Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 9.11.12 brout to you by Gaspari Nutrition
By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call
Typically we put together workouts that are geared towards commanding one obstacle, but this time it’s about preparing the body for literally anything. It’s going to be pretty core intensive, but will rock the socks off of everything.
It’s pretty much an obstacle course for your body, and all that’s required is one medicine ball. It is essential to really take the time to stretch. In fact, a good solid twenty minutes of stretching is advised, because the movements you’ll be executing are both intense, and dynamic. It’s time to see what you’re really made of, and where your endurance level is really at.
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This is a hardcore circuit, there’s no doubt. It targets every muscle tissue from head to toe, and exhausts all energy reserves quickly. This type of workout is geared towards showing Spartans where their endurance level is truly at. The first run through should be timed. The goal of the second set is to beat the time of the first. The goal of the third cycle is to beat the time of the second run through. This means that during the first cycle, you must pace yourself. At the end of the third cycle, add up the times for the total score. The next time you attempt to climb this mountain of a workout, try to beat that time as well.
If you go full bore out the gate, there’s basically no way you can beat your time by the third cycle. The core work is intense, especially the fourth exercise. In fact, it will most likely be a very new experience for most people’s central nervous system.
There is only one rest period, and that’s for 1 min between the third and fourth exercise. Active recovery is a must. After the first set take a few minutes to get some water and take a quick breather. No more than five minutes, which shouldn’t be counted in the overall total, and then dive head first into the second cycle with that time on your mind. Pace yourself once again, but with a slightly elevated level of intensity.
1) 20 Medicine Ball Get-Ups with Slam: You’re going to start by lying down on the ground with a medicine ball in your hands above your chest. It can be a little tricky finding the right weight for the medicine ball.
You don’t want it to be so heavy that the weight alone can propel you to your feet, but not so light that it becomes more like a dangerous gymnastic move.
Bring the medicine ball back behind your head, lift your feet into the air, and engage the core. Then, with a powerful burst bring the medicine ball forward. While you do this you should lift your hips up slightly so that the weight of the legs can also help guide you up. All too often people close their eyes, don’t. On the course closing your eyes can be really bad habit.
Try to make the next movement fluid, and a part of getting up. When you come to a stop the ball should be above your head ready to slam down on the ground as hard as possible. The best thing to do is try these with different size medicine balls until you find one that works just right.
2) 30 Crunches with Medicine Ball Pass: This is similar to the first exercise in how it begins; with you on your back holding the medicine ball above the chest.
However, this time the movements involve a simple crunch motion, and three different passes. It doesn’t matter how you split it up, but there should be a total of ten passes per side.
The first is crunching up and passing with both hands to the front. Unlike the first exercise, you don’t want to bring the ball above your head and use its momentum. Instead, keep it in front of the chest for a chest pass rather than an overhead throwing motion. Stay stuck in position, hold the tension, and wait for the pass to come back. Once it does, don’t let the ball carry you back to the ground. Catch it, absorb its force in the abdomen, and then go down like a springboard ready to pop back up again.
The second pass should be to the right. You start with both hands on the ball, go down for the crunch, then as you come up twist the torso and get ready to powerfully pass the ball with the left arm. Like the first pass, sustain the tension, hold the pose, and then catch it with primarily the left hand and absorb its force in the obliques.
The third pass is to the left and follows the exact same form as the previous exercise. Just remember to make every movement a determined one, where the abdomen is creating and absorbing force, not being led by it.
3) 10 Burpees w/ Mountain Climbers and Tuck Jumps: These are monsters! One rep is going from standing into front plank position with one motion, then go straight into six mountain climbers, three per side, and then when you come up do a tuck jump.
Let me warn those Spartans out there with all kinds of agility stored in their muscle memory: don’t go from the air down into a plank! These are so dynamic that they become fun, and are known to cause small bursts of adrenaline. I’ve seen people get carried away and go from the height of the tuck jump down into a plank position. That’s a great way to break your wrists.
Feel free to add anything you like, for example pushups, to increase the intensity because you know there’s a rest period coming. Don’t let the small number of reps fool you though. These ask an incredible amount from the musculature, and are extremely taxing. Additionally, one should keep in mind that the core is pretty ripped up already, along with the upper back. Pace yourself, and hit the ground with your feet before going into the next burpee.
4) Four Sided Planks (2mins w/ 4 30sec Intervals): Most people have seen the front, left, and right planks. What about being on your elbows facing up? We can call it the back plank. Doing all four sides for thirty seconds without stopping sounds pretty nuts, and it is, but you’ll be surprised at how different each side will feel.
It’s really effective because there’s no point within the two minutes where the ab muscles aren’t under tension. They’ve been engaged for the last two exercises, but now it’s time to really focus on them. It’s common for people to start doing the four sided planks regularly because it’s much easier and more efficient. Easier because each side feels different within directly zeroing in on the other’s The back plank is still targeting the lumbo pelvis hip system, but puts a completely different task on the brain.
5) 20 Medicine Ball Pushups with Bear Crawls: Yet again, the core will be worked, but in a new way. Basically what you’re going to be doing are bear crawls, and as you crawl along you’ll push the medicine ball and then do pushups on it.
Push the ball up a bit, bear crawl to it, then do five pushups on the ball. You can either do them with one arm on the ball and alternate, or do them with both hands on the ball. Either way will be excruciating. Each time you finish the pushups that will be a rep out of the twenty you should do before standing up.
Stay low, and this is where you can dig deep and use up some of the energy reserves you’ve been cradling along the way. The next exercise will not be as demanding on the core or upper body, so really push. Go fast, and make up time, because you’re going to have to beat it on the next cycle. Consider this like the corner before the last stretch in the race. Bolt around the corner so that there’s some momentum for the last exercise.
6) 20 Reverse Lunges with Quick MB Torso Twists: These are pretty self explanatory, but there are some subtle nuances to mention. Alternate the reverse lunges, and one rep includes a burst to both the left, and the right with the medicine ball.
Make sure that you’re nice and deep into the lunge before twisting, and use the mind to stabilize and maintain balance. This is core intensive, but in bursts, and it challenges the internal balance and stabilization mechanisms. Pace yourself, if you hurry on these you could easily get hurt or lose footing.
James Villepigue & Hobie Call