Spartans have had a Workout of the Day since December of 2010. That's over 3000 Spartan WODs that have been blasted out via email, along with accompanying blogs and social media posts.
You see, back in the day we had the brand new sport of obstacle racing being created. We had a brand new vision of functional fitness accessible to everyone so that any person of any ability could participate in our races.
We needed to get the word out about the new kind of training we were doing inside barns in Pittsfield, Vermont. Workouts that we felt could most adequately prepare our many new fans to get ready for the races we were designing.
Much has changed during this long, continuous broadcast, but the core DNA of the Spartan WOD has not. While we are always innovating and creating new media with diversified content as our infrastructure grows, we keep certain things constant.
There are just certain things that are old-school Spartan that we will never forget.
It struck me that I've never explicitly written directions on how to use the Spartan Workout of the Day. I realized I've always made lots of assumptions as to how it is used and understood by our millions of readers, and that this was a mistake. May this blog be a remedy.
If you've been a long time reader, you will probably have already picked up on the instructions for the Spartan WOD that I'm about to write about now. May I just make explicit what you always understood as implicit.
If you are a new or infrequent reader, I hope to convey in this piece the connective tissues that hold together all 3000 of those workouts that came before, and the 3000 more that are coming.
This is how to use the Spartan Workout of the Day:
1. Empower Yourself
Here's something about your brand of fitness: We want you to think for yourself.
We don't want mindless drones. We don't want you to be set in dogmatic thinking. Instead, be pragmatic. Learn from all disciplines. Learn from everyone and everything. Take the best that you find.
We want Spartans: Self-reliant and empowered humans who train themselves to the best of their physical and mental abilities using available tools and environments with the help of a supportive community.
We want you to grow and adapt as science progresses in the fitness space, along with your personal understanding of it.
Long story short, from our point of view, your fitness journey is on you. So step one is to empower yourself to take control of your fitness using the tools at hand and accept the responsibility of living with the consequences of your actions or inaction from this day forth.
We simply aspire to make the Spartan Workout of the Day a useful tool in your journey.
There is so much noise on the interwebs these days. It's all aimed and confusing you and making you dissatisfied with what you already have or are doing, mostly in the expressed interests to get you to click links and buy something being sold to you.
Here are some Spartan thoughts on fitness:
- Fitness is not a voodoo. It's not secret incantations held by a few powerful gurus willing to cast there spell on you for some money.
- Fitness is also not rocket science, nor does it involve exploration into higher mathematics. We believe fitness is intuitive, simple and basic -- it's just tough and takes hard work to perform.
- Fitness can be attained with no gear and no gym.
- Fitness improvements can be had by all people of all abilities.
This means you can work today...now...on improving your fitness. The basic steps you can start taking are found in our Spartan Workout of the Day.
If you are a driven person, someone who can read directions carefully, research opposing points of view, and can maintain a healthy skepticism, then you should read the Workout of the Day and take from it some training advice from the content and workouts we present to you.
Fitness is waiting for you. It's on you, and no one else but you, to get it.
2. Read it, even if you don't plan on doing it.
We hope you enjoy reading the Workout of the Day.
For, essentially, we write 365 little workout poems for you each year. We want you to like them. We want you to come away from having read our workout feeling like it was worth your time. We want to transfer to you a nugget of hard-earned wisdom on our part in each and every one.
We want to motivate you, too. And hold you accountable.
So even if you don't do the Spartan workout of the day, it doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. Just because you are injured or because you have your training plan already written for you by a coach, doesn't mean you don't have things to learn.
On Monday you get links to all the workouts for the week. Check them out. Look at our schedule. See if you might be able to make it work. If not, still take a look at how we are laying out the week. Have you noticed the themes we keep?
On Thursday we check in with you on your recovery day. We take the opportunity to showcase a Spartan exercise that you should work on mastering. Are you constantly working on building your training toolbox?
For a Spartan learns continuously. Spartans are always looking for new methods and styles of training, along with inspiration to keep there current plans interesting.
Here are three things you should be looking at when you read the Spartan Workout of the Day:
—Understand the Layout
We make sure your week of training covers all the basics. Even if you aren't following our specific Spartan WODs you should be concerning yourself with the disciplines of fitness that are covered.
- Monday - Strength
- Tuesday - Athleticism
- Wednesday - Strength
- Thursday - Recovery/Mind
- Friday - Athleticism
- Saturday - Endurance
- Sunday - Recovery/Mind
Does your plan cover strength, athleticism, endurance, and mind? Maybe we can help give you extra support where you need it. Now you know where to look with the Spartan WOD week of workouts for additional intel to strengthen your weaknesses.
—Click the Links
We hope you fall down a rabbit hole of information when you read through the workout each day.
We hyperlink as much as we can to more detailed pages on specific exercises or exercise theory.
We really want this to be a Spartan-pedia for all things training. It's not all built yet, but we work on it every day. We want it to be the best it can be. We keep shooting videos and doing photo shoots and writing blogs.
So dive in. Click around. Learn stuff.
—Understand the Lesson or Theme of WOD
Usually tied together through an entire workout is a theme. The quote, the copy, and the workout all work together to teach the reader a lesson about fitness specifically, but also about a Spartan lifestyle in general.
3. Scale the workout, because it isn't written just for you.
Think about it. We send content to millions of people. People of all levels, all ages, all backgrounds, all with different goals that are scheduled to happen at different times through the years.
Do you really think we can send a one-size fits all message to each and every person with their unique circumstances?
It would ridiculous to try.
Instead, we do what we can with what we have. We try and give some lessons and workouts that can be scaled to each person.
Remember rule #1—it's on you. We expect you to do some work.
How else could Mr. Brian Smith of Illinois who is 6' 1" and 210 pounds, with a bad knee and an aversion towards running benefit from our content as well is Miss Sandra Williams of Montana who is 5' 4" and 202 pounds with no upper body strength?
So the first lesson of the Spartan Workout of the Day is to understand the problem built into writing a newsletter for a wide audience.
The solution is to write workouts in a way that can be rendered by the reader into something actionable and useful given his or her particularly circumstance.
Everything is scalable. Everything is adaptable. Everything is simply there to enrich your fitness knowledge base while providing more information.
If you can only do 10% of workout, great. If you can need to double the workout, great. They are written so both a newcomer and veteran can both do the same workout on the same day.
4. Do it.
To the best of your abilities. With the gear you have handy. In the clothes readily available. Whatever. This ties into rule number one and number three.
Ultimately, we aim to make the Spartan Workout of the Day an excuse-killing machine.
For, whatever your ability, whatever your circumstances, the Spartan Workout of the Day is ready to get you training.
Ready for the next challenge? Find the Spartan Endurance event that’s right for you.