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Ultimate Obstacle Race Training: Crush the World's Toughest Courses


Check out the completely free obstacle race training & mud run training program below!

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Crawl face down in mud. Slog knee-deep in frigid water. Leap through walls of fire. Hurl teammates up and over tall barricades. Extreme obstacle courses offer thrill-seekers a new kind of fast-paced fitness adventure that goes far beyond older events like marathons and triathlons. With step-by-step instructions and extensive course summaries, the training program in this book gives readers the ability to develop the full-body physical strength and fearless mental endurance needed to conquer every obstacle on any course. Modeled on Special Forces training blueprints, obstacle course events have attracted millions of participants over the past ten years. Their popularity continues to surge: in 2012, over 100 events are scheduled across the United States, Canada, and Britain, ranging from kid-friendly short sprints to the extreme 48-hour Spartan Death Race. In this one-of-a-kind book, the authors, veteran obstacle course racers, show readers how to gain the fitness, dexterity, and confidence needed for course challenges such as mud slopes, climbing ropes, and log hauls. Covering all the major obstacles and providing tips about race-specific events like Tough Mudder's "Electroshock Therapy" and the Muddy Buddy bicycle sprints, this book is a must for anyone looking for instruction and inspiration to release their inner champion.

Take The Test


Want more details? Pick up the book, or follow along daily with the companion app!

Round 1: Start your timer—it’ll run for the duration of all three rounds, including any rest breaks you may take. Rest if needed, and make sure you have water to stay hydrated.
  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 5 Squats
  • Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at a “conversational” pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 5.
Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 15:00.
Move as quickly as you can from round to round. Take a sip of water and catch your breath, but don’t forget that you’re on the clock.

Round 2:
  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 5 Squats
  • Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at a moderate pace. This isn’t an all-out effort, but you shouldn’t be talking more than 5 to 6 words at a time while running or walking briskly. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 7.
Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 13:00.
Move as quickly as you can from round to round. Take a sip of water and catch your breath. The clock is still ticking!

Round 3:
  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 5 Squats
  • Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at an overall moderate pace, adding in 2 to 3 sections where you pick up the pace. These sections can be as long as 1 minute each or as short as “until that next mailbox” while outside of “during this entire commercial” on the treadmill with a TV handy. The intensity of this pick-up interval should be an 8, not a full-out sprint (Day 1 and you’re already doing interval training—yay, you!).
Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 12:00.
Stop your timer, that’s it! Grab a towel and wipe off while drinking some water or a mixture of 50% water, 50% sports drink if you’re a heavy sweater in hot conditions. Forty minutes is right around the time you should be replacing some electrolytes and a bit of glucose, but you shouldn’t need a full bottle of high-calorie sports drink.

How’d you do?
Less than 30 minutes: You’re a Rock Star! Start with the 5-week CRUSH IT Program on page 122. You can even jump right into the second week if you’d like! If you haven’t already done a race, you’re a good candidate for your first one very soon—24 days will provide you enough time to work through the final three weeks of CRUSH IT, rest for a few days, and go tackle the course of your choosing!

Less than 35 minutes: Awesome job, you’re ready to start with the 5-week CRUSH IT Program on page 122. Depending on your confidence, you can sign up for an event that’s around 38 days away, giving you time to complete CRUSH IT and give your body some rest or even tackle a 5K Mud Run in the next few weekends to get one under your belt.

Less than 40 minutes: Great work! You hit the optimal target for each round, and are ready for Domination Level Alpha. Follow the DLA plan and you’ll be ready for a short-distance 5K Mud Run event in about 24 days. This will give you enough time to complete the 3-week program and allow your body to rest and recover for a few days before you kick it into gear.

Over 40 minutes: You just totally destroyed every single person plopped on the couch; give yourself some credit for an awesome job. All those other fast folks below 40 have stopped reading now, so let me share a secret: You’re right in my wheelhouse and my favorite athletes to train—no lie! I’ve worked with elite athletes and professional triathletes, and I can tell you hands-down that individuals in this bracket have the most to gain and make the biggest strides over the course of any program. Welcome to my team, I’m happy you’re on board. I’ve created a simple Prep Program for you to follow and get you ready for Domination Level Alpha.

Prep Program


Want more details? Pick up the book, or follow along daily with the companion app!

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Week 1
Set 1
1:00 Walk
:30 Jog
1:00 Walk
:30 Jog
1:00 Walk
1:00 Rest
Set 2
10 Hip Raise
5 Squat
10 Marching Twist
5 Push-Up
1:00 Rest
Set 3
1:00 Walk
:30 Jog
1:00 Walk
:30 Jog
1:00 Walk
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
1:00 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:30 Jog
1:00 Walk
1:00 Rest
Set 2
10 Superman
5 Lunges
10 Bird Dog
10 Wood Chop
1:00 Rest
Set 3
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
Set 2
12 Hip Raise
6 Squat
12 Mason Twist
12 Marching Twist
1:00 Rest
Set 3
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
:35 Jog
:45 Walk
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
Set 2
12 Bird Dog
6 Lunges
6 Push-Up
8 Squat
1:00 Rest
Set 3
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
:40 Jog
:40 Walk
Week 2
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
Set 2
14 Wood Chop
7 Lunges
10 Superman
12 Hip Raise
Set 3
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
:45 Jog
:30 Walk
:45 Jog
:30 Walk
:45 Jog
:30 Walk
Set 2
10 Squat
8 Push-Up
12 Bird Dog
12 Mason Twist
Set 3
1:00 Jog
1:00 Rest
1:00 Jog
1:00 Rest
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
1:00 Jog
1:00 Walk
:45 Jog
:45 Walk
1:00 Jog
:30 Walk
Set 2
16 Wood Chop
14 Hip Raise
8 Push-Up
10 Lunges
Set 3
:45 Jog
:30 Walk
1:00 Jog
:30 Walk
1:00 Jog
1:00 Walk
Set 1
1 Re-take Initial Test

Domination Level Alpha


Want more details? Pick up the book, or follow along daily with the companion app!

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Week 1
Set 1
Strength Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
5:00 Easy Jog Warm-Up
10:00 Moderate Run
5:00 Easy Jog Cool-Down
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
2 mile Easy Jog
Week 2
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
1 mile Easy Jog Warm-Up
1 mile Moderate Run
1 mile Easy Jog Cool-Down
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
2 mile Easy Jog Cool-Down
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
2 mile Moderate Run
1 mile Easy Jog Cool-Down
Set 1
Rest
Week 3
Set 1
Strength Partial Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
Dexterity Partial Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
1 mile Easy Jog Warm-Up
1 mile Moderate Run
1 mile Easy Jog
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
1 mile Moderate Run
2 mile Easy Jog
1 mile Moderate Run
1 mile Easy Jog
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
1 Re-take Initial Test
2:00 Rest
Set 2
5 Push-Up
5 Squat
1 mile Easy Jog
2:00 Rest
Set 3
5 Push-Up
5 Squat
1 mile Easy Jog

Crush It Level

 Get $10 off a Spartan Race, Use Code: SPEAR10

Want more details? Pick up the book, or follow along daily with the companion app!

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Week 1
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
3 mile Easy Jog
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
1 mile Weighted Backpack Walk
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
1 mile Moderate Run
10 Burpee
2:00 Rest
Set 3
1 mile Moderate Run
10 Burpee
Week 2
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
Set 2
Dexterity Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
50 Burpee
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Dexterity Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
0.5 mile Weighted Backpack Walk - Brisk Pace
20 Squat
Set 3
0.5 mile Weighted Backpack Walk - Brisk Pace
20 Squat
Set 1
Rest
Week 3
Set 1
10 Sprint Repeats
Set 2
Strength Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
22 Burpee
2:00 Rest
Set 3
22 Burpee
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
Set 2
Strength Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
Week 4
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
5 Sprint Repeats
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
0.5 mile Weighted Backpack Walk - Brisk Pace
20 Squat
Set 3
0.5 mile Weighted Backpack Walk - Brisk Pace
22 Lunges
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
2:00 Rest
Set 2
40 Burpee
2:00 Rest
Set 3
40 Burpee
Set 1
Rest
Week 5
Set 1
10 Sprint Repeats
Set 2
Strength Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Strength Workout
Set 2
Dexterity Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
Speed & Endurance Workout
Set 1
Rest
Set 1
1 Re-take Initial Test
2:00 Rest
Set 2
45 Burpee

Other Workouts

SR National Friends 728x90

Want more details? Pick up the book, or follow along daily with the companion app!

