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Spartan Training FAQs

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Spartan fitness is different for everybody. Our ambition is to help you develop a positive attitude toward fitness, and instill an approach you can use to benefit all aspects of your life. This will require a commitment to exercise and, likely, lifestyle changes. Combined with correct nutrition and adequate rest, you can do it all.

To stay in touch, be certain to “Like” and “Get Notifications” from our training community on Facebook, and sign up for the SGX newsletter.

+ What is fitness, health and wellness to a Spartan?
A: Fitness to a Spartan is about getting better. Becoming fit means picking an improvement goal and working towards it. The first step is just getting started on it. Wellness to a Spartan is also about finding enjoyment and meaning in each training day and in exercise itself. Improved fitness enhances our health, encompassing nutritious eating and restoring energy with the right amounts of recovery time and sleep. True health means achieving both self-mastery and developing meaningful connections with other people. To be in good health to a Spartan also means possessing the ability and desire to grow, learn and adapt.
+ Is Spartan SGX training the fitness quick-fix I have been looking for?

A: The truth is that there are no quick fixes or easy solutions to getting fit. However, if you commit yourself to your SGX training, you can change and your body can change. You can get fast, lean and strong. You can develop mental strength. If your genetic programming is not to look like a “supermodel,” you will not miraculously look like a supermodel. Our coaches can help you achieve your best physical state though, and Spartans understand that everyone’s “best” is different and take pride in that.

+ What is functional training?

A: Functional training is a generalized preparedness for the demands your body will or may encounter in daily life, recreation and competitive sport.

+ What is bodyweight training?

A: Bear crawls, burpees, handstands, jumping, lunges, pull-ups, push-ups, running, squats ... joint stabilizing, “ground-based” movements -- the possibilities for moving our bodies are truly endless. Bodyweight training promotes natural human movement, using the body in a way that it is intended to be used, based on how it evolved over millions of years. You will be amazed at how fit you can get, and how much fun you can have, with very little “equipment” other than your own body.

+ What is “periodization” and why is it beneficial?

A: Periodization is planned variation in exercise volume, intensity and specificity. Spartan SGX uses periodization principles, as do today’s most successful athletic and fitness training organizations. Periodization is used to train Olympians and professional athletes, on the one hand, and it is the foundation of many rehabilitation programs, on the other hand -– because, in each case, improved performance and injury prevention are paramount.

Many fitness programs toss exercises together at random, measuring a productive workout based on some notion of a “Sweaty and Sore Scale” (i.e., if you sweat and are sore you got a quality workout). Among the problems with this approach, a first workout could be more challenging than the 35th, and you may be overusing certain joints or muscles. You may get hurt, or not improve at all.

With periodization there is a plan. SGX programs are typically created in 12-week segments containing 3 4-week building blocks. Each workout has a focus and a goal, and the week’s overall training builds the foundation for the next week.

Among the benefits, you not only burn calories, but can improve your performance in an efficient fashion.

+ Why is Spartan SGX training beneficial for other sports?
A: Every sport requires movement efficiency and energy system development, mental development, skill, and strategy. SGX is concerned, first, with the quality of movement, then, the quantity of movement. Energy system development is promoted throughout the SGX program by the use of varied work-to-recovery ratios that target specific energy systems. SGX is coaching-intensive too. Coaches work with clients to build physical -- and mental -- toughness. All of these benefits are transferable to other sports.
+ What is the Spartan SGX view on other workout programs?
A: We love any program that is effective and safe and gets people off the couch. Some SGX coaches integrate our functional fitness program into other training forms, from karate to yoga, Pilates to spinning. The Coach and Class Finder displays coaches’ sub-specialties.
+ May I get a refund if I cannot attend, or you cancel or change the date or location of, a workshop?

A: In the event of an event cancellation, date or location change, you can transfer to a different class or receive a credit toward another Spartan training event. We do not offer refunds.

+ Does Spartan SGX training involve obstacles like I will find at the race?

A: Some SGX coaches have obstacles to practice on at their box, gym or studio, but training on actual obstacles is not a required part of an SGX class. In either case your coach will explain to you how the movements you practice translate to the race and can offer tips on race strategy and obstacle technique.

Training will involve other kinds of obstacles too. Finishing a Spartan Race requires commitment and tenacity just like starting a new fitness habit, or sticking to a training regimen. Your coach and classmates will be there to support you every step of the way.

+ Is Spartan SGX training conducted indoors or outdoors?

A: SGX training can be conducted both inside and outside. We believe the great outdoors is one of the most undervalued assets in modern society. Exercising outdoors engages the mind in new ways and (depending on the activity) can challenge the body with more complex physical demands. On top of this fact, exercising outdoors has been shown to improve our emotional and mental well-being.

+ Is Spartan SGX training appropriate for older adults? Young children?

A: SGX is designed for everyone. Our coaches can fine-tune their classes to meet the needs of participants of all ages and fitness abilities. Some offer unique classes for kids, older adults, and other special populations, including adaptive training for the Spartan Race. The Coach and Class Finder displays coaches’ sub-specialties.

+ I am not a trainer: Can I still attend a Spartan SGX workshop?
A: Absolutely. The SGX workshop is open to anyone interested in Spartan physical and mental fitness philosophies, the Spartan Race and leading a life of purpose and achievement. If the workshop is not a fit, join us for a one-day Spartan Obstacle Specialist course, offering an introduction to SGX and the sport of obstacle racing.
+ Can I attend the workshop even if I have an injury or limited mobility?

A: Yes. Anyone is welcome to attend the Spartan SGX workshop regardless of their physical limitations. A coach needs to be able to modify, progress or regress exercises for diverse clients. Having to do this as part of the workshop is good practice for what coaches will encounter in real life.

+ When does the workshop start and finish (i.e., what is the daily schedule)?

A: Day 1 of the workshop typically begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.; day 2 typically begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. We encourage attendees to have an informal dinner together after day 1. Participants should arrive 30 minutes early on day 1, to sign in and complete any necessary paperwork.

+ What do I need to do to prepare for the workshop?
A: Course materials will be emailed to you in advance. We recommend that you review them prior to the workshop and bring copies of the presentations to the workshop. Dress comfortably; you will be participating in physical activity. If you have injuries, or other limitations, your participation is not required. You can gain a lot through observation, but participate in what you can! Bring your lunch and snacks for both days. You will receive an email with up-to-date workshop information about 1 month before (and again immediately prior to) the scheduled workshop date.
+ What is the scope of the online Spartan SGX exams?

A: To become certified, you must pass an examination showing you have the knowledge and skill to be an SGX coach. About 3 days after completing the workshop, you will be emailed the registration and login information necessary to take the exam(s). All of the content on the workshop exam is covered in the workshop. The workshop exam consists of 90 questions. Once you pass the exam (a score of 75 or higher out of 100 points) and submit evidence of your acceptable fitness, health or wellness certification, you will be emailed your SGX coaching certificate, within about 2 weeks.

Our new foundations exam is designed to allow qualified individuals who do not possess a Track # 1 certification or Track #1 degree to demonstrate their fitness knowledge to become eligible to be a certified SGX coach. More information on the exam will be available soon.

+ Why did we create the online Spartan SGX workshop?
A: Trainers asked for it, and we recognized that people have different learning styles and demands on their time, and that our live, in-person workshop is not ideal for every person.
+ Will the online experience be as good as the live, in-person workshop?
A: Yes. This is not a watered-down version of the traditional workshop. We have incorporated the best online educational practices into our program, to create an inspired learning community. The online Spartan SGX workshop is taught by our master teaching staff and delivered via the highly-regarded Docebo online learning platform.
+ How does the program work and how long does it take?
A: The program is designed to bring participants all the benefits of our highly-rated workshop. Every month we will launch a new online learning cohort, and each online Spartan SGX workshop will be comprised of the following elements:

  • 2 live Webinars
  • 4 recorded Webinars
  • 1 small-group project
  • 1 live exercise demonstration Webinar
  • 1 individual video-teaching exercise
  • + Office Hours with our master teachers

All workshop participants are asked to attend the first live Webinar and encouraged to attend all of the live Webinars; however, Webinars will be recorded in case you are unable to make the scheduled time.

You will be teamed up with classmates for the small-group project; or sign up with a colleague or friend if you would like to work together.

Although individuals can work at their own pace and may finish the workshop at different times, we anticipate that most participants will complete the workshop in about four weeks, working 4-5 hours per week.

+ Do I need to know English in order to take the online Spartan SGX workshop?
A: Yes
+ What else is different between the traditional workshop and the online Spartan SGX workshop?
A: Nothing! Everyone who completes the online Spartan SGX workshop and completes the rest of the certification process will become a certified coach, just as if they had attended the traditional workshop.
+ How do I register for the online Spartan SGX workshop?
+ Does the Spartan Strong Instructor training count toward my Spartan SGX continuing education requirement?
A: Yes. The Spartan Strong Instructor training counts for 8 Continuing Education Credits (CECs).
+ Now that I am a certified Spartan SGX coach, how do I represent that in my credentials?

