DO YOU DARE TO TAKE ON THE SPARTAN??
Yep – this one is a bit of a challenge. Often, workouts are broken into multiple rounds “sets”. There’s lots of reasons for this, physically – but there’s also the mental side of breaking things up to make the overall number more palatable. Yeah….we’re going to get rid of all that. Its start to finish – but now you’ve got to have the mental strength to just push EVERY rep out, all the distances – it’s just as much part of the training as the physical.
The Core Challenge – follows the same theme as the workout. Its end to end and to MAKE SURE you get a solid BURN – we give it a little special sauce RIGHT at the end.
Come and check out what we’re up to online.
Over the weekend – We (Pete and Wayne) participated in our first Spartan Race. For those that don’t know:
Spartan Race is the world’s biggest obstacle race series, designed to get regular people motivated, active, and training for a life changing challenge!
There are three primary course distances from 7km, 14km and 21km, and three wave types to cater for various levels of competition – Elite (pro competition), Age Category (still race format) and Open Wave (for fun completion).
Now both Pete and Wayne have done numerous obstacle type events before, but this is the first competitive version that we’ve done. Being fit lads, and having undertaken a solid dose of HIIT workout training as well as long distance running from myself (Pete), we entered into the competitive 7km age group race with the intention of cruising along with the pack and getting an idea of how it all works.
So the question on everyone’s minds – how hard is it? Well firstly, the 7km is NOT flat. Its on sloped and rocky terrain, you frequently run up and down hills and through creeks. So in order to actually run the whole distance, you will need to have trained running LONGER than 7km and also with varying speeds. The obstacles, much to our delight, were actually physically challenging. They range from:
In our 7km race, we had around 20 obstacles and all of them require a degree of skill and physical exhertion that needs to be balanced against how fast you’ve been running and how breathless you are. The reason this is a factor – if you fail an obstacle, you are required to do 30 burpees – chest to touch the ground, and a jump clap for every rep.
Let’s answer the question straight up – can anyone do this? Absolutely. Provided you don’t mind walking, or doing a stack of burpees for missed obstacles, absolutely anyone can finish the SPARTAN RACE.
So if you want to actually try and finish the event without doing a single burpee, in our opinion, you will need to be able to physically complete the following:
There will always be the aspect of being tired and a bit out of breath to make things more complicated, and you’ll most likely be sweaty and/or wet which also makes things challenging. Also – practice throwing a spear. Seriously, get a broom handle or something similar and understand how to throw it straight – its the easier obstacle that MOST people stuff up.
If you want to be competitive – then you’re going to have to be able to comfortably be able to run 10km. But wait – Pete, didn’t you say it’s 7km? Yep, but with the changing terrain, the constant stop and start, as well as changing energy systems required to undertake obstacles, you’re going to want to have a long distance endurance to continually run the whole way. And that’s if you’re undertaking the 7km Sprint. This obviously scales up for the longer distances. Strength-wise, you will want to be able to do 10 pullups easily (being able to do a muscle up doesnt go astray), able to hang from your fingertips, run uphill and climb a rope at speed without thinking about it.
Well, actually better than we intended! Over the last 2 months, I (Pete) have been pushing my squads through workouts designed to target the skillsets as outlined above, including longer distance endurance. Both Wayne and myself started easy and just running with the pack. About 1km in, we realised we were actually in the front groups and decided that we should have a go of it. I can’t speak for Wayne, but I upped my run pace to about 70% of max (not knowing what was coming meant saving some juice) – and found that people start too hard and run out of steam at the 5km mark. Long story short – Wayne (mid Forties), finished 61st overall and 7th in his age group (40-49)
– Pete (early 30’s), finished 14th overall and 3rd in his age group (30-39)
So we’re absolutely stoked with this effort and the next race is Spartan Gold Coast, and you can bet that we’re targetting the next race up (14km) and this time…..we’re in it to win it!
Let us know – we’d love to have a massive squad all coming together to achieve personal goals. The power to achieve your personal targets, is made easier with the support of a great team – and the community around A.I.P has some truly incredible people.
In our humble opinion there are four different methods to get yourself that get up and go each morning. Each of us are driven by different desires and outcomes, be they intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external). There are those of us who are driven by things like challenge or the feeling of pushing themselves through a workout – and there are those of us who prefer an external motivation such as a physical reward or a sensation. If you’re struggling for motivation, and it’s not a matter of being bored with a workout, maybe it’s time to utilise a new approach.
