bodybuilding.com how to series

How To Perform Push-ups Presented By: BodyBuilding.com

In order to become a better obstacle racer we need to continually push ourselves and focus on building all the muscles in our bodies. Remember In Spartan Race, you are testing not only your ability to run through a course but to conquer all the obstacles as well. This week we are focusing on our chest muscles and our triceps as we start working on the push-up exercise. The stronger we become overall, the easier the obstacles you face in a race will be. Perfecting the push-up will allow you to execute those chest-to-ground burpees, flawlessly. Hopefully, in building your strength up you will eventually develop obstacle immunity and no longer need to do burpees. To do that let’s take a look at what it takes to execute a proper push-up exercise.

push-up, push up, push-ups, push ups, pushup, pushups Remember by building our strength we are setting ourselves up to be more successful at completing all the obstacles a Spartan Race will throw your way, whether it be a 6′,7′, or 8′ foot wall, the Bucket Brigade, or even the rope climb. Working to develop an overall fitness plan is the first step to obstacle immunity. By incorporating push-ups into the training mix you will begin to develop your chest and triceps even further bringing you one step closer to a burpee free race. Now drop down and give me 30 clean push-ups and get after it Spartan! AROO!!!

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bodybuilding.com how to seriesHow To Perform Dips Presented By: BodyBuilding.com 

Obstacle Race training requires more than just running ability. It requires a well balanced amount of upper body strength as well. Continuing to build up our repertoire of exercises that can be used in building the muscles necessary to complete obstacles, today we will learn the proper form for dips. By working on a variety of exercises we become stronger, and as we become stronger a majority of the obstacles will inherently become easier. Having trouble pushing yourself up and over the wall climbs? Do your arms get tired while crawling through the barbed wire? Performing dips is a fantastic way to develop your tricep muscles and help you to conquer these obstacles.

Bodybuilding.com How to Perform Dips Spartan Race

Whichever obstacle it is that gets the best of you, know that by working on building the strength to complete them is half the battle. The other half is practice. Incorporate dips into your everyday training and soon enough you’ll develop what we like to call “obstacle immunity.” Once you develop “obstacle immunity” any obstacle you face whether it be in a Spartan Race or in your everyday life, will become easier. Things will begin to just work and you’ll no longer fear the unknown. It’s not that they’ll just become easier, it’s more that you’ll become better at handling them. Work hard enough and you just might earn yourself a burpee free race. So get to work, do some dips, and we’ll see you at the finish line. Get after it Spartan! AROO!!!

 

 

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bodybuilding.com how to seriesHow-To Perform a Pull-Up Presented By: BodyBuilding.com

When training for the many obstacles that present themselves at a Spartan Race there are a myriad of exercises that can help you to overcome them. Today we will be looking at the Pull-Up, a commonly difficult exercise that proves extraordinarily crucial in developing obstacle immunity. Working at building the proper muscles for each obstacle will help you in achieving a burpee free race! If you find it difficult to climb over the six, seven, or eight foot falls, or perhaps the Hercules Hoist is just too darn heavy to hoist to the top, it’s time to start doing more pull-ups.

pull-up exercise how to bodybuilding.com spartan race obstacle immunity

The pull-up exercise will help you to develop your back and arm muscles, specifically your latissimus dorsi, biceps and shoulder muscles. These muscles in turn will help you to conquer not only the wall climbs and the Hercules Hoist, but also the monkey bars, the traverse wall, the rope climb, the tire drag, the sandbag, Atlas, and bucket carries, as well as the slippery wall. As you can tell the pull-up and the muscles it focuses on strengthening are essential in conquering most of the obstacles at a Spartan Race.

bodybuilding.com muscle lats

The pull-up is just one of many exercises that will lead you to obstacle immunity. Get to work and incorporate pull-ups into your workout regimen. If you have trouble doing one, start off doing them assisted and work up from there. Your goal should be to continuously improve. Remember, always stay hungry and strive to do more in each set. Now get after it Spartan! AROO!! Click here to view video tutorial.

