When my friend Ryan invited me to try a new cardio/lifting routine called Spartacus, I took one look at the 40-seconds-on/20-seconds-off program and scoffed at him, “I don’t need cardio, I run.”
But after he further explained how it worked and I looked at some of the actual exercises (“stations”), I decided to give it a try. Ryan even offered to do the circuits with me so we met tonight at his gym for what I expected would be an easy workout day.
To complement this “easy” day, I decided to run a few miles, just to make sure I got a decent workout. I went for a recovery run (after Saturday’s 11-miler) through Rock Creek Park and around Woodley Park, which had more hills than expected.
I got to Ryan’s place and we went to the gym to start. He demonstrated each station and told me there wouldn’t be time to explain it while we were doing them. Whatever. We would do two circuits with four run-throughs of five stations each, he explained. Forty seconds per station, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Mentally, I broke it down to a sports analogy, visualizing it as a double-header with four quarters each game.
Piece of cake.
We finally started Spartacus Fartacus, as I kept calling it with mild disdain, and I felt it was pretty easy. I barely felt anything, really.
After a few stations, though, I started to work up a bit of a sweat. Still, I credited it to my pre-workout run.
But after a few more stations, I wanted to vomit.
Each exercise felt more and more brutal and Ryan’s enthusiasm and encouragement just felt like sinister mocking. He’s pure evil, I thought. I kept sweating, cursing, and counting down the minutes until I could stop.
But no matter how hard it got, I thought, THIS is what I needed. A good, solid workout.
Forty-five minutes later, we completed Sparatcus, sweatier than ever and panting like I had just run a 5K.
You can bet I’ll be doing it again. Only this time, with a bit more humility.