Strength Workout
Set 1
50 yards Sandbag Carry
6 Squat & Tosses
16 Wood Chop
100 yards Weighted Backpack Shuttle Run
2:00 Rest
Set 2
50 yards Farmers Walk
20 Lunges
20 Band Squat & Press
50 yards Farmers Walk
2:00 Rest
Set 3
50 yards Overhead Weighted Walk
5 Band Pull-Down
5 Jumping Pull-Ups
50 yards Overhead Weighted Walk
5 Band Pull-Down
5 Jumping Pull-Ups
Strength Partial Workout
Set 1
50 yards Sandbag Carry
6 Squat & Tosses
16 Wood Chop
100 yards Weighted Backpack Shuttle Run
2:00 Rest
Set 2
50 yards Farmers Walk
20 Lunges
20 Band Squat & Press
50 yards Farmers Walk
Dexterity Workout
Set 1
1:00 Door Pull-Ups
25 yards Army Crawl
10 Inchworm
25 yards Bear Crawl
2:00 Rest
Set 2
5 One-legged Squats
5 Jumping Pull-Ups
22 Bicycle Crunch
3 Forward Rolls
10 Box Jumps
2:00 Rest
Set 3
12 Band Pull-Down
14 Hanging Leg Raise
15 Bench Dips
5 Side Rolls
16 Linear Reactive Step Ups
Dexterity Partial Workout
Set 1
1:00 Door Pull-Ups
25 yards Army Crawl
10 Inchworm
25 yards Bear Crawl
2:00 Rest
Set 2
5 One-legged Squats
5 Jumping Pull-Ups
22 Bicycle Crunch
3 Forward Rolls
10 Box Jumps
Speed & Endurance Workout
Set 1
20 yards High Knees
20 yards Butt Kicks
20 yards Striders
20 yards Skip
20 yards Side Shuffle
20 yards Walking Lunge
20 yards Backward Sprint
20 yards Sprint
2:00 Rest
Set 2
20 Hip Raise
14 Superman
12 Bird Dog
22 Marching Twist
2:00 Rest
Set 3
5:00 Easy Jog Warm-Up
1:00 Rest
1 mile Moderate Run
1:00 Rest
:40 Run - Hard Pace
:30 Walk
:30 Run - Hard Pace
:30 Walk
:20 Run - Hard Pace
:30 Walk
:10 Run - Hard Pace
1 mile Moderate Run
5:00 Easy Jog Cool-Down



Push-Up

Starting Position: Assume a prone position face down on the floor. Place your feet side by side approximately 6 inches apart with your toes pointed towards your head so your weight rests on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on the ground approximately shoulder-width apart. Breathe out and lift your torso off the ground by driving your hands into the floor while keeping your back straight and core tight. Focus on using your shoulders, chest and triceps to complete the movement. Breathe in as you lower your torso to the ground, stopping when your elbows are at a 90º angle or your chest is 1-2 inches from the floor. Breathe out and push your torso back up to the top position while being careful not to lock your elbows.


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Squat

Start with your legs shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly outward, about 11 and 1 o’clock. As you descend, keep your head up, eyes forward and arms out in front of you for balance. As you descend, contract your glutes (yes, your butt), sit back slightly and your body should lean forward slightly and your shoulders should be almost in-line with your knees. Your knees should not extend past your toes and your weight should remain between the heel and the middle of your feet, do not roll up on the balls of your feet. Stop when your butt is about 6 inches away from the floor and push straight up from your heels. Do not lock your knees at the top of the exercise. This is one rep. Squat form is crucial to getting the most out of this extremely beneficial exercise. Check out your form by using a full-body mirror and standing perpendicular to it as you complete your reps. At the bottom of the move, the angle of your upper body should be the same as your lower legs. If you feel your weight is on your toes or heels then you need to adjust your posture and balance to balance your weight on the middle of your feet.


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Rest

Proper rest is essential between sets, as the workout progresses they will get more and more difficult and you need to rest, hydrate and recover in between sets. Try not to take longer than the prescribed amount of rest or you run the risk of cooling off too much and potentially pulling a muscle. If you make the workout part of your routine, make sure you do some light tasks that only take a minute or two between sets. Make sure you have water available and a towel to dry hands so that you can maintain a good grip on bars, the floor or a medicine ball. After the workout, it is vital that you rest the following day for muscle growth and healing. Since the program is a full-body routine, you should not “work out” any additional muscles on your rest days, instead it is suggested that you go for a jog or play some sports!
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Lunges

Stand tall with your feet directly under your shoulders and your arms hanging at your sides. Take a large step forward with your right foot, bend both of your knees and drop your hips straight down until both knees are bent at 90º. Your left knee should almost be touching the ground and your left toes on the ground behind you. Keep your core engaged and your back, neck and hips straight at all times during this movement. Pushing up with your right leg, straighten both knees and return to starting position. This is one rep, repeat with the other leg.


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Wood Chop

These are essentially a squat and then an extension upwards with hands directly overhead Add in a twist and a maybe even a medicine ball and you've got a great full-body exercise. Starting in squat position, Lower your body until your knees are at a 90º angle and bring both hands (or medicine ball) down to touch your left foot, then stand and raise your torso and lift your arms straight up over your head, at the same time twist your torso to the right so that your left shoulder is in front and you are looking to the right. Repeat the move back to the same foot until all repetitions are complete.


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Marching Twist

Can you do the can-can? With your arms at 90º, twist your torso and raise your left knee to your right elbow. Repeat with your right knee and left elbow...and put a little rhythm into it! A little hop with the bottom foot helps you keep your momentum going from leg to leg. Start slow and work up the intensity, even throw in some intervals to really raise your heart rate.


