Train Like (or For) A Spartan…Mix it Up!

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One of the things that I deal with from time to time and the debate between whether or not I should train on any given day.  I do not train myself for competitions, so the pressure to stick to a highly regimented program is not there.  I train to push my personal limits and grow my abilities.  I take this approach with many of the people that train with me in the garage.

One of the things that I do train for are the Spartan Races that I do.  I train for them because they push me mentally and physically.  But this post is not about the races, it is about how some days, you have to mix up the script and throw away the barbell for a little while and train differently.

In any given week, I will follow a training that allows for the following types of workouts:

General Warm-up:  This is generally some time on the bike or rower.  Then some dynamic stretching and dynamic drills to get the blood flowing.  Once those are done, I will do some workout specific mobility and body priming movements.  This can include any warm-up weights and reps that are needed before moving heavier objects begin.

The Workout Types

Specialized Emphasis Training – This is generally a program that is designed to get stronger in any of the various lifts or movements.  Currently, I am following a program to help with my squat and press numbers.  For the most part, this is what I am building my workout around.  This is the central part that I have to get done in the day…anything else that I do is icing on the cake.  On a 7 day calendar, I will make sure that I work through some specialized lifting at least 4 days.

Cardiovascular Training –  This is exactly what it sounds like.  This can be a straight up endurance session on the bike, rower, a nice long run, or sprints.  Other times, it is a longer workout performed with bodyweight movements.  The challenge here is to just keep moving.  Just keep going and focus on doing this correctly.  I try to have these sessions on at least 3 of the 7 days I might train.  They can overlap and be done before or after my strength work.  And yes, I do mix them up.

Odd Object Work – Now we are getting into the fun stuff. This is what I consider play when it comes to my garage gym time.  During this time, I will take advantage of my sandbags, kettlebells, atlas stones, sleds, paralletes, rings…rocks, logs, and ropes.  Some days I will use these instruments instead of my barbell just to shock the system so to speak.  They help with recruiting and engaging different muscles, making the whole system stronger and taxing the Central Nervous System.  I attempt to make sure that I have at least 1 day of this in my cycle.  But I also will utilize the odd objects more in de-load sessions or days when the mind just needs to be re-ignited to the joy that training can be.

The Anything Goes/ This Just Sucks/ I Welcome Death Workout – These do not come up all that often.  Once or twice a month I will do this.  These are the workouts that have no real solid purpose except to test your willpower to finish them.  These are the mental workouts that just flat out suck.  They are the workouts that take everything above and twist them into an hour or more and wondering why you are doing this to yourself.  That have very little benefit in the scheme of your physical abilities, but they pay huge dividends when it comes to your mental strength and toughness (something that is disappearing rapidly in today’s western culture).  For me, these are the workouts that prepare me for the test that is a multi-mile obstacle course race.  This is a workout that is there to make sure that I am not going to quit when things get difficult.  These are the tests of my previous training.  I take them on when I just need to be reminded that I am stronger than my mind says I am.

Rest Days – These are as important as your training days.  If you want to get stronger and better, you have to give our body the time to repair and recover.  In any given week, I try to have two days where rest is my emphasis.  I might focus on stretching and mobility or work on some gymnastic-centric skills.  I might do absolutely nothing except chase my wife and kids around the yard or house.  Rest and nutrition are the two “others” in achieving successful results.

And this is how I train myself and my clients.  When they come in, I get a feel for how they are feeling and what they are needing that day.  I look at what is a part of their program and we go.  We get the work done and we get the results that we need.

How do you train!  Let me know on my Facebook Page!