Train Like a Pro: David Magida

David-Magida-at-Elevate-Fitness

You may recognize David Magida as the 2016 host of the Spartan Race U.S. Championship series on NBC Sports or even as the current host of Spartan’s live-streaming coverage. However, before he picked up the microphone, he was lacing up his shoes as one of the top competitors in Obstacle Course Racing. Magida, a former member of the Spartan Pro Team, has over 20 podium finishes to his name.

David-Magida-Awards-Ceremony-Spartan-World-Championships

Despite his larger frame, Magida has been a distance runner for most of his life. In high school, he was a conference champion in cross country and, after being recruited, ran for a brief time in college. After taking some time off from running due to injury, he briefly played DI-AA football at Bucknell University as a wide receiver.

Magida took nearly 5 years off before returning to running during grad school, while training for marathons. After finding success in several Spartan races and completing the first ever Ultra Beast, Magida committed to OCR training. “It was amazing and I loved it. I just fell in love with the sport,” he recalled. “I love that you can be both strong and fast. My size was not a huge disadvantage the way it was with road running.”

David-Magida-on-Savage-Nut-Cracker

One of his fondest memories of racing goes back to a victory at Spartan’s New Jersey Super. Magida had trailed the majority of the race due to lower back issues. The rest of his body wasn’t giving up, though. “I was so frustrated that day because my legs and lungs felt fine, but my back was limiting my ability to climb. I was in agony. I could not get the legs to go, and I could not put it together,” Magida remembers.

After chasing the leader the majority of the race, Magida went all-in on the downhills, clocking around a 4:30/mile average pace on the rugged descents. “It’s this really brutal course with just these big, clunky rocks all over the ground,” he explained. “So, my feet after the race were just ruined. They were blistered and bruised and felt broken. I couldn’t train for a week.”  Magida’s grit paid off in the end, though, as he seized the lead in the final half-mile. Despite getting out-climbed every ascent before that, his mental focus kept him in the lead on the final climb, allowing him to run a downhill sprint to a first place finish. After trailing for essentially the entire race, Magida won by a mere 11 seconds. “I think the thing that made this particular race special was that nothing was going my way,” Magida said. “Physically I didn’t have it. But if you search inside yourself, you’ll be amazed to find what kind of strength you possess. I learned something about myself that day. It’s the beauty of pushing your body to your limits. You learn what you’re made of.”

David-Magida-Stadium-Sprint-CBP-Monkey-Bars

Eventually, he decided to step away from racing to open his own training studios, Elevate Interval Fitness. Currently, Magida operates a location in Washington, D.C. and a second in Fairfax, VA, with a third expected to open in D.C. in 2018. Magida employs many of the methods he learned and relied upon in his OCR training to push his clients to their limits and maximize their performance. Elevate focuses on both strength and endurance training, to help athletes develop mental toughness, stay well-rounded and, as Magida says, “to have zero weaknesses.”

At Elevate, you’ll use equipment like treadmills, water rowers, airbikes, kettlebells, sandbags, TRX and dumbbells during sessions that include circuits, intervals and partner workouts. Plus, the coaches will teach you the correct technique to ensure total effectiveness and avoid risk of injury. For more information and a free intro class, visit www.elevateintervalfitness.com.

David-Magida-Savage-Race-2015

THE WORKOUT

This workout is basically a race-simulation type of workout. Magida recommends doing it only once or twice per season and allowing around two weeks before racing. He suggests only doing some light running the day before and a pretty easy workout the day after.

Pro Tip: Don’t overdo it on the first two miles, or you’ll pay for it later.