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If you’re from the PacNW then being a Spartan comes quite naturally, just have a look at these eight ways that you know you’re a PacNW Spartan:

1. Rain makes it better.

2. You have seen possible sightings of Sasquatch while training.

3. Chopping wood has always been a normal exercise activity.

PacNW Spartans fill hydration bladder with coffee

4. You have coffee in your hydration bladder.

5. Rocky beaches are preferred over the ones covered in sand.

6. You get anxious if you are not within two hours of a mountain.

7. It’s not a family vacation if you are not hiking or camping.

8. Regardless of the weather, the prettiest day of the year is when Spartan Race comes to town.

So whether or not you are from the PacNW sign up for Spartan Sprint coming to the PacNW August 2nd and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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40 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Run a Spartan Race
1. You hate adventure.
2. You dislike the feeling of excitement you get when you try something new.Women Spartan Race Tuxedo New York
3. You don’t enjoy challenging yourself.
4.Fitness is not important to you.
5. You don’t enjoy getting together with friends.
6. You want nothing to do with camaraderie or teamwork.
7. You despise the idea of being outside.
8. Seeing people having fun makes you angry.
9. You don’t appreciate or enjoy exhilarating scenery.
10. You would rather see a pre-installed computer desktop background of a mountain or forest than witness it in real life.
11. The idea of strengthening your social network makes you cringe.
12. Developing the trust and loyalty of another human is absurd to you.
13. You don’t like free beer.
14. You hate seeing chiseled men and fit women in tight clothing.
15. Free stuff like bananas, Clif Builder’s Bars, and Core Power Protein Drinks are not your thing.Reebok Spartan Race New York Tuxedo Rope Climb
16. You hate having memories to tell your children and grandchildren about.
17. You have no interest in seeing the view from the tops of mountains and hills.
18. You hate earning medals and accomplishing tasks.
19. The idea of satisfaction makes you feel ill.
20. The idea of setting goals and seeing them through is stupid to you.
21. You have no desire to turn exercise into something fun and enjoyable.
22. Traveling and seeing the country/world is of no interest to you.
23. Experiencing life, culture and the sort is just not on your to-do list.
24. You prefer to have bathroom selfies over epic professional photos of yourself.
25. Free t-shirt is not in your vocabulary.
26. You don’t like helping others accomplish their goals.
27. You have no faith in mankind or the kindness of strangers.
28. You have no interest in learning new skills.
29. Party atmospheres with fun challenges is something you find boring
30. You don’t see anything inspiring in watching veterans with missing limbs conquer courses.
31. Watching folk with Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy and MS do the same thing is something that makes you yawn.Tuxedo New York Spartan Race Reebok Cargo Climb Obstacle 32. Watching the joy in children’s faces doing a kids race is something you find repulsive.
33. …and seeing their eyes light up when they receive a medal is just plain stupid.
34. You have no interest in helping charities.
35. You hate cheering strangers on. What is the point of that?
36. You’d rather not witness nature up close and see animals you’d never otherwise see.
37. You are allergic to all of or some of the following; mud, wind, sand, water, grass, fun.
38. You hate the sound of laughter and cheering.
39. Bumping into the occasional celebrity and grabbing a photo opportunity is boring.
40. You have nothing left to learn, as you know everything, so learning something new about yourself when your body is pushed is a complete waste of time.

If this is not the case, then we’ll see you at the finish line!

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How long does it take to walk your dog? Fifteen, twenty, maybe even thirty minutes? That’s more than enough time to squeeze a small work out in. Walk your dog more than once a day? Even better! You may have never thought about it but walking a dog is already great exercise. You’re outside. You’re moving. Enjoying the scenery. On it’s own it’s not a strenuous workout out by any means, it’s simply a walk. What if you could change that. Do something that turns said workout into something more. Guess, what? You can! Just follow these steps and turn your typical dog walk into a Spartan inspired dog walk! As we reported once before, dog walking is actually very good for you!

sandbag carry dog walk spartan race workout

Handsfree Leash and Sandbag Carry

Step 1: Purchase a hands free leash, there are many out there that allow you to fasten the leash to your waist as opposed to holding it in your hand. Here’s a few “Best Seller” options on Amazon.com (If you don’t want to purchase a hands free leash, another option is to wear a weight vest in Step 4).

