I myself recently just finished a Spartan Race and had so much fun, I knew I had to try to recreate for my students. Here is a lesson plan I used as an culmination of my 5 components of fitness unit. I think my students really enjoyed it and worked very hard.
- To engage students in a fun and challenging obstacle course inspired by Spartan Races, promoting physical fitness, teamwork, and determination.
- To encourage students to develop their agility, strength, and endurance through various obstacle challenges.
- To create an inclusive environment by suggesting adaptations for students with special needs.
- Cones and gopher nets (for barbed wire crawl)
- Kettlebells or weighted items
- River stones or balance obstacles
- Hurdles, boxes, Bosu balls, and Tricep dip station
- Scooters and ropes
- Lat pulldown machine
- NowNets and gymnastic vault
- Homemade ball-tipped javelins (with instructions on how to make)
- Medals (available on Amazon or other sources)
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Introduction (10 minutes):
- Begin the lesson by explaining the concept of a Spartan Race and how it’s designed to test physical strength, endurance, and agility.
- Discuss the importance of determination and teamwork in overcoming obstacles.
- Mention the goal of the lesson: to complete the Spartan Race obstacle course and earn tokens, with everyone receiving a medal.
- Emphasize that students will earn a token for each lap they complete during the course.
Warm-up (5 minutes):
- Conduct a brief warm-up routine to prepare students for physical activity. Include stretches, jumping jacks, and light jogging in place.
Spartan Race Obstacle Course Overview (5 minutes):
- Present an overview of the obstacle course, describing each challenge and its purpose.
- Mention that students will receive tokens upon completing laps, and whoever collects the most tokens wins.
Obstacle Course Stations and Adaptations (40 minutes):
a. Running Laps:
- Set up a running track around the course.
- Encourage students to complete as many laps as they can within a set time.
- Adaptation for special needs: Offer alternative modes of locomotion (e.g., walking or using a mobility aid) for students with mobility challenges.
b. Barbed Wire Crawl:
- Set up gopher nets and cones as a makeshift barbed wire crawl.
- Students must crawl under the “barbed wire” while minimizing contact with the ground.
- Adaptation for special needs: Modify the height of the cones and provide extra support or padding for students with mobility or sensory issues.
c. Kettlebell Carry:
- Place kettlebells or weighted items across a course of river stones or balance obstacles.
- Students must carry the kettlebell or item while maintaining balance.
- Adaptation for special needs: Use lighter weights or provide additional support for students with physical limitations.
d. Balance and Agility Course:
- Arrange hurdles, boxes, Bosu balls, and tricep dip stations for a challenging balance and agility sequence.
- Students will jump hurdles, climb over boxes, and transfer weight across the tricep dip station.
- Adaptation for special needs: Adjust the height and difficulty level of obstacles and provide assistance or alternative exercises as needed.
e. Scooter Rope Pull and Hercules Hoist:
- Set up scooters and ropes for the scooter rope pull challenge.
- Use a lat pulldown machine for the Hercules hoist challenge.
- Students must demonstrate strength and teamwork to complete these tasks.
- Adaptation for special needs: Modify the weight and resistance for students with limited upper body strength or mobility.
f. Over Unders:
- Place nownets and a gymnastic vault for the over-under challenge.
- Students will navigate through the nets and vault using agility and coordination.
- Adaptation for special needs: Offer alternative routes or exercises for students who may find this station challenging.
g. Javelin Toss:
- Provide homemade ball-tipped javelins for the javelin toss.
- Explain the rules and safety guidelines for this activity.
- Adaptation for special needs: Adjust the distance or provide soft throwing objects for students with coordination or motor skill difficulties.
Optional Penalty (5 minutes):
- Explain that if a student is unable to complete a section of the course, they can choose to perform a set number of jumping jacks as a penalty to continue.
Spartan Race Conclusion (5 minutes):
- Congratulate students who successfully complete the Spartan Race obstacle course.
- Hand out tokens to all participants based on the number of laps completed.
- Announce the winner who collected the most tokens.
Cool Down (5 minutes):
- Lead students in a cool-down routine, including stretching and deep breathing exercises.
Debrief and Reflection (10 minutes):
- Encourage students to reflect on their experiences during the obstacle course.
- Discuss the importance of perseverance, teamwork, and physical fitness.
Medal Presentation (2 minutes):
- Present medals to all participants as a symbol of their accomplishment.
- Provide a link to Amazon or other sources where students or parents can purchase additional medals if desired.
Additional Obstacle Ideas
- Rope Climb: Students must climb a rope to a designated height and then descend safely. You can adjust the height and the type of rope to suit different skill levels.
- Monkey Bars: Set up a series of monkey bars that students must traverse. You can make them as challenging as needed by adjusting the distance and height.
- Tyrolean Traverse: Create a horizontal rope or cable that students must traverse while hanging on to it, typically above water or a safe landing area.
- Sandbag Carry: Provide sandbags of varying weights that students must carry over a specified distance.
- Bucket Brigade: Students fill buckets with sand or water and carry them over a course before emptying them. This challenge emphasizes teamwork and endurance.
- Slip Wall: A smooth, angled wall covered in water or mud that students must climb using ropes or footholds.
- Atlas Stone Lift: Students lift heavy stones and place them onto a platform.
- Vertical Cargo Net: Set up a cargo net that students must climb over.
- Sled Drag: Attach a weighted sled to a harness that students must drag across a distance.
- Tire Flip: Provide large tires that students must flip over a certain number of times.
- Log Carry: Students carry logs of varying sizes and weights for a specified distance.
- Stair Climb: Use a staircase or create a stair-like structure for students to ascend and descend.
- Wall Traverse: Students traverse along a wall using handholds and footholds.
- Rope Net Climb: Set up a vertical net that students must climb using ropes.
- Water Crossing: Incorporate a water-based obstacle like wading through a stream or crossing a water pit.
- Balance Beam: Set up a narrow beam or balance obstacle that students must walk across.
Remember to adapt these obstacles as needed to suit the age, ability, and safety considerations of your students. Safety should always be the top priority when designing and implementing obstacle courses.
Race Tokens: Issue one token for one loop of the course. Count how any each student has at the end.
CLICK HERE for to visit Support Real Teachers for free SPARTAN Races themed adventure races for physical education created by 2019 National High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year Dan DeJager in collaboration with SPARK and SPARTAN Races (as part of our Coalition for Quality Physical Education).