Spartan Fit Book Order

Spartan Fit Update 2 – Blogging the Book

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.

For example:

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.

SpartanFit Book and Journal

Spartan Fit #ChallengeAccepted…Blogging the Book

SpartanFit Book and Journal

I recently received my copy of Spartan Fit by Joe De Sena in the mail.  I read the first bit of the book and decided to accept the challenge to work through all 30 days of workouts and see where I stood and how I felt after putting down the programming pen for 30 days.

This is the first episode in the journey.  As I work through the 30 days of the book, I will do my best to blog about the experience and what I am taking away from the words of wisdom on the pages and the book itself.

First and foremost, I will not be posting the workouts performed here.  I will speak to them in terms of what they are and what I took from them.  If you want to know what they are, then please support the author and buy the book.

Why am I Doing This?

There are several reasons for accepting the challenge with this book.  The first and biggest is the reality that I am preparing to wrap up my trifecta for the year with one race left to complete.  If the founder of the company releases a book, I want to see how it correlates to completion in the course. In addition to that, I

In addition to tackling a race, I want to see how the programming affects my cardio.  I loathe cardio workouts and with something like this, I am committed to getting better (or at least completing the cardio workout and not subbing in…say some heavy deadlifts).

What I’ve Done So Far…

Over the past couple days, I have worked to take the Day 0 Fitness Test and then completed the Day 1 Workout.  I did take a day in between so that I could say that I was rested before starting the program.  It also helped me start on a Monday…just a mental bonus for me.

The Day 0 Test…

The Day 0 Test was not too bad.  It reminded me that I have plenty of grip strength, which is why I have never struggled with many of the obstacles themselves on the Spartan course.  I was also reminded that I hate burpees and hate longer distance time cardio.

The test revealed where I was as, which was not a surprise to me.  I have just recently completed a pretty solid cycle focused on my lifting numbers and strength, so to see that my cardio was less than stellar and closer to non-existent was not a surprise.

I recorded my results and look forward to the retest.

Day 1 Workout…

The first workout was a lot of crawling.  I did get a few scraped elbows but that was not bad.  It was also a good mix of taxing the shoulders and then asking you to work the legs a little.  I know that the legs feed the wolf, so I pushed through it.

It was a relatively short workout that reminded me that I need to breathe.

Overall Takeaways

If you have not read Spartan Up! then I recommend that you do that.  It is a great book on mindset and pushing through mental barriers.  Spartan Fit does a good job alluding to some of the basics in mindset and the first couple chapters were good at understanding how important the correct mindset is.

I always appreciate being reminded that getting to the finish line is not the hard part, getting to the starting line is.

I am curious to keep going through the book and completing the workouts.  It should be an interesting challenge.  It will be challenging in the tasks required as well as just being comfortable being outside of my comfort zone.  Performing a 25m army crawl through the park gets you some strange looks every now and then.

I will have a complete review of the book when I am done with the 30 days.

What’s Next with Spartan Races?

spartan fit banner

SpartanFit Banner

If you have followed me you know that the majority of my training centers around getting ready for Spartan races.  In addition to wanting to live a healthy lifestyle and set an example for my wife and daughters, after reading Spartan Up!, I appreciated Joe De Sena’s approach to mental toughness.

I have given out copies of Spartan Up! to many people who train with me in order to help them get their mind right.  If you are not training with me or with a coach, then you might be interested in the next book coming out from Joe and his team.  SpartanFit! will be hitting stores and online retailers this summer.

For more information on Spartan Fit! Click here! 

Based on Joe De Sena’s first book, I primarily run Spartan Races over any other obstacle course race.  It is a blessing to live in Texas, as there are several OC Races within a three-hour drive of my home and garage gym.  This year, I completed the Sprint earlier and am currently in training for the Austin Super and will conquer the Dallas Beast for my trifecta this year.  This is the traditional Trifecta, all three race distances in one calendar year.

That was goal number 1 for me and my adventures with Spartan.  So what is next?  What is on the horizon for Spartan Races and what new challenges will I be trying to tackle.  I am actually looking seriously at the Summer Spartan Agoge.  I think I can handle heat a little bit better than cold, so watching the promo below for the winter Agoge, definitely made me look forward to the summer challenges.

To learn more about the Agoge, click here!

If I complete the Agoge this year, or next, it will be the ultimate accomplishment.  It will be a great achievement that will only be behind, completing my first Beast with my wife and knowing that one daughter completed her first race this year and the other one wants to compete and the only thing holding her back is her age…not her heart.

 

 

Houston Spartan 2016 aka Mud Fest,Friends, and Fun

Hard to believe that this is the first post that I have made for the month of March.  The month is halfway over.  I apologize for having an off month.  Wish I could blame it on the weather or something, but I just have not put fingers to keys or pen to paper as much as I would have liked.  (Although, I did get a children’s book written and started work on a novel…)


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This past weekend, my family and some friends loaded up and headed to Houston to tackle the Spartan Sprint, 2016 edition.  For me, this was my third Spartan race to take on.  It was the second Sprint that I have done and it was a unique experience for me.  The race was about an hour from my home, so we knew that the weather had already done it’s part to make sure this event was going to be special.  It had poured down rain during the week leading up to the event.

The night before we were set to run the email was received stating that parking was a “no-go” and we would all be bussed to the site of the race.  The inner sadist in me was actually excited about the challenges that were being presented.  The father in me was cursing about having to somehow maneuver a 2-year-old through what would be more than just a little bit of mud.  (Thank the Lord for amazing wives…desperate housewife she is NOT!).

We parked at the stadium, loaded the bus, stroller and all and were headed to the venue.  We were ready to rock and roll.  My friend and I would be tackling the Sprint (he was probably better prepared for it than I was, but I did make him run a couple times).  My daughter, 6, was going to take on the Spartan Kids race…she snuck in and took on the full mile (proud daddy moment)!

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The race itself was full of 24 obstacles (25 if you count the mud itself), but it was a lot of fun.  It had all the old favorites there – bucket brigade (only you couldn’t put the bucket down many places or it would sink), over-under-thru, walls and pyramids a plenty, cargo net, atlas stone carry and the like.  Some of the obstacles had a new twist to them.  The sandbell carry with the crawl station was new to me.  I liked it, even if my wrists did not like me burying them in the crawl.

It was my understanding that they did have to take down the barbed wire crawl, but I am not going to complain about that.  I believe that was the only modification that was made.  We finished the race right at the 2-hour mark.  It was a little slower than I had hoped for, but I was content after seeing the course conditions.

With the conditions of the course and everything else, this course was an upper body thrashing.  This is true of most of them, though.  I am a fan of Spartan and have read and enjoyed Spartan Up.  This course lived up to the goals that Joe De Sena sets out and that was to still find a way to test you physically and mentally.  This course did that.  The biggest challenge for me came right at the end.  The back-to-back challenge of the rope climb and then the odd object monkey bars proved to be too much on the forearms and I did a set of 30 burpees.  I have now decided to create the baseball/ softball pullup implements so that this obstacle will not stop me again.

Overall, I thought that this was a well laid out course.  It was not one that took you so far away from Spartan Village that you felt all alone on the course.  With it weaving back and forth, you would be reminded that there is, in fact, a finish line and you just had to keep going.  I am looking forward to tackling the Spartan Super in April in Austin.  This year, I will complete the trifecta.

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