The Spartan Fit App Workout of the Week: Arming the New Spartan

The Spartan Fit App Workout of the Week: Arming the New Spartan

Each week, Spartan Director of Training Sam Stauffer is providing select workouts from the Spartan Fit app. For the full Spartan training experience, delivering Spartan-designed workouts and race-like simulations, download the Spartan Fit App now. And for the full database of Spartan Fit app workout previews, click here.

Plus, get this entire workout, and more just like it, on the Spartan Fit app.

This 15-minute, race-inspired workout is designed to prepare Spartans for upper-body traversing obstacles you’ll face on course using bodyweight movements. Just like the many race-inspired workouts in Spartan Fit app, this too will leave you wanting more. Get ready to crush the Monkey Bars, Multi Rig, Rope ClimbOlympus and more! 

The Workout

This quick upper-body blaster will strengthen your arms and prepare you for overhead traversing obstacles that leave most people in the burpee pit. While obstacle skill and proficiency play a huge role in ringing the bell, don’t be so quick to overlook strength.

A baseline of strength is necessary to accomplish mostif not alloverhead traversing obstacles. In fact, this is where the term ‘Burpee Death Spiral’ comes from. Being banished to the burpee pit will leave your entire body fatigued afterward. This means that you start the next obstacle at a strength and energy deficit. Fail that one as a result of being fatigued and you owe another 30 burpees. Hence, the ‘death spiral’ effect.

We see it all the time out on course: racers who can normally fly through the monkey bars end up on the ground just short of the bell. This is why you should focus on clean form throughout this workout. Keep your breathing consistent during the set and pay your dues now—so you don't have to on course. Let's get after it.

More Fit App Workouts: A Leg Up

The Set-Up

Although this workout is 100% bodyweight, you’ll need a pull-up bar. If a pull-up bar is out of the cards, a sturdy tree limb will do the trick.

The Strength Circuit

Perform three rounds—30, 45, 60 (respective order) seconds on and 30 seconds off.

Pull-Up:

The pull-up is one of the few bodyweight exercise where you lift yourself as dead weight with your arms. To master the pull-up is to master bodyweight strength. Every athlete should aspire to do one but if you can’t just yet, no worries! There are plenty of other starting points. Pull-ups are often mistaken for chin-ups. The difference between a pull-up and a chin-up is the position of your hands. Pull-ups are done with a pronated (overhand) grip while chin-ups are done with a supinated (underhand) grip.

Pro Tip: Master the full range of motion. By doing half or quarter reps you’re not doing yourself any favors. Additionally, focus on a slow eccentric (downward) motion. This is where true gains are made.

Related: 10-Minute Pull-Up Workouts to Improve Your Personal Record

Push-Up:

If accomplishing a pull-up is the mastery of bodyweight strength, then the push-up is the mastery of bodyweight control. Consider the pull-up and push-up are the yin and yang of bodyweight upper-body exercising. You should work toward mastering each one. 

Pro Tip: Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the entire movement and make sure that you fulfill the entire range of motion on every single rep (meeting or breaking parallel on the way down and reaching full extension at the top). Doing partial reps is a slippery slope. Don’t believe me? Google world records for push-ups to find out.

Elbow Plank:

Tossed in right behind the push-up, fatigue will be sure to set in in no time.

Pro Tip: Keep your arms parallel (try not to connect your hands) and drive your elbows in toward your stomach. By driving your elbows in, you’ll activate parts of your core that you didn’t know existed.

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