Spartan WOD for Tuesday, 9.18.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
- Confucius

Hello Spartans! This WOD goes out in remembrance of Hobie’s epic performance at the first ever Military Spartan Race at Fort Carson Military Base in Colorado. If you didn’t see it, or haven’t watched the video, Hobie managed to place first while wearing a 10lb weighted vest. The WOD is based on preparing you for that same exact obstacle course. It was intense!

He went on a few jogs, did some tire flips, climbed a wall, conquered a big cargo net, simulated throwing grenades and spears, tons of burpees, rope climbs, rolling in the mud with the sound of bullets sounding out and on and on!

If you want to wear a weighted vest, that’s awesome, but all that’s needed for this WOD is a grassy/muddy hill (not too steep), a rope, and a friend who is willing to help you train like a Spartan!

There is absolutely no rest periods put into this WOD for all three cycles. Hobie wasn’t given time to rest, and it was his endurance and sheer will that saw him through to the finish line. If one is needed, then shoot for no more than 30-45s of active recovery in between cycles.

Let’s get ready to roll…

Before beginning be sure to stretch very well, and don’t dare tackle this workout without the proper amounts of energy and fluids. Your friend should be standing at the ready holding a rope similar to what Hobie found while he scaled up the walls.

1) Uphill Sprints & Burpees: Uphill sprinting is one rock solid way to catapult your speed and endurance levels through the battle field. For this part of the workout, you’re shooting for five reps. A rep is sprinting full bore up hill, then completing 10 burpees at the top, and returning to starting position. Altogether that’s 50 burpees and five metabolically demanding sprints.


Breathing is the key to most endurance stunts. For some strange reason it seems almost natural to hold your breath and dart up the hill as fast as possible. If you watch videos of Hobie, whenever he is within range, you’ll hear him taking advantage of practiced controlled breathing.


With form in mind you should be leaning into the hill, and making contact with the heel rather than sprinting fully on the balls of the feet. This type of exercise will tell you exactly how tight the calves are. Tight calves can destroy a Spartans chance on the race track.


2) Rolling Downhill & Burpees: At least four or five times in the military Spartan Race, Hobie was in the mud and dirt with his vest on rolling under barbed wire. It’s far more demanding than it looks, any Spartan knows that. The movement after more than about ten seconds takes a special kind of core endurance.

It’s harder to breathe properly, and when you couple it with mud, the challenge level goes way up.

Additionally, it can be a bit tough to practice for something like that. Unless you think back to when we were kids, rolling down hills. This is exactly what you’ll be doing. Again, we’re shooting for five reps which includes rolling down the hill, doing ten burpees, and then either walking, jogging, or sprinting back uphill, that’s your call. I advise you to pile on the struggle.

Finally, don’t go so fast that you’re going to be too dizzy for the burpees. Remember, moderate and steady wins the race.


3) Walking Uphill Lat Pulls & Burpees: Your friend should be holding one end on top of the hill, or it could be anchored to something sturdy if need be, and the other end should be lying on the ground at the bottom.

You’re going to pick it up and pull yourself up the hill, without leaning forward, then do 10 burpees, and return to starting position. As always, shoot for five reps on this part of the WOD.

You should be carrying your weight in your heels as you use your lats to pull yourself up the hill. To be really hardcore you could try to pull your dead body weight up the hill while sprawled out on the ground. However, to simulate Hobie’s experience treat it like scaling a wall.

This is also a tremendous forearm workout as well because of the constant strain on them. Often times in the Spartan Race we find wall traverses and these are all about forearm endurance and grip strength.


4) Bear crawling Uphill & NOT Down w/ Pushups: Bear crawling is an indispensible training tool for obstacle courses, just ask Hobie. He had to rely on the mechanics involved in bear crawling more than once on the course at Fort Carson. Crawling uphill is great for many reasons, but going downhill not so much.


Crawling downhill can be extremely dangerous for the wrists and isn’t advised. Furthermore, it’s not something you would find on a course that’s designed obstacles not only for challenge but safety as well.

For a set of these you will do some bear crawls up hill, into 15 pushups, and then jogging, or perhaps rolling down hill. That’s up to you. The more brutal the better when it comes to prepping for the Spartan Race.

Keep your butt down while keeping your mind focused on breathing, the fingers, and the wrist joints. Don’t be afraid to grab at the hill, and push with all your might in the lower body without putting your face in the dirt.


5) Barbell Twists & Lateral Dips: This is an exercise I’m going to throw in for those that find through this WOD that their core endurance isn’t at the level they want it. Unless you own a barbell, the best place to do this core workout is in the gym.


The 45lb Olympic size works best for men and for women a barbell of any kind that weights at least 30 lbs will do. The issue is making sure it’s long enough to get the results we’re after.


Get it up on your shoulders, and situated your arms along the bar in a way that’s comfortable. Some people prefer to wrap them around, while others prefer a more traditional squat like stance holding it with the hands and elbows pointing down.


Begin with a dipping side to side motion that bends the torso laterally. There shouldn’t be so much weight that you come off your feet at all, and there’s absolutely no reason to bend either forward or backward. Shoot for sets of twenty reps, with ten dips leans per side.


Then, once the obliques are screaming, start a twisting motion while in a standing position. Let the weight guide you to a degree, so that you can engage the abs to absorb and redirect the force in the opposite direction. Shoot again for twenty reps of both sides giving a balanced workout to the obliques and lumbo pelvic hip complex. It’s a sure shredder, and an efficient way to work on the dynamic stability and endurance of the core.


WOD Breakdown of One Cycle – Shooting for Three

Exercise 1 - 5 Sprints and 50 Burpees is one set

Exercise 2 - 5 Rolling Downhill & 50 Burpees is one set

Exercise 3 - 5 Rope Climbing Uphill & 50 Burpees is one set.

Exercise 4 - 5 Bear Crawling Uphill 75 Pushups is one set.

Exercise 5 - 20 Side Leans & 20 Full Twists is one set.


Once you’re done with this monster WOD then you’ll get a taste of what it took Hobie to claim victory in Colorado. Many times we find that it isn’t lean mass, but endurance, and force production that wins races. When training to compete with Hobie, it’s all about endurance from head to toe. This WOD will shred you up regardless, but it also prepares the body for the dynamic movements we find on the course.


Make sure to let us know what your impressions of and how you did with this WOD. Additionally, if you saw Hobie compete at Ft. Carson, or were in the race yourself, please stop by and let the community know what other things could be thrown into this WOD to make it even more efficient. For Hobie it came down to burpees, and he’s a pro at those. That’s why there are so many integrated into this WOD.


Keep Going!


James Villepigue & Hobie Call

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2 Responses

  1. avatar

    Raining heavy all day in Charlotte, hope I can get out and train in it this afternoon.

    Like this WOD, I have been mixing up similar to this in my trail runs for aobut a month or so now.

  2. avatar

    Great job, Jerry. Hope you were able to get out and hit it!



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