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Hanging Leg Raise

These are a great movement to work the lower abdominal muscles and hips while also providing a great stretch for your arms, shoulders and back. Don't be surprised if your vertebrae re-align themselves when you first hang and even throughout the move; this is one of those rare times in life when there is no inpactive forces on your spine - so go enjoy it! Grab an overhead bar with your preferred grip (underhand, overhand or mixed-grip) and hang from the bar with your arms fully extended (but elbows not locked). Slowly bring your knees up toward your chest by contracting your abdominal muscles while keeping your torso as close to vertical as possible. Don’t lean back during the movement or swing between reps. Lower your legs in the same slow manner - count 3 seconds up, hold for 1-3 seconds, and then 3 seconds down.


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Superman

Lying face down on your stomach, extend your arms directly out in front of you and your legs behind you. Keep your knees straight as if you were flying.

In a slow and controlled manner, contract your erector spinae and reach your arms forward and legs backwards towards opposite walls and allow your arms and feet to raise about 3-5 inches off the floor. Your head should maintain a straight position with your spine and do not arch your back. This move is as much of a “stretch” as it is an exercise. Hold for 5 seconds.

Lower slowly back to starting position.


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Mason Twist

The mason twist is designed to work the oblique abdominal muscles along with a strengthening your erector spinae and even incorporating your hip flexors. Start by sitting on the floor with your knees comfortably bent, feet on the floor, arms bent at 90º and your hands clasped together in front of your chest. Lift your feet about 4-6 inches off the floor and balance your bodyweight on your posterior. Keep your core tight to protect your back and while maintaining the same hip position, twist your entire torso at the waist and touch your clasped hands to the floor on right side of your body. Rotate back to the starting position while keeping your feet off the floor and maintain your balance using the supporting muscles of your core. Rotate to the left side and touch your clasped hands to the floor before returning back to center. This is two reps. If you're ready to kick it up a notch you can clasp a medicine ball or even a weight between your hands to emphasize the usage of the obliques in both directions of the rotation. Always be careful when using weights in a twisting motion as you can easily injure your lower back. Start with the lightest possible weights and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the move and refine your form.


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Burpee

Stand tall with your back erect, feet shoulder- width apart and toes rotated slightly outward.

Shift your hips backward and “sit back” for the squat, keeping your head up and bending your knees. Lean your weight forward and place your hands on the floor, inside, outside or in front of your feet— whichever is more comfortable and gives you a nice, stable base.

Kick your feet straight back so that you’re now in a push-up starting position, forming a nice line from your head to your feet. Keep your core tight to maintain an erect spine. Inhale as you lower your torso toward the floor for a push-up. Stop when your body is 1–2 inches from the floor.

Exhaling, straighten your arms and propel your entire upper body off the floor while simultaneously bending your knees and bringing them toward your chest in order to plant your feet underneath you.You should end up back in the bottom position of a squat.Take a quick breath.

Swing your arms straight overhead, exhale and push off from your feet to jump straight up in the air as high as possible. Land with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.That’s one rep.


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Bird Dog

Begin by getting on your hands and knees on an exercise mat with your legs bent at 90º and your hands on the mat directly below your shoulders. Keep your head and spine neutral, do not let your head lift or sag downward. Contract your abdominal muscles to prevent your back form sagging; keep your back flat from shoulders to buttocks for the entire exercise.

In a slow and controlled motion, simultaneously raise your opposite leg and arm until they are on the same flat plane as your back. Your leg should be parallel to the ground and not raised above your hip and your arm should extend directly out from the shoulder and your bicep should be level with your ear. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then slowly lower your arm and leg back to starting position. That’s one rep, repeat on the other side.


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Hip Raise

This exercise is a slow and controlled motion that works the entire core - back, hips & abs - and provides a great way to work those muscles without any impact.

Assume a sit-up starting position: Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor approximately 14 inches away from your buttocks. Extend your hands towards your hips and place your arms and palms flat on the floor at your side.

Engage your abdominal muscles to keep your core tight and exhale while you press your feet into the floor and raise your hips and lower back up forming a straight line from your sternum to your knees. Do not push your hips too high or arch your back. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds and then inhale and slowly return to starting position.


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Bicycle Crunch

I vaguely remember these from soccer practice in junior high, I sure wished I payed attention back then. This move starts like so many other abs exercises; lying flat on your back. Hand position has changed over the years - no one recommends locking your hands behind your head for all the neck and upper back strain it causes - now, the hand position of choice is to touch your temples on both sides of your head with your index fingers... there's nothing to grab onto there. I do remember a gym teacher once telling us to "grab our ears" for sit-ups and boy, does that sound like a really bad idea. Extend your legs and raise your feet 6 inches off the floor while simultaneously contracting your rectus abdominus and lifting your upper back and shoulders off the floor. In one movement, bend your left knee and raise your left leg so that the thigh and shin are at 90º while rotating your torso using your oblique muscles so that your right elbow touches the inside your left knee. Rotate your torso back and lower your upper body down towards the floor stopping before your shoulders touch. Extend your left knee and return your foot to the starting position 6 inches off the floor and bend your right leg to 90º, contract your abs, rotate and touch your left elbow to the inside of your right knee. Return to starting position, that counts as 2 reps.


