I have not abandoned my promise to blog the latest book from Joe De Sena and the Spartan crew. It has been a long couple of weeks, a few tears have been shed as I looked over at my barbell in the corner. But it is always easy to do the things you enjoy and hard to stick to a program that has the word (or a variation of it), “burpee”, at least every other day.
With that being said, I have worked up through Day 9 of the program which is the second rest day. After this rest day comes one of the first workouts that they classify as an elite test. Lots of hanging around and burpees when you fall. It should be good for the grip.
The Broad Overview So Far…
So far, this book has dealt with overcoming the basic challenges that you will face in a Spartan race. First and foremost, a lack of endurance. There have been several days where you work for a set amount of time as opposed to running a distance or set amount of reps. This is to build up the muscle endurance. I really appreciate this approach because you just have to keep going. It is the same for everyone. 40 minutes is 40 minutes.
The challenges also introduce you to the burpee on many, many, many occasions and being comfortable doing these is a given for any race.
But it not all about the cardio. It is also about the hanging from a bar, performing reps under fatigue and carries.
The workouts that I have enjoyed the most have brought into play carrying an odd object. It has either been my good friend the bucket or a log (I had to use a sandbag…but the challenge was still there).
Overall I think the workouts that I have done so far have been quality workouts for preparing for the race. On the average a workout is taking me approximately 12 – 20 minutes to complete, unless it is one of the runs for a set period of time style.
I am excited to continue to work through the book and move forward with the challenges presented.
What I Would Do Differently…
As a coach and trainer, one of the things that I would do differently with a book like this is help with setting expectations for goals in this book. One of the things that I wondered after some of the workouts is how long “should” this workout take? What is a good goal for this workout?
If another book of this type were to be written I would encourage adding a simple goal time to the workouts. It helps people to see where they are at and what their potential could be. In this particular books case, they could use the same scale that they use for the Day 0 – Test or use a scale that breaks people down into categories for the races themselves (Elite, Competitive, Open).
I would also add potential changes to the workout for those people using this book to help them off the couch. I recognize that there is a basic workout given that they suggest you do every day until you can complete it before moving into the 30 days, but there can still be some changes made to help people out. Again, this is just my opinion, but giving people scaling options might be beneficial. It lends the book to be reused and the cycle continued. Options are given for making the workouts harder (i.e. completing the run with a mouthful of water or in extreme heat…I live in Texas, so I got that), but little is offered for how to scale down a workout. It would be as simple as calling the workouts by the distances used in a Spartan Race. I will give credit that in the workouts that are just about working for a set amount of time they do make a note that you do not have to run or row the full time, but you do need to keep moving.
Sprint – 3 Rounds
Super – 5 Rounds
Beast – AMRAP in 25 Minutes
Conclusion For Now:
I like the workouts and they do challenge you. I know that my cardio is getting better and the muscles needed for support on the carries are getting stronger. I am enjoying getting out of my comfort zone…performing an army crawl at the park will do that to you.
I will carry on and see what I end up.