Run to be completed at a 5k race pace on a treadmill. If you want to use this as a race simulation, complete as fast as possible. Warm up with a 10-15 minute jog

  • Run 1 mile with the treadmill at 2% incline. Once finished, complete either 30 pull ups or TRX Inverted rows.
  • Run another 1 mile with treadmill at 2% incline. Once finished, complete 30 burpees.
  • Increase the incline to 4% and run 0.50 miles. Once finished, complete 50 switch/jump lunges. That is 50 total, or 25 per leg.
  • Run another 0.50 miles with treadmill at 4% incline. Once done, complete a 100-meter bear crawl.
  • Increase the incline to 6% and run 0.25 miles. Once finished, complete another 25 pull ups or TRX inverted rows.
  • Run another 0.25 miles at 6%. Once done, complete 30 burpees.
  • Run another 0.25 miles at 6%. Once finished, complete another 50 switch/jump lunges.
  • Run one more 0.25 miles at 6%. Once done, complete another 100-meter bear crawl.
  • Finally, run 1 mile with the incline back at 2%. Once done, complete the workout with another 20 pull ups or TRX inverted rows.

Workout Totals:

  • 5 Miles of Intervals
  • 75 Pullups
  • 60 Burpees
  • 100 Switch Lunges
  • 200m Bear Crawl

Writer’s Note: Thank you to David for sharing this workout. You can follow him on Instagram.

Check out past Train Like a Pro articles:

Photo Credit: David Magida, Elevate Fitness, Spartan Race, Savage Race

Train Like a Pro: Faye Stenning & Josh Stryde

Faye Stenning ran her first Spartan Race in 2013. Two years later, she placed ninth at the 2015 Spartan World Championships. This year, Stenning joined the Reebok Spartan Pro Team and continued her success by finishing second or better in each of the five Spartan U.S. Championship Series races. Her 1197 points in the inaugural series was good enough for second and only three points behind winner, Lindsay Webster.

Faye-Stenning-Medal-Picture

Though Stenning does have a background in track and cross country, success like this comes from a number of areas, including a great training regimen. The following workout is one that she designed with boyfriend Josh Stryde. Stryde, himself, is part of the Western Canadian Spartan Elite Team. He’s also the Calgary Place World Health Regional Nutrition Director.

The workout comes in four parts. Try to rest as little as possible throughout since you don’t get much, if any, during a race. Stenning and Stryde perform this weekly.

Pro Tip: Stay positive throughout and work your way up each time. Don’t use the workout too close to race day. As you’ll see, if you do it right, you’ll be too drained to perform at your best. Give yourself at least a week if you have an upcoming race.

Faye-Stenning-and-Josh-Stryde
PART ONE
TREADMILL HILL CLIMB WITH MEDICINE BALL (10-15 minutes)

Set a treadmill to an incline that will make you uncomfortable. Try increasing the level each time you do the workout. If you become comfortable with the incline, you know it’s time to bump it up. Every minute, get off the treadmill and do five burpees. Keep the timer running when you do your burpees. Most treadmills shut off after 30 seconds, so try to perform the burpees in that time frame. Hold the medicine ball however you feel comfortable. Stenning loads it onto her shoulder, while Stryde alternates between shoulder and front, to simulate a bucket carry. Stenning normally does 12 minutes at an incline of 15 and speed of 4.0, using a 40-pound medicine ball.

Writer’s Tip: If you don’t have a medicine ball, find something other than dumbbells to carry. Anything that would give you the option to carry it on your shoulder or in front of your body. I used an open bag of grass seed weighing about 35-pounds that I had in my garage. If you do that, just make sure it’s sealed up!

Josh-Stryde-Loaded-Incline

PART TWO
EMOM/Every Minute on the Minute (15-30 minutes)

Alternate between the following three each minute.

  • Hook a TRX strap up to the end of a weight sled. Run forward, dragging the sled behind you. Go as far as you can for one minute. If you don’t have a strap to attach, push the sled instead. Stenning and Stryde use four 45-pound plates on the sled.
  • Hop on a fan/air bike and go as hard as you can (bike or row) for one minute. If you don’t have access to a fan bike, use a stationary bike and pedal as fast as possible on as high of a resistance as you can stand.
  • Do between 5-15 toes to bar, depending on your core and grip strength. Grab a pull up bar with an overhand grip, roughly shoulder width apart. Engage your core and lift your toes up to the bar. If you’re unable to do toes to bar, do knees to elbows or knee raises instead.

Pro Purpose: This part of the workout hits your entire body. The sled drag gives your lower body strength and power, which helps for hill climbs. The bike portion is great for general aerobic conditioning and the toes to bar gives your core and grip both strength and endurance training.

