Diary of a Spartan Warrior: Week 1
Heading into the gym with a fierce determination, the BistroMD marketing team began their five-month training for the Super Spartan Race; an eight mile obstacle course that will be held on February 25, 2012 at Oleta River State Park in Miami, Florida.
The Super Spartan Race is unlike any other race out there. It’s an eight mile obstacle course that forces competitors to climb through mud under barbed wire, hurdle themselves over concrete walls, drag boulders as they run through brush, and throw flaming spears.
With help from BistroMD’s very own fitness expert, Sean, these future Spartans comprise of marketing team members, Wesley Bloemers, Amanda Paul, Amanda’s husband, Mathew Paul, and BistroMD’s fitness expert, Sean Wells.
“In order to prepare for a race like this, timing and consistency is key,” says Sean, the fitness expert at BistroMD, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA “This race is going to require strength, endurance and agility in order for our team to successfully complete it. I have comprised a three-phase training course for each team member, over a course of five months. The first phase is 20 weeks long, and is focused on cardio and resistance training.”
If you want to start developing a cardio and resistance training workout on your own, you can start off just like the marketing team at BistroMD. Here are some tips:
Tip #1: Capitalize on Cardio
If you are just starting out, you aren’t quite ready for full sprinting.
“If you are just beginning to train, it’s important to start out with about three miles of cardio,” says Sean. “This means jogging, not high-intensity running.”
Running and sprinting need to be eased into. Why? Because your body needs to adapt properly to the change in activity.
“Full on sprinting will just leave your body tired,” says Sean. “This doesn’t help you build endurance. By gradually easing into cardio, your body will be better prepared to handle high-intensity running and sprinting.”
Your initial goal: try to jog at a moderate pace for at least three miles. You can use either an elliptical, a treadmill, or you can jog outdoors. Just make sure to keep track of your distance, and your heart rate.
Tip #2: Focus on Resistance
Resistance training is critical if you are going to compete in a race like this, or if you just want to get into better shape.
“An effective resistance training regimen will have your body rotating through a variety of different exercises,” says Sean.
“These exercises include: heel raises, lateral raises, squats, and planks, just to name a few.”
When going through resistance training, it’s best to start your workout with more high-intensity exercises, like squats and planks, because your body will be less tired. Save the more basic, low-intensity resistant training exercises at the end, as you are likely to be more tired.
When it's time to start training, it’s best to start with squats.
“Squats help build endurance, and are great for strengthening your arm and leg muscles,” says Sean. “Squats also help promote stability, as well as a strong foundation.”
The Best Technique for a Squat: Grab an ideal set of weights for your weight and height. Nothing too heavy, as you want to avoid injury.
Place the weights on each side of the bar, and make sure they are secure. (use weight pins). Stand back from the bar, and grab the bar with both hands (about shoulder-width apart). Walk under the bar, and rest it on the lower part of your neck where it meets your shoulders, keeping your grip firm. (If necessary, use a neck pad).
While maintaining a firm grip on the bar, slightly lift the bar from its resting place and take two steps back. (Make sure you can handle the weight before you step back—if necessary, grab a spotter.)
With your feet a little less than shoulder width apart, slowly go into a squat. Bend your knees and keep your butt out, making sure that your knees never go over your feet. To start, do this for about 15 reps. Once you feel comfortable at this pace, you can gradually start boosting your number of reps.
Tip #3: Practice and Maintain the Right Schedule
“These exercises won’t do you any good unless you develop an effective schedule,” says Sean. “Effectively rotating between cardio and resistance training is crucial if you are going to move forward. Especially, if you are trying to build strength and endurance.”
Each week, you should do resistance training twice a week, and cardio three times a week. Continue on this schedule and gradually start building on your intensity.
“Once you get into this habit, it will be easy to move forward to a more intense workout,” says Sean.
In the upcoming weeks, continue to look for more tips from our fitness expert, Sean, and continue to follow our marketing team as they continue to train for the Super Spartan Race in Miami.
For more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy facts section for more information.
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