Joe De Sena will host a life-changing panel at Advertising Week New York and share his methods on how to become Spartan Fit: How you can take your performance (both in athletics and in life) to the next level through better fitness and nutrition, along with tips to strengthen your mind as well as your body. Joe will lead a post-panel Spartan SGX workout for all attendees (special workout clothes not required!) and will be giving away a free Spartan Race registration to every attendee.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to get in shape for a Spartan Race. I even wrote a book about it. But if all you needed to do is to get in shape, you don’t need me. There are probably millions of articles and websites on the internet with diet and exercise programs. You could also run every morning, walk at lunch time, finish the day with some burpees and eat healthier. The fact that you’re reading this probably means that you haven’t gotten started yet and the biggest obstacle holding you back is YOU.
So how do we get you to the starting line? I know from experience that once you get in the race my work is done and the race takes over. Then the real magic happens AFTER the finish line. That’s when your eyes will be open to the possibilities in your life you never considered when you realize you have the courage, strength and endurance to conquer any obstacle. Unlike a simple 5 or 10K race, Spartan Race is designed to teach you how to adapt to whatever happens—just like life.
But first, we’ve got to get you started. So here is my prescription:
- Eat simply. I’ve always like author Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” Cut out processed and fried foods, sugar and extra salt. Add more food that doesn’t need a label—raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and some whole grains. Cut down on coffee and alcohol and keep your protein portions—in fact, all your portions—modest.
- Give your mind a time out. Cut back on endlessly scrolling through your apps and replace it with prayer or meditation. Take the time to rest, reflect and clear your mind of clutter and stress.
- Sleep clean. Too many times people squeeze in four or five hours of sleep with their cell phone buzzing at their side. If you want to recharge your mind and body, you’ve got to practice good sleep hygiene. Take the television out of the bedroom, turn off the phone and get a good eight or nine hours of sleep.
- Make exercise a top priority. People will do anything to make sure they don’t miss the latest Game of Thrones, but won’t give exercising their bodies a quarter of that importance. It’s time to make exercise a daily part of your life and by that I don’t mean gym time. I mean fitting in exercise everywhere and everywhere—take the stairs, walk to the store and carry the groceries home, garden, play with the kids, hike, bike, swim and run. And don’t forget those burpees!
- Stretch. Giving your muscles a good stretch before and after workouts is important, but don’t limit it to that. Take something new that will help you grow. I suggest yoga—it made a huge difference in my life when my mother introduced me to it—but anything that will help hone your mind and body and teach you new skills is great.
- Find your people. You know what makes it possible for people to survive a Spartan Death Race? Fellow racers. We’re social creatures and we need each other. Studies show that having a support system helps people stay healthier, survive adversity better and even live longer. Just be sure to pick the kind of people who will cheer you on and not hold you back.
Are you ready? See you at the starting line!