A: In order to be consistent from coach to coach, and to help clients identify official Spartan SGX coaches, we ask that you use the following format:

  1. When listing your credentials and certifications: [FirstName] [LastName], [Degree, if any], [Primary certification], [SGX and other certifications, separated by commas]
  2. When written out in long-form: Certified Spartan SGX Coach, or Spartan SGX Coach

For example:

Spartan SGX Coach Jeff Godin
Jeff Godin, PhD, CSCS, SGX, HFS, PES, CES

+ How do I get listed in the Spartan SGX Coach and Class Finder on Spartan’s Web site?
A: Certified SGX coaches are eligible to be listed in the Coach and Class Finder on You will receive a link to a Website where you can provide your information when you receive your certificate.
+ How do I join the private Spartan SGX workshop alumni group on Facebook?
A: This Facebook community is exclusive to workshop alumni. You will receive instructions for joining the group at, and following, the workshop. If you are a workshop alum and not a member of the group already, navigate to the group page on Facebook and make a request to “Join” the group. Contact us if you are not promptly granted access.
+ My Coach and Class Finder information needs to be changed. What do I do?
A: Email us at
+ May I take the workshop again?
A: Yes. As a workshop alum, you can take the workshop again, to see what has changed and what is new, for 50 percent off. Contact us to get a discount code.          
+ How do I renew my Spartan SGX Coach certification?

A: Each year after completing your initial certification, you will be required to renew your certification. Certification renewal includes a $95 fee and proof of 8 Continuing Education Credits (CECs).

+ What is Spartan Obstacle Specialist

A: It’s all about the obstacles. In this one-day live course, you will learn the techniques needed to dominate Spartan Race’s toughest obstacles. And, you will uncover and learn how to overcome the often subtle weaknesses that cause big-time limitations on the race course.

The course typically runs from 9am to 3pm and is very active. It can be modified for any ability or fitness level and is perfect for anyone from a brand new racer to a certified Spartan SGX coach looking to help others.

+ Am I a certified Spartan coach after taking a Spartan OS course?

A: Spartan OS is not a certification class, but you can pair the OS course with an Online SGX Workshop to complete your Spartan coach certification. .

+ I am not a trainer or coach, can I still attend Spartan OS?

A: Yes! Anyone can attend Spartan OS. Whether you are a first-time racer, an elite athlete, a trainer, or a coach, OS offers insights into how to conquer obstacles and teach obstacle-specific techniques. Spartan Obstacle Specialist is also the prerequisite education required to volunteer as a Spartan Course Marshal/Referee starting globally in 2018!

+ How do I sign up?

A: You can register for an upcoming Spartan OS course or OS + SGX Online package via our Full Calendar by clicking here.

+ How do I become a qualified Spartan Strong Instructor?

A: Attend a Spartan Strong instructor training, in person. You need to satisfy one of the same Track #1 or Track #2 prerequisites required by the Spartan SGX program.

+ What are the acceptable certifications for Track 1?

A: The following list includes fitness, health and wellness certifications that qualify the holder to follow the Track #1 Spartan SGX certification process. We recognize organizations have developed other certifications not listed below; contact us to verify that your certification is acceptable for the Track #1 process. If you are obtaining an acceptable certification now, you may attend the Spartan SGX workshop and complete your SGX certification once the prior certification is successfully completed.

  • ACTION Certification - CPT
  • ACE - ACE-AHFS, ACE-CPT, ACE-GFI, Health Coach
  • American Fitness and Aerobics Association
  • Army Master Fitness Instructor
  • CI (Cooper Institute) - CPT
  • CSCCa - SCCC
  • CrossFit - L1 and above
  • ISSA
  • NASM - CPT
  • NFPT - CPT
  • PTA Global, Inc. - PTA Global CPT
  • World Fitness Association
  • Canfit Pro
  • National Personal Trainer Institute
  • Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology - Certified Personal Trainer (CSEP-CPT)

Learn more about getting certified.

+ What is the Track 2 Foundations Exam?

A: We have developed a “foundations” exam to assess the domain knowledge of individuals who do not possess one of the Track #1 certifications. The exam include 100 multiple choice questions in the areas of:

  • Client screening and risk stratification
  • Basic exercise science, physiology and kinesiology
  • Basic fitness assessment
  • Basic exercise training principles
  • Basic exercise program design
  • Professional conduct, safety and risk management

A passing score is 75 percent. You will have four attempts to pass the exam, and you will be provided feedback on the areas that need improvement. ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer is an excellent resource for anyone that needs to brush up on any of these content areas. Click here to Register for the Spartan SGX Foundations Exam.

+ Do I need to be an expert obstacle racer to be a Spartan SGX coach?

