You Go, I Go: A Race-Ready Fitness Challenge for Obstacle Racing Partners
This year’s Valentine’s Day partner workout is for the love of pain. But even if you're not in a relationship, grab a friend or a training partner and crush the hell out of this workout anyway.
The following routine is a Spartan, Tough Mudder, and DEKA simulation. It’s conditioning at its finest: a combination of running and functional movement, but with limited equipment to keep it simple.
This workout is a “You Go, I Go” format, so one person will perform one exercise while the other performs the other exercise. You’ll switch back and forth for the total number of rounds. By the end of the workout, you both will have run around 3 miles, or the equivalent of a Spartan Sprint, a Stadion, or a DEKA event.
Related: The 7 Best Spartan Training Programs to Take on in 2023
The Best Partner's or Couple's Workout for Valentine's Day and Race Prep
BLOCK ONE - Repeat 4x
- 400-meter run
- Kettlebell swings
BLOCK TWO - Repeat 4x
- 400-meter run
- Burpees (as long as partner's run takes)
BLOCK THREE - Repeat 4x
- 400-meter run
- Max pull-ups
For the Beginners: How to Do the Exercises the Spartan Way
How to Do a Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is a dynamic and powerful exercise that works the entire body, especially the hips, glutes, and core. It's a great exercise to improve strength and endurance, as well as cardiovascular fitness. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly perform a kettlebell swing.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of your hips.
- Hinge at the hips and push your hips back, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs. Keep your back flat and your core engaged throughout the movement.
- Use the momentum from your hips to swing the kettlebell forward and up to chest level, keeping your arms straight but not locked out. As the kettlebell comes up to chest level, contract your glutes and core, keeping your chest up.
- Let the kettlebell swing back down, and then repeat the movement.
Related: 4 Reasons Why a Kettlebell Is the ONLY Piece of Workout Equipment You Need in Your Arsenal
Make sure to keep your hips and glutes engaged throughout the exercise, while keeping your back flat and your core tight. As you get comfortable with the movement, you can start to increase the weight of the kettlebell. It's important to maintain a natural and fluid movement with the kettlebell, keeping the movement mostly generated from the hips and glutes.
How to Do a Burpee
The burpee is a full-body exercise that combines a push-up with a squat and a jump. It is a great exercise for improving cardiovascular fitness, strength, and power.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly perform a burpee.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, just outside of your feet.
- Kick your feet back behind you, landing in a plank position on your hands and toes. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Perform a push-up by bending your arms, lowering your chest toward the ground. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line and your core engaged throughout the movement.
- Push back up to the plank position and jump your feet forward to the outside of your hands.
- Stand up from the squat position and jump up explosively, reaching your arms overhead as you jump.
- Land with your feet shoulder-width apart and repeat the movement.
Related: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Spartan Burpees
Make sure to keep your core tight and engage your glutes during the whole movement. Start with a lower number of repetitions, and progress as you get comfortable with the movement. It's important to use proper form throughout the entire movement to ensure safety and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
How to Do a Pull-Up
The pull-up is a compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms. It's a challenging exercise, but with proper form, it can be an effective way to build upper-body strength and muscle mass. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to properly perform a pull-up.
- Begin by standing under a pull-up bar, grasping it with an overhand grip, your palms should be facing away from you, about shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended, keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears.
- Engage your core and pull your body up toward the bar by driving your elbows toward your hips. Keep your chest up, and lead with your chest — not your chin — toward the bar.
- Keep pulling until your chin is above the bar.
- Lower your body back down with control, keep your core tight, and control your descent by keeping tension in your back muscles.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
Related: 3 Ways to Start Doing More Pull-Ups
Pull-ups are a challenging exercise, so if you're new to this exercise and are unable to complete a full rep, you can use an assisted pull-up machine or a band for support. Also, you can work on building the strength in your back and arms through other exercises such as chin-ups, lat pulldowns, and rows. Remember to keep your shoulders back and down, and lead with your chest, not your chin.