Train like a Spartan: Week 7

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

Open sesame!

If only it was that easy.

For the second week in a row we were locked out of the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, but that had little impact on us crushing another workout.

Class was larger than normal this Sunday morning, perhaps because we’re getting closer to crunch time, as the Spartan Race is only a few weeks away. 

Instead of working out at one specific location, Ross decided to make several pit stops along the way, basically mimicking how the actual race will be dictated. Our first stop was a place very dear to our hearts, our previous stomping ground. Old habits do die hard, huh?

However, our time at Washington Square was short-lived. It did serve its warm-up purpose though. We completed a 50-foot bear crawl, 40 bench step-ups and 10 bench hops at this nostalgic area.

Then it was off to Penn’s Landing for our second training station. The intensity definitely picked up here.

First, we did 30 squat jumps, followed by Ross’s new favorite exercise, the broad jump burpee, before finishing with a sprint to the end. After a brief rest we repeated the same circuit.

This second lap at Penn’s Landing wasn’t as difficult, but man, those burpees really take a toll on you.

We had 30 walking lunges, 15 star jumps and a sprint to the finish. One more round of that and then it was off to our next stop – back to the stairs on South Street.

Just seeing the stairs made my quads instantly quiver. Ross planned our workout so that we would have to run a few flights of stairs and then complete a challenge. The challenges consisted of more burpees, pushups, skaters and squats.

After finishing that circuit we jogged over to Jefferson Park for our final stop of the morning. Here, it was all about footwork. We started with some lateral shuffling and went into 40 mountain climbers. To conclude the workout we did a circuit of crab walks, frog jumps, bear crawls and low lunges for distance. Once we repeated that again, we called it a day.

The race isn’t exactly close, but it’s not far off either. We have plenty of time to fine-tune our skills through training. I just want to launch some spears already!


Relentless Fitness
249 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 351-6260