sprint in Amesbury, MA in August 2011. However, due to Hurricane Irene’s predicated landfall, the State of Massachusetts shut down the race venue. Thankfully Spartan Race (With a special Thank You to Carrie & Tommy) was able to create a new heat, based off of teamwork, which was to take place before the storm: the Hurricane Heat. That heat changed my life.

Over the next few weeks, via Facebook and text, those strangers from my team became my friends. When Spartan Race offered us the

Storm Chasers in Chicago, 2011

opportunity to race in Illinois, we all jumped at it. Twenty-five of us from states across New England worked together to coordinate a road trip that would get us there. We decided to name our team the Storm Chasers, in tribute to that original Hurricane Heat (because we were following the ‘storm’).

It was on this road trip I first met Danny, well; I heard his voice over the walkie -talkie while we were all sharing ‘war’ stories. Danny was the crazy outgoing, totally over sharing guy from the road trip and I was the girl that showed up with a binder, itinerary, map, list of contact numbers and waivers pre-printed for everyone…in his words, “a total dork”.

After this trip our team became like a second family to both Danny and I. During the next year many of us from the team would go out together, run races or just hang out. Eventually Danny asked me out… well more like eventually he got me to say yes to a date. He drove from Connecticut to New Hampshire to take me to dinner; and to be honest; it was the worst date ever.

We both ended up telling our friends how badly the date went. I may even have dodged a few phone calls in the aftermath of the terrible – awful – really bad date. Thankfully, we had some history with the Storm Chasers and we were able to stay friends, and even got to hang out a few more times with the team. At this point most of Danny’s time was spent in a pineapple under the sea… aka out in a Submarine. My time was spent convincing Spartan Race to hire me, which entailed me being on my computer for hours on end. This gave Danny and I plenty of time to spend emailing and chatting on the phone (when he was out of the pineapple), thank god for technology!

Around Christmas, Danny invited me to the Navy’s Submarine Ball down in Connecticut.  This was a really big deal; people bought crazy fancy dresses, got all dolled up and it sounded… well terrifying to me. I’m an introvert and Danny, well extrovert almost covers it – ask someone who knows him or come to a Hurricane Heat and hear him. He will be the one in the middle yelling out the Warrior Ethos…But anyway, that Navy Ball sounded terrifying and although I agreed to go, I ended up backing out. I think I may have used my new job with Spartan Race as an excuse (Don’t feel bad for him, he found a backup date and has yet to let me live it down!) His favorite way of introducing me to his Navy friends and co-workers is by saying, “this is my wife Jennifer, and she’s the one who ditched me at the ball last year.”

Shortly after the ball Danny left on an underway (fancy Navy jargon for riding around in a submarine practicing secret squirrel stuff). During this time we emailed daily, actually multiple times a day, and I started realizing that he might be the one for me. The more we wrote, the more I found we had in common outside of Spartan Race. Even more exciting than that, I found that he challenged me to think about things in a way I had never really done before.

Now, I only had one more time to see Danny before he left on another underway lasting almost two months (these are a big part of his job and something that I am still learning to deal with). We went on an amazing date to a NASCAR race with some fellow Storm Chasers. We were able to walk around and talk, which was something we hadn’t really had a chance to do alone or in person for quite a while. We started talking about having a life together and our ideas about the future and I realized he felt pretty much the same way I felt about him: he loved me too. I guess this was obvious to everyone else in the (Spartan) world, but I tend to be a little oblivious to this type of thing. The first time I realized the extent of how he felt was when we told his brother we had eloped and his response was, “Jeez Danny it took you long enough, you’ve been talking about her forever”.

Over the last year Danny had become my best friend, the person whom I would turn to when I had a bad day, and the one person I could see spending the rest of my life with. Two months later, on the day he got home, we were able to video chat online and I asked him to marry me.   He said “yes!” and we decided to elope the week after Spartan Race returned to Massachusetts, in August 2012.

