Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Train like a Spartan: Week 4

Justin D´Ancona works out during a Relentless Fitness Spartan Race prep class in Washington Square Park in Philadelphia. (Stephanie Aaronson / Philly.com)
Justin D'Ancona works out during a Relentless Fitness Spartan Race prep class in Washington Square Park in Philadelphia. (Stephanie Aaronson / Philly.com)

We’re wrapping up our first month of training for the Spartan Race with the team at Relentless Fitness and this week we welcomed back super trainer, Ross. 
 
A month into training I feel a lot more comfortable with the variety of exercises and the pace at which the workouts are done. It’s obvious athleticism will be required in a race like this and the work we’ve been putting in has me feeling more confident about my speed, agility, strength and endurance.

This week’s workout focused mainly on pace and specific exercises we’ll encounter at the Spartan stations.

After meeting up at the studio, the crew jogged over to – yup, you guessed it – Washington Square to begin the onslaught.

Ross’s warm-ups are a little more intense than others. I vividly remember having the same unenthusiastic thoughts cross my mind from the first class. The warm-up consisted of overhead squats, lateral lunge chops, jumping jacks, inch worm push ups, squat alternating press, mountain climbers, rotational torso twists, squat thrusts, skaters and toe touches.

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  • So, yea, you can see how someone would be taxed after completing just that. 

    Our main workout was a 15-minute circuit and Ross wasted no time introducing us to his latest exercise creation: “Rossburpees.” (Don’t worry; we’re working on the name. We need something that rolls off the tongue easier before we file the trademark paperwork.)

    A Rossburpee is a regular burpee, but you add two squats, a jump and a cross knee push up to each side before you can say you’ve completed one. We did eight of them before running to the next station. Six hand shuffles (remaining in a pushup position and moving laterally) into a pushup were next.

    We ran to the next station where we did three-point lunges. They’re just lunges with one leg going to the front, side and back for 10 reps.

    After that, the rep ranges increased and fatigue crept in quickly. Twenty squats jumps, followed by 30 step-ups, 40 knees-to-chest, 20 side-to-side jumps and back to the most enjoyable part of the workout, 20 burpees. 

    It’s quite comical actually to notice how high you jump on your first few burpees (or Rossburpees) compared to the burpees we had to finish with at the end. My feet were barely getting off the ground.

    With the circuit finally over, we worked on some speed and endurance stuff that will be featured in the race like bear crawls and dips, before wrapping it up and jogging back to the studio.

    It was great to have Ross back training with us. One of the most exciting parts of the training is seeing the different styles each trainer brings to the table. No two workouts are ever the same. 

    Justin D'Ancona Philly.com Health
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