Prep For Your Obstacle Course Race With This Spartan Workout

Tackling an obstacle course races requires both strength and stamina, as well as courage and an incredibly high tolerance for mud. We can’t help you much with the last two, but you can ensure you’re fit enough for a Spartan Race by tackling this workout from Dave Downey, a personal trainer at David Lloyd Fulham Broadway, which is designed to help you finish your obstacle course race in fine style.

Spartan Race Workout

There are four sections to the workout, not including the warm-up and warm-down. The first section is all about burpees, the second has a variety of kettlebell exercises, the third mixes combat moves in with regular bodyweight exercises, and the fourth involves some teamwork (although it can be done solo).


Sets 3 Time 40sec each exercise Rest 30sec between sets

Get ready for the workout proper with three circuits of high knees, heel flicks, star jumps, lateral raises and plank walk-outs. If that seems like quite a long warm-up, remember that the first round of the workout is burpees, so you won’t feel like rushing into it.

Burpee With Tuck Jump

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 20sec

From a standing position, drop into a crouch, then kick your legs back into a press-up position. Throw in a press-up if you like, then jump your feet towards your hands. Stand up and explode immediately into a tuck jump, lifting your knees up to your chest, before landing softly.

Kettlebell Swing

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell between your legs in both hands in an overhand grip with your arms hanging straight down. Then swing the kettlebell up to chest height, keeping your arms extended. Control the swing as the kettlebell comes down between your legs, then drive through your hips and heels again to swing it back to chest height.

Kettlebell Sumo Squat To Upright Row

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in both hands in an overhand grip with your arms hanging straight down. Squat down until the kettlebell is hovering just above the floor, then push back up and lift the kettlebell up to your chest, flaring your elbows out to the sides as you lift.

Kettlebell Lunge With Twist

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Hold a kettlebell up to your chest in both hands. Lunge forward until both knees are bent at 90°, keeping your front knee above your foot. Then rotate your torso away from your front leg, rotate back to the centre and return to the starting position. Alternate which leg you lunge on.

Kettlebell Russian Twist

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Sit on the floor with your upper body at a 45° angle to the ground and your legs slightly bent at the knee and raised about 10cm off the ground. Holding a kettlebell to your chest in both hands, rotate your arms all the way over to one side, then the other, keeping your core braced throughout.

Reverse Lunge To Front Kick

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

From a standing position, step back into a reverse lunge, lowering until both knees are bent at 90°. Then push back up and follow through with the back leg straight into a front kick, lifting your knee up and extending the leg out in front of you.

Squat With Punches

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Drop into a squat, with your thighs parallel to the floor, and hold it while you throw four straight-arm punches, two with each arm. Then push back up to a standing position.

Side Lunge To High Knee

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

From a standing position take a big step to the left and lower until your left knee is bent at 90°. Your right leg should be straight. Then push back up and bring your left knee up towards your chest. Then do the same on the right side. Keep alternating legs.

Sit-Up With Punches

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Sit on the floor with your feet grounded and your knees bent. Lean back until your upper body is just above the ground, then sit up until your torso is vertical. Throw four straight-arm punches, two with each arm, then lean back and do another sit-up.

Partner Squat Hold

Sets 3 Time 40sec Rest 30sec

Squat down back-to-back with a partner, leaning on each other for stability. Pass a medicine ball back over your head to your partner. Keep passing it back and forth while you hold the squat. You can do this without a partner by squatting against a wall and pressing a medicine ball over your head.


Do a series of stretches focusing on the legs, torso and upper body. Remember spending a little extra time warming down will help decrease the risk of savage DOMS, and indeed injury.

Spartan Race is coming to the Windsor Great Park Estate on 30th September 2017. Find more information and sign up at

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.