Step 2: Fasten the leash to yourself and your dog.

Step 3 (Optional): If you can, find a partner, friend, or someone else to tag along to make it more fun.

Step 4: Grab a sandbag, log, kettlebell, or any other heavy/awkward object. Fill milk jugs with concrete or grab a bucket or two filled with gravel or sand. You’ll figure something out. You’re a Spartan!

weight vest spartan race dog walk workout

Weight Vest Dog Walking

Step 5: Take your dog for a long walk around your favorite neighborhood, park, or wherever you’d like to go. Make sure you and your dog are well hydrated and go for as long as you both can handle.

Step 6: When the going gets tough use teamwork to pass the sandbag (or whatever you brought with you) to your partner. If you don’t have a partner…suck it up buttercup.

Step 7: Make this part of your dog walking routine. Whenever it’s time to walk the dog, grab an object and get moving. You’ll be amazed at how much your core is getting worked. As things get easier, up the weight.

It’s that simple to turn your typical dog walk into a Spartan style dog walk! Now what are you waiting for get out there and give your pooch some exercise! As always, we’ll see you at the finish line.

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We all know being a Spartan is sexy already. It’s just the natural effect of pushing your limits and cranking out relentless, unspeakable quantities of burpees. While “sexy” might be relative in the world of Spartan it’s quite synonymous with many of the activities we perform on the daily. As it just so happens to be, there are some things that get a fellow Spartan more riled up than others. Quite often it’ll be the subtle things that we take for granted once we become engrossed in the world of Spartan.

Spartan Obstacle Race Women and Men Compression clothing

THAT TIGHT COMPRESSION GEAR

You walk up to the starting line of any heat and you’ll see it, all the tight little outfits. Clothing so tight that hugs those chiseled muscles ever so carefully, in a manner that almost naturally urges you to stare. Fabric so tight it gives all the right curves a proper lift; all the talent of a Spartan that lies beneath accentuated to the nth degree.

What might appear as showing off one’s physique to the untrained obstacle racer is in all actuality a testament to a Spartan’s dedication to their performance on the course. Those tight spandex provide many benefits to a racer including their unbelievably quick drying abilities; compression gear doesn’t retain moisture much, meaning none of that sloppy, saggy, heavy feeling you get with a lesser material like cotton. Tighter fitting clothes also mean less chances of getting snagged up in an obstacle such as the barbed wire crawl. It’s not all about a look in obstacle racing, there’s a great many more benefits to all that tight clothing that’d have your great grandmother and great grandfather rolling in their graves.

HITTING THAT DOWNWARD DOG ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE

Take it easy lad, we’re talking about the yoga pose. It’s actually quite easy to drop down almost anywhere in a downward dog and many a Spartan will do so without hesitation. It’s a great way to loosen up the joints. Honestly, it’s just one of those odd somethings that Spartans do, much like the now classic Burpees in public epidemic. Are you feeling tight or sore? Then it’s time to stretch it out! That’s how a Spartan decides when and where they stretch. Don’t be surprised if you spot a Spartan on the side of the road or trail with their backside in the air, they’re just making sure those hamstrings get nice and loose so they can complete the Spartan WOD.

spear throw obstacle race spartan race spartan chicked

ALWAYS PERFECTING A TIGHT GRIP

You may have never thought about it, or perhaps you have, regardless grip strength is one of the most important elements to being successful at a Spartan Race. Your ability to hold-on-tight is tested over and over again from pulling a heavy bag up to the very top of the Hercules Hoist, to holding on for dear life at the rope climb, your grip is tested in the worst of conditions. Many Spartan obstacles test your grip, like the traverse wall, or the unforgiving nature of the slippery ropes they provide to pull yourself up the equally slippery wall. There’s no doubt about it, Spartans know how to hold on tight and in more ways than one. We hear they are pretty good at it.

