Last updated on April 24th, 2020

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the Spartan Workout Tour hosted at Alpha Obstacle Training. This was the first time the Spartan Workout Tour made it up to Eastern Canada, and is part of a series also headed to Ottawa (OCR Academy) and Montreal (Coexiste Crossfit).

 

Registration was super easy (and cheap!) online and the event day check-in, shirt pick up etc. ran smoothly. My boyfriend and I were ready to go within 10 minutes of arriving, but because we got there early we had time to say hi to friends we hadn’t seen since the end of last season at the Beast.

 

For the event we headed out to the sand pit where the wind was quite nippy and the pump-up music was blaring.

 

I should probably mention at this point that I am dealing with Post Concussion Syndrome and extremely restricted on physical activity. I have completed maybe 2 workouts in the past 6 months and know I have lost an incredible amount of strength, especially upper body. Last summer I could easily do 30 push-ups with no rest, and now I can barely make it to 10. My concussion recovery team includes a physiotherapist, sport medicine doctor and athletic therapist who all know my racing goals for this summer but are trying to keep my reality in check when it comes to the progression of my healing. My current workout regimen (as of two weeks ago) consists of biking for 10 minutes at a heart rate of 155 bmp, doing 2 sets of 10 push-ups, 2 sets of 10 glute bridges, 5 sets of planks for 45 seconds, 5 sets of wall sits for 45 seconds, 3 sets of one-legged balance for 30 seconds and 3 sets of balancing on both legs, one foot in front of the other with my eyes closed for 30 seconds. My heart rate is not allowed to exceed 165 bpm and if I feel an increase in my symptoms by two points during a workout, I have to stop. I am not allowed to run, jump or do any other physical activity that might rattle my brain around. Not exactly Spartan Ultra Beast prep material…

 

I spoke to event co-ordinators and the Spartan SGX coaches on the day of the event to make sure they knew what was going on with my health and that I would have to modify some of the workouts.

 

Warm-up:

 

After a pump-up speech from Jesse Bruce, a series of “I am Spartan” and “Aroo” chants we were ready to get stared with the warm-up. There was a surprising number of Spartan newbies training for their first race, and not as many of us veterans in the 2 pm heat.

 

This lasted about 5-7 minutes and included high knees, burpees, jumping jacks, bear crawls, ape walks, push-ups, running in the spot and more all done at different intensities and varying time lengths. I sat out for most of this since it included a lot of jumping, but was able to do the push-ups, chest-to-ground burpee to standing up instead of jumping up, bear crawls, and marching in the spot.

Station 1:

 

Partner 1 was doing jumping jacks continuously while Partner 2 ran through tires, dragged a cinder block on a chain, did 5 sledge hammers swings and did four tire flips. When Partner 2 got back to Partner 1, they swapped. This went on for 8 minutes.

 

I performed squats instead of jumping jacks and I walked, instead of ran, through the tires.

Station 2:

 

Partner 1 held a static squat while Partner 2 performed jump squats to a pylon about 5 yards away, did 1 burpee, then did bear crawls to the next pylon about 5 yards away, did 1 push up and ran back to the start line where they swapped positions with Partner 1. This went on for 8 minutes.

 

Instead of jump squats, I performed walking lunges with a squat in between. For the burpee, I stood up and reached as high as I could instead of jumping. I also walked, instead of ran, back to the starting line.

Station 3:

 

Partner 1 held a static squat while Partner 2 performed 4 squats followed by 1 squat jump, then they swapped. This went on for 4 minutes. Then Partner 1 held a straight arm plank while Partner 2 performed 5 push-ups, then they swapped. This went on for 4 minutes.

 

I did five squats instead of 4 squats with 1 jump squat.

 

After the workout we proceeded to the monkey bars, rope climb and inverted wall where we went over techniques on how to best overcome these obstacles and each participant had a few practice attempts.

 

All-in-all I would say this workout was definitely more geared to beginner Obstacle Course Racers but was still a fun afternoon getting outside in the sun and working out in a large group of people. I was super impressed that I actually listened to my recovery team and didn’t push myself for the sake of my ego. It was great that the coaches were accommodating to make sure I could participate to the best of my abilities, and came to check up on me a few times during the workout.

 

On top of that, this event raised over $3200 for Covenant House Toronto. BONUS!

 

I highly recommend the Spartan Workout Tour to any beginner or intermediate levels racers.

 

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  • Melissa Boufounos is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in sports nutrition. She helps competitive athletes simplify their fuelling plans with flexible eating strategies so they can maximize their performance potential without counting calories, tracking macros or giving up their favourite foods.

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