Josh vs. Mats: Virtually Challenged

Jul 07, 2011

You might be wondering if Mats and I have done any other challenges since the Concept2 Tour de SkiErg. Well, we have! During the Tour de SkiErg, I just inched out Mats. Now it was his turn to throw down a challenge. Mats taunted me to do a workout called the Spartan 300 in March and April. The final workout would come at the beginning of May with the goal of completing the workout as close to 10 minutes as possible. I should mention that Mats and his wife were also expecting their first child in mid May! Here’s the workout:

  • 25 pull ups
  • 50 deadlifts
  • 50 pushups
  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 one arm kettle bell swings
  • 50 floor wipers
  • 25 pull ups

Our routine was to send a message before each workout as motivation and then after to brag or grumble about the results. Both of us were feeling like the 10 minute goal was impossible. Our initial attempts were taking around 23 minutes. How would we ever cut that in half? However, after about the first month, we both started getting really strong and were making leaps and bounds in our progress. I tested out my strength on some hills while out for a long skate ski and saw improvements on how I was powering up the hills.

Both Mats and I would do the workout 2–3 times a week and I would send him a picture of the timer when I started getting proud of my time. Mats would always text back with something like “Holy cow that is a really good time! Great job, Josh!” Then the next day he would text back with a picture of his watch with a time better than mine. I will admit that my enthusiasm for his pictures was not the same as his were for mine. I was giving everything I had during these workouts, and I was wondering what more I could do. So, I drove four hours to IKEA and stocked up on Swedish meatballs. Seriously, I really did! Mats has an IKEA in his town and eats Swedish meatballs once a week, so that’s what I had to do.

On the final day, Mats went first and I was nervous when I saw the text message. A 13:03! My heart sank because at that time my best was 13:31 and the thought of shaving off another 28 seconds seemed impossible. To back it up, Mats documented his attempt on video and I had to do the same. I was actually excited and feeling pretty good about it while setting up for the workout. Would the Swedish meatballs do the trick? Away I went, and when I checked my watch at the halfway point, I was feeling good, and it was looking good. I really thought I had this one but the last 25 pushups were hard. My time, 13:11! I should have had a couple of extra meatballs!

Proof of Mats’ blistering 13:03 time

Proof of Josh’s lightning fast time, aided by increase in Swedish meatball intake

Like the last SkiErg challenge, both Mats and I had a great time training virtually and we both felt really fit. I look forward to hearing about Mats’ training and reading his blog. Oh, by the way, Mats and his wife Asa had a beautiful baby girl named Lily! Gratis Mats, all around! Are you ready for my next SkiErg challenge?

Videos of the final workouts:
Josh’s attempt
Mats’ attempt

Tags: Training

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The 100M World Record from @lorenhoward66. This takes down the record tied between Ross Love and Worlds Strongest Man, Brian Shaw. That is an average of 1400 Watts. #Concept2 #WorldRecord #Watts

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