CARRY BIG BALLS AND HEAVY SACKS

Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about the Atlas Stones and Sandbags, shame on you Spartan. Those who are part of the Spartan lifestyle will commonly practice carrying sandbags of all shapes and sizes and various stones to simulate the challenge of the Atlas Carry. If you see a Spartan carrying a heavy sack, shout out a good ol “Aroo!” in support.

Man Atlas Stone Carry Spartan Obstacle Race

HERCULEAN GRUNTS AND GROANS

Have you ever listened and paid attention to what it sounds like by the Hercules Hoist? Honestly next time you’re near this obstacle, give it a listen. You’ll hear the grunts and groans of what might sound like an old Spartan pastime of our ancient brothers and sisters but I assure you, only feats of strength and tenacity are being tested here.

SMELL OF SPARTAN COURAGE

Get close to a Spartan and give them a whiff. Smell that? That smell is what we call the Courage of a Spartan. Take it all in the next time you get a chance. Be warned, it’s not our fault if you become radically turned on by those pheromones infused with a taste of that Sparan courage. Spartans with this smell know what it means to sign up, show up and never give up. They already figured out what it means to Spartan UP!, now it’s your turn. Remember we warned you their smell could lure you in forever. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Spartan Race and put your courage to the test.

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Whenever you get yourself off the couch and start training it can be a difficult experience. We’ve all been there, whether you’ve never really done activity ever or you are an athlete who took a few months off. Maybe you are just getting back into it after overcoming an injury. Whatever the case may be there is going to be some soreness as you begin training your body and muscles to be active.

It’s important to be able to identify the difference between the good hurt and the bad hurt. Good hurt means you’ve pushed yourself just enough to begin the muscle building process, bad hurt means you’ve overdone it and are at risk of injury or possibly, already injured. Knowing the difference between the two kinds of hurt can make all the difference in your training program.

Good Hurt

The good kind of hurt is that achy soreness you feel after a good workout. Perhaps you just had an awesome leg day. The next day you wake up feeling weaker than you were the day before. This is usually the good kind of hurt. It means, “Hell ya, I just killed that WOD and now I’m going to hobble up these stairs today.” If the soreness ever lasts more than two days, you know you went too hard and that’s when you have to worry.

Good hurt can come in many forms but usually it’s just muscle soreness or stiffness. I have great news for you, there is a way to overcome the good hurt and it all comes down to stretching, foam rolling, and even massage. Yes, the massage, one of the best recovery systems there is, self-massage or professional massage. No matter which you choose both can help aid in recovery from this “good hurt” you are experiencing. Foam rolling is a very effective way to massage your muscles yourself. Always take a proactive role in drinking lots of water. This helps to flush all the lactic acid out and keeps your muscles hydrated. Remember the adult body is made up of 50-65% water.

When your muscles are sore from a workout it’s because you have torn the little fibers, when these fibers rebuild you develop scar tissue which forms a stronger bond building a bigger muscle. That’s the most unscientific way to put it. When the muscles are growing you need to constantly stretch them and help them to recover, if you don’t you’ll become even stiffer and lose flexibility. You should stretch before and after your workouts, as dynamic stretching has been touted as being safer than static stretching, but both serve their purposes.

Bad Hurt

One thing you want to avoid more than anything is the “bad hurt.” This is the kind of hurt that doesn’t go away after a day or two. This is the pain that lingers; it could be a tear in your muscles, tendons, or a broken bone. You’ll know when you’ve gone too far because the pain will be excruciating. If the pain only kind-of sucks and fades, it’s probably the aforementioned, “good hurt,” if the pain is sharp and doesn’t dissipate in a short manner of time, it’s most likely a “bad hurt.”

