Being over forty, I’ve often considered the possibility of doing a Spartan run as a means of entering my mid-life crisis with a bang and taking part in the tradition of mortality self-denial. In the meantime I have chosen a less crippling alternative: Dailyburn – Spartan.
Spartan is a 6 week program hosted by Kevin Donoghue, a registered Spartan SGX Coach. There are 6 unique workouts and occasionally the program inserts recovery videos from other instructors in the Dailyburn catalog. As with other Dailyburn workouts, this is part of a monthly subscription service and available via streaming video.
What you need:
A plyo box and weights are all you need. Should you desire to go balls-to-the-wall with authenticity be sure to grab a Home Depot pail, a big ass rock, cover yourself in fresh mud and set the dry grass in your backyard on fire.
Time: 29 minutes
The great outdoors. We bask in sunshine and take the opportunity to watch the cast fill their lungs with smoldering ashes. Maybe we should rename this the Pompeii Workout.
This is a general circuit workout that goes after many moves synonymous with a Spartan race. Shrugs, step ups, shoulder carry, burpee presses and deadlifts. 3 rounds with increasing time per reps as rounds progress. As with most Dailyburn workouts I’ve seen, the plyo box becomes a staple. You can naturally use regular weights instead of rocks ( highly recommend doing so ) so don’t feel a compulsion to go digging for a nice stone in your neighbors landscaping.
This being the first workout, it is also the introduction to the set and cast. I found it comical that Kevin mentions how Jax has asthma ( somewhere a SJW parasite is running to their safe space after that comment ). Hey, you know what is great for asthma? Not working out in a bush fire.
Time: 32 minutes
This is a pyramid workout, which means you start with one rep of each move moving up to 8, then back down to one. While this workout would likely be great in a boot-camp environment, it becomes a mad scramble when done in your home. Once it begins you will almost assuredly never be in sync with the cast and it can be a bit a distraction.
Time: 24 minutes
Two rounds of 5 moves ( plyo push-ups, crawls, rolls ) done for 45 seconds a piece. This is all low to the ground to condition your body for the barb wire crawl portion of a Spartan Race. Either that or crossing the street in an upper-class Syrian neighborhood.
Time: 32 minutes
This is all about core with burpees and various crunches to go after the wall climb. There is a wrist workout between moves that essentially involves wringing a towel. The difficulty rises fast depending who you follow out of the three cast members; in particular the V-Up rope climbs. Modified they are pretty easy. Decide to go advanced and they will show you just how weak certain core muscles are. Two rounds of 5 moves and each one is 90 seconds which certainly starts to hurt, but I guess that’s the idea.
Time: 35 minutes
Three rounds of 7 moves done for 45 seconds each. The focus is general core with moves such as rows, squats and fingertip planks. I’m not sure they’d really do that much to help with a rope climb, but I can certainly see the legal liability in asking viewers to attach a grappling hook to the roof of a condo.
Time: 33 minutes
Explosive power and hip mobility that finish up with a burpee circuit ( FYI: Spartan races love their burpees ). This means lots of jump squats and plyo push ups to build that endurance up. Out of all the Spartan workouts, this one is probably the most important and practical for the actual race. If you don’t have reasonably fast muscle fibers, you might want to reconsider signing up.
Spartan is a very targeted workout system designed for in-home training as opposed to doing the real-deal obstacle course. While the moves are tailor made for specific aspects of a Spartan Race, I can see shortcomings where endurance is concerned. More cardio conditioning is certainly required in order to truly drag what remains of your tired ass through miles of rough terrain, walls, wire and puddles of vomit. So while Dailyburn Spartan is great for spot training certain weak areas, don’t think of it as a complete solution or the body people crawl over to the finish-line will likely be yours. Supplement with running or HIIT workouts and you will be greatly rewarded for your efforts.
As a trainer, Kevin Donoghue is both motivating and professional without going into hyper territory. The casual humor is there but never goofy. The cast likewise does an expert job in demonstrating three levels of difficulty which you can follow as your comfort level rises.
The schedule alternates daily with a Spartan workout and various recovery workouts from Dailyburn such as yoga and stretching. It helps keep the program fresh during the 6 week run-time while also insuring proper flexibility to prevent injury on the course.
Currently the option to pre-download is available for iOS only ( suck it Android ) but I imagine the option will become available soon for other platforms. This only becomes an issue for slow connections or when you need to practice your yoga in the bus depot. At home I just Airplay the streaming video to my Apple TV ( Roku would be similar ) and I’m off to the races.
In all I give Spartan 4 FEATHERS out of 5. While being short of a complete workout solution, it does the job of going after specific body exercises other programs might miss, thus helping make your big race a success.