by Carrie Adams

I received an email from Jen Rosant, the team captain of Gaspari’s Team Braveheart, and I wanted to share it with the Spartan Race community for a few reasons.  First, I know Jen personally and she is one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever met.  A survivor in every sense of the word, a motivator of the masses, and a living embodiment of the best of what Spartan is about.  Not new to Spartan Races, Jen has brought a team with her, her beloved Bravehearts, in bigger and bigger droves race to race.  When the weather was falling apart in New Jersey, when the hills were breaking the toughest of Spartan competitors, and when the miles weighed long and hard on the competitors last weekend, Jen was still powering forward, still motivating, still inspiring her team, many of whom were racing for the first time that day.

Jen Rosant

Jen Rosant, team leader of the Bravehearts is a 35 year old from Cliffwood Beach, NJ was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis ten years ago while in college and received the devastating news that her colon was in danger of rupturing or she would develop cancer that would ultimately kill her.  She suffered from kidney stones, received blood transfusions and had major surgery that showed she had developed PSC or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.  She had a colostomy bag and a promise of a liver transplant for over three months until they could finally reverse the process.  She took painstaking visits to the hematologist for over two years every week spending hours in a chair getting IVs of chemotherapy and injections for cancer-related anemia. She ultimately faced a new diagnosis of Chrohn’s disease and despite the trauma, she’s been lucky enough to NOT need a liver transplant.

Jen, a member of Team Gaspari alongside her Bravehearts, has been taking Gaspari Nutrition products herself and has never felt better or been in better shape.  She’s able to do upwards of 35 events in one year – that’s pretty impressive for someone who weighed in at 100 pounds a few short years ago.  It’s just one of the many reasons why we love our partnership with Gaspari Nutrition.

They conquered the Spartan Race course that day, led by Jen, committed to one another and committed to finishing the course they’d been training for and they found their Spartan finish line.  We honor them, their accomplishment on race day, their dedication to training and to one another and we thank them for being an integral part of the fabric that makes up the tapestry of our Spartan community.

Here is her email:

Hello Carrie.

I cannot even begin to explain the impact that Spartan Race has created for Team Braveheart.  I have been contacted by each individual. They laughed, they cried, they shared their stories of triumph.  More importantly, we changed their lives.  They are making new goals, registering for more Spartans and they are begging me for more workouts in my Braveyard. The energy is high, the smiles are large and right now Team Braveheart feels like they can accomplish anything. Really, your team put together a challenge I couldn’t even imagine. Even with a few handfuls of events under my belt, this was one of the most difficult challenges to date. Yes, pinch me, I’m living a dream. I feel fantastic and so does my team. It’s contagious. Our posts, pictures and videos have not only inspired all of us but the people around us are ready to make changes too. Today, 4 people asked me about Spartan Race.  The words on the street, the fire is in their eyes, people are ready, and they are ready for real results and happiness.  The amount of letters, calls and texts are unbelievable.  I promise you this, you will see Team Braveheart again, you will see them at many of your events, but next year’s Tri-State you better get us a bigger tent, I plan on bringing 100+ Bravehearts with a larger drive than this year.  “If you don’t believe us, try and beat us” 

Jen Rosant.  

Jen’s Motivational Speech

Read Jen’s post about their experience HERE: Team Braveheart comes LOUD.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

by Carrie Adams

10,000 competitors and spectators from across the U.S. and several foreign countries representing every walk of life, age and stage and varying degrees of athletic abilities converged on Mountain Creek Waterpark (200 Route 94, Vernon, N.J.) to tackle the Super Spartan 8-mile obstacle race, presented by Dial For Men and Gaspari Nutrition on Sat., September 8 and Sun., September 9, 2012.

Team Braveheart

This race was hardly normal even in the Spartan world.  The theme seemed to be hills and water – the water coming by way of the course and the skies!   In the week leading up to the race, there were several bear sightings by the build crew and as the race edged closer, the weather reports indicated that it would be a story weekend of races.  Let’s talk about the course itself… 11 miles long and with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain over the grueling course it was not for the faint of heart.  Touted as one of our most challenging Supers of all time, the course spanned three mountains, the fastest time of the weekend clocking in at 1:47.  That’s almost 10 minutes per mile indicating the course difficulty.