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Inchworm

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and fold over so that your hands touch the floor.

Keeping your hands firmly on the floor to balance your weight, walk your hands out in front of you one at a time until you’re at the top of a push-up. Hold for 3 seconds.

Keeping your hands firmly on the floor to balance your weight, “walk” your feet toward your head by taking very small steps on your toes. Imagine that your lower legs are bound together and you can only bend your feet at each ankle. As you continue walking your feet toward your head, your butt will rise and your body will form an inverse “V.” When you’ve stretched your hamstrings, glutes and calves as far as you can, hold that position for 3 seconds. That’s one rep.


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Overhead Weighted Walk

From a standing position with a medicine ball between your feet, squat down and place your hands on opposite sides of the ball. Your back should be flat and shoulders inline with your knees, which are bent to about a 90º angle. Pushing through your heels, keep your back flat and raise the medicine ball straight up extending your hands straight over your head with elbows just slightly bent and not locked. Engage your core as if you were about to be hit in the stomach with a tennis ball, keep your back tall and straight and walk for the desired amount of time or steps before lowering the ball to chest height, then squatting and placing the ball on the ground.


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Band Pull-Down

Grab the lower loops of the hanging bands with each hand and step backward 2–4 feet from the point at which the bands are attached; the bands should have enough tension to straighten out but not be fully stretched. Facing the bands attachment points, rotate your hands so your palms face down, and close your grip around the bands.your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and both knees should be bent slightly so you can bend at the waist and lean forward to place your weight on the balls of both feet.This is your starting position.

With your elbows straight but not locked, pull the bands in an arc down toward the floor and continue the motion until your arms are behind your body as far as your range of motion or the bands tension will allow. Engage your core to prevent your body from twisting as you stretch the band in a semicircle. Hold the band in the fully stretched position for 3–5 seconds, then slowly return to starting position.


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Jog

A jog is an easy run at 'conversational' pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 5. Just because you're going easy doesn't mean you should be sloppy with your form; keep your stride short, head up and arms swinging easily at your sides in rhythm with your legs.


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Walk

A nice brisk walk isn't much different than a slow jog, except one foot is on the ground at all times. While you're using the walk interval to recover and recharge for your next jog, it's not an excuse to plod around. Move at a quick pace, head up and arms swinging easily at your sides in rhythm with your legs.


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Re-take Initial Test

This will be a timed test. Any watch or timer will do. Seconds aren’t important—yet. You can perform this test outside or using a treadmill; you’ll be covering up to 3 total miles, so plan your route accordingly. Start the initial test with a 3- to 5-minute warm-up using some of the moves on page 142

Round 1: Start your timer—it’ll run for the duration of all three rounds, including any rest breaks you may take. Rest if needed, and make sure you have water to stay hydrated.
• 5 Push-Ups
• 5 Squats
• Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at a “conversational” pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 5.

Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 15:00.
Move as quickly as you can from round to round. Take a sip of water and catch your breath, but don’t forget that you’re on the clock.

Round 2:
• 5 Push-Ups
• 5 Squats
• Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at a moderate pace. This isn’t an all-out effort, but you shouldn’t be talking more than 5 to 6 words at a time while running or walking briskly. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 7.

Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 13:00.
Move as quickly as you can from round to round. Take a sip of water and catch your breath. The clock is still ticking!

Round 3:
• 5 Push-Ups
• 5 Squats
• Run, jog, or walk 1 mile at an overall moderate pace, adding in 2 to 3 sections where you pick up the pace. These sections can be as long as 1 minute each or as short as “until that next mailbox” while outside of “during this entire commercial” on the treadmill with a TV handy. The intensity of this pick-up interval should be an 8, not a full-out sprint.

Optimal time for completion of Round 1 is under 12:00.

Stop your timer, that’s it!

How’d you do?
Less than 30 minutes: You’re a Rock Star! Start with the 5-week CRUSH IT Program.
Less than 40 minutes: Great work! You hit the optimal target for each round, and are ready for Domination Level Alpha.
Over 40 minutes: You just totally destroyed every single person plopped on the couch; give yourself some credit for an awesome job. We're going to improve your speed and stamina with the Prep Program and get you ready for Domination Level Alpha.
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Strength Workout

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Dexterity Workout

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Speed & Endurance Workout

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Easy Jog Warm-Up

An easy jog at “conversational” pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 5. Just because you're going easy doesn't mean you should be sloppy with your form; keep your stride short, head up and arms swinging easily at your sides in rhythm with your legs. The goal is to raise your body temperature and get your blood circulating to loosen up your muscles for the upcoming workout.


