Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spartan Race WOD's aka "Workout Of the Day"...what they don't tell you

One of the basic assumptions that these WOD's seem to make is that you have, at hand, a fully equipped gym alongside a running track with a hill just outside the door.  I guess it's also assumed that you have a field where you can do all sorts of imaginative exercises which may include old tires, large rocks and tree parts.  I haven't seen any yet that involved wrestling wild animals or carrying domestic ones...but I'm sure that's just an oversight and will be addressed at some point soon.

Well....I belong to a gym...just an ordinary, regular gym.  So that pretty much puts most of the WOD's out of any practical reach.  I do however, read them on a daily basis.  And much to my surprise, along came a WOD that I could not only do at my gym, but was only 5 lines long!!  What was even more surprising was the fact that it looked pretty easy.  Now, anyone familiar with Spartan Race knows, if it looks too out!  Since I've written about these guys before (see 2012 Spartan Race at Tuxedo NY ) I really should have known better.  I suppose we all know where this one's going!

So...WOD in hand...I trotted off to the gym one day, intent on doing my first WOD.  This was an exciting day!  Knowing how difficult most of these are, and knowing that there were people out there doing them regularly, I felt like I was on the threshold of some exclusive and elusive society.

Now, it took a bit of innovating but I worked out a way to do this oh-so-simple WOD.  Of course it wouldn't be perfect.  There would be an unavoidable, relatively small time lag between exercises.  Overall though, it would be close enough to get the feel of really doing one.  They also have a rating system for these.  Each one is rated up to 5 in the areas of strength, endurance and speed.  So I did one rotation through the WOD exercises!  And the first thing that hit me was, "how the hell could something this short be so freaking hard??!!"  For Spartan athletes these ratings were fine I guess.  For me, they better put them in dog years!  20 minutes later, it was done...and I was done!  It was my first one...but hopefully not my last.  Unfortunately, a gym is just not the ideal place for these...which is probably a big reason I'm still alive!!

Just a final note about one of the people that creates these "things", Dr Jeff [aka Dr. Jeff Godin].  For those who like the science of exercise, he writes some of the most technically interesting articles.  I credit him with my breakthrough performance in longer distance running endurance....all due to one of his posts on the "long slow run".  Aroo Doc...keep 'em coming...even if I can only manage a few.

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