Attempting to achieve the acclaim, or at least the body, of a Spartan Warrior you have decided to register for an ass kicking courtesy of Spartan Race!?! Although you might be thinking you are prepared to take on this grueling challenge, think again! The Spartan Race is designed to test both your strength and cardio fitness. How you train will be the difference between an excellent race performance and a complete suffer-fest. Prepare to earn the Spartan title by using the ultimate Spartan Race exercise, the kettlebell swing.

The most important Spartan Race training tips to keep in mind is that your workouts should not be confined to power lifting or circuit training alone. Training with equipment like kettlebells that require and promote functional, explosive force and power, will assist you in maneuvering your body up, over, or around any obstacle.

Kettlebell workouts are fast paced and intense, improving strength and cardio conditioning simultaneously. Unlike typical strength training circuits and stationary exercise machines, the asymmetrical construction of the kettlebell requires core engagement throughout every repetition. Training the body as a unit using the kettlebell swing, improves explosive hip drive and improves lower body strength, allowing racers to train harder, longer.

Get race ready by using the ultimate Spartan Race exercise, kettlebell swings, in your weekly workouts. Here’s how:

Two-hand Kettlebell Swing: Standing in exercise position, using the basic grip hold the kettlebell with both hands, sink into a squat with the weight between the legs. Keep the torso upright, the abs braced and the arms loose. At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back onto your heels. Standing up from the squatted position, use your hips to propel the weight to hip level. Then, engaging the hips and core, swing the weight up higher until you reach shoulder level. Focus on using your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.

When you perfect the form, and warm-up, use this workout to train like a Spartan warrior.

12 Rounds

20 seconds max rep kettlebell swing

10 seconds rest

Repeat 12x

Be sure to find a clock with a visible second hand. If possible, stand directly in front of it so that you are able to keep time correctly. Do not pace yourself to compete a certain amount of swings. Instead, push yourself to complete as many swings as possible during each 20 second work period. It’s important that you do not wander too far from your kettlebell during the rest period; 10 seconds goes fast. Following this Spartan Race training tips will push you beyond your limits, taking you out of your comfort zone, mimicking the pain you will endure as you battle the obstacles on race day.