In case you have missed the news here, posts on Instagram and Facebook, or online banner ads care of cookies, allow me to introduce you to Savage Anywhere. Savage Race founder and CEO, Sam Abbitt, along with CompTrain and elite OCR athletes, developed a series of fourteen workouts challenging racers over the course of 28 days. With a Blitz and Race option, workouts were scaled according to chosen route. Beyond this, these workouts included options for those with access to traditional equipment and substitutes for those without. Oh, did I mention that these were and remain FREE to anyone looking for a workout plan while under lockdown? Even better, for racers missing their #medalmonday posts, Savage went a step beyond allowing racers to register for events that awarded a full set of swag upon certification of completion. Oh yeah, and that Savage Syndicate status? These totally count. If you’re on the fence about jumping in, let me be the one to nudge you—just do it. You won’t be disappointed.
The Blitz Experience
Heeding the advice of my medical team (another story for another day), I opted for the shorter, slightly less intense Blitz option for Savage Anywhere. In my trials, no workout exceeded the one hour mark, so this is the perfect option for those of you still following a busy routine. Following Abbitt’s urge to scale each workout to be truly challenging, these shorter bouts allowed more time to dedicate extra energy to dedicated mobility work and build up via a progressive warm-up. After all, it would just be me v. me with each bout, so intensity was subjective entirely to my intrapersonal communication than racing among peers on a course. That plus the tease of certifying my effort before release of finisher swag at the end of the 28 day trial kept my psyche in check. I was driven to push hard to feel that I’d earned my accolade. After nearly every workout (particularly Woodsy’s Fartlek Run), I wiped up my sweat feeling that I’d given it my all.
From the Exercise Physiologist’s Perspective
A big kudos to team Savage for recognizing the die-hard community it serves by explicitly including reminders to take a rest day throughout the program. The human body simply is not designed to withstand multiple high-intensity bouts of exercise without recovery. That said, our stubborn community needs those little reminders regarding the importance of rest. From a programming standpoint, I can appreciate the flow of the design. (i.e., running-focus one day, conditioning focus the next). I personally gravitated toward the CompTrain workouts the most having backed down from endurance to a degree. Some of these workouts surprised in the enjoyment and intensity while they appear so unassuming on paper. Not only that, rep/rest schemes felt intentional and appropriate to target the intended pillar of fitness. While I have respect for the elite designed workouts I must proclaim that you guys and gals are NUTS!
Savage Syndicate: Keeping the Community Alive
Though I tackled my Savage Blitz journey solo, I trolled the Savage Syndicate page following those particularly tough workouts to gauge others’ reactions to it [yes, I mean Uncle Larry]. Encouraging participants to engage with this group was the perfect way to take a set of 14 individual workouts and connect it with the supportive community. Perhaps it was the perfect way for athletes to come together and celebrate accolades with social distancing in mind.
While we all miss sharing war stories around a team tent and high fives at the obstacles, Savage has put together not just a group of training workouts, but an exceptional experience that fights race cancellation blues. When my finisher package arrived via mail and I poured out an epic flow of swag, I was impressed. All in all, upon busting through Savage Anywhere I, I felt that same finisher high as I donned my super-soft Savage Blitz tee and medal. And you better believe that I’ve already started on Savage Anywhere II…