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Kettlebell Simple and Sinister + Burpees

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Sam Vaughn

First Post
Hi All,

I know there are a lot of posts about obstacle course races, but I have a specific question about Spartan Race training. I recently started Simple and Sinister and signed up for a sprint race and everything I read about Spartan training says that incorporating burpees into your routine is essential. I was thinking of just adding 30 burpees to the end of my S&S routine and my runs.

Do you think that is enough/any thoughts on the matter?
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
I'd add them to the runs.
Every 500m do 10-15 burpees and continue or something like that.
I know you have to do 30 for the penalty, but IMO it's better to do more reps in smaller sets.
What do you think will be better for you burpee performance - a 5Km run with 30 burpees at the end or a 5Km run with 100 burpees (10 every 500m)?

Regarding S&S I think I'd do the swings as written and then for the TGUs add 5 burpees between every rep and finish with a set of 20.

Or you could do 1 or 2 dedicated burpee sessions per week or add a little bit every day (see this -> » Villain Challenge #1)

From a personal standpoint I can't argue with the recommendations of people that have more experience with Spartan races and deem burpee training essential, but I'd rather train in a way to be able to complete the obstacle instead of training for failing it. Because doing burpees simply means that -> failing to do the obstacle.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Every 500m do 10-15 burpees and continue or something like that.

I have used this approach with some degree of success.

However I also strongly agree with @Kettlebelephant in his perspective of training to complete the course without fails.
The last one I did was a Super and out of 27 or so obstacles, I think I failed only 2. Yes I trained some burpees, but I trained more on skills and strengths to clean the obstacles.
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 7 Valued Member
With my huge experience of 1 Spartan race, I'd agree that, given limited time/energy, training to do the obstacles is time better spent than training burpees. Pull ups, rope climbs, monkey bars, loaded carries - that kind of stuff will serve you well. But if you've got the time, just grind out the burpees at the end. Getting comfortable/efficient with the movement is a worthwhile endeavor, it just shouldn't be the primary goal of your training.

I've got a Spartan on my near-term goals, and that's what I'm trying to do now, anyway (when my back is feeling up to it). Throw in 30 burpees or so after doing my strength work. Just to groove the movement.

I don't think there's anything wrong with what you want to do, just make sure you get in a lot of obstacle-specific work alongside your S&S.
 

Snowman

Level 6 Valued Member
Welcome to the Forum!

+1 to what's been said. I did a Beast a couple years ago, and did exactly 20 burpees the entire race. There were two obstacles that included a set of 10 burpees as part of the obstacle. I wouldn't bet on being able to do that on a regular basis (the spear throw was all luck), but most of the obstacles weren't a big deal because my grip and all my pulling/lifting/carrying muscles were were up to the demand from lots of A+A swings during the months prior. People talk a lot about grip failure, but it was a non-issue. The only obstacles that were a true struggle were the longer distance, uphill carries, and that's not really something that you can "fail," they just suck. I would recommend getting comfortable with burpees, but I don't think they should be the focus of your training. Focus on the things that will prevent burpees from being necessary ;)
 

Deleted member 5559

Guest
It depends on the purpose of the training session too. I wouldn't do burpees if the objective is a long slow aerobic run. If it's an interval or tempo run, then they might fit better. On strength training days you could do them after S&S in a circuit fashion with the other obstacle specific training mentioned above. I have enjoyed structuring non-run days with Power (Swings) > Strength (TGU) > Strength Endurance/Work Capacity (obstacle circuits).

Alternatively, you could do a set of 15 GTG style throughout the day for two weeks prior to the event and be just fine I think.
 

Ian V

Level 6 Valued Member
Try this (it's horrid) do a 30 m sprint 10 burpees sprint back 9 burpees and so on down to 1 burpee.
It will give you 55 burpees total 300 m sprint and an odd feeling in your stomach ;)
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
Try this (it's horrid) do a 30 m sprint 10 burpees sprint back 9 burpees and so on down to 1 burpee.
It will give you 55 burpees total 300 m sprint and an odd feeling in your stomach ;)
Not to be a dick here, but it will give you 30 or 60m (maybe 90m for rare individuals) of sprinting. Everything afterwards turns into a jog.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
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Sinister
Training and actual application (during the race) are 2 different things. My advice:

- get stronger and in shape: S&S rocks. Don't add burpees or change S&S until you can meet at least "Simple" standard.
- after you meet "Simple", do one day swings + get-ups, the other burpees and swings, third day burpees and get-ups. Do the burpees as your S&S - less reps (sets of 10? Maybe even less), longer rest between sets, super strict, preferably with weighted vest, using all Hardstyle principles. Build strength. Stop relatively fresh.
- for the race, learn to use minimum effort to do them to save strength.
 
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WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 7 Valued Member
... super strict, preferably with weighted vest, using all Hardstyle principles. Build strength.

Now, there's an interesting idea... strength burpees. I'd sort of given up doing any work towards pistols or OAPU for the moment because there just wasn't room for it in my training, but maybe that could be mashed into a burpee practice. Pistol down to the bottom, flip over and OAPU, pistol back up and jump off one leg. Not that I can do any of that at the moment, but maybe some kind of combined regressive movement with a suspension trainer. It would be so long under tension, I'm not sure one could get much pop in the jump. I'm excited to experiment with this.
 

Ian V

Level 6 Valued Member
Not to be a d@#$ here, but it will give you 30 or 60m (maybe 90m for rare individuals) of sprinting. Everything afterwards turns into a jog.

Maybe I should have said run as hard as you can - in my mind I am of course sprinting - anyone watching would say "He's walking quite quickly" ;)
 

jca17

Level 6 Valued Member
I did a beast and super last year. My training was S&S with just 20kg for 1 arm swings and 12kg for tgu (my working weights for S&S). I was able to finish all the obstacles at the super. Grip wasn't an issue, even with just 20kg 1 arms swings for training. Importantly though, I went with a group of friends and we did some crazy glycolytic type training every Sunday night for the 6 weeks or so leading up the event. So I kept my training simple and sininster during the week days, and then hard and more course specific on the weekends. I basically hadn't trained glycolytic at all in the past year since I was following SF type programming (I ran PTTP, Faleev 5x5, 5/3/1, and then switched to S&S in July to prepare for the September 30 beast and November Super and Sprint). I think the glycolytic training, in essence kind of a one month "peak" was very important. My team didn't care for running. All of us loved strength training and the challenge of the obstacles, so we didn't really have any long slow distance. We stayed together, so if any one of the six of us was too tired to run, we all walked in general. We didn't have an impressive time, but it was a very fun experience. S&S worked very well for me. Lots of pullups, crawls, carries, tire flips, box jumps, monkey bars, rope climbs, etc on Sunday night though. Like 3 hours drenched in sweat type stuff that hopefully most of us know should not be our year long training gear unless you are genetically gifted for it. Resting heart rate was down to 47 when I went to bed (measured for a full minute because I didn't want a short data sample size to overly skew the result). I'd never had resting heart rate below 58 or so before. The glycolytic peaking really does crazy things to our adaptation, even (or maybe especially) at only a once a week dose.
 
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Sam Vaughn

First Post
Thank you everyone for the responses! This is super helpful. I think I am going to have simple and sinister as my main training and do some obstacle specific work on my runs (there is a huge playground close to my apartment). Then I will add in burpees once I hit the simple goals.

I definitely want to train to complete the obstacles rather than plan to fail!
 
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