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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

The Bookcase: Spartan UP!

Jun 13, 2014 09:17AM

Get Ready to Spartan UP!

by Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson

Founder of the Spartan Race, Joe De Sena, created a hard-hitting manual to getting fit with Spartan UP! This “Take-No-Prisoners Guide” includes the Spartan rules, tips on overcoming obstacles and is, overall, a guide to living the extreme, Spartan way of life, both mind and body.

Sparta was an ancient Greek city-state that was unique for its social system and constitution, which completely focused on military training and excellence. De Sena has adopted and promoted the Spartan way of life with his Spartan Race—one of endurance, pain and the pleasure of achieving. His book discusses this way of life and the men and women who have run the races instilled with heavy physical training and a sense of community.

Though it may at first appear to be, the Spartan lifestyle is not exclusively dedicated to training for obstacle races. It focuses instead on challenging oneself, being generous, sticking to one’s beliefs, pushing the mind and body to its limits and living each day as though it were the last.

A large section of the book also focuses on eating a healthier diet. De Sena discusses obesity among our youth and adults, problems with sugar and how to eat and enjoy real food. He puts emphasis on society’s preference to overuse high tech devices instead of exercising, getting outside and getting fit.

The author does not coddle the reader or himself; instead, he invites us to face adversity as a way of clearing our minds. His goals are lofty and his means are tough. Those ready for a hard-hitting approach to fitness will enjoy this book—and perhaps the race!

Spartan UP! can be purchased at and To learn more about Spartan races, visit For 15 percent off an upcoming race, register online via 

Ellen Sue Spicer-Jacobson is a freelance writer in the field of food and health. Connect with her at Menupause.infoJune 2014.

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