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SPARTAN UP!

A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life – BY JOE DE SENA
FOUNDER OF THE SPARTAN RACE

Since 2006 more than one million people have participated in Spartan Races around the world. In 2014 there will be a race every other day in 15 countries on five continents. What do these Spartans know that you don’t?  They know that we all have a fire burning within us to prove ourselves. Joe De Sena has captured that invincible Spartan spirit in his manifesto for bold living, SPARTAN UP! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; May 13, 2014; $24).

De Sena’s prescription for life’s insurmountable obstacles is to get off the couch and crush them through hard work and force of will. A legend in the ultramarathon community, he created Spartan Race, extreme obstacle races where no one knows what to expect, but to finish is to be transformed. Spartan Race drives participants to their very limit to learn what they are capable of and to set a new frame of reference; one they can draw upon in the face of life’s harshest challenges. Everyday disappointments and setbacks seem small when you’ve been to the other side of hell and made it back as a victor.

In SPARTAN UP! De Sena paints a picture of how he created the Spartan way of life, beginning with an unexpected challenge by a friend that got him back into shape through endurance racing. After that first race, De Sena completed more than 50 ultramarathons (in conditions ranging from -30 to 120 degrees) and 14 Ironman events, including the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon, the 140.6 Lake Placid Ironman, and a 100-mile Vermont trail run—in a single week. The harder the race the more he loved it; he was hooked.

SPARTAN UP! is more than an insider’s view of the world of obstacle racing, it’s a manual for the Spartan way of life, including:

  • Finding the will to succeed: The first half of a race you run with your legs; the second half you run with your mind. Turn your pain into an outboard motor to drive you forward.
  • Tossing your cookies: The Cookie Test can teach you how to overcome the need for immediate gratification and help you prosper in the long term.
  • Changing your frame of reference: Reset your inner default as an antidote to dissatisfaction and the insatiable need for “more.”
  • Getting Spartan fit: Survival of the Fittest means training outside the gym for strength, endurance and flexibility throughout the entire body—and don’t forget those burpees!

Moving mountains: Whether metaphorical mountains or the ones on which Spartans race, what you think are your limits can be a mere starting point for transformation.

Age, gender, and physical ability are no barrier and finishers become entirely new people, without limitations, living life to the fullest. That’s why the Spartans say: “You’ll know at the finish line.”

“Joe De Sena is the real deal. His stories are believable, because his achievements and accomplishments are genuine. In Spartan Up! Joe delivers his message with the insight and candor that only an individual who has lived through such experiences can. A must read for anyone looking to take his performance to the next level, be it in athletics or in life.”

Dean Karnazes

Ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author of Ultra Marathon Man

“If there’s anyone out there who has taken extreme to a new level, its Joe De Sena – in adventure racing, in business, and ultimately in the business of adventure. Spartan Up! is a must-read.”

Robyn Benincasa

World champion adventure racer and New York Times bestselling author of How Winning Works

“Two words describe Joe De Sena and Spartan Up!—Game Changer! Read this book and you will dramatically transform the way you think, lead, work, and live. This is the ultimate resource for personal and professional transformation.”

John Brubaker

World renowned performance consultant and author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies from the Locker Room to the Board Room

SPARTAN FIT!

30 Days. Transform Your Body. Transform Your Mind. Commit to Grit. – By Joe De Sena

The man who inspired millions of athletes around the world to push themselves to the finish line in the Spartan Race is now making it his mission to motivate ordinary Americans to join the starting line. Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of the Spartan Race and author of The New York Times bestseller, Spartan Up!, has written a comprehensive no-nonsense, practical guide: SPARTAN FIT! 30 Days. Transform Your Body. Transform Your Mind. Commit to Grit.  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; August 2, 2016). Inspired by the legendary warriors of Sparta and their surprisingly egalitarian society, De Sena shows how anyone at any age can become Spartan fit without a gym membership or fancy diet. But De Sena doesn’t just want Americans to lose weight and feel better, he wants to inspire them to embrace a rich and robust way of life that prepares them for anything that lies and ahead and helps them build grit, tenacity, and endurance and emerge victorious.

De Sena offers a 30-day plan based on his Seven Pillars philosophy:

  • Endurance: Train to sustain physical activity for extended periods of time.
  • Strength: Increase your body’s muscular capacity to move heavy objects.
  • Athleticism: Gain skill-based movements for greater balance, flexibility, and coordination.
  • Recovery: Practicing active restoration and learn how to let go.
  • Nutrition: Learn how to feed yourself for maximum health, not just to shed pounds.
  • Mind: Improve your mental toughness, focus, and agility.
  • Code: Learn the principles that unite the Spartan community.

By applying this foundation SPARTAN FIT! outlines a step-by-step plan for getting into shape for tackling a Spartan race. But don’t expect a one-size-fits-all prescription for leaner thighs and tighter abs. For Spartans, appearance means little. What they really want is a life without limits, a life that transcends the ordinary. And the only way to do that is to get Spartan Fit.

“Spartan Fit is more than just a preparation manual for conquering Spartan Races; it’s an insight into the philosophy of grit and willpower behind the idea of such races, which makes it all the more valuable.”

Dan Edwardes

CEO Parkour Generations

“Joe De Sena is a paragon of grit, and here shows you how you’re capable of so much more than you think.”

Angela Duckworth

Author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

“[Spartan Fit!] is ideal for workout enthusiasts who want to push themselves to the limit.”

Publishers Weekly

“If you put me on a desert island and told me to get as fit as humanly possible in thirty days, I’d ask for one item: Spartan Fit!” 

Ben Greenfield

BenGreenfieldFitness.com