On August 23, 2012 Danny & I were married. We only told two of our closest friends and teammates and asked them to join us on our trip to the Virginia Spartan Super which was also our Honeymoon. We then decided to wait until the October South Carolina Beast to tell our families. After completing the Beast with my Dad, Brother and Danny we went back to the hotel, and before anyone even took showers we announced it: “Mom- Dad… Danny and I eloped!”

~ Nothing worth having in life is easy to come by ~

Ms. Jennifer Sullivan & Mr. Danny Allen

Storm Chasers

We also want to thank all the friends and family who helped us get to where we are today. Whether you were part of the Spartan Race team (Carrie, Tommy, Joe) that helped get the HH to happen, Storm Chasers who helped us meet, or our families who supported us and continue to support us – You are all part of our lives and we are thankful to have you.

[Editor's Note: As we see the East Coast yet AGAIN staring down a hurricane with Sandy, we would like to wish everyone a safe week as it bears down the seaboard.  Stay safe, Spartans!]

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by Carrie Adams

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the entirety of the East Coast and already effecting 50 million people, at Spartan Race HQ, we’re paying attention.  In New York, Sandy is flooding Battery Park, leading to mass evacuations, and excessive storm surge threatening to run rampant in lower Manhattan at high tide tonight.  As New Yorkers are preparing for power outages and possible food shortages Spartan Race is preparing to put on our first public demonstration of Spartan Race in Times Square Thursday, November 1st from 11AM – 2PM.

With billions of dollars of damage possible, markets closed, and schools and businesses on hold,  Hurricane Sandy, a Category 1 Hurricane being dubbed a “Super Storm” is proving to be a formidable weather event for the heart of the East Coast.  And Spartan is no stranger to Hurricanes.  It’s how our infamous Hurricane Heat was born and it nearly destroyed our Headquarters and town of Pittsfield, VT, not to mention the home of our new HQ presence in Boston, MA.

Amesbury 2011 Hurricane Heat

Our experience with hurricanes is storied.  When news of the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene began to circulate in the summer of 2011, Spartan HQ worked diligently to keep race doors open for the weekend of our first ever two-day event at that time in Amesbury, MA.  When the State of Massachusetts shut down the site and the venue for Sunday’s August 28, 2011 day of racing, and declared a state of emergency we were forced to cancel the heats.  Amidst the disappointed racers and staffers, no one was more upset than our own owner, Joe DeSena and the crews, course designers, and builders ready to race in Amesbury.

Plans for possible Sunday heats evaporated when we were notified that streets would be shut down and the Sunday permit would no longer be valid.  A new plan was necessary.  Phone calls, site visits, and last minute adjustments were made and SR staffers managed to negotiate an alternative for a few Spartan athletes brave enough to take on the challenge.  By noon on Friday, an invitation went out to all Sunday racers giving them the chance to try Spartan’s course with a unique twist.  An early morning run through the course led by some of the Founders of Spartan Race.  And just like that, Running with the Founders: The Hurricane Heat was born and has thrived ever since.

Hurricane Irene then descended on the East coast and ravaged Spartan HQ in Pittsfield, VT and nearby Killington, VT where the Spartan Race World Championship Beast and Ultra Beast race was held in September 2012.  The towns became islands, stranding the people who ultimately were helped by the Air National Guard, (one of Spartan’s partner sponsors) who assisted 14 other towns in the same stranded circumstances that were they were airlifted supplies and supplied necessities as the roads were being repaired to allow access into the battered towns.

K-1 Baselodge In Killington 2011, Post Hurricane Irene
It has since been repaired

As you can see, the lodge at K1, where a thousand Spartans earned their green medal, collapsed due to the effects of Hurricane Irene.  The Pickel Barrel, where hundreds of athletes gathered with their turkey legs and celebrated their completion of the BEAST, has suffered flooding. The bridges up and down Route 100 have collapsed, making it impossible to travel through the heart of the Green Mountains, by car or by foot. In fact, Pittsfield has become an island because of the destroyed bridges, entering and exiting the town line.  The destruction of the bridges in Pittsfield has made the town unreachable, for there is absolutely no way to get in or out, except by helicopter!  In fact, one of these collapsed bridges was located just outside of our office.