Our friends at Gaspari Nutrition were on-hand in a big way.  Coming with their Team Gaspari Braveheart crew, of over 77 individuals they represented one of the largest teams of the year at a Spartan Race.  We told you about their story in a blog post last week leading up to the race.  Gaspari has been a sponsorship partner for Spartan Race throughout 2012 and Official Gaspari Nutrition® has handed out over 50,000 FREE drawstring mesh bags to our racers throughout the year with samples of their products.  We’ll have more on them later this week!

Jim Miller, UFC fighter and Sparta, New Jersey native who we told you about last week in this post, also made an appearance at the epic race.  He competed with the 10 A.M. heat and taking on all eleven miles with  a smile and a sense of humor, even joking on Twitter about taking the infamous 24 foot cliff dive instead of burpees!  The cliff dive was a notable part of the course this year.

There was another Spartan first, a “Tornado delay” brought by a massive storm system in the Northeast.  The tornado inducing storms struck Saturday, forcing some of the racers in later heats to leave the course early, one obstacle Spartan Races did NOT plan.  Despite the wild weather, what is being called a mini-Beast course, as well as the bear sightings, the 3,000 feet of elevation, and the 24″ free fall into a waiting pool, the Spartan Race was deemed a huge success.

September 8th Storm Cloud
Photo courtesy of NJ.com

Huge thank you to our brave and awesome volunteers!  We can’t put on our races without you!   Also, a big thanks to our other sponsors for the Tri-State Super: Air National Guard, Inov8, Newton Medical Center, Franklin Sussex Auto Mall & Dodge RAM, Zico, and Body Armor.

Looking for results: Click HERE.

Photos from Race Day?  Here are two FB photo albums.

Super Spartan Tri-State: Saturday Race Day

Super Spartan Tri-State: Sunday Race Day

Your FREE Race day images coming soon from our friends at Nuvision Action Image.  

Can’t wait to race again?  We understand.  Click HERE and find your next Spartan finish line.

Tags: , , , ,

by Carrie Adams

Team Braveheart, Staten Island 2011

Since the arrival of Spartan Races on the scene in 2010, we’ve been grateful to hear from our racing community on how Spartan Races are changing lives and inspiring those who take on the challenge.  More and more participants are choosing to take on our races in teams.  Inspiring one another not just on the race course but in training for the upcoming races.  One our our 2012 partners, Gaspari Nutrition, features a team known as Team Braveheart that is led by a very special woman, Jen Rosant.  Jen Rosant brought her team to Staten Island in 2011 and plans on returning to several Spartan Races with her incredible team.  They exemplify the Spartan spirit, never giving up, never leaving one another behind, and committing to much more than just one race, but a lifestyle of getting off the couch and getting out on the course.

Rosant said of their Staten Island experience, “On September 24th 2011, Team Braveheart confronted Sparta in Staten Island, NY.  The Super Spartan challenged us, exhausted us and changed our lives! In the end, our hearts felt ripped out but there was nothing like the feeling of VICTORY and honor to wear the Spartan Finisher Medal! The Spartan Race has energy about it unlike any other competition.  Here you could truly find the meaning of your strength, your courage, your beliefs and most of all YOURSELF!  Team Braveheart’s goal is to motivate the world while The Spartan Race is taking over the world! (A great match) Bring on the fire, mud and insane obstacles- “The hotter the battle the sweeter the victory.”

We are proud to have such motivated and inspiring individuals coming to our courses time and time again in search of the Spartan finish line!  You can read Jen’s blog HERE about all Team Braveheart’s adventures!

You can also check out Gaspari’s sponsored WOD’s every Monday night on our blog and on FB!


Tags: , ,

WOD for Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

~By James Villepigue CSCS & Hobie Call

Hobie Call

How are you, Spartans? If you’ve been following the weekly WOD, you will surely be seeing the fruits of your labor by now.

