Spartan Strong | Cody Allen
We always hear how people use fitness as an inspiration in order to overcome their obstacles in life. However Cody Allen takes the obstacles head on in order to keep fit. Obstacle courses that is. Cody dodged the traditional gym routines and took on the Spartan Race! The Spartan Race is a series of intense obstacle courses that sometimes even stumps the best of the best. Currently a part of the Elite bracket, Cody is competing amongst the best. However, Cody doesn’t do this for the competition aspect. He’s more interested in the fact that it is a fun way to help him reach his body goals. “Although I run in the Elite bracket I am by no means close to finishing with the top tier guys! I usually finish mid field of the Elites. Muscle building and aesthetics is currently my fitness priority,” Cody says.
Many may wonder how someone gets involved with such a vigorous way of training. For Cody it was his military background that led him on this path. “When I joined the Marine Corps, I was not very strong or much of a runner. But when I arrived to Parris Island for Boot Camp, but I quickly adapted,” Cody said. After an honorable discharge from his military duties, Cody was in search of a new path in life. This time of trying to find himself led him everywhere from the firefighter academy to the police academy and even to EMT. Eventually, Cody was able land a security contract in Afghanistan. “I was doing some security contracting in Afghanistan. I started posting pictures and videos about what training I was doing to get ready for my first Spartan Race. Spartan Race contacted me and asked if I would host the Spartan 30 for April 2014. Which is a variation of an exercise a day for 30 days. I was assigned Push-ups.
After completing that month I ended up getting in some trouble for violating a media policy in my contract by posting workout videos. Our CEO, Joe De Sena contacted me directly and offered me a position within Spartan Race. I will forever be grateful to Spartan Race,” Cody explains. From there Cody was hooked!
“Its addictive because Obstacle Course Racing encompasses all levels of fitness and ability. Some come out and compete for money and podium spots. Others come out to test themselves. Corporate teams or a group of friends can come to a race and run together as a team. Everybody from Olympic level athletes, wounded warriors, persons with disabilities, or just people getting off the couch and into fitness are all together on the same course. Every person has the same opportunity to push themselves which yields an equal reward.” –Cody Allen
The Spartan race is much more than just completing obstacle courses. It is a great way to boost your confidence and get fit. Often the first step to getting fit is building the confidence to know that you can do so. “One of the greatest surprises about the Spartan Race is the feeling of accomplishment after they finish. We have a motto, “You’ll know at the finish line!” When people find out I work for Spartan Race usually they say, “I want to do one but I’m not ready yet.” This is a common misconception, mostly anyone can get out and complete a Spartan Race. It’s not mandatory to come out and be an all-star athlete. If a new racer comes out and gives it their all, that’s all that matters!” Cody says.
“Maintaining a positive mental attitude will earn better results. If you do anything in life with a crap attitude, the resulting product will be exactly that, crap.” –Cody Allen
Once you get that boost of confidence, you feel unstoppable. This is what leads people to continue their journey to fitness and maintain it. The Spartan race is also a means of getting fit. A lot of the training for the obstacle courses can lead to you reaching overall fitness goals. “When training for a Spartan Race I will continue my normal split routines through the week but just add more running to after my workout. Steep inclines is one of my weaknesses in a Spartan Race, So I occasionally crank up the incline on a treadmill or hit the stair climber and go until I’m out of gas,” Cody enlightens.
“Be consistent and committed! Seeing progress takes time. You need to be committed in all aspects. Train accordingly to your goals and adjust your lifestyle to match.” –Cody Allen
The Spartan Race has opened many opportunities for Cody in the future. He was able to get a little tv time with being a part of CMT’s Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge. Since then Cody has gained a pretty good following by posting his fitness training and Spartan race activities. “As far as my brand, I have no idea! When I hosted the Spartan30 in 2014 that kicked off a small social media following. Since then I’ve mostly been posting fitness and Spartan Race stuff. I’m kind of just winging it when it comes to social media, who knows where it will lead!”
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
If there is no access to gym and someone wants to start working out from home?
I would say a mounted pull up bar and 2 sets of dumbbells. One lighter set for exercises like curls, lateral raises, reverse flies…etc. etc
One heavy set for pressing exercises and squats.
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
Overrated: Using too much weight! Some of those who want to build muscle also go in and ego lift grab to much weight which ruins their form and proper training of the specific muscle they are trying to work. I’ve been at fault too! What counts is form and technique. Not only will that be more effective for muscle growth but it will also reduce the chances for injury.
What motivational/inspirational books have you found to be most helpful?
Spartan Up! Jeff O’Connell and Joe De Sena
A motivational book that helps you take a step back and realize that your life problems really aren’t that bad and to basically suck it up!
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
While I’m away at a venue with Spartan Race I’ll try and prep a bunch of grilled chicken while I’m there. Other times I’ll try and find a Chipotle nearby.
I also travel with my supplements so if I get hungry between meals or didn’t get a chance to eat an actual meal I’ll down a protein shake.