Spartan WOD for 9.24.12 brought to you by Gaspri Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call


If you’re looking for an expert level workout that’s sure to provide a heavy hitting combo of strength training and endurance training, then look no further. This series of exercises targets everything, but puts special attention on the core and lower body working together.

Everything is well explained, including the rep counts per exercise and what exactly counts as one. These are all low impact, but get the job done. You should shoot for a minimum of three cycles, and try not to rest in between exercises. Instead, give it your all, and try to save a 45s-1min rest period between cycles.


Let’s get the ball rolling…

1) 20 Dumbbell Squat Thrusters to Burpee: It’s best to squat down in sumo stance for this. If you find that your heels rise up prematurely, thereby restricting proper form, then this means you need to spend a few minutes stretching the calves. Tight calves are extremely common, but nothing a few static stretches can’t fix.

There’s no reason to power up the dumbbells in this exercise until you’re nearly popping your shoulders out of their sockets. Instead, use an eight count, four up and four down. Slowly lower yourself and pay attention to any stress on the lower back. It should be straight as a board, and your head up. Use your mind to keep the weight in your heels, and gradually come up to where you’ll be extending the arms. Feel the burn, absorb it, and let it cleanse the muscle tissue of any lactic acid.

After you’ve completed the shoulder press, bring the arms back down to your sides, and then go into the burpee while still holding onto the dumbbells. At this point I usually tell people to add in pushups and dumbbell rows before getting up and going into another rep, but that’s completely up to you. The squat, press, and burpee upon completion count as one rep.


2) 5 Walking Transverse/Diagonal Lunges: There are tons of ways to do lunges. Most people stick with forward or lateral, even though they’re only the icing on the cake.

Transverse lunges in this context are where the body does a full one eighty. It requires twisting the torso so that you’re facing the direction that was at your back.

The point of the transverse lunges is to completely change the planes of motion in your mind. It’s an efficient way to manipulate force within the body. The nervous system treats turning around very differently than simply stepping to the side. Start with a lateral lunge, and then swing either foot forward or backward and turn around while still moving in a certain direction. Sometimes swing forward, sometimes swing backward and mix it up. The point is to maintain a solid center of balance, stay low in your stance rather than standing, and move gracefully.

After four transverse lunges, do some diagonal lunges, which all technically take place in the transverse plane as well. As you can see by the picture it might feel like a saggital, or forward lunge. However, because one side of the body is diagonally crossing into a different plane of motion, it becomes transverse.

For example, the woman in the picture stepped forward with her right leg, but crossed the center line. Take time to get into the stance, and feel how different it is for both the knee and ankle joints. Do another four of these and consider those and the other 4 transverse lunges one rep; 8 total. Altogether, 8 x 5 = 40 total lunges, 20 per leg, per set.


3) Jog 1/4 of a Mile: This isn’t a sprint. Instead the pace should be what is typically considered a steady jog. For most people who are not accustomed to jogging it takes a determined mind to keep the pace. The body without you being aware of it will speed up and devour energy reserves if you don’t make an effort to slow down.

Running to the beat of breath is a good idea, or counting off like they do in the military. Keeping time is essential.

For most tracks one fourth of a mile is exactly four loops. Try not to take any longer than two minutes. Some other tips are to make sure you’ve stretched well before doing any jogging and make sure that you’re wearing specially designed shoes meant for jogging. They should have a nice and snug fit, and remember to bring those knees up. Finally, try to breathe from the diaphragm, control it, and in this way avoid the dreaded side pains. Contrary to most beliefs, these side pains during running are due to improper breathing.


4) 20 Alternating Low Get-Ups: There are so many names for these things, but they’ve become especially popular in football training. It’s a lower body and core workout that works immediately and becomes extremely hard endurance wise for everyone, no matter what their fitness level.

If you’re looking to power up the muscular endurance of the lower body, get into these on a regular basis. The point of the entire exercise is to stay low in a squat stance whenever you’re on two feet, and to keep the core engaged and back straight while on one knee.

Begin in the starting position that the young man in the picture is in. He has his right leg up, and is on his left knee. Now bring up the left foot so that you’re on both, but don’t stand up. Stay low, and then put the right leg down so the beginning stance is switched. Now bring up the other side, and vice versa. The quicker you can do these the better, but keep low! Once you’ve used both legs to get into a low squat position, that’s considered one rep.


5) 25 Dumbbell Pushups with Alternating Supermans: These are pretty straight forward. You’ll be doing pushups on a pair of light dumbbells that you can use to enhance the alternating supermans.

Here is the series: first begin with a pushup on one foot with the other in the air, and then after you come up lift the opposite arm (holding the dumbbell) from the leg being held up. Do another pushup on the other foot, come up and lift the opposite arm for a few seconds, and that’s one rep. Make sure to breathe! Too many people hold their breath while doing these and it defeats the purpose. Muscles need oxygen for too many reasons to list. Additionally, for an ultimate workout, keep the core fully engaged the entire set.


Once you’re done with all three sets, you’ve gotten an amazing workout for the day. If you workout within 24 hours, make sure it is with dynamically different exercises. Eat well, train smart, and enjoy it! This is Sparta, but you should still keep the fun in your fitness WOD!


Keep Going!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call


3 Responses

  1. avatar

    Love lunges!

  2. avatar

    Is this a good workout to bring to the track? Could you work any speed work into this?

    • avatar

      This would be a good workout for the track for sure. Be careful mixing in too much speed work with all the strength exercises as it might be too much for one session. Typically on a day that doesn’t emphasize as much strength is a good day to hammer around the track for speed.

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