We have another mighty WOD for you today and it’s brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition…sports nutrition for the best of us!

Today’s WOD is a full body barrage and can be done with minimal equipment. All you’ll really need is a sturdy ledge, branch or Pull-Up bar and you’re off to the obstacle races!

Today we’ll be focusing on a strength exercise followed by a run.

You’ll be executing a total of 8 exercises, which makes up one full cycle. You may repeat cycles based on your level of conditioning.

Here’s how each superset sequence will look and work:

1.  1 set of 20 Pull-Ups – Here’s the deal. If you can do full fledge Pull-Ups, do them – if you need to take a quick rest before you’ve hit the 20 rep mark, use your muscle math and jump back in from where ever you left off and add two reps for each rest you take. For those of you who cannot YET do a full Pull-Up, get yourself some sort of a platform so that you can easily hold on to the bar with arms fully extended (I don’t want you having to jump up to grab the bar) and for each Pull-Up, jump into the rep to give yourself bit of a boost. Make sure that your upper body is responsible for the bulk of the work and not simply the force generated from your legs and inertia.

2.  Run for 3 minutes at a moderate speed

3.  1 set of 14 Pushups into arm opposing leg lifts – Perform a full Push-Up and at the top, immediately raise your right arm and lift your left leg high. Perform another full Push-Up and now switch the arm/leg. Make sure that your arm and leg lifts happen right as you push up to the top position…it should be a seamless transition.

4.  Run for 5 minutes – First 2.5 mins at faster pace and last 2.5 mins at moderate pace

5.  Jump Squats & Speed Squats – Perform 15 Jump Squats and finish with 25 speed Squats – Proper form is a must here-Head up, chest out, shoulders pulled back and kept down, abs tight, arch the lower back and stick the butt out. Bend at the hips first, not the knees. I want you to lower your body slowly and from the bottom position, explosively jump as high as you can!

Once you’ve completed 15 consecutive Jump Squats, without rest, perform 25 bodyweight speed Squats. Your legs will be fired up!

6.  Run for 5 minutes at a moderate speed – Your legs may be exhausted, so be conscious of them and stay strong during your run.

7.  1 minute Plank into 30 Bicycle Maneuver into 1 minute Plank into 30 Bicycle Maneuver

8.  Run for 3 minutes at a fast pace – rest if you need to, but when you can, get right back into it!

Repeat 2-3 Times!

As always, please have a timer with a beep indicator to ensure that you keep tabs on your work time. At the end of each cycle (the 8th exercise), you’ll have a 1 minute break.

If you need to take more rest, do so, but no cheating yourself!

As always, please have some cool water, a towel and a timer with you.

Please remember to let Hobie and I know how you did!

Keep Going!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call

Did you catch last weeks feature WOD in this series?  CLICK HERE

Does reading this WOD make you want to register for a Spartan Race?  To find a race near you CLICK HERE

Tags: ,

WOD for Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepigue CSCS & Hobie Call

WOD are you Spartans up to today? Here’s today’s Spartan Workout of the day, presented by the one and only, Gaspari Nutrition…sports nutrition for the best of us!

Today’s WOD is a little off the beaten path, but that’s what obstacle race training is all about; stepping off the pavement and into some wild terrain!

Today we’ll be focusing on upper body, cardio and core. You’ll be focusing on pull-ups, chin-ups, jump rope and the standard plank exercises.

You’ll be executing 20 total sets of exercise today, performing a specific superset sequence using two exercise movements for 10 sets and then another pair of exercise movements for another 10 sets.

Here’s how each superset sequence it will look and work:

  • 1st: 5 Sets of 10-12 Pull-ups X 5 sets of 1.5-minute Plank – 1-minute rest
  • 2nd: 5 Sets of 10-12 Chin-ups X 5 sets of 75 reps of the Bicycle Maneuver – that’s 75 per side! – 1-minute rest
  • 3rd: 5 Sets of 150 jump rope X 5 sets of 1-minute Plank – 1-minute rest
  • 4th: 5 Sets of 100 jump rope X 5 sets of 1-minute Plank – 1-minute rest

Please have a timer with a beep indicator to ensure that you keep tabs on your work time. At the end of each 5th set, you’ll have a 1 minute break – It’s not a lot of rest, but it’s the type of training develops race worthy conditioning!

