Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post in conjunction with our friends at Spartan Race, who have challenged one BroBible staffer, new guy Buckeye, to run the next Spartan Race June 5 in Tuxedo, New York. First he's got to train...
Today's workout, though lacking a fancy Crossfit name, was just as demanding as yesterday's. It required that I do three rounds for time of: running a 50-lb. sandbag 250 meters then sprinting back, 21 wall burpees, 15 pull ups, and 9 sandbag squat cleans. Furthermore, it specified that I should rotate the order of the burpees, pull-ups, and squat cleans each round. This was much more similar to some of the rugby training I've done (carrying a large sweaty teammate fireman-style over a distance for time), and cleans are my jam, so I was pumped to get started.
The 50-lb. sandbag run was more of an awkward shuffle. Because we have no sandbags or ultra-heavy medicine balls at my gym I had to use a 45-lb. plate and a 5-lb. plate that I carried in my hands. Luckily there are hand-holes in our 45 plates, so it wasn't terribly awkward to hold onto the 5 as well. The sprints were quick and reminded me a bit of weighted-sled sprint training in that the run back sans weight is way more pleasant than the weighted portion.
I was a bit unclear as to the exact proper way to perform wall burpees, but I took Crossfits YouTube videos to be the correct version, though I chose to use a 50-lb. dumbbell instead of a weighted ball. So instead of throwing a ball up against the wall at the top portion of the burpees, I turned the rising portion into a dumbbell snatch, alternating arms on each rep. I figured this was fairly comparable as it mimics the explosiveness required in launching a 50-lb. ball into the air. Dumbbell snatches are one of my favorite exercises; I'd recommend them to anyone working on increasing their vertical or maximal clean weight.
Pull-ups, as per usual, were the bane of my existence. Even though I heavily kipped the 100 pull-up reps yesterday, my lats still took the brunt of the damage. Pulling these were miserable and by the end I wasn't able to start from a dead hang, relying instead on narrowing my grip bit by bit on each set of 5 to take the focus away from my already fried muscles.
With the lack of access to a bag, I again had to get creative for the squat cleans. I'd done zercher squats in the past and figured they would imitate well the awkwardness of squatting a sandbag. I combined these with a hang clean at the top of each rep and used 95 lbs. instead of 50 to make up for the switch (and because my pride wouldn't let me do hang cleans with a bar and 2.5s on each side.) These went well, reminding me of how much more difficult the squatting motion is when you have to focus on stabilizing parts of your body that are typically situated differently in the classic squat. For anyone who hasn't given them a shot, I'd give 'em a look. Here's a guy doing a few reps of zerchers with excellent form. If you do not have access to a rack with pins, his setup for the lift is a fine way to start.
As per usual the running took the longest time. I acc*mulated about 8 minutes in running time (no iPod today; batteries broke), 7 minutes of burpees, 6 minutes of pull-up time, and 5 minutes of zercher/hang clean time. I chose to do a warm up that included about a mile of bike and then a 5x5 each of plyo push-ups, bar-only squat jumps, and standing broad jumps. It took a lot of stretching to prepare after the 300 bodyweight squats yesterday, but I ultimately felt pretty loose, fit, and cardio-d out. Again, I'd like to reiterate: these are Workouts of the Day for the Spartan Race, an endurance and repetitive-motion-based race. If that is the kind of exercise that you're interested in, by all means, follow these. If you're looking to get bigger, stronger, and faster, I'd always recommend hitting the weights and doing some proper strength-training with the compound movements (in particular squats and deadlifts.) I'm enjoying this for now as I know it'll help my endurance come tournament time next week, but I'm just about ready to head back to the weight room.
I'm registered for the 11:30 a.m. race on Sunday the 5th. See y'all there.
To sign up for the next Spartan Race in your area, go to www.spartanrace.com.