If you’re thinking about doing a Spartan Race, now is the time to stop thinking and start training. I’m going to lay out three common race obstacles that you’ll encounter and give you some exercises you can do to prepare for them so you’re ready on race day!
NUMBER 1: The Wall Jump
What you’ll need:
⦁ Leg strength ⦁ Upper body strength ⦁ Core strength (not absolutely necessary for this obstacle, but a
How to Train for it:
Pull-ups: Pull-ups develop your back strength, most specifically your lats (latissimus dorsi) but also help develop arm strength and both are key to this obstacle. You’ll need that strength to pull yourself up and over the top. Doing as many pull-ups as you can for 4 sets 2-3 times a week will build the strength you need.
Box Jumps: Momentum can be a huge help when facing obstacles. If you have good lower body strength and can get a jumping start, less upper body strength will be needed and you’ll get over the way much faster. I’d recommend doing 4 sets of box jumps with 20 reps in each set. Do that twice a week well in advance of your race, and you’ll have the ‘pop’ needed to get over the wall quickly.
Plank: Having core strength will aid in overall body control as you get up and over the wall. It will help you lift your legs and manipulate your body as needed to climb over the top of the wall. The plank is a great exercise for building all-round core strength. Do 4 sets of planks, holding them for 30-45 seconds for each set. If you can hold it longer, go for it! This is no such thing as too strong a core. Do this 3-4 times a week and you’ll start to build that core up!
Number 2: The Tire (or sled) Drag
As a quick note, I have only personally encountered the sled drag. It’s the exact same principle though. A rope is tied to a sled filled with heave stones and you’re required to pull it all the way to your position from its beginning place.
What you’ll need:
⦁ Back Strength ⦁ Arm Strength ⦁ Core Strength ⦁ Leg Strength
How to train for it:
Seated (or standing) Cable Rows: This exercise develops some arm strength but is extremely good for building back strength. Whether you perform this activity seated or standing, the cable row is almost an identical motion to the sled/tire drag. If you train for it standing up however, you will build more core strength than if you do the seated version. Perform 4 sets of 8-12 reps 3 times a week and you could be one of Santa’s Reindeer pulling his sled around the world.
Bicep Hammer Curls: The sled/tire pull involves biceps and forearm strength. While a regular biceps curl will help you build bicep strength, a hammer curl will develop both bicep and forearm strength. 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps a few times a week will help considerably.
Low Back Extension: You may think that this should fall under back exercises, and it could, but for this specific obstacle I am placing it under core. If you are already doing the plank exercise listed above, that’s fantastic. However, the plank works more on your front core muscles (your abdominal) then it does on your lower back strength. Adding lower back extensions to your routine will help solidify your overall core strength. Add 3 sets of this exercise a few days a week and perform 8-12 reps for each set.
Squats: Squats are probably the best exercise you can perform for overall leg strength development. The sled/tire drag isn’t going to require a ton of leg strength, but you will need it! Doing 3-4 sets a few times a week with your rep range again from 8-12.
Number 3: The Fire Jump
This is the last obstacle in the Spartan Sprint! You’ll be at the end of it and you’ll be excited and ready to be done!
What You’ll Need:
⦁ Enthusiasm ⦁ Some hops (you’ll need to jump)
How to train for it:
Jump Squats: Jump squats are great for getting used to that vertical climb. It’ll build your leg strength and help develop your body control.
Enthusiasm: Photographers are waiting, the fire is rising, and this is your chance to fly over this last obstacle, show off your best pose, and Sprint across the finish line!
That’s three of the Spartan Sprint obstacles you are now prepared for!
Go check out Part 2 to find further training information for the Spartan Sprint!