As always, if you feel like you need to take more rest, take it, but DO NOT sell yourself short, Spartans!!!

Exercise Descriptions:

Pull-ups: You’d be surprised where you can do a chin-up or pull-up. Look in your home for a sturdy ledge or outside for a fairly low hanging horizontal branch. Make it fun and challenging!

Take a shoulder width overhand grip and grip that handle as hard as you can (grabbing the handle with a tight grip will help to prepare your body for the exertion – Make every muscle in your body rigid just before you begin pulling up).

Before you begin, stick that chest out, keep those shoulders pinned back and depressed down, abs tight, arch that lower back, bend at the knees and interlock your ankles, look up to where you want to pull and as you pull up, begin your exhale and think about driving your elbows down into the ground below you.

Chin-ups: Take a shoulder width or narrower underhand grip and keep those elbows closer to your sides. Now, follow the same form as the Pull-up.

Plank:  Get on the floor and face downward. Take a modified pushup position, where your forearms are positioned on the ulna/pinky down with palms facing each other, but fists clenched. Forearms are in straight line, parallel to one another. Get up on your tiptoes and keep them rigid. Legs are completely straight and maintained in a tight position. Keep a neutral spine and make sure that the spine is straight and doesn’t dip down or peak up. I want you to focus on keeping your abdominals contracted throughout the full 1-minute, as this will both help to keep a rigid and straight spine, plus will further engage those abdominal muscles.

Jump Rope: Nothing fancy here, folks. Feet are hip width or closer. I want you to keep your hands down low and when you jump, allow the wrists to flip with the jump, so that the rope follows your jump pattern. This will ensure that your timing is accurate and will help prevent the rope from catching your toes. The objective is to keep the jump shallow, but keep the jump rope speed as rapid as you possibly can! If you find that you keep catching the rope on your toes, hang in there…it’s a simple timing issue and will be solved with some patience and commitment. I promise!

As always, please have some cool water, a towel and a timer with you.

Please remember to let Hobie and I know how you did!

Keep Going!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call

 

 

Tags: ,

GASPARI NUTRITION PRESENTS a SPARTAN WOD SERIES: WOD #3 presented by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepigue CSCS & Hobie Call

www.ConquerAnyCourse.com

Swim In The Gym!

This week’s WOD is a somewhat unique training technique and is recommended for more advanced athletes. If you are a beginner or intermediate athlete with an above level of physical conditioning, please use ultimate caution!

Today’s training WOD involves either the use of an inexpensive swim/scuba snorkel and/or a straw with an above average circumference, which will allow for a bit more air capacity…I get mine from a national burger chain and I’m lovin it! ;-)

If you’re the type of person who cares too much about what others think about you, you may not want to perform this technique in public. If you’re in it to win it, do what you gotta do and don’t worry about those who don’t matter anyway.

You can use this training technique to help with three aspects of race training, which will ultimately improve your race performance.

1) It will help you adjust and improve lung capacity during any endurance based activity – Is an amazing enhancer for high altitude training & race performance.

2) This will help to loosen up your rib cage by making it more flexible and will strengthen your diaphragm.  (This is an aspect of training that is often neglected by most athletes.)

3) This is one sure-fire way to spruce up one of your regular workouts in a rather unique way.

Here’s how to do it:

-If your workout lasts under 1 hour, set your watch to beep at the 1 minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

-For workouts lasting between 1-2 hours, set your watch to beep at the 2-minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

-For workouts lasting 2 or more hours, set your watch to beep at the 4-minute mark and put it on repeat mode.

Once you’re warmed up, start your watch and each time it beeps, place the snorkel in your mouth and breathe. Do your best to relax, as the more rigid you are, the more you will tense up and the more you increase your chances of hyperventilating. You’re not holding your breath here, but you will definitely be taxing your lungs by making your ability to take in oxygen much more challenging.

