How to Train Like the Beast of the Spartan Barbed Wire Crawl

How to Train Like the Beast of the Spartan Barbed Wire Crawl
Presented by Spartan Training®

Nick Segura caught our attention at the Palm Beaches Sprint with an insanely fast completion of the Barbed Wire Crawl. It was the 24-year old’s first Spartan race, and now he’s completely hooked. But a natural ability to excel is nothing new for him, as Segura is notorious for picking up sports, mastering them, and then moving on to the next challenge.

“My mom always put me into different things growing up just to keep me active," he says. "I've done everything from martial arts to football, soccer, racketball, basketball, youth track and field, you name it.

Related: How First-Time Spartan Racers Can Out-Train the 6 Hardest Obstacles

"I was the kind of person to basically just jump into a sport, get really good at it, and then be like, "Okay, cool. Let me see what else I can do." 

Now, after crushing his first 5K, 20-obstacle Sprint, Segura’s got his sights set on traveling across the country to Spartan races and competing in the Elites someday.

Here, we caught up with this emerging OCR athlete to chat about his mind-blowing Barbed Wire Crawl speed, plus his tips for going full-send on it yourself.

How This Spartan Barbed Wire Obstacle Aficionado Became Such a Beast

SPARTAN: What got you into Spartan and OCR in the first place?

NICK SEGURA: I've always been interested in the Spartan races just because it was a combination of physical and mental, you know? It was something that I’ve seen online, in ads, and in pictures, and it looked like it was physically challenging. So I figured, let's just go out and do it. I don't want to wait on anybody else. I want to do it myself.

The funniest thing about it is, I'm now actually looking into doing Spartan races on a next level type of thing, where I challenge myself and travel all around doing Spartan races.

SPARTAN: You blew people away with your Barbed Wire Crawl. Tell us about that.

NS: My girlfriend participated with me and showed me a video of someone doing it. It looked like they were fairly fast, but I told myself, "I'm going to do it better and I'm going to do it faster than him." That was kind of my mindset going into it, and then that's why I tackled it the way I did.

SPARTAN: Will you be taking on the Elites some day?

NS: I have a very competitive mindset. I want to do it to compete at the Elite level, but the Sprint was just my first one. I found out that my girlfriend and I were in the Age Group, and we kind of just did it as is and played around. But, I told myself that if there was one thing that I wanted to do in a competitive nature, it was the Barbed Wire Crawl.

Related: How to Level Up From Age Group Racing to Elite Heats

I saw everybody, I saw an open lane, I gave my buddy my phone and I said, "Yo, keep up," and I just took off.

SPARTAN: How do you think you’re so fast at the Barbed Wire Crawl?

NS: A lot of core work, basically. I believe that a strong core is the foundation of your body because it's in the middle, so it's the balance of everything. I was training for a marathon a bit ago, and I had to actually go through a huge transformation stage where, after I had gained about 40 or 50 pounds of muscle while bulking, I then needed to lose all of that in order to be able to be competitive in the marathon.

One of the training routes that I went with that was a lot of cardio, endurance workouts, and core exercises, and I think that's probably what put me in a position to do really well on an obstacle like the Barbed Wire Crawl. My endurance is pretty good and my core strength is pretty good as well, so to be able to keep yourself balanced, leveled, and low and then move fast without gassing out is key.

SPARTAN: What tips do you have for first-time Spartan racers, or even the competitive types like yourself?

NS: I think it’s three things: Stay consistent, give it all you’ve got, and respect your body. And when I say, "Respect your body," I'm basically referring to how a lot of people, they work, work, work. That's like driving a car, but not refilling the fluids. You have to rest. You got to treat your body right, you’ve got to ice, and you have to stretch.

Related: How to Crush These 5 Obstacles Better, According to Age Group Winners

SPARTAN: Do you have a recovery routine?

NS: I don’t have a set routine. I do have a checklist of different things that I do and I bounce off of them all as much as I can just to make sure I'm doing everything. And I definitely see chiropractors, get alignment, get massages, and get deep tissue massages on different areas that are hurting whenever necessary. 

SPARTAN: What’s your nutrition like?

NS: Eating in preparation for a Spartan race would be different compared to a marathon run, right? For a Spartan race, you don't want to be too light or too heavy, because there are a lot of upper-body obstacles that require you to have some sort of strength and energy to pull your body up to get through them.

Whereas, in a marathon, you kind of want to be as light as you possibly can because you're going to be running for a long time. There's not really going to be any upper-body strength workouts or extra things that you're going to be doing. Get in the lean meats and the vegetables, but you have to incorporate carbs in there as well, too, to give you a little bit of energy and strength to be able to get your upper-body obstacles done effectively.

SPARTAN: Are you a full-time coach or trainer, too?

NS: That's actually one of my side hustles. My full-time job is working for UPS, where I've been for about seven years now. I'm a delivery service provider, so I do the delivery service part of the job. For the most part, I do the delivery and then certain times during the year, sometimes I'll train guys on how to efficiently do that job or I'll do different tasks in the warehouse, too.

Related: These Are the 10 Best Venues to Conquer Your First Spartan Race

SPARTAN: We should put you up against the fittest FedEx guy in a race.

NS: I'm ready for any challenge y'all got for me. We have to track him down, because I think we already found the fittest UPS guy.

A Week of Training From Nick Segura, the Spartan Barbed Wire Beast

Sunday: Active Rest and Recovery Day

Monday: Chest & Cardio Day

3-mile run

1A. Bench press x 3 sets of 25 reps
1B. Jump rope x 30 reps

2A. Walking push-ups x 20 meters
2B. Run in place x 30 seconds

3A. Alternating dumbbell chest press x 3 sets of 15 reps
3B. Push-ups x 20 reps

10-minute ab circuit

Tuesday: Interval Circuit Training Day

1A. Pull-ups x 3 sets of 20 reps
1B. Run in place x 30 seconds

1-mile run

2A. Dumbbell shoulder presses x 3 sets of 15 reps
2B. Jumping jacks x 25 reps

1-mile run

3A. Dumbbell walking lunge x 3 sets for 20 meters
3B. Jump rope x 30 reps

1-mile run

10-minute ab circuit

Wednesday: Active Recovery and Recovery Day

Related: 30 Days to Spartan Beast: The First-Timer’s Training Plan to Survive

Thursday: Back and Biceps

3-mile run

1. Lat pulldown x 3 sets of 20 reps

2A. Barbell row x 3 sets of 20 - 25 reps
2B. Dumbbell curls x 3 sets until failure

3A. Pull-ups x 3 sets of 10 - 10 reps
3B. Barbell curls x 3 sets until failure

4 miles on stationary bike

Friday: Leg and Cardio Day

1.5-mile run

1A. Dumbbell squats x 3 sets of 20 reps
1B. Calf raises x 20 reps

2A. Heavy dumbbell lunges x 3 sets of 15 reps
2B. Jump rope x 30 seconds

3A. Leg press x 3 sets of 25 reps
3B. Air squats x 15 reps

10-minute StairMaster session

10-minute ab circuit

Saturday: Circuit Training Day

3-5-mile run

1A. 1-minute sled pull to push
1B. Run in place x 30 seconds

2A. Weighted vest bear crawl x 30 meters
2B. Jumping jacks x 25 reps

3A. Box jumps or frog hops x 1 minute
3B. Jump rope or battle rope x 1 minute

1-mile run (fast)

10-minute ab circuit

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