Vermont and our HQ hunkered down and rebuilt, though effects from the storm were still visible at our 2012 Beast and Ultra Beast event.

The New York Times had some good news early Monday morning about Times Square, saying: “…even an impending monster storm like Hurricane Sandy has not kept the tourists away from Times Square. In a post, one of its reporters says, “The approach of Hurricane Sandy may have shut down Broadway theaters on Sunday night, but it did not blow all of the tourists out of Times Square.

Late into the evening, hundreds of people milled about in the cool, fresh air, bathed in the glow of electronic signs and giant TV screens.”

It will be a rough few days for the East Coast and Spartan Race wishes all residents and visitors to the East Coast a safe week with the impending storm and storm surge.  We are vigilantly watching the “Super storm” at HQ for all those in the path and hope to be out en mass in Times Square on Thursday as scheduled to bring some Spartan spirit to the people of New York.  Our entire organization has been trained in Hurricane event management over the last two years, Sandy will be no different

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Spartan WOD for Monday, 10.29.12

by Jason Jaksetic


All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.

—Ellen Glasgow


You could be heading straight off the overtraining cliff if you don’t have a reality check and let your body heal every once in awhile.  Keep these workouts stress free and fun.  Stay active, but just don’t push yourself.

Recovery Day

A few suggestions to try out:

Swim 20 minutes

Cycle 30 minutes

Run 15 minutes with your dog

At Spartan HQ you will see us training with dogs all the time.  When working your dog into your fitness routine here are a few things to consider:

-  Be regimented.  Give your dog the best chance at success.  For him, that will require regular practice.  You the owner must ​commit​ to this process.  This means daily work.

-  Keep your dog on a tight leash on your left side.  As you are running against traffic (as you always should), you can keep yourself between your dog and cars.  Start on light traffic roads.  Stick to ​trails​ if you can.  Do more time each day – gradual exposure to the noise and commotion of cars is needed.

-  Encourage your dog and praise your dog when it is focused on running.  Keep a sense of mission present at all times.  (You may find yourself thriving off this spirit, too.  Be the leader of the pack.  Dogs understand why you are running – it’s natural for them.)

​Be patient with your dog.  ​Just because you’ve had this idea to exercise a certain way at a certain time doesn’t mean your dog is completely on your same page right of the bat.

-  Keep your dog hydrated.  Before a workout bring him to his water dish.  (Use this as opportunity to drink a glass of water yourself!)



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Spartan WOD for Sunday, 10.28.12

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson


Trail Run

The more gnarly the trail, the stronger your core will get. Go after it. 3-10 miles of running. 30 burpees every 3 miles.


Want to really engage your core on a trail run?  Carry a log, stone, sandbag, etc.  The more irregular to carry the better!


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Spartan WOD for Saturday, 10.27.12

By Joe De Sena


Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.

—Ernest Shackleton


Spartan 100

100 meter sprint

10 push-ups

100 meter sprint

10 jumping lunges

10 meter sprint

10 pull-ups

100 meter sprint

10 burpees

100 meter sprint

10 bodyweight squats

100 meter sprint

30 crunches

(Repeat as needed)


A workout like this is going to not only sharpen your speed and power, it will also educate your endurance if you keep all breaks between sprints and exercises to a minimal.  This workout emulates the intensity one would have to demonstrate to be competitive in a Spartan Sprint.  This workout will also help prepare your body to be able to transition from running to exercise, and then back to running.

Another way to approach the workout is to perform the sprint and the exercise as a pair, and then rest for 1 to 2 minutes.  In this case, focus on making your sprint as fast as possible, and your reps explosive and precise.



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