Training for a Spartan Race is no joke, not if you’re serious about giving it everything you’ve got. But getting down to an obstacle course every day, or even every weekend, often isn’t viable. You need to keep up your training on a daily basis, building strength and conditioning with as wide a variety of movements as possible — to challenge yourself is the name of the game, and just like the Spartan Race itself, how you train is a moving, creative process. Life won’t always be on your side when it comes to convenience and proper access to exactly the kind of equipment and terrain you’re looking for. So, what’s to be done?
An Introduction to Body Weight Training
One of the world’s most effective types of training, is also one of the oldest. Body weight training, also sometimes called calisthenics, has been integral to everyone from the Spartans of ancient Greece, to US Special Operations troops. Think push-ups, planks, dips, squats and lunges – exercises which use your own body weight as a resistance tool, and which can be infinitely scaled to offer more of a challenge as you progress.
CrossFit, TRX suspension training and boot camp courses, all rely in-part on body weight routines, and it’s this type of training you’ll want to focus on when working out at home for your next Spartan Race.
Bodyweight training has been utilized for hundreds of years, but only became well-known — as a defined trend — lately, when gyms and physical fitness professionals repackaged it to appeal to modern tastes — Freeletics is a great example of this.
One of the main reasons people love body weight training, of course, is that it’s free. You don’t need any sort of special or expensive equipment to get started, and no matter where you are, you’re just seconds away from a killer workout. That said, let’s take a look at some of the best at-home workouts to get you Spartan Race ready.Note: We’ll outline a few of our favourite go-to exercises, then compile them into a week-long routine for you to get started with.
Upper Body Strength Training at Home
How comfortable are you with being upside-down? Push-ups are your friend when it comes to body weight workouts, but we’ve got a few other tricks up our sleeves, too, some of which involve standing on your head for a while. Our favourites include:
- Regular push-ups
- Straight arm plank holds
- Handstand push-ups
- Handstand holds
Lower Body Strength Training at Home
The Spartan Race is a dynamic one, meaning you need to be comfortable moving in all directions with good stability. One of our favourites is the humble body weight lunge, plus:
- Air squats
- Jump lunges
- The aforementioned body weight lunge
- Jump rope (also with Velites handle weights)
Full Body Strength Training at Home
We’re going to assume that you don’t have access to a pull-up bar at home, and instead stick with exercises you can do using just floor, the walls and your jump rope. For full body strength and conditioning, we love:
- Bear crawl
One Week of At-Home Bodyweight Spartan Training
Follow this programme for a week, and if it works for you, come back and give our 30-day Spartan plan a try.
1 mile run
100 air squats
1 mile run
Tip: Break the push-ups early so that you don’t blow out and lose time.
Accumulate 10 minutes total handstand hold
(Every time you drop down, perform 20 double-unders)
As Many Rounds/Reps as Possible in 20 minutes:
15 air squats
Immediately upon finishing:
Max plank hold (3 rounds)
As Many Reps as Possible in 20 minutes
5 air squats
10 double unders
(add 2 handstand push-ups, 5 double-unders and 5 air squats every round)
Alternate leg lunges
60 minutes of low intensity yoga
Note: Try and work yoga into your routine every day, but make a point of getting 60 minutes here.
30 minutes of bear crawl and freestyle movement
30 minutes of light jogging
That’s a pretty intense week, but if you can keep it up and repeat the following week with your own variations on the movements mentioned here (or download our free infographic), you’ll be well on your way to increasing both strength and conditioning for your next Spartan.Give it a try, let us know how it goes, and if you need a jump rope, visit the Velites online shop.