Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl,”Man’s Search for Meaning

Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.
- YODA, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

 

Warm-up:  Treadmill (10 minutes)

Set your speed at 4.0 and select a random/interval/hill setting which provides different inclines.  If you don’t have access to a treadmill, go for a 10 minute power walk, using a hilly terrain.

Mainset:  Strength Conditioning

20 walking dumbbell lunges
15 deadlift/overhead press
20 walking dumbbell lunges
Pullups to failure

That’s one set. Repeat 2-4 times.

Planks – 1-4 minutes for 5 sets
Birddogs – 1-4 minutes each side for 5 sets

Optional:  3-4 mile run, using negative splits, starting off 10-15 seconds slower than normal race pace and finishing at race pace or better.

Cool down:

Stretching

 

Walking dumbbell lunge:  Using a long stride to work the glutes and hamstrings, touch the back knee to the floor lightly on each rep. Repeat for 20 reps each side.

Dumbbell Turkish Get-Up: Lie on your back holding a dumbbell weight or sandbag above you in one head. Lift yourself to a standing position, keeping the dumbbell above your head throughout the movement. Lower back to the starting position, switch hands, and repeat the movement. Repeat for 10 reps each side.

Deadlift/Overhead Press:  Using proper deadlift form, lift either a weighted bar or plate up to shoulder height, then push up to an overhead press.  Lower the weight under control back to the floor. Can be done with a sandbag as well.  Repeat for 15 reps.

Birddog:  One method of performing it, called back extension involves using a roman chair to hold the feet down and hips up.

It can also be performed without equipment, in the bird dog exercise, in a prone position with arms forward. This version involves lifting one arm and the opposing leg at the same time, then releasing.

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by Jose Albanil

I looked across a crowded room. Our eyes met. Love at first sight. The Spartan playground was beckoning me to come play. Just kidding, I knew they had this training course at the Arizona Health and Fitness Expo. I really need to have a place outside and away from a city with lots of acreage so I can have this kind of stuff laying around to keep my workouts fun, new and fresh.

It is time to begin. One of the trainers made sure we had some nice warm-up stretches. This is really important and I always need that. Then it was all about business. The workout starts off by warming up the legs with 50 squats. Followed by 30 Burpees. I knocked out 10 more just because I needed to get better at them. It was a team workout so if you got down fast you had to drop down and hold a plank and of course that was me. Next, we did 30 plank to Spidermans. I was starting to sweat big time. My hands were shaky. While we waited for the others we had to do as many banana to Supermans as we could. This was something new to me, but it kept your heart rate up. Then it was time to grab our “friend” as the trainer called it. It was a large sandbag with the Spartan Logo on it.  I think everyone called it a pancake. We went out to jog around the building with the bag. Half way around we had to do a combination that involved throwing the sandbag forward to frog jump towards it and then down to push up and repeat. All this while moving yourself down a length of course.

Of course the mind works in funny ways. As you get tired you start to loose your concentration. You hear what you want to hear as I call it. The trainer was telling us certain things we had to do and people became very selective in what they were hearing when it came to doing more work. If he said do these 10 things, people would blow through but only do 7. People would ask lots of questions as if they were using it as a way to take a longer break. But when it came time to stop, oh man it was instantaneous from when they heard that and dropped the bag or whatever they were doing.

Now for me, I do not like to cheat or take the easy way. I do the full and extenuated move. I add jumping or longer range of motion. I needed to be pushed. But I also like to work smart. I was surprised how quickly I processed the information at hand. When we were doing the combinations I mentioned above, I realized after the first one that if I threw the bag farther I cover the distance quicker. The trainer heard that and said yes you are correct. But by this I am not saying it is easier. I do expend more energy to throw the bag farther, I have to expend more energy to frog jump farther, etc. I do arrive quicker, more energy spent, and pushed harder. I was able to complete this part 3 times to everyone else doing one. Then we grabbed our bags to run back inside.
We ran back around the whole building and through the convention area. Nice way to attract attention to your booth. As we got back, I noticed one of the guys that was working the booth was asking people how they were feeling. As I ran by I said, “When is the warm up over?” We thought, “Oh man you are in trouble now.” Perfect, that is exactly what I needed.

Next, we grouped up in teams of 3 for the obstacle course. There was one kid by himself so two other trainers came in. I let the kid have my spot in my group and I rolled with the trainers. Yeah baby. Here is what the course looked like. I stared off by grabbing a rope to pull an SUV looking tire down and back. Then to the other side of the room to grab our “friend” again for the combinations. Across the course to a huge 300 pound looking tractor tire for the tire flips. I had to do two flips out and two back. Running to the other side to do a cinder blocks carry. This involved carrying them out and back. You had to make sure you stacked them nicely or you would have to do it again. I proceeded over to dive under another wall, and picked up a large plastic tube filed with water. It would throw off your balance as you did a lunge and shoulder press combo out and back. Next it was my favorite… NOT…. 30 Burpees.

