It’s always a good thing to continue building on your strengths, but where progress really shows is when you attack and strengthen a known weakness. And for a lot of us, having a lack of explosive power might be one of those weak areas (which can be detrimental when competing on a Spartan course or in the DEKA arena). If you want to jump higher, sprint faster, and crush more obstacles, then you need to start training for more explosive power like Spartan Master Coach Poppy Livers.
“Everyone has their own starting point, and you have to test yourself to find out what that is,” Poppy says. “Once you know where you’re starting from, then you can build on it with a plan."
Every Spartan Master Coach has their own approach — or specialization — for getting race ready, and for Poppy, he’s focused on how quickly you move and how fast and efficiently you can get work done (or in other words, explosive power).
Poppy designed the following explosive fitness “tests” based on a score. Take one or all three to see where you stand. Then, to improve your base score and build on those weaknesses, follow his 30-day EXPLODE workout program.
The Poppy Livers Fitness Tests That Will Strengthen Your Weaknesses
TEST 1: 100 Push-Ups, 100 Sit-Ups, and 100 Box Jumps for Time
Test 1 is a well-rounded, total-body test. You have your upper body covered with the push-ups, your core covered with the sit-ups, and your lower body will be worked with the box jumps. (You could even throw pull-ups in there, too, if you have access to a bar.)
A pro tip from Poppy: Watch out for the box jumps.
“I’ll see people cruise through the push-ups and sit-ups, but then the box jumps kill them,” he says. “That’s because the box jumps require a lot of power.”
Perform 100 reps of each of the three movements as quickly as you can with good form, breaking up the reps however you’d like.
TEST 2: 30-Second Box Jumps AMRAP (24- or 30-Inch Box)
“Box jumps are probably one of my favorite exercises,” Poppy says. “I combine them with all sorts of strength exercises, especially deadlifts."
The assignment is simple: Perform as many box jumps as possible — with good form — in 30 seconds. Poppy scored 30 box jump reps in 30 seconds. Think you can you beat it? Check out some of the ways he programs box jumps in his 30-Day EXPLODE program here.
TEST 3: 100 Burpees for Time
The burpee — a Spartan favorite — is a very simple idea while simultaneously being a highly-complex exercise that puts your entire body to the test.
“You do a push-up, hop to your feet, and jump," Poppy explains. "It’s exhausting — a total test of true grit.”
Your chest, shoulders, core, legs, and hips will be burning after (and during) this one, so Poppy encourages focusing on one rep at a time and finding your pace to help you finish strong.
Want to train more like Poppy every day? Download the Spartan FIT app and start the 30-Day EXPLODE workout program.