WOD for Monday, Feb 27th presented by Gaspari Nutrition

~By Hobie Call & James Villepigue CSCS


The Advanced High Endurance/Strength Booster WOD


This particular training protocol should only be performed by those who have been actively & consistently training and lifting weights for at least one year.

When it comes to running a Spartan Race, be it a Spartan Sprint, Super Spartan, Spartan Beast or Spartan Death Race, you’re going to want an optimal balance of endurance and strength in order to successfully compete and complete the challenge.

The following WOD is one of my absolute favorites for building that balance and trust me when I say that this protocol is not for the faint of heart – If you’re in it to win it, take today’s WOD on and watch what happens to your conditioning level and the shape of your body!

We’re going to be using the Romanian Dead Lift as the exclusive lift for this protocol.

I want you to perform today’s WOD once a week for 5 weeks and then take a few weeks off.

Here’s how this WOD works. For your first week, you’ll be performing four sets of ten repetitions with one- minute rest between sets. Your deadlift tempo should be explosive in the accent and a bit slower and completely controlled during the descent. When you descend, do not bounce or bang the weights like a sissy – Touch the weights to the ground and immediately go right into the next repetition.


Your objective during this protocol is to keep ongoing tension on the muscles involved (just about every major muscle group!) until you’ve reached your last rep. This is going to be one of the toughest muscular endurance & cardiorespiratory challenges you’ve ever experienced.

Here’s how to choose the appropriate weight:

Choose a weight that is approximately 65% of your 2-rep maximum  – As an example, I end up using 315 pounds for the entire 5 week protocol. My max 2-rep deadlift is approximately 525 pounds.


Week One:

Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.

Week Two:

Perform 4 sets of 8 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.

Week Three:

Perform 5 sets of 8 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.

Week Four:

Perform 6 sets of 9 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.

Week Five:

Perform 7 sets of 10 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.

The weekly progression is designed to both acclimate you to the workout while making sure that results are solid and consistent.

If you find that you need more rest between sets, take the time, but don’t cheat yourself.

Keep Going!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call

5 Responses

  1. avatar

    My background includes several years as a certified (ATC) athletic trainer working with high school, colegiate and professional athletes. I hold degrees in athletic training, Kiniesiology as well as a minor in exercise physiology.
    My question is why the Romanian/straight legged dead lift vs a standard dead lift? In my oppinion, the standard dead lift more effectively distributes the muscular emphasis throughout the hip, lower back and hamstrings (emphasis on the semitendinosus) better than the romanian making it a more effective Power lift. Where the Romanian emphasises the hamstrings in general plus a great deal more with increased potential for adverse flexion of the lumbar spine superior to the hips, increasing the risk of injury of the lower back and soft tissues of the periphery.
    Sorry, just my oppinion. Any thoughts?

  2. avatar

    Interesting: why would you use the RDL as the only exercise for this protocol? Seems a bit limited as you are only integrating one segment of the kinetic chain, why not include knee flexion and extension with a full dead lift?

    Pete McLean, MS, CSCS

  3. avatar

    I have been shown 3 different ways to execute a Romanian Dead Lift. Would love to see a video on “the proper” technique from you for this lift.

  4. avatar

    A bit confused:
    “Here’s how this WOD works. For your first week, you’ll be performing four sets of ten repetitions with one- minute rest between sets.”

    “Week One: Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions with one-minute rest between each set.”

    Which one is correct? (or am I reading it incorrectly).

  5. avatar

    As a soldier and a medic, I have a different take on enduro-strength max. Here in Afghanistan I am often presented with unexpected situations, requiring everything I’ve got.

    To train for short explosive bursts, within extended time frames in life, duplicate that in the gym. Go from exercise to exercise, without rest periods, alternative muscle groups (TRIs-BIs),(CHEST-BACK),(LEGS-SHOULDERS) to give a 20-30 second break between sets for the muscles in question. Do 4-6 sets depending on your strength level pushes the body to tap extra reserves a 3 set workout misses. And to top it off, alternate your days, STR: 8-10 reps, 80% max, then ENDURANCE: 20+ reps, 50-60% max (tailor the weight so the last reps burn…which means you’ll be changing iron a lot). Put your headphones on, and blast through your workout…it will be the most productive 45 minutes of your day. You’ll cut your gym time in half, and double the results.

    Most importantly, mix and match your exercises…shake it up every couple of weeks. Be flexible on your weights. If you aren’t feeling it, peel off 10#, do a few more reps if you can, make sure your form is perfect, and voila, you’ve got a productive set after all. Push your weights or your reps every week…but never both. Give your body time to adapt. If you learn what nutrition you need, and feed it often, you will see and feel results.

    While it isn’t a true cardio workout, if you push yourself, you’ll stress all sorts of endurance elements in your body, creating deep reserves to draw upon, mentally and physically; while still strengthening yourself for those moments when you need to take the world on your shoulders and run.

    Remember: Work out like your life depends on it…because it does.

    SPC Watt
    F/5-159th MEDEVAC
    Flight Medic

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