Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 12.12.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

By James Villepigue, CSCS

This WOD goes out to all the Spartans out there that for whatever reason, find themselves forced to train in the gym.

Additionally, for those who are a member at a gym that doesn’t have an indoor or outdoor track. I understand what it means to depend on the treadmill for cardio. This WOD is about turning a typical treadmill and a set of dumbbells into a metabolic extravaganza. Here is what one circuit looks like:

1)  Interval Dumbbell Farmer Walks: 2 Cycles

2)  Dumbbell Burpees x 12

(1 Minute Rest)

3)  Sprint Intervals: 2 Cycles

4)Dumbbell Clean & Presses x12

(1 Minute Rest)

5)  Single Arm Farmer Walk Intervals: 2 Cycles 1Per Arm

6)  Alternating Dumbbell Lunges x 20

(1 Minute Rest)

This is going to be fast paced, and will only require enough room around the treadmill to be able to get down into the burpees and lunges. The intervals will go quickly, and so will the sets of exercises, but physiologically you’ll be asking a truck load from your body and central nervous system.

There will some other time for chit chat, but not when you tackle this. The rest periods will seem to fly by. Control your breathing, pace yourself, and treat this WOD like it’s the last one you’ll do as final prep for a hardcore race.

We’ll be challenging your muscular endurance, cardiovascular stamina, mental strength, and fitness level big time. Shoot for three sets as is, without adding any extra rest. It may take a little time to get used to the controls on your treadmill, but once you’ve got it down the transitions between types of intervals should only take seconds to get going.

Grab your dumbbells and get ready…

Interval Dumbbell Farmer Walks: 2 Cycles

What you need to do is set the downtime interval to 1 minute, and the uptime interval to 3 minutes. Both together are considered one cycle for this exercise, so four minutes total per cycle.

The pace for both should be about 3.0-3.3. Then set the uptime elevation to a pretty high level. Go as high as you’re comfortable, but take this as an opportunity to prep for steep hills.

Grab your dumbbells, and these should be a moderate weight for both men and women, or between 25-40lbs. Hop on, start it up, and get ready for the hill. Once it hits, dig deep, revel in the strain in your shoulders and forearms, and resist the urge to lurch forward. Stand up tall, control your breathing, and focus. Stand up straight and go with it.


Dumbbell Burpees x 12 :

As soon as you’ve completed the third minute of uptime and it drops back down, stop the tread mill and get ready to do some dumbbell assisted burpees.


These are great full-body exercises that keep your heart rate up, muscles pumping, and endorphins flowing. When you drop down, try to make it more of a deadlift pose into the plank than a bending over.


While on the ground, as usual, feel free to add pushups, rows, or whatever you like to increase the difficulty. Also, when you come up from them, keep the deadlift posture in mind to get the hamstrings into the muscular chorus.


Sprint Intervals: 2 Cycles

For these intervals you’re going to be forced to draw on reserves. Adapt and overcome! Again, set the down time to 1 minute, and the sprints to 3 minutes.

Now, I don’t want you to be that person who everyone can hear almost breaking the treadmill around the entire gym. Set it at a bit more than a moderate pace that 9 out of ten people would call a full on run.

You can add elevation if you like, but I wouldn’t recommend anything more than slight. The importance is to sustain two bursts of energy that push you beyond your energy threshold.


Dumbbell Clean & Presses x12:

These are going to be rough. Suck it up, and do them with good form, you’re almost half way done!

Bring them from hanging in front of your knees, slightly in front of the hips, up to your shoulders as you squat down keeping your back straight, and then thrust up to the sky! Like the man in the picture, add that little extra push by going up onto to the tips of your toes without losing balance.


Single Arm Farmer Walk Intervals: 2 Cycles 1Per Arm

What makes these a challenge is walking with weight on only one side of the body, while going up and down in the intervals. It’s something that poses different physiological force manipulation obstacles that we don’t normally face.

Keep the same settings as the first set of farmer’s walks, but slow things down a bit. It’s too easy to strain something if you’re in too big of a hurry. You’re going to do two cycles, so switch the weight accordingly so that both sides of your brain and body have to grapple with it.

Alternating Dumbbell Lunges x 20: Once you’re done with those, I want you to do 20 lunges and try to mix up the plane of motion between frontal, lateral, and transverse.

Additionally, stick with only one dumbbell instead of picking up the other.

The lunges will be a bit more challenging with weight on one side of the body. Switch the weight back and forth, and pose as much of a challenge to your internal balance and stabilization mechanisms as possible. Feel free to do presses as you go into the lunges as well for increased demand.

Keep Going!

James Villepigue CSCS


One Response

  1. avatar

    If limited to a small gym, sprint intervals can be done using a suspension trainer such as TRX. An alternative is mountain climbers at a fast but controlled rate (you can injure your lower back if you are sloppy with form in mountain climbers).

    Would someone please describe the age categories for SPARTAN racing? What category covers 65–75 YOA?

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