Obstacle races are becoming more and more popular as people try to push their bodies to the max and find new ways to challenge themselves.
One of the most famous is the Reebok Spartan Race, with events taking place across the country from now to October.
It’s a gruelling race, split into a 5km ‘sprint’, 13km ‘super’ or 20km ‘beast’ course, made up of 20 to 30-plus obstacles featuring mud, barbed wire, walls, ropes and fire that are designed to test both your physical and mental strength. There’s even a junior event for four to 14 year olds ranging from 0.75kn to 2km in length, with up to 14 obstacles.
But how in the hell do you train for something like this? After all, it involves strength, cardio, agility, stamina…
Well, David Lloyd, who are partnering with Reebok Spartan Races for the second year running, have designed an exercise class, in partnership with the races, aimed at building all the skills needed to complete the demanding course, and I got to go along and try it out…
The 45-minute class, called Spartan Synrgy 360, is open to adults, 11-15 year olds and, in selected gyms families aged eight and over. And, although it’s designed to build the strength and endurance needed to take part in a Spartan race, it’s also been created to encourage kids and adults to have fun while getting fit, and push themselves.
And it’s not just David Lloyd members that get to have a go.
They are offering a complimentary 14-day trial to anyone taking part in a Spartan race, so they can try out the class for themselves and train for their race.
But what does the class involve? Well, I headed for my local David Lloyd to take part and had a fab time.
To start, the 20 or so of us in the class were split into teams of four, so of the bat we were learning to work as a team, just like you would be doing during the race. Then we were each assigned an exercise to perform for a minute before moving onto the next, exactly like circuit training. But these exercises involved us working together.
We were doing everything from wheelbarrows across hurdles to sleigh pushes and lifting a tyre over an obstacle, to sprints, high knees and, everyone’s favourite, burpees!
It was hard, and I was sweating and panting at the end of each exercise, but it was great fun too, with everyone getting stuck in, plenty of encouragement and even the odd high five!
There were all ages – from 20s to 60s – and fitness levels taking part too, with everyone helping each other.
It’s always a little awkward walking into a room full of people you don’t know and being thrown together, but by the end of the session I was chatting away to another lady and spent a good 10 minute afterward talking!
And that’s what the Spartan races are about, apart from pushing yourself physically, teamwork.
If you are signed up to take part in a Spartan race this year, you’d be silly not to get down to a class near you and give it a go. And for David Lloyd members who are inspired by the class to give the race a try, you’ll get 15% off your race entry. Everyone’s a winner!
Until next time, stay happy and healthy…