THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
In 2015 when I was training for my first Spartan Race, I read all I could on obstacle course races and training. When it came to running and the steep inclines I was trying to figure out what could take me to the next level so I did quite research on wearing a weight vest. Everything I read suggested by adding weight to my run that I would see an improvement in leg endurance and strength. I was on a hunt for the vest I could use not only for runs but in other parts of my workout as well.
I discovered the Hyper Vest Pro on one of the Spartan Race updates which piqued my interest. What drew me to the Hyper Vest Pro are several factors. First, putting it on is as simple as putting the vest like a jacket and zip it up. There are not the various Velcro straps that require one to strap and unstrap to get the right fit. Also, the sides have adjustable nylon pull strings so you can synch it to fit even more snug for those exercises where your lower body is higher than your upper body not allowing it to ride up. Who likes a vest falling into your face around your head while you are trying to focus on technique and it just gets in the way.
Second, the weight is adjustable with smaller incremental increases and more even placement. As you increase weight you can do so slowly. The optional 5-lb Booster Pack comes with 45 1.78-ounce ¼” plates allow you to position the more to your midline in front or back where as other vests allow for larger weight jumps and off center placement feeling too much weight on one side. All vests come with 10-lbs to start and vary in how much additional weight can be added. I like this feature as adding 2.5-lbs to a workout can be a lot of extra weight depending on the exercises chosen.
Third, the Hyper Vest Pro material is more pliable, breathable, quick drying and not stiff or as abrasive compared to the nylon and Velcro material of other vests. The vest sits comfortably without chaffing. It fits more like clothes to your body shape and type wearing well under a t-shirt or other clothing like a running jacket or other protective layers.
Now I do need to mention what some may call the downsides of this particular vest. First, it’s a bit pricy compared to other options but its unique in design and fit. Second, while most vests offer single plate or 2.5-lbs weight blocks to increase load, the weights themselves are small 1.78-ounce weights that fit into small pockets and there are a lot of pockets. Taking them out to wash the vest is definitely time consuming and not quite as easy as I would like. And finally, while the material is more pliable and breathable, it does wear faster than say a 500D Nylon vest. I have corners around the weights wearing thru but I have used my vest (picture above) 3-times a week for various types of exercises running and on the floor or for added resistance during my HIIT workouts since I have owned it which is going on 2-years.
When it comes to deciding on a vest the Hyper Vest Pro wins in my book. The comfort is superb; it’s versatile and has the potential to improve functional body strength and athletic performance for your next obstacle course race.
On another note, the Holidays are coming and you can get: Free Shipping on $99 or More
The first Spartan Race my husband and I signed up for was the Ohio Beast. We had not raced in anything more strenuous than a Warrior Dash prior to signing up for a Spartan Race but we were looking for a new challenge. Or, I should say I was. We are not elite athletes, we both have full-time 9-5 jobs with 4-children and all that goes with it. Our workout schedule was sporadic at best, not anything that prepares a person to run even a Spartan Sprint.
When we signed up for our first race, we thought we had selected the Sprint until we received the email notification it was the Beast. We thought briefly about switching but decided ‘What they Hey…” let’s do this. We did not know what we were getting ourselves into in the slightest. That was 2-years ago and I am so glad we didn’t change our minds.
Since then, in that same year 2015 when we did our first Spartan Race, we also accomplished our first Trifecta. This year in 2017, we achieved our Double Trifecta. Each races pushes me to try harder, train harder to do less burpees and be a better me.
Remember – You Can Do More Than You Think!
We finished our Beast, our very first Spartan Race, and my knees and ankles were so achy and sore. Some of the other racers suggested mountain biking trails as they tend to offer up trail obstacles you will encounter during a Spartan Race. Living in South East Michigan I could not imagine finding anything with crazy hills, logs, boulders, water obstacles, etc. I started asking friends and some who enjoy mountain biking, they gave me a few suggestions of local trails they like. I also found a few apps/websites you will find helpful locating some decently challenging trails.
AllTrails.com.is a pretty nice site as you can search all over the U.S. for trails that will be near you or a destination are visiting. It provides some nice topographical maps, comments provided from other trail riders/runners and you can print maps if you like to keep one handy in your pack. In addition there is an android/IOS apps you can download your maps to and take along the trail.
MTBProject.com (Mountain Bike Trails Project) is similar to AllTrails.com but is a part of the REI Co-Op. I like this site/app to. It provides elevation details, pictures other trail users have uploaded and maps. There is a virtual tour option that provides a simulated view of using the trail. It’s a little cartoony but maybe someone will come up with a Google Maps version soon where someone riding the trail will give a similar view.
Let’s say you live in Florida, Illinois or North Dakota which is quite flat in terms of elevation. We have used what we call ‘Miracle Miles’ to work on cardio and leg strength for getting up the hilly terrain of a Spartan Race. What is a ‘Miracle Mile’ you ask? Find your local high school football field that is open to the public. Basically run the Home side of bleachers, zig-zagging up and down the aisles. At the end of the last aisle, hit the track over to the visitor-side and run the bleachers there in the same manner, again running the track over to the home-side bleachers.
I hope I have given you some ideas where to look for your local trails and an option if trails are not available.
Remember – You Can Do More Than You Think!
Love Fall! The cooler temperatures make for a nice run. Maybe will throw in some bucket carries too.
So I wanted to share this with everyone as a Mom, and a Spartan Race lover, I was excited my younger girls wanted to join me in practice today. Both killed it with Mom’s Birthday gift which was a set of spears and a target setup.
I know many husbands (and their children) have been told to NOT get their significant other anything related to weight-loss, fitness, etc. I set this wives-tale straight some time ago. I was more than blessed on this birthday with my family giving Spears with a DIY Spear Throw Target to practice my throws for my training. I was beyond excited as this is one of the Spartan Race obstacles that is my nemesis. I have made it once in the past 11-races and the Spear throw has the highest failure rate as well. While I should accept that many others fail, I just cannot. I need to work on all obstacles where I need to improve.
Excited to practice my spear throws over the next 9 or so months until our next race.
For some of you this maybe no issue however for us it was just not enough time to recover from West Virginia to the back-to-back race weekend of Michigan. Our 2017 season is now behind us for recovery and to get stronger. In the coming months, I will continue to train in an effort to do less burpees! 🙂
We had a grueling weekend June 24th and 25th. We ran the Toronto Super and Sprint at Brimacombe just a little north of Toronto. This was our first experience running a race at a ski resort and to say it was tough was an understatement.
But we did it, both days, and we could not have been prouder of our girls who completed the two days with us. We were all exhausted, bruised, mud-logged but all in typical Spartan Race fashion. We met some great people along the course and had a lot of fun.
Our next race is end of August for another Beast so will continue to train and prepare for this race and our 2nd Trifecta!
Good luck to all and Aroo!
This past weekend we held a team workout in preparation for Michigan races in September for both teams actually. Bucket and sand bag carries along the trails went well and no one really struggled. We started light as were unsure how familiar everyone was with the trails and how comfortable they were carrying something while running, walking. All-in-all, it went well.
Rope Climbs on the other hand were challenging for all of us. Technique is important and where most of us struggled. We had a larger rope (2”) and a smaller one (about 1.5”). Here are some links to try the techniques yourself.
Both sites include some exercises that will help build those rope climbing muscles.
How to climb a Rope from Redefining Strength
This site I love for all the variations in technique demonstrated along with additional exercises to practice and build strength of the key muscles needed to skill. Click the link below: