Spartan Race Training: Week 5

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A Relentless Fitness Spartan Race prep class in Washington Square Park in Philadelphia. (Stephanie Aaronson / Philly.com)

It's time to flip a switch.

Thus far we've handled skills – burpees, running, grip strength, and bodyweight manipulation. These prepare you for Spartan Race specific movements, but you can't coast on skill alone.

To race strong, capable, and prepared, you need to handle 40 to 100 full minutes (depending on ability level) of mixed skills. You need volume.

Put on your big girl and big boy pants. Let's climb.

30 Minutes to Win It

Set a stopwatch for 30:00. Move constantly. Fight the urge to stop and rest. If you are winded and fatigued, slow down, but try not to stop!

Repeat the following circuit AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) within the 30-minutes:

  • Run .3 miles
  • 30 pull-up bar re-grips (explanation below)
  • 15 burpees
  • Run .2 miles
  • 30 low squat pulses (explanation below)
  • 10 burpees
  • Run .1 mile
  • 30 push-up position knee-ins (explanation below)
  • 5 burpees
  • 15 box/bench jumps

Workout Rules:

1. Exercise Explanations/Options:

  • Pull-up bar re-grips: If you have one available, hang from a pull-up bar. Squeeze your left hand hard while loosening (or removing if capable) your right hand. That is 1 repetition. Now squeeze your right hand and loosen your left. That is 2. These can be mimicked outdoors in any park by finding a wall or pillar that you can hang from (Washington Square has several in its corners). Place your hands on top, feet on the wall, and alternate loosening your hands.
  • Low squat pulses: Drop to the lowest point of your squat. Pulse slightly upward and sit back down to the low point. Use perfect form and keep your shoulders back.
  • Push-up knee-ins: Start in the push-up position. Take one leg, extend it backward, then rock forward and drive the knee forward and between your hands. Alternate sides.

2. Adapt as Needed. You are an individual, so act like one! Choose indoors or outdoors based on preference and availability. Modify where necessary – for example, if you're uncomfortable with outdoor bench jumps, switch to bench step-ups.

3. Estimate the Mile Counts. If you are using a treadmill it's a non-issue. If you are outdoors and running around a park, use 3 sides of the park as .3, 2 sides as .2, and 1 side as .1.

4. Burpee Exemption. This workout counts as a 3-day break from your daily burpee volume.

5. Respect the Importance. Usually this is where I say "have fun!" and you still should. However, building volume ain't easy. Understand the importance of it. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions now, and you race like a beast on November 14th.

Get your game faces on Team. Let's build, let's climb, and let's Spartan up! Circle back here next week for step six.

Roger Dickerman is co-owner of Relentless Fitness.

Every Thursday leading up to the Spartan Race on November 14, Roger will be submitting exclusive posts to Philly.com specifically tailored to get you ready for the obstacle course at Citizen's Bank Park. If you’d like to become part of the team, or just want to help donate to the nonprofit they're supporting (Steve’s Club), you can get more information here.

Our Team Relentless philosophy is simple: Think bigger on behalf of yourself and others. No matter what route you choose – whether it's solely using these Philly.com workouts to better your health, training and racing alongside Relentless, or funding a Steve's Club teenager – it's all good. Get involved, and stay relentless! 


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