From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 4

This one is actually totally self explanatory – get your pull ups.

Put your bar in a doorway that you see a lot and do what you can when you can.


From Couch To Spartan Video Playlist

I’d never climbed a rope or thrown a spear before Spartan and it had been a long time since I jumped a fence.

Rope was my biggest worry because if I miss the rope climb it’s a sign of fitness whereas if I miss the spear throw it’s a little bit of skill and a lot of luck but I didn’t want to biff any obstacle obviously.

So Rope Climb:

I owe it to some exercises I figured out to simulate a rope climb that I’ll show you in the future but also to watching Crossfit all the time. I naturally learned to mimic the foot work and it super helps because it disperses your weight across your whole body not just your hands.

I hadn’t seen this particular video before hand but he shows the way I climbed in the first example.


This spear video I had seen and I like a lot of this dude’s videos.


This video isn’t the one I watched for wall jumps but I’m selecting it for it’s Crikey, I’m An Australian Bloke, Fellas hosting.


And while I successfully muscle’d up the earlier walls here’s a photo of my having failed to muscle up and catching myself with an elbow before getting the leg over. So be ready for that.

You can also see that I was chest deep in water prior to this obstacle.


[Australian accent] Alright… Happy Friday, Stay Fit, & Leave No Doubt.

From Couch To Spartan Sprint – Exercise 3

Tabata Time Bitches


The Tabata Protocol, named after the Japanese scientist who did the research showing it’s the most efficient way to do cardio, is a 4 minute work out consisting of 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

Doing a tabata of squats comes recommended by Kelly Starrett who’s a physiotherapist and all around strength coach and genius and cool guy.

This homeboy has a good, quick video on beginning the squat.


Now for extra credit you can Tabata almost anything. this morning I did a tabata of push ups that was a brutal work out and a tabata jumping lunges that made me look like I was crying.

So you know, you find yourself with a little time on your hands play with tabata ideas see what you come up with…

How I’m Working Out On Staycation and a funny story about DOMS

House to myself all day most days for like two months, a home work out dream.

So what I’m doing for work outs is I write down ten movements and a number of reps for each. Estimating the weight of something based on the reps.

For Example

Then I’ll go through all ten movements in a circuit twice. And for the rest of the hour I’ll do whatever movements and body parts I’d realized I’d miss. Like if I noticed during the work out that I didn’t include anything rotational so I’ll do thirty Russian Twists or something.

And then I can eat, stretch, meditate, hot bath, cold shower, whatever recovery stuff then relax as much or as little as I want the rest of the day. Like I said, the dream.

The great thing about writing a work out down before hand is you’ll bite off a bit more than you can chew. Everybody’s brave on paper, right?

Now one thing that’s a downer is I only have a light mini-band. For running I need to do tons of hip exercises like Clamshells but with such a light band it’s boring as fuck doing things like 5 sets of 20 for each leg. So in a light bulb moment I said I’ll just do sets of 100, that’s guaranteed to make me feel something.

And so occasionally I’d do sets of 100 clamshells, each leg btw, and that put the number 100 in my head.

Cut to a Friday work out where I know I’m taking the weekend off running and training so I might as well make it a big one and I thought I’ll do a combo of very low rep, very heavy with some very high rep, very light stuff. And this work out was born.


I thought the heavy stuff would be the challenge and the light stuff would represent a break. And the first thing I learned is that lifting truly heavy is great cardio. If you’re only doing 3 of something you basically go as heavy as you can and when you lift something as heavy as you can you’re heart seems to think you’re being attacked.

But what was really interesting trying to come up with things to do a hundred of. And putting Flutter Kicks after Mountain Climbers turned out to be a huge mistake. I thought the climbers would be hard and then kicks would be a break but really they work the same muscle so I fried myself doing the climbers in one hard, unbroken set then couldn’t string together 20 kicks.

The calf raises were the most desperate move, I just couldn’t think of anything else and 100 calf raises sounded like a doable challenge. And they were. It is not hard to do a hundred calf raises.

That day.

Nothing else on that work out gave me any soreness but the next day my legs were like stilts. And anyone who’s had DOMS knows that day 2 or 3 is the peak so I was not stoked for what was to come.

Sure enough, I was crippled the whole weekend and even now – the following Wednesday – my calves hurt to the touch.

I did the heaviest over head press, the heaviest dumb bell bench press, the hardest weighted chin ups, I’ve ever done and what laid me out was body weight calf raises.

Just goes to show the challenge is where ever you find it.

Videos I Liked This Week

Starting with a sad one. I’ve watched Buff Dudes for a while and I saw the surgery and the recovery and now he’s all clear to start working out again. But it’s so clear he’s emotionally struggling, he mentions depression several times and the pep talk he’s giving the audience is really him talking to himself. It can be so much easier to be positive when giving advice to someone else than when we’re alone in our heads.


Tom Delauer of course, he does 3 or 4 videos a week I’m bound to like one. And this one it’s just ’cause he acknowledges that keto is trendy and talks about where to go from here. That’s practical non-optimism right there. Keto isn’t going to take over the world but it’s popularity will have done some good.



This chap I just found likeable. He’s clearly already very athletic if his first training run is 8 miles and he’s skiing all the time so his first marathon time is a good 3:30. There’s a recklessness that I like in the way he signs up and trains that takes the looming fear out of the marathon.


and of course of course What I Learned, the best videos on the Tube. Watch anything of his I swear.

Weight Vest Review – The Runmax 40lb


So after playing around and shooting that video I went for a proper 5k run with the vest and my big takeaway is that I agree with myself, it needs some padding in the shoulders. My shoulders are scratched and bruised.

The jostle is minimal though which is very good.

The interesting thing about running with a weight vest is it really improves your (or maybe just my) foot fall. You want your foot landing under your center of gravity and you want to be landing on your whole foot, not toe or heel, it’s the most stable position possible. Well with forty extra pounds above my legs my body searched for and found the most stable position possible.

Plus the vest keeps your upper body upright so I’d say it’s a cure-all for run form. Or at least a cure-most. It’s hard to have a good long stride when your body feels like it’s going to crash through the earth during non-contact.

And I was exhausted when I finished the lap, nice extra strain in the legs and the lungs. In my totally subjective estimation I’d say it felt like I did 20k rather than 5.

Sometimes the best part of a weight vest is taking it off, I went for another lap without it and it felt amazing. I remember at the Stampede Road Race a dude was warming up with a vest and it makes perfect sense now, it tightens up your form and then, when you take it off, you feel springy and relaxed.

When Am I Strongest Throughout The Week? What To Put On Mondays In Your Split

I’m obsessive about getting things out of the way on Mondays. If I can get all weekly maintenance done on Monday then I the rest of the week is a victory lap, no waiting, no dreading.

And it makes perfect sense for Monday to be the day of the week that I fast since I’m coming off a weekend of cinnamon buns and gelato.

I used to put bench press Mondays after work but I thought I’m not in any danger of putting off bench whereas I put off swimming all the time so Monday became swim day which is better because if I’m fasted I can swim but strength training bench when I’ve been working fasted all day isn’t great.

So I thought maybe I can get it out of the way even earlier! I’ll go hit the gym before work – get bench out of the way, go to work and get my weekly cleaning done and out of the way, then swim after work and get that out of the way, all while not eating! What a sane use of everyone’s most hated day.

Stay tuned for how this turns out