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 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.
Running time again.
Any – literally any – interval is a good interval.
What matters is rest. You can do same rest, half rest, or double rest. You probably want to start with double rest so, obviously, whatever your interval was you rest for twice that long.
And the shorter the interval the harder you want to run. Like, if you’re doing 2 minutes it’ll be a 7 out of 10 on the effort scale, if it’s 30 seconds – go 10 out of 10.
You should be running twice a week at this point. One longer, slower run and one interval session.
It’s important to remember that running (and getting wet I guess) is the one thing you can’t avoid at Spartan. Anything else you can fail and do burpees but it’s not like you’re going to walk the whole course. It would take forever. And I’d fucking disown you.
So it’s the tenth commandment of Spartan training – thou shall run.
It’s on the pull up bar but it’s a rope climb work out.
Really just get hanging with bent elbows and practice raising your legs. Knees to Elbows and eventually just for a Spartan Bonus, Toes to Ceiling.
Because the core work is the neglected piece of the rope climb masterpiece. You can get on a rope with bent elbows and lock your feet in but if after that you still try and climb with your hands you’re still gonna have a bad time.
After you grab the rope you bring your knees to your chest, lock the feet, and stand up. You push down on the rope with your feet and shimmy up your hands up. Once you’re fully stood up you release the feet, bring knees to chest and lock them in again and repeat.
In a good rope climb your hands are doing as little work as possible because no matter what they will be the most taxed.