Unless you can tell immediately that something is seriously broken or torn, you’ll want to give it a day or two before going in to see a doctor. Remember doctors have a lot on their plate and deal with hundreds of patients. You don’t want to be the person that goes in, wastes their time, your money, just to find out your have a little muscle soreness. Some good ways to identify if what you are experiencing is “bad hurt” are to stop and take a breath. Can you still move around without shooting, sharp, targeted pain? If the pain is very centralized it could be the “bad hurt.”

The “bad hurt” is something you’ll usually feel more immediately, it’ll be distinct and something you don’t want to push through. The “good hurt” usually comes the day following your workout. All pain is different and sometimes it can be hard to diagnose so of course when in doubt go see a doctor but give it a day or two, if you can bare it, and make sure it’s not just something minor that will go away with some proper rest, stretching, foam rolling, massage, or some good ol’ ice.

Take good care of yourself before and after your workouts and hopefully you’ll never have to experience the “bad hurt.” Be smart, stretch often, foam roll, drink lots of water and Spartan on!

We’ll see you at the finish line…

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Three years ago, April 2012, the Spartan Race series descended upon the small town of Laurel, IN playing host to the very first Founders Race. This past weekend, the Spartans returned and with them they brought all of their comrades. What started out three years ago with around 2500 Spartans has now grown to over 10,000 Spartans who embraced the ethic of “knowing at the finish line.”

Starting the weekend off as usual were those seeking that extra bit of challenge via the Spartan Hurricane Heat, this time taking place on the Friday evening before the race. After four hours of brutal team building challenges, Tony Matesi, with the assistance of Andé Wegner, Ian Nichols, Todd Sedlak, and JJ Lipetzky, led 130 Hurricane Heaters from being complete strangers to a proud finish, exemplifying the Warrior Ethos imprinted on the HH dog tags they earned through bumps, bruises and burpees.

The sun rose the next morning welcoming the elite racers with the warmest weather seen in Indiana since that Founders Race three years back. Spartan warm-ups were led by Spartan SGX Coaches, Sarah Pozdol and Steve Manns. Ready to tackle what just might be one of the toughest Sprints of the season were Spartan Pro Team members, Brakken Kraker, Amelia Boone, and Elliot Megquier. Joining them were Spartan elite racers, Joseph Kauder, Tonya Stogsdill, Brakken’s brother McCauley Kraker, Laura Messner, Ben Lehman, Kevin Donoghue, Laura Lunardi, Margaret Anthony, Chris McCorkle, and Andé Wegner.

The course offered an incredible challenge to runners, with obstacles frequently spaced to break things up just enough to prevent the runners from getting into too much of a groove. That wasn’t enough to slow Spartan Pro Amelia Boone from absolutely dominating the course and leaving her competition twelve minutes behind and in doing so, establishing another 1st place podium finish.  Rounding out the women was 2nd place finisher, Amy Pajcic and taking third was Tonya Stogsdill. On the men’s side, Brakken Kraker and his brother McCauley led the pack almost all the way to the end but a fall off the traverse wall prevented the brothers from delivering the one-two punch. Brakken came in first over Spartan Pro teammate Elliot Meqguir and in third was Jordon Buscemi.

Spartans come from all over the country to attend Spartan Races and the same held true for the Indiana Spartan Sprint. With people coming from Chicago, IL, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia, it’s impressive to see how many people will venture out into the “unknown” to conquer their fears and push their limits. This held more true than ever when we met Eddie Ramos who biked 140 miles from Fort Wayne, IN to attend not only the Friday night Hurricane Heat but also the race Saturday morning followed by volunteering throughout the weekend. Eddie demonstrated the spirit of being a Spartan and we look forward to seeing if he’s able to take on the challenge presented of biking from Fort Wayne to Vermont for the World Championship this September.

The Amphibious Medic Team was back on the scene providing their unbelievable abilities to assess any situation and provide the necessary care to all of our racers all weekend long. We cannot express the appreciation we have for their incredible team led by David Gonzales and staffed by Jennifer Dierks.

