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Spartan Strength Training

Spartan Spear Throw upper body training
Spartan Spear Throw Hay Bales and Juliet Dog strength training

Saturday is strength training for my upcoming Atlanta Spartan 10K Super race. Spear throwing is one of the 25 obstacles in the race and requires some strength and much coordination. The spear throwing distance is 25 feet and the target is a couple of hay bales a few feet off the ground. You only get one chance to successfully hit the target. Miss and you do 30 burpees or take a time penalty.

In my backyard, I throw my Spartan spear at a wall of hay bales that’s six-foot-high by nine-foot wide. My dog Juliet smells a hay bale, and the spear just misses her (or so it appears).

Spear Throw Training

I plan to throw the spear until I can hit the center of the middle hay bale. When I start throwing my spear lands in the bottom hay bale. To increase my power, I take a step back and step into the throw. However, to get more power out of your spear throw you need to bend your knees and push with your legs as you twist your hips.

Spear throwing strengthens these muscles:

  • Arms muscles: tricep and shoulder
  • Back muscles: rhomboids and scapular stabilizers
  • Core muscles

It has been a while since I threw the spear, and I spend twenty minutes or longer throwing it.

Rhomboids muscle pain

Spear throwing is just the beginning of my Spartan strength training and my back doesn’t hurt yet.

TRX Strength Training

The photo shows a guy performing a low row (deep angle, closer to the ground) with TRX suspension straps. Saturday I perform mid rows at a higher angle (more upright) and less difficult. This exercise works the upper back.

Other TRX strength training on Saturday includes:

  • Deltoid Fly – watch my video on TikTok
  • Squats
  • Forward lunges

Building Shoulders with Bands

Jeff Cavaliere cross body lateral raise

Jeff demonstrates in a YouTube video (at 5:45) his “favorite variation for growing your shoulders and bands.” The exercise is called Cross Body Lateral Raise. I attach my resistance bands which I purchased on Amazon to a door anchor. Then I strengthen my shoulders with this exercise.

Furthermore, to work the mid delts Jeff shows the high pull (video at 6:45). The movement keeps the elbow down and provides external rotation of the shoulder.

Back Muscle Pain

In addition to working my shoulders, I work my upper back muscles with high rows using resistance bands. You can also do high rows with TRX straps as shown in this YouTube video. Next, I do five strict pull-ups with the bar shown in the photo.

Then I do standing two-arm front dumbell raises (13-pounds each). Unfortunately, my fatigued back muscles could not handle the strain. With my arms extended out in front holding the dumbells, I feel a tight muscle spasm in my upper back. In extreme pain, I drop to my knees.

Spartans Don’t Quit

Spartan Race Logo

The pain is so intense I go to my bed. However, my back muscles are so tight and I can not lay down. For a couple of minutes, I feel severe pain.

Then my back pain becomes more tolerable. I return to the dumbells and do one-arm dumbell raises with the same weight without a problem. Then I remove the pull-up bar and start my first set of twenty pushups.

With my knees and forearms on the floor, I rest. After a minute, I do another set of twenty pushups. Finally, I rest again and do my final set of ten pushups for a total of fifty. This concludes my Spartan strength training session – finish strong!

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