A: No. The SGX workshop can serve as a fabulous introduction to the sport and training for the sport. However, to achieve higher-level certifications, such as our Level 2 designation, coaches must demonstrate significant hands-on experience with and knowledge about the sport of obstacle racing.

+ Do I need obstacles to train clients in the Spartan SGX system?

A: No. Training on actual obstacles is not a required part of an SGX class. At the workshop you will learn how the SGX movements translate to the race and to tackling race obstacles.

+ Do you offer insurance to support my fitness business?

A: Yes. We offer policies to Spartan SGX Coaches for independent contractors and facility owners through a preferred provider, Reinig Insurance Solutions. Sign up here.

+ Are Spartan SGX Coaches or Spartan Strong Instructors employees of Spartan Race, Inc.?

A: No. They are not employees or consultants of Spartan Race, Inc. They are independent fitness and health professionals who have completed the certification or qualification process.

+ What are the benefits of becoming a Spartan SGX Coach or Spartan Strong Instructor?

A: You will be an integral part of one of the fastest growing participatory sports in recent history and earn the right to teach Spartan training classes; and in the case of Spartan SGX, you will be the recipient of the world’s first certification specific to obstacle race fitness with the right to develop your own unique Spartan SGX workouts.

You will be listed in the trainer directory on Spartan’s website. You will be granted a license to use specific Spartan logos to promote your classes, and you will benefit as Spartan builds demand among the public for Spartan Race and Spartan training classes. You earn continuing education credits through the workshop/training, and you will receive discounts for yourself and clients on Spartan Races and select Spartan shop merchandise.

+ Is there only one level of Spartan SGX coach certification?

A: Certified SGX coaches can advance their career by fulfilling the requirements to become:

  • a Distinguished Coach
  • a certified Level 2 coach, including eligibility to teach Spartan Obstacle Specialist courses
  • a Spartan SGX Workshop Instructor, permitting a coach to teach the SGX workshop

The biggest benefit of all perhaps? The chance to build better human beings by joining a community of like-minded coaches within Spartan Nation, and supporting one another to create successful fitness businesses.

Please note: At this time some of these benefits are available only in the United States. Contact us for specific questions regarding benefits available outside of the USA.

+ What else makes Spartan SGX different?

A: The vast majority of people who set a fitness or health goal will fail to achieve it. Most fitness training systems do not put nearly enough emphasis on what often matters most to clients: nutrition, lifestyle and just showing up. We do. SGX is a 360-degree training program that encompass fitness, nutrition, human performance, and general wellness.

+ How many CECs does the Spartan Strong workshop provide?

A: The Spartan Strong Instructor training is approved for .7 ACE CECs, 7 AFAA CEUs and 7 NASM CEUs. You may be able to petition for credit from other certifying organizations. Credits given may vary by organization. Check with your specific certifying agency for additional guidelines.

+ May I get a refund if I cannot attend, or you cancel or change the date or location of, a workshop?

A: In the event of an SGX workshop cancellation, date or location change, you can transfer to a different SGX workshop or enroll in the online SGX workshop. In the event of a Spartan Obstacle Specialist course cancellation, date or location change, you can transfer to a different Spartan Obstacle Specialist course or receive a credit toward a Spartan SGX workshop. We do not offer refunds.

+ What is Spartan Strong?

A: Spartan Strong is Spartan’s new group fitness class. Inspired by Spartan Races, Spartan Strong instructors lead participants in an innovative workout combining resistance training, bodyweight moves, dynamic stretching and cardio-focused drills. The instructors’ class teaches the core principles of Spartan training and shows fitness professionals how to inspire group fitness class participants to overcome obstacles, on the race course and in everyday life.

Spartan Strong instructors are provided complete hour-long classes, from beginning to end, which is different from the Spartan SGX program, where trainers are taught Spartan principles and a methodology for developing their own, unique small- and large-group training classes.

After completing the live 1-day Spartan Strong instructor training, attendees must pass a video teach back and sign up for a subscription for monthly class updates in order to teach the class at their gym or studio.

+ Am I a certified Spartan coach after taking a Spartan Strong instructor training class?

A: Upon successful completion of the Spartan Strong instructor requirements, including a passing teachback video, you will be qualified as a Spartan Strong Instructor. Sign up for a Spartan SGX workshop to become a Spartan Coach.

+ I am not a trainer or coach, can I still attend a Spartan Strong instructor training?

A: The Spartan Strong instructor training is designed for fitness professionals who enjoy teaching group fitness programs.

+ How do I sign up?

A: You can register for a Spartan Strong instructor training at upcoming EMPOWER! Fitness events, and additional locations near you. See the calendar.