Now the last thing, in order to finish, was to tell the trainer what the card was he showed us at the beginning of the workout. I memorized the numbers of objects, the shapes of the objects, the colors, the orientations of each, etc. The trainer needed to know which card number we were given in order to pull it up to make sure the participants answer was correct. I was like……..CARD NUMBER?….SHOOT. I never saw that. So I immediately went to the penalty phase which was ANOTHER 30 BURPEES. Everyone was only given one chance. Every person missed it. Everyone had to do the penalty. They all whined and complained and asked for another try. Doing whatever they could to get out of the penalty phase.

I finished first and rang the bell. The trainer looked at me and wondered how I finished so quickly. He knew I had no shot at the memory card and that I just banged out my burpees. He was laughing. Very good he said. I asked him if he remembered which card I had. He said yes. So I rattled off the color combo. As well as ALL the other things I memorized. He was shocked. It was an amazing workout. I had a serious sweat going on. And since I was not use to so many burpees in a row I could feel some tightening in the glutes but nothing a good stretch would not help alleviate.

Today’s workout had men, women, and your adults, all of which finished the workout in their own way and at their pace. I do feel that anyone that is at least active, with no physical limitations, can finish a Spartan Race. Sign up for the Spartan Sprint with a team and have a great time helping each other finish. Motivating and being a support crew for each other. See you on the course.

Editor’s Note: Bio:

Jose Albanil is a Graphic Designer in Scottsdale Arizona whose hobbies include creating art in various mediums, photography and staying physically fit. He has been running all kinds of races since 1991 and has come to love any and all mud/obstacle races that he can find. Spartan Races challenge him physically, mentally and allows him to have fun while competing. Blog originally posted at: http://mudsweatpride.blogspot.com/2013/03/spartan-workout-at-ah.html.

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by Carrie Adams

Chris Detar

Spartan Race started our Street Team last year as a way for our most dedicated Spartans to spread the Spartan story and get their friends and family off the couch and racing in our nearly 50 venues worldwide.  Since it’s launch, the Street Team has spread to all 50 states and into several countries worldwide full of eager, active Spartans and each of them has a story.  We’ve been fortunate to hear so many of them and we are honored to tell them to the Spartan community as a whole.  One such story came to us from Chris Detar. 

Spartan Race advertises that “you’ll know at the Finish Line”.  To me, for the year that I have been a follower of Spartan Race, this has gone in one ear and out the other.  It’s just another catch phrase or slogan to stick in your mind so you will remember the brand.  I couldn’t have been farther from the truth as I would find out for myself.

From the time I first started looking into obstacle course races as a motivational tool for getting into shape I have been aware of the Spartan Race series, but it never worked out that they had a race close by on a weekend that I had free.  But I followed the Spartan series.  I read SR blogs and watched the Spartan Race videos.  I downloaded their radio podcasts and subscribed to their Workout of the Day (WOD).  I completed five other races put on by other companies, some local and a couple national, but I always came back to Spartan for reasons that it would be too difficult or that I would have trouble qualifying.  They were committed to getting people off their couch and were great motivators.  The stories of their races, the dominance of Hobie Call, and the growth of Spartan Chicked were compelling.  I even joined their fledging group, the Spartan Street Team, to promote the racing series, and yet I had never had the chance to compete.

That all ended on Saturday with my completion of the Spartan Sprint in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.   The course, though considered a Sprint due to its length (Super Spartans start at eight miles and this was five and a quarter), was designed to be as tough a Sprint as Spartan has ever put together.  They were affectionately referring to it as a mini-Beast, which is the toughest of Spartan Races.

You’ll know at the finish line!  But what do I now know?

Blue Mountain Resort

I now know I am tough enough to overcome any obstacle, be it physical or mental.  To look at the mountain that the course weaved up and down was intimidating.  The Blue Mountain Ski Resort has two double black diamond slopes at nearly 1,000 feet vertical climb.  Just looking up from the base and knowing that I would be climbing this mountain two times tested my mental fortitude.  I worried that I would not be physically able to handle the climbs and descents and complete 25 obstacles, but at the finish line I knew.

I now know that Spartan is the toughest race going.  As I stated before, I have completed five other races, a few of them much longer than this Sprint, but none of them compared to this race.  The mountain itself, the way the race organizers weaved us up and down the slope, cutting through the woods to traverse technical trails, was more than any other course I have encountered.  The obstacles, including a 15 foot rope climb, walls that ever increasingly got higher, a gravel carry (in five gallon buckets), a very long crawl under barbed wire through rocky mud, and a 40 pound sand bag carry up and down the top of the double black, all exceeded anything I have endured before.  At the finish line I knew I had completed the toughest course around.

