Train Like Spartan Champ Ashley Heller for a Week

Train Like Spartan Champ Ashley Heller for a Week

We all want to know: What makes the best-of-the-best Spartan athletes out there tick? How do they keep their edge? In our Train Like a Champion series, we dig into the details of an Ashley Heller workout that keeps her on top. 

The One-Week Ashley Heller Workout

Heller has a game-changing advantage over her competition — she’s a master of program design. Not only is she an experienced runner and track athlete with intuition on her side, but she’s also got the scientific education to back it up. She holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in biomechanics. While her training is tough, she knows precisely how to manipulate her schedule so she’s making progress with an adequate amount of recovery. Below is a sample plan of an Ashley Heller workout that includes distance running, functional strength training, race-specific training, and more. 


Ride: 70 min. ElliptiGO

Functional Lifting: Reps, weight, and sets depend on what is coming up on the calendar

Lateral raises, alternating front raises, bent-arm lateral raises, running arms, Bulgarian split squats

One of three Olympic lifts: Squats, power cleans, deadlifts

Dumbbell press, dips, pull-ups, dead hangs (2x up to 5 minutes)


Back extensions, leg extensions leg curls, v-ups, supermans

Related: Train Like a Champion: Q&A With Ashley Heller


Hill Session

  • 20 min. warm-up run into 8 x 2 min. hill sprints with jog-down recovery
  • 5-10 min. cool down

Form drills, hip mobility drills, and agility drills


Ride: 40 min. ElliptiGO

Grip Circuit

    • Max pull-ups to max dead hang
    • 10 push-ups
    • Lock off max
    • Pinch grip plate carry, 1 min.

Repeat 4x


Ride 90 min. ElliptiGO 

Strength Session

    • Burpee box jumps
    • Overhead weighted lunges
    • 20 cal on assault bike (as fast as possible)
    • Squat jumps
    • Superman push-ups

Repeat 4-5x through

Related: Exercise Type: You Need to Touch on These 4 Weekly


Secondary long run 60-80 min.

Dynamic Strength Training: All body-weight exercise


Threshold or Race-Specific Workout

Drill Set Session

  • 20 min. warm-up run, form drills, and strides
  • 8 x 800 meter reps under 3:00 min. with 10 deadlifts, 15 burpees, 1 min. bucket carry between each set
  • 5-10 min. cool down jog

Hip Mobility Drills

Related: How Much Protein Do You Need?


Ride: 40 min. ElliptiGO

Grip Circuit


Ride: 90 min. ElliptiGO

Functional Lift


Long Run: anywhere from 90 min. to 3.5 hr. 

Neuromuscular Drills

Feeling ready to take on a Spartan race? Sign up now!