Not all of us will thrive on the vagueries of “better health” or “faster times”, no sometimes there will need to be a “here, you did well, now you can have this” type scenario. Whether it’s a small treat (be careful with this one not to undo your workout!), or perhaps you set a rule not to watch the new Game of Thrones episode until you’ve done that 5km run or Pump class. The great outcome of an external reward is that there is a good chance of habits forming. There are set causes and reactions which trigger neurological links of association. More repetition – more connection, more exercise. Win, Win, Win.
This is a slightly different version that works on the same principle, but in a wrist-slap kind of fashion. The premise being that you sign a contract of sorts that stipulates a particular commitment to an exercise regime – be it a certain number of classes, or sessions per week – or perhaps a particular class attendance each week. It can be quite effective when clauses such as – “I will pay my friend/s a kitty of $20 if I miss that Yoga class”. This can be seen as inherently negative, but a better way to look at it perhaps, is as structured. It provides a desire vs outcome pathway that many logically minded people find clear. There is a cost to achieving what you want, and there is a cost of missing the steps to achieve that desire.
This falls more into the abstract area of thinking and also into emotional. The structure behind this method involves actively thinking about how one will feel as a result of the workout. How GOOD are you going to feel with the adrenaline moving through your body – with the wind and sun on your skin – as you stretch out worked muscles. That positive reinforcement goes hand in hand with problem solving out constraints to your workout. Too tired to go to the gym after work? Set up a lunch time or an early morning session. Visualize where your hurdles are, and instead of jumping those hurdles, just take them off the race-track. Seems nice a simple hey? It is really 🙂
We’ve stolen this one off Les Mills here, hardly surprising seeing as we’re Les Mills Instructors ourselves. The reason that group fitness is so effective is that it combines all the previous methods in one! There is a REAL reward in seeing your friends in one place and being able to catch-up, there is a positive reinforcement in being able to tackle a workout together, it always seems easier with support. If you were to not turn up, your friends would ask you why? This can all be magnified with the right setting. You into competitive functional training, Crossfit will have like-minded people. Individual competition but training with friends? A Tri club. Team sports? They’re a dime a dozen. Find the one that you WANT to go to. With people who share cultural values with you. For us? Fitness hasn’t felt like a chore in a VERY long time because of our culture. Our gym is an amazing place of positive people all supporting each other. Be it group fitness, individual weight training, small group P.T – ours is a friendship that will not be taken for granted.
No matter which of these works for you, and it might take a few goes to figure out which one it is – fitness and health CAN be FUN. You are capable of so much more than you think – our whole business is built on that concept 🙂 We love our clan of Possiblers – and that includes you.
Yours in Fun and Fitness – Pete.
If you like what we’re about – we have a great community on Facebook and Patreon, come and join us. We also do weekly fitness programs for functional fitness (think bodyweight) for all levels and also mobility and flexibility for as little as $3 per week on Patreon (plus a stack of free stuff too). Check us out.
Stretching is often seen as a more of a dancer’s, a gymnast’s or a high performance athlete’s domain. Its not uncommon to hear tell of people not doing ANY stretching at all. I love having these conversations, because there is so much opportunity for those such people to have almost OVERNIGHT drastic improvements in their training. Yes, stretching is very often though of as being a way to recover after a session, and yes it absolutely does that – but it also helps your other training attributes like strength, power, speed and endurance. Seriously – let me explain.
Here’s the really quick summary on why it’s going to help your training. The more flexibility you have through a joint – and by joint I mean all the elements like tendons, ligaments, muscles – the greater the range of motion you run that joint through. But not just that – it means that you can exert force through a greater range. More force, for more time = higher jumps, heavier squats, more efficiency in action.
Now lets apply that same principle with some cardio. As we perform endurance work (say anything towards 20 min and longer) – we start to feel the muscles tighten up with the by-products of our activity (lactic acid etc). This causes our muscles to contract, it gets harder to continue the full range of motion. The longer your muscles are, and the more efficient they are at moving through the required range – the longer you have, in greater ranges of motion. I.e, they start shortening but because they were longer to begin with, you still have a great range of motion and can maintain speed.
And yes – stretching is absolutely going to help get rid of that next day soreness. Maybe not entirely, but its going to be a hell of a lot better than it was if you hadn’t. Particularly after those big session where you’ve pushed some limits or gone for some new PB lifts.
What should you do?
It doesn’t have to be much either. 2 mins on each leg, 2 mins through the shoulders and torso and then wherever else feels fatigued. That’s 6 mins total – which is super easy to achieve, and yet most people can’t be bothered.
Try this out for size.
Triceps & Rotators
Basic Stretches – Big Results.
Give them a go after your next session – and if nothing else, feel amazing and ready for more afterwards. You won’t regret it.