Spartan Training: What Does it Consist Of?

If you're tired of performing very simple routines with little physical demand, Spartan training is your best option for you to add some adrenaline your routine. Learn all about it here.
Spartan Training: What Does it Consist Of?
Leidy Mora Molina

Reviewed and approved by the nurse Leidy Mora Molina.

Last update: 20 February, 2024

Spartan training is a way to shape your body with a series of hard and very demanding exercises that require you to prepare well. This modality is part of an ancient culture that can lead you to a healthy lifestyle.

This training was devised with the aim of preparing for war hundreds of years ago. However, the purpose is different, and the elements that help you achieve it have also changed.

What remains are the fundamental principles:

  • Mobilize large muscle groups
  • A high degree of intensity
  • Use the body or free weights
  • Have a reduced recovery time between exercises

The origin of Spartan training

Sparta was one of the most important city-states of ancient Greece. Among many of its characteristics, we find the military power they developed; hence, when we talk about this training discipline, we can’t fail to connect it to the history of the Spartan people.

The Spartans gained fame for their art in battle. They always sought perfection. They ate little when traveling, trained excessively, and hardly rested.

For the Spartans, their body was the most powerful tool they had. Training began around the age of 7, and by the age of 20, they were treated as experts.

When they reached the age of 30, they began to teach the art of war and the manipulation of weapons to the youngest recruits. Thus, they ensured an uninterrupted cycle of preparation for the whole society to be the best on the battlefield.

spartan training soldier
The history of Sparta is full of stories and myths about the training of their soldiers and their capabilities for war.

What is Spartan training like today?

There are several rules that govern this demanding training. The rules are very particular and end up modeling a system that differs from other physical activities:

  • Minimal rest between exercises. You can only allow total fatigue to slow down the routine; if there’s any strength left, you must continue.
  • The legs and arms are all you need to train. It’s not essential to use machines, pulleys, or any other tool.
  • You don’t focus on training the small muscles, but rather work the large muscle groups firmly to boost your strength and endurance.
  • There’s no reason for you to miss or stop training any day. You must have a deep respect for the routine and take on the daily challenge of pushing your limits.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: Don’t Have Time to Go to the Gym? You Can Exercise at Home

Examples of exercises for a Spartan workout

For you to create your own routine, you must take into account some general guidelines that will guide you. First, select movements that you know well and can perform for 30 seconds each.

Second, don’t use training machines. Instead, select movements that you can perform with your body alone.

Perform between 2 and 4 sets of each movement you selected. Between each set, try to rest as little as possible and only rest for intervals of 1 to 2 minutes.

The movements you can choose from are varied. Here are four options.

1. Squats

Here, you strengthen the lower limb area. You work with the hips, knees, and ankle extensions.

To do a squat, you have to place your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed forward. You must keep your back straight and then slowly lower down, simulating that you’re going to sit on a chair or bench.

Support the weight you’re directing down on your ankles; your ankles will be in charge of managing the load. There are many types of squats you can research and add to your Spartan workout plan.

2. Burpees

Also known as little soldiers, these are an intense exercise that combines squats, push-ups, and jumping jacks. You don’t need any equipment to do them. This exercise helps you gain muscle mass, as well as improve lung and cardiovascular health.

You start them by lowering yourself into a squat position, with your hands between your legs, touching the ground. Then, you move your feet backward while performing a push-up. Finally, you return to the squat position and propel yourself vertically, completing the exercise with an overhead clap.

3. Lunges

Lunges work the lower body, especially the glutes. To do a lunge, you start standing with your legs shoulder-width apart.

Then, you move one foot forward while shifting your body weight onto it. Lower with your pelvis until the leg forms a right angle.

The knee of the leg that remains behind must not touch the floor at any time. You should then return to the starting position, putting force on your front leg and contracting your glutes.

spartan training
Lunges may look simple, but they require a lot of intensity as you increase the repetitions, which develops the glutes.

4. Short sprints

Performing a sprint involves running at your maximum speed for a short distance. When you finish, you feel your heart rate is at its limit.

To begin, run at approximately 80% of your maximum effort for 30 seconds. Then, walk for 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat the same sequence at least ten more times.

This exercise is part of high-intensity interval training or HIIT, which combines perfectly with Spartan training because of its high physical demand.

Recommendations for your Spartan workout

One of the benefits of Spartan training is that it promotes greater body dominance. In turn, you can lower your body fat percentage and increase your muscle mass. You will also notice a considerable improvement in your cardiovascular system.

You will acquire mental and physical control that will surprise you. Although it will be difficult to adapt to this type of demand at first, once you do it, you’ll notice how your body has risen to another level.

Like all training, there’s also a risk of injury. That’s why you should warm up beforehand.

If you experience muscle fatigue, it’s best not to push yourself that day. Increase the speed of your movements gradually and avoid forcing certain positions that may be difficult for you.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bompa T, Buzzichelli C. Periodización del entrenamiento deportivo. Cuarta edición. España; Editorial Paidotribo: 2021.
  • Hodkinson, Stephen. “¿ Fue la Esparta clásica una sociedad militar?.” Revista Universitaria de Historia Militar 5.9 (2016): 231-279.
  • Buskies W, Boeckh W. Entrenamiento de la fuerza. Primera edición. España; Editorial Paidotribo: 2005.
  • Burke L, Hawley J. Rendimiento deportivo máximo. Primera edición. España: Editorial Paidotribo: 2000.
  • Headly, Samuel A., E. M. Robinson, and L. B. Graham. “Rendimiento en el Sprint: La Confiabilidad de una Carrera hasta el Agotamiento.” PubliCE Premium (2003).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.