Spartan Training at The Playground

Like your stereotypical Asian kid before an exam, I have been obsessing over the Spartan Race obstacles I might have to face on race day. The conversations I’ve been having are not unlike those I used to have during SWOT Vac:

  • Who’s been studying for what topics.
  • Which areas I’m going to have difficulties with.
  • The subjects I’m confident of passing.
  • How much more time I have left to study.

Except that you can swap subjects for obstacles.

And if tutoring is the answer to help you get past the topics you’re struggling with, then personal training must surely be the equivalent here. So I’ve upped my game with an OCR trainer from The Playground.

Training at the Playground

Spartan training

The Goal: to be Spartan ready in 5 weeks.

I think I said something to that effect as I walked in for my first training session. Before this, I was rowing, spinning, boxing, bootybarre-ing, doing pilates, running, and hiking. All I really needed was to work a little more on the upper body and I would be set.

Or so I thought…

If I was under any illusion that I’ve been working really hard for Spartan, it was smashed to smithereens after that first session. Kinda like my first urut session, I was seriously contemplating the wisdom of agreeing to this. I mean, I wasn’t even sure if those were tears in my eyes or whether it was just sweat.

It was so hard. Every. Single. Session. I’m even counting down the sessions until I can stop. Yes, I know. I asked for this. I said, “Make me Spartan ready in 5 weeks.” I just never realised how far away from “Spartan ready” I was. If my trainer was an artist, I would be the broken canvas. I’m not even sure a masterpiece can be produced in such a short period of time.

The Benefits of Training at The Playground

I’m a rote learner. I’ve got to go through the motions before I can succeed. There’s no such thing as “winging it” for me. Even when I was projecting a 7A in rock climbing, I had every move memorised by heart. One mis-step and there went my red-point.

So when it comes to Spartan race, I must learn the moves for the obstacles before race day. And that’s what I get to do at The Playground. They can replicate sections of the obstacles so I can have a feel for the actions required to complete them. It’s not as perfect as practicing on the actual obstacle, but it’s about as close as I’m going to get before the race.

Having to practice the obstacles has also awoken some inner demons I’d completely forgotten all about. One of my biggest fears when I was rock climbing is falling. I’m not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of falling. I didn’t realise the difference back then, but I get it now. I know it’s not a terrible height to fall from the monkey bars or the multi-rig, but it’s enough to distract me from focussing solely on the task at hand. That realisation has made me conscious of the fact that I must get the fear under control before race day.

The third thing is that I would never train this hard on my own. Let’s face it, I thought I was going all out and it wasn’t anything compared to this. Having a trainer is like having a cheerleader convince you that you can go one more ten reps after you thought you couldn’t possibly do another one.

It also helps when your trainer has actually completed a Spartan race before and actually knows what sort of obstacles you’ll be facing and what kind of muscles you’ll need to get through them. I’ve trained in ways I’ve never even thought of before coming here. So yes, the training has definitely been worth it even if I have to suffer through every last one of them. Will it be enough to get me through? Ask me again in two weeks.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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