WOD for Tuesday, 8.28.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call

Beginner Cycles: Should ideally have zero rest between exercises and a maximum of 2 mins rest between sets. For each exercise shoot for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute of continuous movement per exercise without stopping. 3 Sets minimum

Advanced cycles: should also have zero rest between exercises and a maximum of 1 min rest between sets. For each exercise shoot for at least 1 minute to 90 seconds of continuous movement per exercise without stopping. Shoot for 5 sets.


1) Duel High-Dumbbell Pushups: I’ve used these for years, and incorporated the single high dumbbell pushup into Spartan workouts before, but now it’s time to step it up. Here’s how to use two dumbbells to turn a simple polymetric pushup into an obstacle course for the upper body.

Keep in mind that no matter who you are, or how good of shape you’re in, these are extremely taxing and simply cannot be maintained for too long. It takes a highly trained athlete an incredible amount of energy to perfectly execute ten of these bad boys.

Now, a single high dumbbell pushup is where you take one and flip it on its side so it’s tall. Then with one hand on the ground and one hand up on top of it, do a pushup and then explode with power propelling the upper body over the dumbbell so that the opposite hand is now on top. Ok, now, this will take some situating but once you get it right the first time you can eyeball it.

Set up the other dumbbell about a foot and a half to either side. It should be perfectly level and even, not staggered. Additionally, these should be heavier weights that are stable, not light and easily tipped.

I’m sure you can already see where this is going. In all, there will be a sequence of three movements. Let’s say you start with your left hand up on the first one, with your body and right hand to the right side of the dumbbell. The first movement switches you to the other side so the right hand is on the dumbbell, and the left is now on the ground. The second movement is where you switch hands so you’re in the starting position between the two. Do the first movement with the other dumbbell and all without pausing. 1, 2, 3, so that you end up on the far left of the second dumbbell with your right hand on top. Hardcore Spartan Style!


2) One Leg Curl to Press: Now that the blood is definitely pumping, let’s add some variation and use different mechanics. Grab the dumbbells and begin to do alternating dumbbell curls to presses, but make sure that you’re only on one leg. To really get knee deep in the brain training, make sure that the leg going up and the arm going up are always on opposite sides of the body.

If you’re looking for even more work, use only one dumbbell at a time instead of two that are evening out the weight distribution. So if you’re standing on your right leg with the left being held high, then you should be doing the dumbbell curls and presses with the right arm. This is making it much harder for the central nervous system to navigate through the awkwardness of the exercise with so many muscles involved simultaneously.

Keep focused on the fact that you’re purposely challenging your core and your internal base of support by manipulating the direction of force, so make it tough! Just make sure you’re not ignoring any alarm bells originating from the ankles.


3) Reverse Lung & One Arm Snatch: Ok, once again we’re going to completely change up what the body is doing, but keeping it things in a full body groove. This is more brain training, so focus on the pelvis, spine, and obliques. If you decided to do the dumbbell presses with just one dumbbell, then you can go smoothly right into these. 

With these it’s best to split the time under tension in half to split the work evenly to both sides of the body.

These help with all kinds of obstacles, and situations where quick ducking, grabbing, and internal balance mechanisms are responsible for gaining or losing precious time.

With a dumbbell in one hand, say the right, step back with the right leg into a reverse lunge. As you do, lower the arm with the dumbbell down towards the ground parallel with the other foot. Don’t let it touch, and don’t lean too forward. Your head and eyes should stay up, not pointing towards the ground. This is where you really need to use the mind to make sure every part of the kinetic chain is supported, especially the lower back.

Instead of standing up, do a one arm snatch with the dumbbell to get back to starting position. Let me stress, there is no reason to use heavy weight when incorporating a lunge, in fact, it’s downright dangerous. Whether advanced or a beginner, the weight should only be light to moderate.

Finally, just because the weight isn’t what it would be in a real snatch, doesn’t mean you should pop your shoulders out of their sockets rocketing these things up. Remember, Spartan training is progressive, determined, and always mindful of form.


4) 10-20 Five Count Pushups w/ Row: Being a Spartan means elevating all the traditional exercises into something far more taxing. Most people use the gym to train for everyday life. These pushups are what build the strength to carve the upper body into a metabolic machine.

These pushups are done with the hands on your dumbbells. The eccentric count is three, the fourth count should be popping up, and the fifth happens at the climax when you lift one dumbbell for a row. Of course on each rep switch the hand that does the row. I included the numbers 10 and 20 just as a rough outline. Everyone is going to handle these differently, so as long as you make the work count and don’t let the body collapse to the ground, or stick your butt as high into the air as possible, you’re still working.

Beginners should shoot for about ten without stopping, and advanced twenty, but it’s the time under tension that’s the most important. These are not only about the chest, but the forearms, shoulders, core, and upper back as well. Make the rows clean, not jerky. Bring them to their height around the arm pit and feel the shoulder blade move.


5) Treadmill Farmer Walks: To end each set grab your dumbbells and head to the nearest treadmill. First of all, there will be zero running. If you’ve been following the W-T-R then your body thinks you’ve been doing cardio the entire set so far anyway. No, this is basically walking the treadmill at a moderate but comfortable pace on random hill mode. Everyone should set the time to exactly six minutes.

With most treadmills this is enough time to get into some of that hill mode, following a two to three minute warm up period. Most machines will have somewhere to set the dumbbells, if there isn’t one, well, that means no setting them down then! Either way, what you’re shooting for is one minute intervals of walking up hills carrying the dumbbells.

Even if you’re only using 15lb weights, that’s an extra 30lbs of body weight. It will cause you’re heart to speed up almost instantly, as though you were running. When the arms and shoulders begin to get tired, just curl them up and set them on your shoulders. Do whatever you have to do, but stay on that treadmill and add that extra weight for at least three of the six minutes.


Keep Going!


James Villepigue & Hobie Call


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3 Responses

  1. avatar

    This one is going to be a bitch tonight…

  2. avatar

    Great workout – definitely kept me thinking and working hard. Question: using this workout as a measurement, what level of difficulty should I be able to complete this (beginner, advanced, more than advanced) if I want to complete a Super Spartan without leaving on a stretcher?

  3. avatar

    what is a one arm snatch?

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