If you find that the snorkel breathing time frames laid out above are either too difficult or too easy, modify at your discretion and risk.

This is essentially direct exercise for your lungs and it will help to build up your lung capacity.

If at any time you become dizzy, stop immediately, breathe deeply and slowly and take a break.

You want the challenge to be present, but once the snorkel begins overly interfering/affecting the rhythm and pace of your workout, take a break.

Again, do your best to relax your body during a protocol like this. Once you master the snorkel on your training days, try spending a few minutes practicing your breathing through a straw on your non-training days. This is not easy, but can help to further build up your lung capacity.

As you find yourself becoming more comfortable using this technique, try increasing your straw breathing time by one minute on each consecutive non-training day.

*Be careful not to overdo the training day snorkel protocol or the non-training day straw breathing.  You don’t want to make yourself pass out and get hurt.

As always, please warm-up by going through one or two cycles of the Dynamic Warm-Up Routine. Just because this week’s WOD is more of a training technique using breathing protocols, you should still warm up to ensure safety.

—————————————-

gaspariGaspari Nutrition is an award winning global fitness leader with a mission to educate and deliver innovative, quality, and effective sports nutrition products to inspire customers in achieving their lifestyle goals. Gaspari Nutrition has become synonymous with confidence; the confidence to know that when you take a Gaspari product, you are doing the very best you can for your physique, your athletic performance, and your ultimate goal.

They are one of the few companies to sponsor independent 3rd party research on their products to prove their efficacy. Gaspari Nutrition is sold in over 85 countries and available in over 5,000 US retail outlets that include GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger, Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as over 100 online stores, including Bodyybuilding.com, Amazon and DrugStore.com. www.gasparinutrition.com

Tags: , ,

GASPARI NUTRITION PRESENTS SPARTAN WOD SERIES: WOD #1 presented by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepigue CSCS & Hobie Call

www.ConquerAnyCourse.com

Are You Ready To Workout…I Mean Really Ready?

Let’s talk a little bit about training cold. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “training cold”, it simply means, training without a warm-up and just jumping right into an intense style workout when your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments are not yet ready.

When you do this, not only is your physical body not yet ready to train, but neither is your neurological system and this can greatly negatively effect the signals between your brain and your body.

If you’re a young person doing this, your body may be more resilient and forgiving, but trust me when I say, that the damage is being done and it can be accumulative.

Now, let’s talk about a body that’s properly warmed up and really ready to go – You’ve got a light sweat coming on, your heart is working and your skeletal muscles, joints and connective tissue are feeling limber and are prepared to work.

This is a recipe for training success and by sticking with the prep, you can look forward to a lifetime of training success and less injuries. This brief preparation that you’ve taken the time for will have a dramatically positive effect on each and every one of your workouts.

The Dynamic Warm-Up

  • 15 Bodyweight Good-Mornings – Stand with feet shoulder width apart and a slight bend in knees, torso fully extended with head up, chin forward and arms at your sides. Bend at waist until body is parallel with floor by pushing buttocks back and return to your starting position and immediately repeat.
  • 10/20 Torso Twists (A twist to each side is 1 rep) – Spread your feet just shy of shoulder width, keep a slight bend in the knees, bring arms out to sides and keep them fully extended. Twist (don’t thrust your body, simply twist to warm-up the spine) your upper body, keeping your head straight.
  • 8/16 Walking Lunges (Each leg lunge out is 1 rep) A twist to each side is 1 rep) – Feet are side by side, only a few inches from one another. Knees are slightly bent, chest out, shoulders back and down, abs tight and keep your head and eyes (looking) straight. Begin by stepping the right leg out far enough, so that you roll heel to toe and avoid the knee from going over the toes. Lunge forward with one leg and without rest, lunge forward with the opposite leg. Let the leg stepping out do all the work – the back leg is only for balancing.
  • 8/16 Alternating Hamstring Bends (Each bend down one leg is 1 rep) – Spread your legs approximately 3 feet apart, keeping the knees just short of lock out. Begin by facing forward and bend down in the direction of your right leg. Exhale as you draw your hands down that leg and touch your toes. Come back up to the middle and immediately move to the left leg and repeat.
  • 10 Jumping Jacks – Come on now! ;-)
  • 10 Deep Squats – Take a slightly wider than hip width stance and slightly bend the knees. Stick your chest out, bring your shoulders back and down and keep your head up. Squat down and mimic the motion of sitting back as you would sit in a chair. Stop when thighs are parallel. Immediately stand back up and repeat.
  • 10 Arm Rolls Backwards – Simply giant arms circles.
  • 10 Arm Rolls Foreword – Simply giant arms circles.
  • 10/20 Arm Over Unders (One swing over and one swing under is 1 rep) – You’re standing with hip width apart, knees slightly bent, chest out, shoulders back and down and body relaxed. Bring your arms up and extended out in front of you and swing them back and fourth – During the first swing forward, the left arm should swing under the right – during the next swing back and forward your right arm will swing under the left arm. Repeat.