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Easy Jog Cool-Down

An easy jog at “conversational” pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should start at about a 5 and decrease to a walk (1 on exertion scale). The goal is to cool down after your workout and start allowing your body to recover by keeping your heart elevated and feeding blood and oxygen to your tired muscles.


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Moderate Run

This is a run, not a sprint, and isn’t an all-out effort. You shouldn’t be able to talk more than 5 to 6 words at a time while running. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 7. Keep your head up and arms swinging easily at your sides in rhythm with your legs.


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Easy Jog

An easy jog at “conversational” pace, one at which you could chat a bit with a friend, one to two sentences at a time. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 5. Just because you're going easy doesn't mean you should be sloppy with your form; keep your stride short, head up and arms swinging easily at your sides in rhythm with your legs.


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Strength Partial Workout

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Dexterity Partial Workout

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Weighted Backpack Walk

Toss some weight in a backpack (books, magazines, water jug, whatever) and walk the required distance. The additional weight will put more stress on your legs and core to keep you upright and moving forward.


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Weighted Backpack Walk - Brisk Pace

Toss some weight in a backpack (books, magazines, water jug, whatever) and walk the required distance at as brisk a pace as possible. On a scale of exertion, this should be at least a 5. The additional weight will put more stress on your legs and core to keep you upright and moving forward.


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Sprint Repeats

Run forward at top speed by leaning forward with your upper body to as much as a 45-degree angle and driving off the balls of your feet as hard and as rapidly as you can. Pump your arms to increase leg drive and speed. Go as far as required, stop, turn around and repeat. (If walking or rest is prescribed in the exercise, take that break before next sprint)


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Weighted Backpack Shuttle Run

Toss some weight in a backpack (books, magazines, water jug, whatever) and run the required distance at as brisk a pace as possible. On a scale of exertion, this should be at least a 7. The additional weight will put more stress on your legs and core to keep you moving forward.


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Squat & Tosses

Note: You’re going to be throwing something heavy, so make sure you’re outside and can’t break anything, anyone else, or yourself. Be creative in the objects you use, but be smart and safe first.

Place the object that you’ll be tossing on the ground and and stand with your feet on either side of it slightly wider than your shoulders and your toes pointed slightly outward.
Squat straight down and reach under the object with both hands, shifting your weight slightly forward to the balls of your feet.

The lift is an explosive move—you’ll simultaneously push 90% upward and 10% forward from the balls of your feet while lifting the object using your hips, arms, and chest. Push your hips forward rapidly to extend your legs and toss the object upward and forward away from your body—don’t throw the object straight up. If you do, get the heck out of the way! The goal is to throw it away from your body, not above your head. Ever.
Step forward with your dominant leg on the follow-through as you extend your arms. This will help simulate the motion of finishing off the tire push (i.e., stepping forward to drive it over).

Once you’re throwing the object more than 8 feet away from the starting position at 4 to 6 feet above the ground, it’s time for you to move up in weight.


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Farmers Walk

NOTE: Use a bucket with some water or dirt in it, a kettlebell or dumbbell.

With one weighted bucket at your side, squat down and grasp the handle with your palm facing your leg. Drive through your heels and lift the bucket up while straightening your legs. Engage your core muscles to keep your spine straight and your body vertical. If you’re unable stay erect and are leaning toward the side of your body where the bucket is, lower the bucket and remove some weight.

With the bucket raised, walk forward slowly for the time or distance outlined in Strength Workout and then place the bucket on the ground, swap hands, and repeat.


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Jumping Pull-Ups

Perform Jumping Pull-Ups on a sturdy bar or playground equipment that can easily hold more than double your weight.

Align yourself under the pull-up bar, squat slightly, and jump as high as you can. Grasp the bar with either an underhand (chin-up) or overhand (pull-up) grip of your choice and use the momentum from your jump as well as the strength of your upper body to raise your chest toward the bar. Hold the bar firmly and use your core to prevent swinging as this could cause you to lose your grip and fall when you become fatigued. If you’re able to pull the bar all the way to your chest, that’s optimal. Getting the bar below your chin is great, and even pulling as hard as you can after jumping and holding your body off the ground will help you build upper-body strength and get closer to performing pull-ups and even eventually muscle-ups.


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Band Squat & Press

Place an exercise band on the ground and place the center of both feet on the band about shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Squat down and grab the upper loop with both hands using an overhand grip. Stretch the band by bending your elbows and raising the backs of both hands up toward your shoulders while maintaining the squatting position. Your elbows should be at your sides and your thighs should be parallel to the ground. This is the starting position.

