Plan Focus: Spartan Beast

Juliana “the Shark” Sproles of Ojai, Calif., jumps over the Fire Jump as she nears the finish line on Saturday morning, May 11, at the Spartan Race in Bigfork.
(Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)


By Charles Bausman

The Spartan Beast Obstacle Course Race is a tough challenge that amps up the distance and obstacles. At a distance of 12-14 miles with over 30 obstacles, it requires strength, work capacity, endurance and mental grit. The race requires a high level of fitness navigate the race.

The Spartan Beast Training Plan is a 7-week, limited equipment, total body event specific training program to train for the demands of the Spartan Beast race. It concurrently trains strength, work capacity, chassis integrity and endurance to successfully compete in the Spartan Beast events.

While the length of the course has a high endurance demand, the obstacles require the competitor to have the strength and work capacity to crawl, jump, climb, and carry objects over varying terrain. This training program combines assessment-based bodyweight strength training, dumbbell strength training, and intense, loaded and unloaded work capacity efforts, and a strong running endurance component.

For running, the plan trains both speed over ground via a 6-mile assessment, and follow on 2-mile intervals, as well as long, moderate and easy pace runs to develop the aerobic base. The total running volume in a training week is equal to or slightly greater than the race length. This aims to condition your legs and lungs while avoiding unnecessary overuse injuries.

Parts of this training program are assessment based. It deploys bodyweight calisthenic and running assessments the first and fourth weeks. Follow-on progressions are based upon the athlete’s assessment results.

You’ll train five days a week for seven weeks, totaling 35 training sessions. You’ll train Monday through Friday and take weekends off.


  • Monday: Bodyweight Strength, Running Speed over Ground (6-Mile Assessment or 2-Mile repeats)
  • Tuesday: Bodyweight Work Capacity, Dumbbell Strength, Chassis Integrity (ART)
  • Wednesday: Running at Moderate Pace
  • Thursday: Bodyweight Work Capacity, Loaded Work Capacity, Chassis Integrity (Low Back)
  • Friday: Running Endurance at Easy Pace



What equipment is required?

  • Pair of dumbbells, 15# for women, 25# for men
  • 15-18” box or bench for step ups
  • Stop watch
  • Foam Roller

How long do the training sessions last?
Monday-Thursdays training sessions are designed to last 60 minutes but may take up to 75 minutes for athletes new to MTI programming. It will take a week or two to understand the training session “flow.” However, beginning Week 3, aim to finish the Mon-Thurs sessions in 60 minutes.

Friday’s long run may extend to 100-120 minutes, depending on your running pace.

What does “4/8x” mean? How about “15/25#”?
The first number is for women, second is for men, both for reps, and loading.

4/8x Chin Ups = Women do 4x, Men do 8x
15/25# = Women use 15#, Men use 25#.

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 5 days in a row, and take 2 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. Unfamiliar exercises are linked to the video exercise description

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE

Can I see some sample training?
Yes, click HERE and scroll down to see the entire first week of programming.

Good Luck!

Questions? Email