Thou Shall RUN.
Running is the most important part of Spartan and often the most neglected.
Lots people hate running just because they’re bad at it but you know what? You’re probably pretty bad at sex too and it’s not stoppin’ ya. Or at least stopping you from trying.
I’m writing this on the fourth day of Fall which means that winter is upon us in Canada, and I’m headed indoors to my beloved treadmill.
This wraps up another 2 week segment of Spartan Training Videos. I like to leave big gaps between the segments so I’m not putting an overwhelming amount of ideas out there. Like, if someone says here’s 10 suggestions 5 might stick, if someone says here’s 50 none will stick.
So if and when I get another handful of ideas I’ll do this again in a while. Til then, Stay Strong Spartan and Leave No Doubt.
Thou Shall Plank.
Good news, guys, I found something more to say about planks! And a reason to take my shirt off!
Thou Shall Pull…
All the other motions that aren’t up.
If I had any foresight when I started this serious I wouldn’t have ended up with 10 things. I did everything excitedly off-the-top-of-my-head and then just had to live with it, like everything I do.
Pull ups and Pulling All The Other Directions are not that different, but in Spartan they will serve different purposes, like the difference between monkey bars and sled drags.
Plus it’s a good opportunity to move explosively and train the fast twitch muscle fibers.
Thou Shall Grip.
And rather than just train the strongest part of your grip to be stronger, train the weaker parts of your grip SO THERE ARE NO WEAKER PARTS!!
Also, seriously, people have an unaware habit of hooking things in their fingers and letting gravity do the work – that’s poor grip strength and leads to forearm problems down the road.
Make sure to grip things by rolling them deep into your palm. Then play around with which fingers you can lift and for how long.
Thou Shall Pull Up.
Or in this case, Thou Shall Climb Rope.
Or in this case, At Least Try, Embarrassing Yourself & Shredding Your Hands.
My search for a good rope-climbing rope continues.
Thou Shall Squat.
But I’m out of ideas for the squat right now so Thou Shall Swing The Kettlebell.
It’s also a matter of having a cool idea to share and then deciding where it sort of fits in. I learned these side stepping KB swings in Exercise Theory and it fit in with this idea I’ve been having of designing a work out for a too-light kettlebell.
With a dumbell movement you can always add more reps when you’ve gotten stronger and it feels light. With KB swings though, once it feels light you’re not actually deriving any benefits. So I was thinking about what a person could do now that they’ve outgrown their first one, when this move came up in class.
If you want to make a too-easy movement challenging again then adding instability is the easiest way. As a beginner the search for stability is your primary goal, always find the strongest safest way to move. As an intermediate though you can play with that.
It’s like any skill or discipline – first they tell you what you never, never, never do and a few years down the road they quietly tell you when to do it.
Thou Shall Take Your Vitamins.
Which in this case means drinking things that taste like yard clippings.
The deeper spirit of Take Your Vitamins though is that most people get hung up on what they like and what you like is nowhere near the fucking point.
For one you can change what you like – people train themselves to like cigarettes and alcohol for years, they train so hard they seek professional help to untrain those cravings.
And second people never question if they really like something or if they merely want the absence of a craving. Let’s use soda as an example because it’s one I’m guilty of – I feel like having pop all the time. When the wanting comes up go ahead and get a soda. Then turn off everything. No video or TV, no music, no scrolling your phone, no nothing. And drink the soda.
Do you feel better? Do you feel the happiness that marketing and your dopamine system promised you? Probably not. You probably feel really underwhelmed and bored and kind of gross and you crave more distraction, because that’s all the soda really was.
You are actually suffering through the things you think you like and numbing it out with distraction.
…And if you’re willing to that for destructive things then go ahead and do it for constructive things. Like fiber shakes. Made from hemp.