*If you have the time and for best results, repeat the entire sequence twice.

————————–

Gaspari Nutrition is an award winning global fitness leader with a mission to educate and deliver innovative, quality, and effective sports nutrition products to inspire customers in achieving their lifestyle goals. Gaspari Nutrition has become synonymous with confidence; the confidence to know that when you take a Gaspari product, you are doing the very best you can for your physique, your athletic performance, and your ultimate goal.

They are one of the few companies to sponsor independent 3rd party research on their products to prove their efficacy. Gaspari Nutrition is sold in over 85 countries and available in over 5,000 US retail outlets that include GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger, Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as over 100 online stores, including Bodyybuilding.com, Amazon and DrugStore.com. www.gasparinutrition.com

gaspari

Tags: , ,

JamesSpartan is excited to be working with our partner Gaspari Nutrition in 2012!  The fine folks at Gaspari Nutrition will be providing samples post-race for all Spartan athletes! 

In addition, we’ll be providing a more in depth WOD brought to you by Team Gaspari Athlete and best selling author James Villepigue every Monday in 2012.  Check out his Facebook page.  http://www.facebook.com/jamesvillepigue and his newest page on how YOU can Conquer Any Course.  www.ConquerAnyCourse.com

 

Here’s what you need to know about Gaspari.

Gaspari Nutrition is an award winning global fitness leader with a mission to educate and deliver innovative, quality, and effective sports nutrition products to inspire customers in achieving their lifestyle goals. Gaspari Nutrition has become synonymous with confidence; the confidence to know that when you take a Gaspari product, you are doing the very best you can for your physique, your athletic performance, and your ultimate goal. 

They are one of the few companies to sponsor independent 3rd party research on their products to prove their efficacy. Gaspari Nutrition is sold in over 85 countries and available in over 5,000 US retail outlets that include GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Kroger, Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as over 100 online stores, including Bodyybuilding.com, Amazon and DrugStore.com. www.gasparinutrition.com

Here’s what you need to know about James.

James Villepigue is an International best selling author of over 25 books. His flagship book series, entitled, “The Body Sculpting Bibles”, have sold over 1 Million copies over the last twelve years. James brings over 20 years of quality certified experience in the health and fitness industry. He’s a Nationally Certified personal trainer under “National Strength & Conditioning Association” (NSCA-CSCS), “The American Council On Exercise” (ACE), “The International Sports Science Association” (ISSA) & “The National Board of Fitness Examiners” (NBFE).

James is a graduate of Hofstra University, with a BS in marketing. He’s a Massage Therapist and received a degree from the New York College of Health Professions. James is also a graduate of the highly acclaimed coach training school, the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (IPEC).

The success of his systems and his extensive training and coaching experience have propelled James to appearances on national television programs and achieved him publication in nationally recognized health and fitness magazines.

James’ latest project is a book being published by Penguin, publisher to the prestigious “Idiots Guide” book series.

It will be the very first official obstacle race course-training guide in the marketplace. The title of the new book is, “The Obstacle Race Training Bible”

gaspari

Tags: ,