Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spartan MoMs & DaDs

Lead by example…an active parent leads to an active child!

We are very well aware of the high rate in child obesity and as parents it is our job to keep this number as low as possible.  It is no secret that obesity is the cause of many problems in our society, for instance health issues, mood swings, unhappiness, no desire to try new things, just to name a few.  We also, know that our children copy everything we do!  So why not lead by example and teach them the path to a healthier lifestyle, one that will benefit them as they grow into adulthood and one that will benefit us in return in staying active.
Here is the 2013 Statistical Fact Sheet from The American Heart Association
(23.9 million Children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese)
        Children by nature love to be active; they like to jump, run, climb, swim, etc.  Our job is to use that to our advantage and join them in the fun.  Just the mere fact that they see you enjoying those moments with them, not only does it entice them to do it more, but it also helps in their psychological development to be active and happier children.  Although, joining them in their fun times is awesome for them and for you, it doesn't always have to be with children’s games.  For example moms and dads can go out for jogs/walks with their kids in the jogging stroller or bike riding with the child strapped in the child bicycle seat or simply doing a workout video at home while your child is in the playpen or high-chair watching you. Spartan Race is a great activity to bring the whole family together! So join the race, bring your kids to take on the Junior Spartan Race and team up with other parents for many more future family adventures, activities, and Spartan memories! They are absorbing everything they see and there is a huge chance they will copy those great habits. 
Me (Aragon) with my daughter Kiara        Kari out for a jog with Kiara
Kiara at Tuxedo Spartan Sprint

Check out Will & Karen Vanderhorst with their daughter Isabel
Another important factor is guiding them to eat better.  For their meals and snacks always choose healthy, yet delicious foods such as, whole wheat grains, cereals, fruits, veggies, yogurts, etc.  

Check out some healthy meals and snacks ideas for kids here:

If we can help child obesity in any way, the best ways is to start with our own children; let’s teach them the path towards health & fitness and help create a healthy-active environment. 

See you at the RACE! AROO!
Coach Jon Aragon

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spartan Beach Workout

Before laying on your beach chair, give yourself a reason to Snooze! The beach is a great place to change up the scenery from the daily gym or park. Plenty of sun, sand, and the ocean waves in the background, make for an excellent Spartan workout atmosphere.

When going on vacation I always take my gym with me, and that’s my empty heavy duty nylon duffle bag. A small duffle bag is perfect for a variety of exercises, which you can do anywhere anytime. To adjust weight, all you have to do is simply add or remove sand to the desired weight. I always prefer to use dry sand; this is the sand you come across near the entrance of the beach. The dry sand makes it easier to fill up your bag and is less of a mess to empty when done. If you want to be a hardcore Spartan about it then feel free to dip it in the ocean and toss your sandbag around.

Now to find the appropriate weight to do most exercises with, fill up your bag and do a bicep curl with one arm. If you are able to curl the bag then it’s going to be too light when you use it for full body movement exercises such as swings, squats, and burpees. The bag should be very difficult to curl or not at all. Of course adjustments during the workout can be made in seconds by removing or adding sand.

Here is a great workout I recently did on my trip in South Carolina:
-         1-2 min Sand Bag Swings
-         1-3 mile Jog
-         1-2 min Sand Bag Switches (Switch hands at the top)
-         1-2 min Sand Bag Curl Cleans (Hold palms facing out, preform clean)
-         1-2 min Sand Bag Beast Crawls (Place bag on shoulder blades, Crawl)
-         1-2 min Single Arm Presses (Spilt time in half, exp. 1min each side)
-         1-2 min Single Arm Upright Rows (Raise hand to chain EVERY REP)
-         1-2 min Spartan Burpee (Chest must touch ground, push press up)
-         Repeat 2-5 times

Enjoy and see you at the RACE! AROO!
SGX Coach Aragon

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tuxedo NY Spartan Sprint
June 1st, 2nd, 8th 2013
(Part II)

WOW! June has surely started with a BANG! Two weekends have been all about unleashing my inner Spartan and welcoming a few new Spartans towards GLORY! At Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center, where all Spartans-To-Be gathered up to race the Spartan course filled with challenging hills and obstacles. The Sun was beaming strong and the mud was everywhere. It was perfect!