Pro Tip: Try adding a couple minutes to this part each time you do the workout.

Writer’s Tip:If you don’t have access to a sled, you can take a larger weight plate (45-pound should work) and put it on the ground, flat part down, and push the plate. Add a dumbbell for extra weight.  Another option is to put a treadmill on an incline and turn it off. Then, hold onto the sides and run for the minute.

Faye-Stenning-Sled-Drags

PART THREE
MAX HOLD: SINGLE-ARM DEAD HANG

Grab a bar with one arm and hang for as long as you can, then switch arms. Your only rest is doing the opposite arm. Do three sets per arm.

Pro Purpose: This improves grip strength, while also getting you used to being supported on one arm. This will help on obstacles like rigs and monkey bars.

Writer’s Tip: If you aren’t strong enough to do single-arm, throw a towel over one end of the bar and grab it with the opposite hand. Focus on mainly using whichever side is holding the bar, and only use the other to lightly hold the towel, giving yourself some support. This doesn’t give your arms much rest, but will allow you to work your way up to using one arm.

Faye-Stenning-Monterey-Rig

PART FOUR
FOUR SUPER SETS

Do the first exercise, then move right onto the second.

  • Hold a weight plate with a pinch grip in each hand and walk, like you would for a farmer’s carry. Your distance is determined by how long you’re able to hold the plates before putting them down. Aim to hit the same distance each set. Also, try only squeezing with your fingertips. Stenning considers it cheating if you’re using the edge of the plate to hook your fingers around.
  • Do 15 reps of barbell bent-over row.

Pro Purpose: Doing these at the end of your workout will help to burn out your grip.

Writer’s Tip: To avoid cheating, use two plates per hand and press them together so that the flat sides face out. This removes the temptation to hook your fingers around the edges.

Writer’s Note: Thank you to Josh and Faye for sharing this workout. You can follow Faye on both Instagram and Facebook. Follow Josh on Instagram

Photo Credit: Faye Stenning’s Facebook Page, Faye Stenning, Spartan Race

Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series: Lindsay Webster Dominates Field on way to First Place

2016 Spartan US Champ Lindsay Webster

The Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series (USCS) is a five race series to determine which male and female Spartan Race athletes will hold the title of U.S. Champion. The series is televised on the NBCSN network.  Each athlete’s final score is determined by the cumulative number of points she earned across each of the five races. The lowest individual point score is dropped leaving each racer with her four best races counting toward their final score. A first place finish is worth 300 points, a second place finish is worth 299 points and so on down the line. A perfect score with 4 (or 5) wins in the series is worth 1,200 points.

Lindsay Webster dominated her competition in the 2016 Spartan U.S. Championship Series. Her performance was so overwhelming that her series victory was secure before the last race had even been run.  Lindsey won each of the first four races in the series for a perfect 1200 points. Right behind her in the points total and at every race was Faye Stenning. Much like Webster won every race she ran, Stenning placed second in every race she ran. Like Webster, Stenning had already secured her place on the series podium with her four second place finishes. However, when Webster opted to sit out the final race in the series, Stenning was finally able to bring home a first place finish.

If Webster and Stenning can maintain this level of competition, Spartan will have a legitimate rivalry on their hands. With former world champion Amelia Boone finally on the mend after a serious leg injury, 2017 should be an exciting year of elite Spartan Racing for the women.

With the top two spots in the U.S. Championship Series already decided, the final race in Breckenridge became a battle for USCS third place. The two athletes with the best shot to join Webster and Stenning on the podium were Rose Wetzel and KK Paul. Wetzel finished Breckenridge with a strong third place finish, winning her spot on the podium. Paul finished a disappointing sixth, eight minutes behind Wetzel.

“The Summit” Results – Breckenridge Beast Elite Women

“The Summit” Results – Breckenridge Beast Elite Women’s Results

Lindsay Webster finished the 2016 U.S. Championship Series in first place with 1200 points. Faye Stenning finished in second with 1197 points and Rose Wetzel finished in third with 1191 points. With dominating performances and budding rivalries, Spartan has much to be proud of. The five-race format has been a great success on both the Men’s and Women’s sides. OCR enthusiasts have much to look forward to from future Series Championships.

