Posts Tagged ‘kettlebells’

While at a martial arts retreat in Colorado, Keith was invited to participate in a Crossfit workout.  No big deal, until you realize that you are over 9,000 feet above sea level!  Doing burpees without the benefit of oxygen was such a fun experience, Keith wanted to share it with everyone at Forteza!

Low Alititude workout

While it isn’t possible to replicate low oxygen here in Illinois, feel free to do some sprints, pull-ups, or Kettlebell complexes to pre-fatigue yourself before attempting this workout:

Five rounds of: 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 of two handed kettlebell swings, burbees, and sit-ups

Set the clock at thirty minutes.  If you can’t complete it in the allotted time, then try again next week.  Good luck!

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The Road to Sparta Part 1

This past weekend was the Midwest Super Spartan Race, and team Forteza was out in force.  The Super Spartan is an 8+ mile race (this year ended up being 9 miles) through grueling terrain, including plenty of hills, and of course an insane amount of mud.  There were also close to 30 obstacles, ranging from rope climbing, to army crawling under barbwire, and swimming across an ice cold pool of grimy water.  It’s no wonder that the Super Spartan only has a 69% completion rate!

Forteza had twelve brave Spartans who signed up for the challenge.  Team leaders Keith and Jesse had two Spartan runs under their belts, but for most of the team, this would be their first mud run.  Some were seasoned athletes; others had never run more than a mile or two in their lives!  However, no matter their original fitness level, everyone really stepped up their training in the month leading up to the Spartan.

Alison, Erin, and Vader fighting hard to make it up the hill!

Three weeks before the race, Jesse and Keith decided to put together a mini Spartan Race of their own.  Lacking the required mud, they opted instead to challenge all of the Spartans by making everyone complete the course with kettlebells strapped to their backs!  The guys had to take 35lbs bells; the ladies were allowed 25lbs or lighter.  The run was a three mile course, with monkey bars, parallel bars, pull-ups, and more.  All of which was done with the kettlebells strapped on their backs!

After the last round of weighted hill sprints.

In the spirit of crying in training so that we laugh in battle, the course ended with eight rounds of hill sprints.  Having the extra weight made this a real challenge, but everyone dug deep and made it through all eight rounds.

With only a couple weeks left before the race, it was time to put the finishing touches on the training regimen…..

The Spartan team after a fun day of running, climbing, crawling, and hill sprints.

The Forteza Spartan Race team has been busy getting ready for the October 28th race.  In addition to doing some long runs through Chicago’s beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood, building up much needed core and pull-up strength, and dreaded hill sprints, we’ve also had healthy doses of various circuit training workout.
This weeks circuit is the 300 Workout.  This workout was made famous by the actors for the movie “The 300”, who had to complete this circuit in under 20 minutes in order to be allowed on the set of the film.  This is a great benchmark workout, and whenever there is a Spartan Race coming up, it seems fitting to make sure we do the 300 at least once.

One note: notice that instead of deadlifts, we’ve opted for heavy kettlebell swings instead.  The deadlift is an awesome exercise, and should be on the menu for anyone looking for functional strength.  However, sacrificing form for speed when it comes to deadlifting is irresponsible at best.  The swings should take much less time than deadlifts, so if you’re in shape, getting a sub 20 minute time should be a piece of cake!
The 300

25 Pull-Ups

50 Kettlebell Swings (ladies 20kg for higher, men 32kg or higher)

50 Push-Ups

50 Box Jumps

50 Floor Wipers

50 Clean and Press (ladies 12kg, men 16kg)

25 Pull-Ups

Ready for a challenge?  The Forteza Challenge Workouts are designed to test both your fitness level and mental toughness via fun, but demanding workouts.

There are plenty of these sorts of workouts online, but as with everything else at Forteza, we’re going to try and make it a little different.  Challenge workouts will combine training themes, combined with our love of old-school training methods and martial arts to make you sweat but crack a smile between all of the grimacing.  Keep watching this space, as the workouts will sometimes include photos, videos or even contests, to see who is out there watching – and training!

The first Challenge Workout is the Spartan 1500.  This is the workout we did last weekend with our Spartan Race team, and its a tough one!  Give yourself only 60 minutes and complete as many of the exercises as possible.  If you don’t quite finish it, keep training, and give it another shot in a couple weeks.

Spartan 1500

  1. 100 Burpees
  2. 100 Pullups
  3. 100 Box jumps
  4. 100 Medicine Ball Slams
  5. 100 Jumping Jacks
  6. 100 Russian Twists (50 each side)
  7. 100 Bodyweight Squats
  8. 100 Round House Kicks (50 each side, against Thai pads or heavy bag)
  9. 100 Kettlebell Swings
  10. 100 Curls (50 each side)
  11. 100 Dips or TRX Tricep Extensions
  12. 100 Kettlebell Snatches or Clean and Press
  13. 100 Push-ups
  14. 100 Battle Rope waves
  15. 100 Crunches