Pushing from your heels, straighten your legs, press your hips forward, and stretch the band up by extending your arms directly overhead. Don’t lock your knees or elbows.

Push your hips back slightly as if you were sitting down, bend your knees, and drop into a squat position; bend your elbows and bring them back to your side and return your hands to shoulder height, still gripping the band. That’s 1 rep.


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Army Crawl

Begin flat on your stomach with your legs extended behind you and your palms and forearms on the ground at shoulder height; your elbows are bent a little more than 90 degrees. The goal is to walk forward on your forearms and knees or toes while limiting the drag of your torso on the ground. Rotate your shoulder to raise your left arm just past your head while bending your right knee, rotating your right hip, and raising your right knee up toward your right elbow.

Press your left forearm and hand into the ground to raise your torso while rotating your opposite hand and leg into position, continually moving forward.


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Bear Crawl

Although your butt’s higher off the ground than using an Army Crawl, the Bear Crawl is effective to rapidly move under waist-high objects and is a pretty darn good full-body and core workout.

Start on your hands and knees, lift your hips up to place your toes on the ground, and extend your right arm to reach forward with your right hand and place it on the ground; simultaneously bend your left knee and rotate your left hip to bring your left knee close to your left elbow. Repeat with the opposite arm and hand to continue to move forward.


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Forward Rolls

To execute the forward roll properly and efficiently, you essentially want to curl yourself up into a ball and then roll forward. While extremely helpful in quickly progressing over horizontal cargo nets, a forward roll can also come in handy if you fall forward with too much momentum when dismounting other obstacles. Simply put, it’s a useful skill to learn and execute properly.

Bend your knees and squat down, lean forward slightly, and place your fingers on the floor in front of your toes. Bend your neck and bring your chin to your chest, “tucking” your head. Drop your shoulders down, rotate your pelvis forward to arch your back, and roll up onto your toes while your head is at about the level of your knees.

Push off with your toes to start the movement forward and let gravity do the rest. Keep your back arched and your head tucked until you complete the roll and your feet are back on the ground. In a cargo net, be careful not to get your hands or feet caught in the net; make sure to get your footing immediately when you complete the roll and either exit the net or complete additional rolls until you’re across the obstacle.


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Box Jumps

Start by standing 12 to 18 inches in front of a box or bench that’s 24 to 36 inches tall and can hold your weight. Keep your hands at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.

Initiate the jump by dropping your hips and bending at the waist in a squat movement, but only about half as deep. Swing your arms back and shift your weight toward the front of your feet.

Extend your hips, swing your arms forward, and push off from your feet to jump as high as you can toward the center top of the box. Land softly on the box with your knees bent to absorb the shock.

Step off to either side of the box, placing a hand on the edge of the box if necessary to keep your balance. Don’t jump backward off the box. That’s 1 rep.


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Bench Dips

A great way to build triceps and chest strength, bench dips are also pretty convenient to do just about anywhere.

Sit on the very edge of a stable bench that can support your weight and place your palms next to your hips and grip the edge of the bench. Raise your butt off the bench and walk your feet out in front of you. Keep your legs straight and bend at your waist a little wider than 90 degrees. This is the starting position.

Inhale, bend your elbows, and slowly lower your butt down toward the floor, stopping when your upper arms are at a 90-degree angle in relation to your lower arms.

Exhale and extend your arms until they’re straight, pressing your body weight up with the muscles of your upper arms. That’s 1 rep.


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Side Rolls

Also called a log roll, a side roll is something you most likely learned in grade school physical education class or at least every time you were taught to “stop, drop, and roll.” Well, this is the roll part. This move is not only helpful in cargo nets but will prove invaluable in areas where you have to crawl under something (let’s say barbed wire) and want to do it more quickly and less painfully than using an army crawl on your hands and knees. A side roll is a great alternative to crawling face-down in the dirt if you have enough room to turn sideways.

Start off in the top position of a push-up: hands and toes on the floor, body flat, and arms and legs extended. Initiate the move by moving your right hand across your body, using gravity to fall and roll down your right elbow and shoulder while simultaneously using your core strength and a little push-off with your left toe to twist your body and start the roll.


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Linear Reactive Step Ups

Start by standing 12 to 18 inches in front of a bench or object 18 to 24 inches tall that can hold your weight; have your hands at your sides and feet shoulder-width apart.

Step up with your right foot as if you were climbing a step and place it flat on top of the bench, leaving your left foot on the ground.

Push down with your right foot on top of the bench and jump up as high as you can using only the strength of your right leg. Your left leg should not be pushing off at all; this exercise works one leg at a time to develop explosive jumping power. Let your arms swing naturally at your sides as you jump.

Switch legs in mid-air by bringing your right foot backward and left foot forward at the apex of your jump. Your left foot will land on top of the bench and your right foot on the ground.


