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No, I’m not referring to the more commonly used “shut the f#$% up” when I titled this STFU.  If you’re familiar with the Spartan Race community, you know the real meaning.


Spartan Races get top billing in the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) world.  There are different distances, challenging obstacles, burpees for failing obstacles, rough terrain and cash prizes for top finishers.  A good portion of OCR runners ONLY attend Spartan Races now.  It has expanded globally to Canada, Mexico, Australia and Europe.  They hold a world championship event in the fall and hope to one day become an Olympic sport.

Any Spartan Racer can also tell you who founded the race… Joe DeSena.  Do you know who founded Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder?  Probably not.  And you know why that is?  Because Joe ATTENDS races.  He’s accessible, interacting with racers and spectators.  Spartan Races have become more than just a race for OCR enthusiasts.  It’s become a family and Joe is the patriarch.

He can tell you about himself better than I…

“I’m the driving force behind and the living embodiment of the Spartan Race, the sports and fitness juggernaut described in this proposal. I built a number of successful businesses, starting in fireworks at 13, moving onto pool cleaning, and eventually landing on Wall Street. I also became a legend in endurance and adventure racing circles based on accomplishments I’ve already outlined. Spartan Race merges those two obsessions of my life. To learn more about me, my races and the amazing people who have been transformed by them, check out and” (excerpt from Spartan Up! synopsis)

And you should watch this video too…

Joe has written the ultimate book on conquering your fears, overcoming boundaries and finding your potential.  I was lucky enough to be contacted with some pre-release information to help get the word out and after reading a 20 page synopsis, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.

Top Concepts from Spartan Up!

  • Question your Assumptions.
  • Less is More.
  • Discipline is Everything.

Even more lucky, I was given the opportunity to ask the man himself some questions.

Q&A with Joe DeSana

Q:  First off, the obvious questions.  What sets “Spartan Up” apart from any other self help book on the market? Why makes your book the go-to guide to improving someones’s life?

“It is the opposite message from most self help books..the message in Spartan Up is about teaching us the benefits of actually putting the time in and doing the work. In abstaining from instant gratification. It is not a simple easier faster solution to doing things better. I am not selling you a pill or a gadget, I am showing you that maybe we have lost our way.”

Q: You coined the term “obstacle immunity.”  What is it and why is it important?

“We all face obstacles daily weekly and how we deal with them is what makes the difference between success and failure. It sets our attitude, effects our motivation. In building obstacle immunity..the problems you face in life more easily roll off your shoulders.”

Q:  The book refers to many events you’ve competed in as an athlete.  What event has challenged you the most and how did you prepare mentally and physically?

“I would say the iditasport..going across Alaska by foot in 30 below temps were awful but it changed my frame of reference and has made every day of my life since then that much easier.”

Q:  People from different backgrounds, athletic abilities and places flock to Spartan Races. What is it about Spartan Races that keeps them coming back for more?

“It’s authentic…we are a race..we are athletic in is not a mud party..and at the end of the day that appeals in a big way to our much so they share it.”

Q: Some individuals even flock to Pittsfield [home of Joe DeSena and the Death Race] to live the Spartan life, train and become your employees.  What qualities do these individuals possess that you have invited them to work for you?

“We don’t know until they get here! Most fail but the ones that pass the test are incredible people!!”

Another Joe quote…

“To me it all boils down to one thing; to reach full potential you need to UNLEARN every important thing modern society has taught you.”

I’m anxiously awaiting my copy to be delivered.

Spartan Up! is releasing on May 13th, 2014 and is currently available for pre-order!  STFU. Buy it.  You’ll even get 15% off a future race for pre-ordering!


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