Not surprising at all were the amount of teams in attendance encapsulating the spirit of the Midwest. From the biggest team who originally brought Spartan Race to Indiana, the Corn Fed Spartans, to the breadth of teams here to conquer the course through pure camaraderie including: Fire, Illuminati, Midwest Vikings, Team Ninja, and the Chicago Spartans. You could see the always helpful hands of all these teams on and off the course helping each other, cheering each other on and making sure everyone crossed that finish line.

Always bringing the biggest smiles to the crowd were the Spartan Kids as they conquered the Spartan Kids Race course and showed us just a taste of what the future of Spartan looks like. Returning to the kids course was the always happy face of Matthias Vescelus who refuses to let his lack of sight prevent him from tackling the obstacles with pure determination. Congrats to all the Junior Spartans who conquered their course.

As always we want to thank our sponsors: Reebok, Core Power, Clif Builder Bars, Eco Vessel, SpartanUP! Graphix and Spartan SGX, for making these events as grand as they are!

It was another incredible weekend of Spartan filled fun and we look forward to the next time the Spartan Race series returns to the welcoming town of Laurel, IN. Thank you for your hospitality. Next up, Spartan Race brings the return of the Military Sprint to Fort Carson, CO. There’s still time to sign up and we’ll see you at the finish line.

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Integrity —noun: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Integrity is a part of the embodiment of being a Spartan. Without it, we are nothing more than a bunch people striving to do better without actually holding ourselves accountable.

When it comes to finishing a Spartan Race there is an honor that comes with crossing that finish line and earning your piece of the Trifecta. We always say “You’ll know at the finish line” and that is more true then ever after you’ve given it your all. Maybe you fell off an obstacle and had to do 30 burpees before carrying yourself across that finish, but you did it. You EARNED it.

Finishing a Spartan Race means finishing every obstacle thrown in your path. It means completing the penalty burpees if you missed the obstacle. If you fall off the log hop, take pride in doing your thirty burpees. If you can’t handle the weight of the bucket carry, don’t just leave your bucket on the course. Take as long as you need to finish the challenge. If you fall off the rope, the traverse wall, or any other obstacle accept your fate and do your burpees. Your burpees are a way to strengthen yourself. A reminder that next time you won’t fail. Doing your burpees when you fail an obstacle is how you earn your medal.

Spartan Race does not just give medals out. Some races are okay with their participants skipping obstacles and still presenting them with the reward of “finishing.” Here at Spartan we hold ourselves and our participants to a higher standard. We, as a species, develop and grow through adversity. That’s why Spartans don’t skip obstacles or burpees. Spartans get back up after they’ve been knocked down. Spartans give it their all and earn their reward for doing so.

Spartan Races, in a lot of ways, mimic life. You’ll have successes and triumphs and you’ll have complete and utter failures. You might fall off one obstacle just to breeze through the next. You only get one chance at any obstacle in life. Only one chance to ace that exam. Only one chance to nail your dream job. You don’t get second chances at life and you don’t get second chances at obstacles. Most obstacles in a Spartan Race have the rule, one try to successfully complete the obstacle otherwise, it’s burpees.

If you think, “no one actually does their burpees” then you haven’t seen someone like Chris Davis, Amanda Sullivan, Danny Rodriguez, Ilen Boyar, or Earl Granville complete a Spartan Race. If you want to feel like you accomplished something and fully understand the meaning of “You’ll know at the finish line.” Sign up, show up, and never give up. Do your burpees and EARN your medal.

Remember, to finish a Spartan Race means you have earned that finisher medal and you earned that finisher shirt. That means finishing the course, the obstacles and any penalty burpees. These are not given out freely. They are earned through sweat, bruises, sometimes even blood and tears. If that means doing 90 burpees on top of the 8+ miles and 20+ obstacles at a Super Spartan, then so be it. These medals mean a lot to the people who come out and give it their all. Literally, everything they have got. To go through the course and respectfully finish, no one can take that honor away from you, because YOU are a Spartan.

If you come out to a race, make sure you have the integrity to hold yourself accountable. Don’t cheat yourself.

Spartan Up! Do your burpees. We’ll see you at the finish line.

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