JL: I’m 40 years old, I live in Northern New Jersey with my wife and a four y/o cat named Chloe. I grew up in NYC, and I still commute daily to my job in the Financial District.
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
JL: I grew up playing basketball, I continued that thru College and into my professional life. At one point I was playing in two basketball leagues in NYC, one before work and one after work.
SGPT: How did you train for the GoRuck and Spartan races?
JL: My standard training regiment consists of about 60 minutes of weights and a three mile run daily, with a minimum of a 100 push-ups and 50 pull ups per workout.
To push my body I’ll do a week of just body weight exercises, push ups, pull ups, squats, body rows, and dips. Mixing it up, keeping it interesting and challenging. In preparation for Spartan Race etc, I scout the events. Watch all the videos the sponsors put up, read people’s descriptions, etc. I want to know as much as possible before I get into the event
SGPT: Tell us a little about each one?
JL: Ive done The Spartan race twice so far, before that I’d done smaller events, and 26 mile ruck marathons in the New Mexico desert. The Spartan race is the toughest event in my experience. It hits every part of your body and mind. The obstacles, the crawl uphill in mud, rocks, and ice cubes, the wall climbs, nothing easy but all of it a ton of fun.
Go Ruck is this coming February, it is based on Special Forces selection and run by veterans of the Special Forces, so in this one you may know more about what I should expect! It’s going to be 10 hours, 15-20 miles, overnight in NYC.
SGPT: What was hardest part of each one?
JL: The hardest part of the Spartan race was the rope climb. I workout at a normal, big box gym and my company’s office gym, so I don’t have some of the equipment you would find at a crossfit box. On the rope climb, I got about 3/4 of the way up, then my grip gave in and I slid down in the mud, and had to do 30 burpees in the mud as payment.
I’ll let you know about the Go Ruck next month.
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for either?
JL: getting out of the gym and doing some training with real life objects for example a paint bucket filled with bricks is a lot tougher to handle than a pair of equally weighted dumbbells.
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do these challenges?
JL: One of the keys is mixing up your training, doing the basics. Push ps, pull ups, squats, etc. At the last Spartan, there were guys with massive biceps and triceps, mean looking dudes, but they could not pull them selves over the walls. I’m sure they could out lift me in the gym by a factor of ten, but I could sprint, stop, jump and pull my 205# frame over the wall without an issue.
The main tip though, is have fun! Sign up with some buddies, enjoy the team work, the bruises and scrapes, these are memories of a lifetime.
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Joe
JL: Thank you for the chance to share! Train Hard, Never Quit.
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