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“The Spartan”

Challenge Workout by Dan John

1.2K 13
  • 10 Rounds for Time (with a Partner)
  • 5 Deadlifts (315/225 lb)
  • Bear Crawl
  • On the last round, do Bear Crawl until failure.

This is a classic “I go/you go” style wherein Partner A completes 5 Deadlifts while Partner B does the Bear Crawl. After the Deadlifts are complete, partners will switch. Each athlete must complete 5 rounds in total. For the last round, perform the Bear Crawl until failure.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Bear Crawl has been completed.

Scaling Options

Use a duffle bag filled with up to three water-softener salt bags. Generally, each one weighs 40 pounds, so try to get two or three bags in the carrying sack. Duct tape it well.

Partner one does bear crawls while partner two carries the bag “bear hug” style. Stay in communication and switch well before fatigue sets in. Continue until… finished.


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Background: This workout was one of the challenge workouts Dan John posted on T-Nation back in 2014. It was inspired by the local high school mascot in Murray, Utah. Dan said, “I live in Murray, Utah and our local high school mascot is the Spartan, hence the name of this random workout (Mark Twight lives close, too, and he became ridiculously famous when the move 300 came out a few years ago.)”

Dan John has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.

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