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Door Pull-Ups

The first step is to find a door that’s sturdy enough to hold at least double your weight; you’ll be putting a lot of stress on it. Solid-core doors with strong hinges are a must; hollow- core doors can crack and crumble. Also make sure that the top edge isn’t sharp or slippery.

Open the door in such a way to give yourself ample space to perform the exercise, and wedge a doorstop under it to keep it in place. The last thing you want to do is have the door close on your fingers!

Standing directly in front of the door, reach up and place your hands on top of the door with your forearms flat on the front of it. Using your forearms on the door as a lever, breathe out and engage the large muscles of your upper back and arms, bend your elbows, and pull your chest up to the top of the door. Inhale as you slowly lower your feet back to the ground.


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One-legged Squats

Stand with your legs slightly bent and shoulder- width apart and extend your arms in front of you for balance. Lift your left leg off the ground by bending your left knee and raising it forward at the hip. Maintain your balance directly over the middle of your right foot and begin your descent by bending at the hips and sitting back just a little bit as if you were about to sit directly down into a chair.

Next, bend your right knee slowly and keep your head up, eyes forward, and arms out in front of you for balance. As you descend, contract your glutes and continue the sitting motion while your body leans forward slightly so that your shoulders are almost in line with your right knee. Your right knee shouldn’t extend past your right toes and your weight should remain between the heel and the middle of your right foot; don’t roll up on the ball of your foot. Stop when your right knee is bent 90 degrees and your right thigh is parallel to the floor, and then push straight up from your right foot back to the starting position.

Don’t lock your knees at the top of the exercise. Switch legs and repeat to complete 1 rep.


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Run - Hard Pace

This is a run, not a sprint, and is as close as you'll get to one! You shouldn’t be able to talk more than a few grunts while running. On a perceived exertion scale, this should be about a 8. Keep your head up and arms swinging at your sides to help drive your legs.


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High Knees

Run forward using a normal-length stride. Bend the knee of your elevated leg 90 degrees and raise it until it’s level with your waist. Push forward from the ball of your grounded foot, switch legs, and repeat. Pump your arms to generate leg drive and speed.


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Butt Kicks

Run forward by taking very small steps and raising the heel of your back leg up toward your buttocks. Push forward from the ball of your grounded foot, progressing 12 to 18 inches per stride.


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Striders

Bound forward by pushing off hard from the ball of your grounded foot, pumping your arms to generate leg drive and speed. Take huge leaps forward, trying to cover as much ground as possible with each stride.


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Skip

Bound forward by pushing off hard from the ball of your grounded foot, landing again on that same foot, and pushing off once more before landing on the opposite foot. Pump your arms to generate leg drive and speed. Take smaller leaps forward than when performing Striders, covering slightly less ground per stride.


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Side Shuffle

Turn sideways with your left hip pointing toward the direction you’ll be traveling, feet slightly wider than your shoulders and hands at your sides. Push off with your right foot in the direction you’ll be traveling while lifting your left foot and swinging your right foot toward the center of your body. Touch both feet together lightly before landing on your right foot, extending your left foot out to the side in the direction you’re traveling and repeating the process.


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Walking Lunge

Stand tall, facing the direction you’ll be traveling, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms hanging at your sides. Take a large step forward with your right foot, bend both knees, and drop your hips straight down until both knees are bent 90 degrees. Your left knee should almost be touching the ground and your left toes are on the ground behind you. Keep your core engaged and your back, neck, and hips straight at all times during this movement.

Keeping your right foot in place on the ground, push up with your right leg, straighten both knees, bring your left leg parallel with your right, and place your left foot next to your right. Continue moving forward by repeating the process with your left foot.


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Backward Sprint

Facing away from the direction you’ll traveling, run by pushing off alternating forefeet and raising your knees as high as possible. Pump your arms as needed to generate leg drive and speed. This takes a little getting used to but it’s a great way to strengthen your running muscles by working them in an opposite plane of motion and helps to develop balance and agility.


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Sprint

Run forward at top speed by leaning forward with your upper body to as much as a 45-degree angle and driving off the balls of your feet as hard and as rapidly as you can. On an exertion scale this should be a 9 or a 10. Pump your arms to increase leg drive and speed.


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Sandbag Carry

For either time or distance, lift and carry a sandbag (or two). Hug it against your chest like a teddy bear, cradle it like a baby, plop it on your shoulder, and grasp it down at your side like a bag of loot. No matter what you chose, the goal of this exercise is to add significantly to your body weight and force you to figure out how to carry a load and still continue to move forward, up, over, through, or around barriers. Time yourself: Go as far as you can or do repeated climbs up a hill. No matter your goal, you’ll be working your entire body to hold the shifting weight with this simple and effective exercise. If you have to take the dog for a walk, bring along “Sandy,” too!


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