I now know why I followed Spartan Race and joined the Street Team.  This race series is the best around.  I was worried going in that I would feel let down if this race and its people were not equal to the pedestal I had put them on.  I was already signed up for two more races so that I could achieve the Spartan Trifecta this year.  The trifecta is achieved by completing a race in each of the three distance groupings.  What if I had signed up for three races and hated it? What ifI encouraged others to join this race and it wasn’t everything I told them it could be.  Well, at the finish line I knew I had made the right call, that my gut decision about Spartan was right.

I look forward to training for the next two races in the series, culminating with the Spartan Beast in Vermont this September.  At the finish line I learned a lot about myself, that I have more strides to make, more weight to lose, and more miles to run, but I also learned that I am strong enough to do so because at the finish line, I knew.

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by Carrie Adams

Jay Tea, Georgia Spartan Sprint, 2012

When the Spartan Street Team started last year, we knew at HQ that we were onto something special.  Spartan fans and athletes from all over the world were telling our story and getting people to come out to race with Spartan and they were some of our most loyal racers.  When Jay Tea joined, he brought his Azn Armour crew with him and his dedication to Spartan Race and to getting people off their couches and into the muddy action has been inspired.  He wrote a blog about how his February 2011 Spartan Race ignited something in him and how he has taken that spark and turned it into a Spartan fire inspiring so many others along the way.

Here is his story in his own words:

Jaymes Tran, also known as Jay Tea, the co-founder of team Azn Armour.  It was founded by two goofy Asian dudes that ran a whole lotta 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, half and full marathons, DUs and TRIs.  Then, the Florida Super Spartan came into town in 2011, and the rest is history.

Why you joined the Street Team? What Spartan Race means to you.

I had never run a mud/obstacle race before until the FL Super Spartan in 2011.  Once I completed it, I knew then, what I had accomplished when I crossed the Finish Line.  It was self-fulfillment and gratification knowing that I had conquered some challenges that I had never faced before.  I so was intrigue with the race and the family atmosphere that I wanted MORE!  So, I got in touch with the Street Team director, and he got me involved with spreading the word of Spartan Race and my experiences.  I believe I was one of the first Street Team member accepted by Travis Ketchum.  Every day I talk to someone about Spartan Race, be it at a grocery store, at work or simply via Facebook.  I always have my personalized business card handy with my team name and Facebook page on it for recruitment purposes.  Since joining the Street Team, my team of two EXPLODED into a team of 284 today, and it is still growing!  We have teams from Florida, up to Pennsylvania, across to Colorado and  Washington.  Going down the west coast, we also have teams formed in California and Nevada.  And to close it out, we have team coverage from Louisiana upwards to Tennessee and North Carolina.  So, as you can see, we have team in most majority areas, but those aren’t all.  We aim to not only represent at Spartan Races, but others as well to help spread the word on Sparta!

Being able to be part of the Spartan Race family means I am taken care of from the inside.  Knowing that, if I or any of my teammates have any issues, our concerns are heard and addressed.  Given that personal touch, really brings it to home for me.  You’re not just a number at Spartan Race, you are family.  I have yet to meet in person all of the good folks of Sparta, but one of these days, I will… along with all of the awesome racers I have met online as well.

Street Team Course Sweep experience & impact on people finishing a SR

AZN Armour

With our team Azn Armour being represented at most, if not all Spartan Races, really brings together the close knit community that we have formed.  Our team runs together and we don’t leave ANY team member behind.  Every member on the team will cross the Finish line, and we make sure of that.  We recruit true couch potatoes onto our team.  Most of our members are first time mud/obstacle racers.  We help make their race enjoyable, and keep them wanting more.

What it means to be a part of a community of motivating individuals & how you are leveraging it to train at a higher level.

As a team, we also have a team page that we discuss topics such as training, diet, sports clothing, among many other things.  We motivate each other by posting our daily workouts and health strategies.  Some of our team mates are near each other, and they have formed training sessions in their respective areas.  We are an open team, so everyone and anyone is welcomed.  We are a fun group, and if possible, we always tailgate at the races and enjoy the stories and memories that are created from the awesome experiences that Spartan Race give us.  To learn more about Azn Armour and our fun ninja ways, please hit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/groups/186550634790293/.

FL Super Spartan 2012

[Editor's Note: We'll be featuring stores from our incredible Street Team regularly on the blog.  Want to be a part of the Street Team action?  Find out how HERE. ]

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