Forget resolutions! January is for new goals and getting the tough stuff done to reach them.
According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, of the 45% of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions, only about 8% succeed in accomplishing them. Those 8% are Spartans.
It doesn’t matter where you are with your fitness — from complete beginners to seasoned elites — all you have to do is commit, and you’ll be capable of getting in shape or getting fitter in 2022.
To help you get started with that first step, we've compiled a collection of Spartan articles and programs to get you fitter (and tougher) than you’ve ever been before based on your own goals.
How to Get Fit (or Fitter) in the New Year
1. Get in Shape or Start Training for the First Time
First up, a good place to start is by checking out our piece on the five best ways to train according to our coaching team. This is where you’ll learn where to start, how to start, and the methodologies that deliver the most results. Then, familiarize yourself with the 30 best exercises for functional strength to gain an understanding of the Spartan movement priorities. Finally, pick a training program on the Spartan FIT app that’s designed for your goal and start training. It's that simple.
2. Commit to (and Crush) Your First Race
If you haven’t done a race yet, commit to one now and do it. New racers usually start with a Spartan Sprint (though some first-time Spartans bite the bullet and start with a longer race). It’s a 5K with 20 obstacles, and if you’ve got a bit of fitness in you (and/or an unbreakable drive to get tougher) then you shouldn’t have much of a problem. To make sure you’re fully primed and ready for the course, check out the ultimate race prep program and get started on the Spartan FIT app. And for some more basic race prep, check out this guide for completing the toughest Spartan obstacles.
3. Level Up and Train for Your Next Race
Once you’ve crushed a Sprint, you’ve got to take on a Super or a Beast. The Super is about a 10K and the Beast is a half-marathon, both with increasingly more obstacles. This level-up will require significantly more cardiovascular endurance, strength, and injury resilience. Our recommendation would be to follow The Ultimate Race Prep program through one or two cycles, then either the RECOMP'D program or the EXPLODE program, depending on if you need more strength or power. If running has been an issue for you, check out our 28-day RUN FASTER program.
4. Build More Muscle, Functional Strength, and Burn Fat
In July 2021, we released the first Spartan program to help you not only compete like a high-performance Spartan, but look like one too. The 30-day RECOMP’D workout program on the Spartan FIT app is your guide to building muscle, scorching fat, and optimizing your performance for a Spartan race, DEKA event, or simply getting yourself tougher.
5. Train to Get Strong and Fast
In collaboration with 2x Olympian and marathoner Ryan Hall, we designed the 4-week STRONG & FAST program. Ryan is the fastest American to ever run a marathon, with a time of 2:04:58. (He also holds the U.S. record for the half-marathon, with a time 59:43.)
Since retiring from competitive running in 2016, Ryan has gained nearly 50 pounds of muscle and can deadlift 530 pounds. Strength and speed endurance are two very different goals with conflicting training. Learn how to do it by following Ryan’s four rules to getting as strong and as fast as possible, then get started with the STRONG & FAST program.
6. Become an Endurance Machine
If building muscle and strength comes easy to you but you struggle with speed and endurance, here’s what you do: Follow our 28-day RUN FASTER program. It will help you get progressively faster for longer endurance races like a Super or a Beast. After completing the program, switch over to the The Ultimate Race Prep program on the Spartan FIT app to keep building on your racing abilities. Or, take on the RECOMP'D program to start reintegrating more functional strength training essentials into the mix.
7. Gain a Competitive Edge on Everyone by Developing Power
Strength and power are two different things. Simply put, strength is the ability to move load or resistance, while power is the ability to move explosively. Developing power will help you jump higher and sprint faster, but strength will help you pick up, push, or heave heavy stuff. Both strength and power are needed — especially for a Spartan race — but training for each is different.
8. Get Better at the Tough Basics
Pull-ups and burpees are basic, but tough. Whether you’re stuck on your first pull-up or have plateaued at 5, 10, or 15, our coaches will help you break through. First things first, learn about the three ways to start training for more pull-ups and implement them now.
As for burpees, have you ever wondered how fast you could get at them? Or how quickly you could do 50, 100, or 300 for time? We’ve got the 10-week workout program to get you doing burpees faster than anyone else.
9. Optimize Your Eating Plan for Muscle and Performance
The RECOMP'D meal plan lays out exactly how to eat to build muscle and burn fat. We'll teach you how to figure out how many calories your body needs, how much of each macronutrient to eat, and even get Coach Gabe’s go-to meals for building lean muscle. If you’re looking to shred a few extra pounds, check out the RECOMP'D meal plan. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make gains like Ryan Hall, you’ll want to read his STRONG & FAST meal plan to pack on 10 pounds of muscle fast.
10. Embrace a Tougher Mindset
A tough truth: Reaching a fitness goal isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s most likely not going to be easy at all. It will be tough. But tough stuff is good stuff (and our Spartan Coaches can provide you with all of the tools you need to succeed), but YOU will need to put in the work. For inspiration, three of our Spartan Coaches share some of the toughest things they’ve been through and how the right mindset helped them overcome it. Want to get stronger, fitter, faster, and unbreakable? Start thinking like a Spartan.