The first weekend was great even with a sprained ankle from the day before, on Sunday June 2nd I got my group to the finish line. After the first weekend I had until Saturday June 8th to recover, when I would be racing the Elite Heat for the first time at 8:00AM. Throughout the week I continued light training while I took care of my ankle, wrapped it, and went to a natural healer. Saturday came and although my ankle wasn’t 100% yet, I wrapped it up tight and was confident it was good enough to compete. Well it was 8:00AM, we took off, and 3 minutes into the race I twisted the sprained ankle twice getting through water hoses. Once again my mental strength, will power, perseverance were all going to be tested! “I must complete my first elite race, I must not give up!” I told myself.
Limping my way through the course I finished within 1hr 37min. Not my best time, but I was content I did not allow the pain of an ankle sprain stop me from enjoying the course. Needless to say, as soon as I finished the race I paid a visit to the medical station. There I had the honor of meeting the first place winner of that elite heat, Yury Shtankov, who completed the race within an astonishing 45min. We got to chat for a bit and exchanged our Spartan Race experiences while we both rested our sprained ankles. “HAHAHA” Turns out towards the end of the race Yury had twisted and sprained he’s ankle as well. I am glad he showed the Spartan attitude, and pushed towards the finish line to earn 1st place.

However, it was still not over for me yet. I still had one more group to lead during the 1:30PM heat. I only had a couple hours to rest. Like a true Spartan I prepared myself mentally to take on this course once again. With a very excited group of Spartans, they gave me the energy I needed. My trainees depended on my guidance and there was no way I was going to let them down.  I limped once again throughout the course, giving them that push if they needed, to push through each obstacle and pushing myself each step of the way as well.  We all finished and it was a great feeling! Not only did I push though the pain of my sprained ankle, but I guided my group successfully like I set out to do! Congrats to all my trainees and all Spartans who pushed through and conquered the Spartan weekends.  You have all truly earned your medals! On to the next races! Aroo!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuxedo NY Spartan Sprint 
June 1st, 2nd, 8th 2013 
(Part I)

It has been a Spartan filled weekend followed by a second serving. Crawling, jumping, climbing, pulling, and pushing onward to the finish line. Many Spartans were tested mentally, physically, and even emotionally. As a Spartan Group X Coach and Spartan Street Team member it is both an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Spartan Race mission of making better humans. In Tuxedo NY I was able to witness minds and bodies change from what they believed was personally possible to what a human being is truly capable of.

As many didn't know up until Saturday June 8th, I had twisted and sprained my ankle working the muddy walls helping Spartan after Spartan over the obstacle on Saturday June 1st (not even my wife knew). I knew I was going to pay with pain for it later, but I had hoped later then the 8th, I was wrong. After working the walls for 8 - 9 hours followed by doing a course sweep (another 3 ½ hours) my ankle had swelled up slightly and every step I took was a sharp stab. I was already set to take a group through the grueling course the following day, Sunday June 2nd, so I went home, ate, massaged it, put on an ankle support, took aspirin and off to bed for some rest. Come that Sunday morning I had told myself to forget the pain and SPARTAN THE @#%$ UP! The one quote from the movie 300 kept repeating in my head,

“Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! No retreat, no surrender. That is Spartan law.”

Now let’s give you a quick scenario before I continue my double Spartan weekend. If you were in a car accident that landed you and your loved ones off the road down a steep 3 mile down hill with no phone or visibility to others and it looks like everyone has sustained serious to fatal injuries, would you, injured, but capable of moving, race to the top of that hill to seek help? Well the answer depends on how ready and confident of a person you are, and how determined you are to save your family.

I was confident in my capabilities and knew that the group was going to take their time going through the hilly 4.5 miles, 25 obstacles course and I was determined to get them to the finish line. As long as I remained cautious in my steps I would be fine. So on we went using will power, strength, determination, and team work. We all got through it and made it to the finish line to collect our well earned shields. Everyone in the group was so motivated and determined; I was watching the transformation right before me. Their will-power, perseverance, stamina and determination were all tested and were all conquered! I’m so proud of them!
Brian Sansanelli, Marcela Sansanelli, ME, Barbara Rodriguez, Jason Gerdes, Sean Mullahey

Spartan Group X Coach
Jonathan ARAGON

Monday, March 4, 2013

Why to Lunge?

I've always heard from many the reason they hate lunges is pain on the knees. When asked to preform a lunge the reason is all to obvious, the form is usually incorrect.

Lunges are a great lower-body and core exercise that aims several muscle groups at the same time helping your body gain balance, stability, strength and burn calories. Lunges help activate your abdominals, butt, hip, legs and thighs.

To be precise the primary muscles worked on include: the transverse abdominus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings and obliques.

How to do a proper Walking Lunge

Step 1: Stand up with your legs hip to shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides.

Step 2: Take a step 2 to 3 feet forward with your right leg. Bend both of your knees to lower yourself down into a lunge. Both knees should create 90-degree angles. Keep your front knee directly over your ankles and behind your toes to avoid unnecessary strain on your knees. Keep your chin and chest up.
Step 3: Repeat with your left foot stepping forward.

Dumbbell Lunge
Step 1: Stand up with your legs hip to shoulder width apart. Firm grasp on weights tilted downwards with your thumb and index finger pressed on the inner part of the dumbbell to avoid unnecessary strain to your wrist. Keep arms at your sides.

Step 2: Same as above.

Step 3: Repeat with your left foot stepping forward.