The Spartan Hurricane WOD is a long, grinding experience built around six degrees of punishment, each with an evil purpose all of its own. The intention being to prepare participants for what may lie ahead for those competing in the 14km Spartan Super, just around the corner on 6 October in Morrissons, Victoria. I was happy to cough up the $20 registration for this as all profits will help send our best athletes to the Spartan World Championships in Vermont, USA later this month. Good luck, guys and girls….kick arse and bring home some titles.
Before I ramble on, credit to the organisers from Spartan Australia and their partners in pain, Iron Edge. The workouts were relevant, inclusive and varied. There were ample opportunities to rehydrate and feed without allowing heart rates to fall too far in between. On a personal level, it was great to catch up with guys and girls I hadn’t seen for a while and re-immerse myself back into the OCRL crowd…it’ll be awesome to get some dirty racing done with them all soon.
The six degrees of punishment in today’s 3 hour 30 minute ride-along went something like this:
1. The Showroom Circuit
This one had everything but the kitchen sink and resembled an Iron Edge showroom. Three rotations through a series of about 4 circuits including dead balls, Bulgarian bags, power bands, ropes, kettlebells and sloshbags (filled with water…heavy AND unstable). Some with partner work, some not. Not a bad way to get started as there was plenty of variety and the 30mins or so passed pretty quickly.
2. Rope Work
Drill after drill after drill of upper body heavy rope work. Finding a partner to work with, one had the pleasure of getting flogged for 30 seconds on the rope then swapping out with the other to run down the other 30 seconds with old favourites like burpees (now there’s a surprise), mountain climbers, burpee/squats and so on. Now I don’t like to just go half-arsed with this kind of thing…we’re there to train hard and that’s all there is to it really. However, I knew I was in trouble when one of the smiling “wolf in sheep’s clothing” women came over and asked for my name. After obediently complying (immediately wishing I had given someone else’s), she politely advises me, “I’m going to pick on you.” Why the f^ck not, I (very) quietly mutter to myself before instantly slipping into “grey-man mode”….avoiding eye contact, breathing quietly….never to be seen again.
3. Bags of Shit
In my mind, the hardest one on the list. Take 1x 20kg (educated guess) sandbag and do 15x ground-to shoulder, 15x squats, 15x overhead press and 15x turkish getups (standing-to-horizontal-to-standing). Then do it again, but 14x. Then do it again, but 13x….are you detecting a pattern here? Never mind….let’s break up the pattern with random instructions of burpees and 200m bag runs. Continue for 30 minutes or until baked. I made it down to the 8x marker…motivated to not stop for air by the pace of the machine-like girl next to me….nice to meet you, Sim 🙂
4. No Kit Allowed
Body weight, body weight, body weight. Bear crawls, burpees, mountain climbers, abdominal work, push-ups, squats. This was a moderately paced session and was a nice step down from the bags of shit. Still tough though…make no mistake. Special mention goes to a 3-round superset of monkey squats (click for video) and short squat broad jumps which just about had everyone overdosing on lactic acid. My legs felt like they had been violently beaten with cricket bats…I hate cricket.
5. Big Balls
Just because something has “ball” in its name, doesn’t make it fun. Meet the DeadBall….picture a blue rubber sphere, not much bigger than a basketball (depending on the weight) filled with what must be concrete dust, lead pellets or some other carcinogen. The start was clearly intended to lull the group into a false sense of security. Ahh….this is nice. This quickly escalated into partner work with deadballs ranging from 12-35kg. This is not nice.
6. Tabata This
For those unfamiliar with Tabata, this is a high intensity interval sequence….circa 1996 and the brainchild of one Professor Izumi Tabata. I have his picture below should you happen to cross paths with him and wish to unleash the unbridled fury of humanity upon him. Simply put…take any movement and DESTROY IT for 20 seconds, and then bask in the warm sunshine of 10 seconds (yes, a whole 10) of rest. Repeat 8 times. So simplistic, yet devastating. Ideally you are delivering 100% output and maintaining almost identical rep scores for every round. This was a partner based session with one moving a kettlebell and the other their own body. Swings, snatches and thrusters, buddied up with burpees and bear crawls in various combinations.
I was even lucky enough to have my own medical support team at this gig!!…How many of you have an osteopath so dedicated to his clients that he will actually take time out of his own Sunday morning to make himself available? None of you?? I thought not…..me neither. After last week’s failed efforts to convince him to join the event, mine just turned up to throw random banter and drop little bombs like, “Hmmm, that last one looked a bit hard.” and “Jeez…you’d have to be feeling pretty tired by now.” Only the presence of his beloved saved him from a violent beating 😉
In the absence of this beating, all I can do is wave my gadgets around and share the training data collected by my much loved Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire HR. Click the link and take a tour of the toughest GPS/HR watch on the market today. The sapphire crystal glass and steel casing is f^cking bullet proof (Disclaimer: Do NOT attempt to use your Suunto Ambit2 Sapphire to deflect live ammunition fired in your general direction). Not only can you cover the metrics of just about every sport imaginable, you can infinitely customise it by choosing from 1000’s of free apps….a couple I’m using include a 100km finish time predictor (for the Surf Coast Century race) and a ghost-lap chaser. With a capacity of up to 50hrs of GPS recording, it’ll get you through some very serious events in very nasty environments.
If you know anyone called Chuck, hear this and take heed. A man once asked Chuck Norris if his real name was “Charles”. Chuck Norris did not respond. He simply stared at the man until he exploded.