Spartan Up! | Joe De Sena

Summary of: Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life
By: Joe De Sena


In ‘Spartan Up!’, Joe De Sena introduces us to the Spartan way of life and the lessons we can learn from it. The book focuses on overcoming mental and physical obstacles, embracing challenges, and pushing ourselves to our limits. De Sena emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, endurance, honesty, and strong relationships in achieving peak performance in every aspect of life. This summary will guide you through key insights from the book that can help you transform your life, including the significance of delayed gratification, planning for success, prioritizing health, and embracing simplicity.

Build Your Endurance for a Spartan Life

Learn from the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta and build your endurance through extreme sports and delayed gratification to face life’s challenges head-on.

The people of Sparta were legendary for their physical and mental preparation in defending their homeland. Even today, we can learn from their experiences and adopt their abilities to become a Spartan in our own right. Life’s comforts can lull us into a predictable and monotonous existence, but we can break free by taking a real jump into life. Extreme sports, such as the Death Race, offer a way to challenge yourself to the limit and achieve a renewed sense of purpose.

Joe de Sena, the author, organizes the Death Race, which includes diving for pennies in cold water, walking 50 kilometers, and lifting rocks for hours. Participants sign a waiver acknowledging that death is a possibility during the challenge. However, endurance skills are essential to overcoming these physical challenges. Building your endurance requires self-discipline and delayed gratification, both crucial to personal development.

Walter Mischel’s marshmallow experiment illustrates the significance of self-discipline. Children who exhibited self-control and delayed gratification when presented with a marshmallow turned out to be healthier and wealthier adults. The experiment demonstrates how resisting instant gratification is necessary for personal development. Life can be full of easy and challenging times, but we must prepare for the latter with endurance skills. By building our abilities to withstand life’s challenges, we can live a fulfilling and adventurous life.

The Importance of Planning

Planning is crucial for achieving goals, according to Joe de Sena in his book “Spartan Up!” He suggests signing up for activities in advance to hold yourself accountable. Sticking to your plan and keeping a success-and-failure journal to track progress are also key to success. De Sena emphasizes the importance of building relationships and appreciating everyone who contributes to making your life better. Planning your meals is just as important as planning your workouts, and he believes diets should be simple, restricted to fundamental ingredients like water, raw fruits, and vegetables. Overall, the Spartan philosophy of planning for success applies to all aspects of life.

The Connection Between Diet and Wellness

Learn about how unhealthy diets and a passive lifestyle can lead to a mediocre and unhealthy life while healthy eating and exercise lead to improved mental and physical wellbeing.

Do you ever wonder which would feel better: a day spent on the couch or a day spent working out and eating healthy food? While lounging on the couch might feel comfortable at the time, it can lead to serious long-term problems. Most people consume processed, unhealthy foods that are high in unnatural amounts of sugar– even common products, like juice and sauces, are packed with it. Sugar causes your brain to produce more dopamine, leading to addiction and an increased risk of diabetes.

A healthy diet is about more than just physical health; it improves mental health as well. By eating greens, fruits, and nuts, you can strengthen your willpower and overall wellbeing. Our bodies are designed to extract nutrients from natural foods– not those with additives or colorants.

Yet, unhealthy diets are just one of our society’s major problems. Passivity is another. Children naturally avoid being passive, but we often lose the ability to be active and take risks as we become adults. We adopt society’s standards that tell us to avoid anything new or anything that requires effort, leading to lives that are dull and insignificant.

Modern-day ailments like stress, depression, lethargy, and anxiety can be relieved through exercise. When you exercise, your brain produces a substance called BDNF, which helps to lower stress levels and keep you mentally fit. It’s time to make the connection between diet and wellness and strive for a life full of purpose, activity, and good health.

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