Congratulations to all the women who raced in the inaugural Spartan U.S. Championship Series and congratulations to Spartan U.S. Champion Lindsay Webster.

2016 USCS Women's Final Point Totals

2016 Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series: Rose Wetzel and KK Paul Battle at Breckenridge

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 10.20.07 PMThis weekend is the fifth and final race in the Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series. The race is held in Breckenridge, Colorado and is called “The Summit”. It is a Beast-length course with 13-plus miles and 30-plus obstacles. No matter what happens on Saturday, Lindsay Webster, who has finished 1st in each of the first 4 USCS races, has won first place and Faye Stenning, who has finished 2nd in each of the first 4 USCA races, has won second place in the 2016 Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series. However, 3rd place is still up for grabs this weekend in Breckenridge.

In the driver’s seat is Rose Wetzel, with two third place finishes and one fourth place finish. Rose did not race at the Blue Mountain Challenge in Palmerton but still has the best shot at third place overall. This is because the lowest individual race score is dropped from each racer’s total. With a strong performance this weekend, Wetzel’s absence at Palmerton will have no impact on her final overall score.

The athlete with the best chance to challenge Wetzel for the USCS third place trophy is KK Paul. She has one third place, one fourth place, and one fifth place finish, as well as an eighth place finish she will be able to drop with a strong performance Saturday.

By dropping the low scores from both Paul and Wetzel we can see Wetzel holds a narrow edge over Paul in Series Points. A first place finish is worth 300 points, second place is 299 and so on. Wetzel’s three best finishes are 3rd, 3rd, and 4th, for a total of 893 points. Paul’s three best finishes are 3rd, 4th, and 5th for a total of 891 points. 

If Wetzel beats Paul this weekend or finishes one place behind Paul, Wetzel will win third place overall. 

If Paul finishes Breckenridge three (or more) places ahead of Wetzel, she will overtake Wetzel  and win the overall third place. 

If Paul were to beat Wetzel, but if Wetzel finishes EXACTLY two places behind Paul (1st and 3rd, 2nd and 4th, etc) then Paul and Wetzel will share the podium step for overall third place in the 2016 Spartan U.S. Championship Series.

For our analysis of the Men’s U.S. Championship Series, read here.

For all the results as they happen this Saturday, follow ORM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

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Photo credits: Spartan Race and Screengrab NBCSN

2016 Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series: Ryan Atkins, Lindsay Webster and destiny

This weekend is the fourth race in the Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series – The Southeast Showdown in Asheville, North Carolina. Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster have finished in first place in each of the first three races: the Big Sky Sprint in Montana, the Golden State Classic in California, and the Blue Mountain Challenge in Pennsylvania. With a strong showing this weekend in Asheville, they can lock down the wins in the inaugural U.S. Championship Series and claim the titles of 2016 Spartan Race U.S. Champion.

The Spartan U.S. Championship series is a five race series with the points from an athlete’s four best races counting toward their final standings. First place in a race is worth 300 points, second place is worth 299 points, and so on down the line. A “perfect” score with four (or five) first place finishes is worth 1,200 points.

Mens Standings

Ryan Atkins has finished in first place in each of the first three races. If Atkins finishes in third place or better at either of the last two races he will win the 2016 Spartan Race U.S. Championship. If Atkins finishes in 4th place or worse at BOTH the Asheville Super this weekend and the Breckenridge Beast on August 27th, both Robert Killian and Hunter McIntyre will have a chance at catching him.

Womens Standings

Lindsay Webster is in a similar position as Atkins. She has won all three of the Spartan U.S.C.S. Races so far and can secure first place in the series with a win or second place finish this weekend or at the Breckenridge Beast. If Webster finishes in third or worse at both Asheville AND Breckenridge, she will be within reach of Faye Stenning. If Webster finishes in sixth place or worse at BOTH upcoming races, KK Paul and Rose Wetzel will also have a shot at first place.

For all the results as they happen this Saturday, follow ORM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

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